When someone suggests that you can "make yourself at home" at their place, it's not always the easiest to feel that it's okay to do so. If you're feeling shy, uncomfortable or unsure about how to settle in and do as you'd do at home, the following suggestions will help you to do so while still respecting rules of your host.

Part 1
Part 1 of 3:

Accepting It's Okay to Make Yourself at Home

  1. When someone suggests that it's okay to "make yourself at home", accept that they really mean it and take them at face value. It's actually not very polite to expect the host to wait on you hand and foot and to keep providing you with permission once they've made it clear to treat their place as your own. That can become trying on the host very quickly. So, be at ease with the fact that they trust you this much and are happy for you to help yourself.
  2. As well as being accepting, let yourself relax into the situation. Close your eyes. Imagine that you have no worries, no fears, nothing! This can help loosen yourself up.
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Part 2
Part 2 of 3:

Setting Yourself at Ease with the Host

  1. This can be easy, as most topics to talk about can be of a recent activities such as a vacation, a personal accomplishment or a job promotion. Remember, your topics are limitless, you just have to start with one and the conversation will flow. By maintaining a conversation you will be able to focus more on the conversation and less on the uncomfortable feeling.
  2. Take a little look around you. Find the things you like, not dislike. Start up a conversation about what you like. Ask where he/she, bought, found, or received a particular object from.
  3. Ask about what happened. Ask if everybody had fun.
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Part 3
Part 3 of 3:

Making Yourself at Home

  1. If the host has clarified that you can help yourself to certain things, ask for the location and for any special rules, tricks or quirks that you need to be aware of. For example, if your host is happy for you to make your own meals, get your own breakfast and eat snacks, ask where the food and utensils are, what's expected by way of replenishing used foods and if there is anything you need to be aware of when cleaning up, such as special washing methods for fragile items, keeping cupboard doors child-locked, etc.
    • Don't be afraid to ask again whenever needed. It's better to know than to go ahead and break or ruin something in the house.
  2. Put food containers back where you found them. Make use of cleaning items to clean up after yourself. For example, use the toilet brush to keep the toilet clean, squeegee the shower after washing and lift bathmats off the floor to dry. Keep doors and windows as you found them, or ask whether it's okay to position them differently.
    • Ask about water and power restrictions. Don't be greedy about usage; find out in advance.
    • Ask before making calls using their landline or downloading/streaming content using their broadband. If there are additional costs involved, offer to reimburse them.
  3. Think about the fact that if you did this at home, you'd have to restore or renew the items/services, and as such, it's a cost to your host. Your host may not wish this but it is polite to offer sincerely.
  4. Avoid wandering around the house naked, but if your host is happy with PJs till noon, that's fine for you too. If your host eats dinner in front of TV, then you can too but if they prefer the table, then do so along with them. And so on.
    • If your hosts take their shoes off at the door, do so too.
  5. Ask if their companion animals have specific quirks, needs or fears and how you can be careful and considerate around them. Offer to help feed the pets if that's something you'd like to do.
  6. Don't be in their way, don't interfere with their daily plans and make it clear that you don't expect them to be hosting you 24/7. Their comfort level is a priority too.
  7. After your stay, leave a decent gift with your host, to say thank you for their kindness.
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About This Article

wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. To create this article, 12 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time. This article has been viewed 65,292 times.
59 votes - 81%
Co-authors: 12
Updated: January 14, 2020
Views: 65,292
Categories: Home and Garden