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Am I being too petty?

We always have great guests, most leave the place tidy, if not super clean. So, maybe we’re spoiled. But the ones who left today did a number on it.

Our kitchen normally (this was after cleaning it today):

The way the kitchen was left before we cleaned (you can’t see the rest, but think food scraps and eggy pans and dishes in the sink, garbage not in the mostly empty can, but on the floor, a disgusting pool of I don’t know what at the bottom of the fridge, etc.):

The rest of the house looked as one would expect upon seeing the kitchen. Wet towels on furniture, glass rings on the wood tables (but coasters neatly stacked nearby), and random things strewn about.

The rest of their stay was relatively uneventful, but with zero acknowledgment of the suggestions I gave that they requested. No communication from them after they arrived.

So, my question: am I just holding my guests to too high a standard, i.e. the one I hold myself to as a host?

Doesn’t look that bad to me. If it bothers you don’t allow use of your kitchen, I don’t.

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Put it in your rules that you expect them to leave the kitchen tidy. Unless you make you expectation clear you can’t expect much. I rented a cabin with a kitchen and they required the kitchen to be left as it was found.

They way they left it isn’t awful but they would get 2 or 3 stars from me on cleanliness and a very neutral review.


Some people just aren’t as neat as we would like them to be. If nothing was destroyed, I would just deduct a star or two from their cleanliness rating depending on the rest of the house.

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They would get a 3 star for cleanliness from me.


As my boyfriend constantly points out “people live differently”. My standards of cleanliness are pretty dang high and I want to keep my superhost status for what it’s worth. I have two rooms I rent and I live on the property so the common areas and kitchen are all shared spaces. I do expect that guests don’t leave trash out and about and that they at least put dishes in the sink. If I came home to the kitchen pictured above I would be upset that someone chose to leave it that way … after all we are not sterile hotels… these are our homes.


My phone won’t let me view the photos. But this is the one time I believe in leaving in a sign (if your rental is not shared space), or a verbal explanation of expectations. Never say “leave kitchen clean”, as many people live like slobs :smile:
I agree with other posters " leave kitchen as you find it@, and then explain in more detail–dishes rinsed or washed, trash in bin, spills cleaned up, counters wiped off, use coaster…you get the idea.

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If one thing in my kitchen is out of place I notice it… I have a pet peeve about crumbs and salt/pepper on the stove & counters, and I ask people to use the dishwasher but sometimes they love handwashing dishes, I don’t get it – l I just take a deep breath and clean it all myself even if they think they did a good job!

In my middle school classroom, I have cabinets full of games and activities… inside each cabinet is a color photo of what it’s SUPPOSED to look like after it’s been used, maybe you could hang one up in your kitchen! :wink:


No… This is BAD. You are not being “petty.” THEY are being disrespectful. I would be pissed.
They should leave the house as they found it. It’s not a hotel where you can be a slob because you paid for it.

I would leave a bad review. “Unfortunately, these guests did not leave the house as clean or as neat as they could have.The kitchen was left disgusting, with trash and dirty dishes left around. The guests left wet towels on furniture, glass rings on wood where coasters were provided and random things strewn about. I was disappointed by their disrespect. Can’t recommend.”

Think about it. Would you have them back or recommend them to stay with one of us on the forum? If not, there is your answer.

I have in my check out rules: “Please leave apartment as you found it. Clean stove, wash and put away dishes, remove trash.” If you don’t have this written somewhere in your guest instructions, do it NOW.


Short answer from me is YES. I could barely tell the difference between the two photos. Apart from the crooked tea towels. Am I missing something?


Me too. It looks like normal cleaning to me. Because we are in a tourist town our guests are usually vacationers - I don’t go on vacation to clean!

In our rental, the kitchen is going to need a thorough cleaning even if guests haven’t really cooked at all so a little extra is no big deal.

But that’s just me…


Ours is a whole house listing (first floor of our two-flat) so the kitchen is definitely part of the package. And I do have “guest expectations” prominently posted in a couple places in the house, but it’s very simple–I don’t ask for much. Just tidy up a bit: leave the place as you found it, used towels in the bathroom, garbage in the garbage can, and dishes in the dishwasher (you don’t need to run it.) I ask people to please text when they depart but that rarely happens. Most times I never hear from them again until the review, if they bother.

When we first started, I had a laundry list of “stuff” but decided it was ridiculous and removed them (i.e. please close any open windows if you think it might rain while you’re out, please lock the door when you leave, please don’t run the heat and ac at the same time, etc.) because I assumed most people had enough common sense/courtesy to do/not do those kinds of things.

Nice to hear, thought I was going to get a roasting! I genuinely don’t understand the whole cleaning complaint thing. Unless they’ve been really nasty slobs and damaged stuff, that’s the business we’re in no?


No. This is a personal home. Not a hotel.
This is disgusting. It’s not just the kitchen left messy. It’s the rest of the things she mentions and the feeling she got when they left.

Did she feel good about these guests? I think not. It’s the principle. Why should people be such pigs?


Yep, especially if we charge a cleaning fee. Damage or lots of trash sitting out is different than not getting every towel in the right place or putting clean dishes away. Of course, give them 3 stars on cleanliness, because that is what they earned, but I wouldn’t slam them in the review, just mention it in private feedback.

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If they’ve done one or two small things I don’t slam. If they’ve done a whole houseful of things, yes.

Then they violated your rules. They did not leave the house as they found it. They deserve a bad review. It’s not respectful.

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Thank you @konacoconutz . We’ve been doing this for 2.5 years, so I feel like I know this stuff pretty well by now. But, like I said, have I just been babied all this time? I mean, the pictures really don’t do it justice. It took twice as long to clean as usual, and, yes–I did get that feeling in my gut “why am I doing this again???”

I guess I just expect more of people.


Exactly my point. It’s a case by case scenario. For instance I hosted a guy I’ve mentioned before. He was the WORST, messiest guest ever… but he was sweet… but clueless. He was very nice and I enjoyed talking with him. He was respectful personally to ME, even though the apartment was messier than if my kids stayed a week. :smile: I left no review. A lot of times it is just the feeling you get…

And please, we want their profile on the Bad Guest lounge. You’re a member, right Natalie??

I don’t want these slobs at my house. Hence someone so unrespecting of your space needs to be called out on it. Slam them!

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Cleaning fee is meant to clean it before they get there. Not to clean it after they leave.

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