I posted about this on my Facebook wall, first, but I was curious what hosts would say since my friends are, um, not objective. And also lean socialist/ communal/ neurotic.
I know some hosts revel in fresh flowers in the bedroom, some don’t. But I think hosts who share space with their guests all are firm believers in keeping shared spaces sparkly clean. And, theoretically, I agree.
Certainly in a hotel, you expect cleaners to come in every day and wipe everything down with Clorox. But we’re not hotels. I’m very very clear in my listing that we offer a clean bedroom and access to shared bathroom and Wi-Fi. We’re phasing out access to the kitchen because of liability and horror stories from other hosts where the guests don’t clean up after themselves.
So that got me thinking (especially with the current round of “why don’t male partners do as much housework as female” think pieces sweeping my wall)… we literally had guests say, as they were leaving the house, “we’re going to get breakfast while you clean the bathroom” … and at the time I was mortified and angry. (Note: this was over 2 years ago. My current guests are fine. So far)
I was upset that my bathroom wasn’t clean enough for others. Some shame. But I think the anger was because they were treating us like servants - but aside from some “I’m not your servant” reflex, I’m not sure what made it so …insulting? I don’t have the scholarly words to explain why it felt Different from anything I’d experienced before. I know it poked my pride/honor and I’m not sure if I should have accepted it more humbly (they were paying to live in my house, hospitality, the customer is always right, yadda yadda) or if my righteous anger was justified (don’t tell me what to do and when to do it in my own house. Clean up your own damn mess).
Note: the bathroom - that particular time - did not have excessive child pee. The guests had very very long hair which shed like crazy. After they left I swept up a ball of hair, hair pins, and fake eyelashes the size of a guinea pig from their room. The bathroom mess was (almost) all them.
… other people’s body sheddings are kinda gross. I get that. But in a shared space, whose responsibility is it to clean up the mess of others? As a mom, I spend a lot of time cleaning up other people’s messes - and at the same time, teaching them how to clean up after themselves. (My 13 year old does the laundry, takes out the compost, and does landscaping for the neighbors. My 9 year old sweeps inside and out, helps prep the guest room, and hand washes the non breakable dishes) #mombrag
When people pay to sleep in my home, are they also paying for me to clean up the kitchen after they cook a big meal? After they clog up the drain? After they puke in the hall?
I am fascinated that I have an instinctive answer to each question, and I’m not sure why. Would it be a different answer if the guests had en suite everything? If they were staying for free? If guests stayed for longer than 2 weeks?
(Gotta say, folks who have stayed for free have never volunteered to clean the bathroom, though occasionally they’ll offer to cook a meal - but not to clean up after, which is why I always decline the offer)
Are hosts who don’t share their personal space less offended by guest requests/ complaints?
… or is that a whole nother topic?