Do You Like Houseguests Using Your Kitchen?

Just wondering if you like houseguests cooking/taking over your kitchen?

Had a recent experience with houseguests virtually taking over the kitchen. I was a little annoyed at times, but for the most part, it was fun and kind of mixed things up from the same old, same old routine.

It was funny seeing them quibble about baking some individual quiches for the next morning, with each of them insisting that they were done or needed more time. Wish I’d gotten a video of them.

Anyway, what are your thoughts on this? (BTW, my mother wouldn’t let anyone cook in her kitchen - including me!) :upside_down_face:


It’s many years since we’ve had guests staying for the length of time when they might want to cook. In the past, we’ve had two groups of family, neither of which have bothered us when they were in the kitchen. With one group, they wanted to prepare “kids food” - absolutely fine, we’ve no experience with that generally not, in particular with the fussy eaters that their kids were. The other group included my sister in law, Spanish husband and young nephew. They would only want to cook as a way of thanking us and would always cook Spanish food. Very nice of them.

I am now at a time of life when I would not welcome folk staying. That’s why cheap hotels exist.


Do You Like Houseguests Using Your Kitchen?

You mean husband?! No not much, first he barely knows the place, need to explain every time. :crazy_face:

Actually, nobody really asked to use the kitchen…more the barbecue…


Lol not husband! One of the guests was a dear friend, and had her friend along. It was fine for the most part and I’m still laughing about a few things.

Kitchens are meant to be used and food enjoyed. It was a little bit like a cyclone but I needed the excitement and enjoyed the company. :blush:


It’s an interesting question.

For me there are two categories. One is the whole freaking family descending during the holidays (my wife loves being the hostess) and everyone wants to help. I spend what my wife considers an interminable amount of time thinking this through but when people start rolling in each has a place to work, a job to do, the food they bring has a place to go, and the ovens and burners are pretty well allocated. I’m also there to avoid issues with misuse of tools which brings me to the second category.

When house guests want to “own” a meal I have a problem. No, don’t use my good knives as a bench scraper. No, don’t use metal forks or whisks in the non-stick. No, don’t use that hand thrown, hand glazed salad bowl in the oven. sigh I usually insist on sitting at the kitchen peninsula so I can “tell them where things are.” There are a few people I well and truly trust - my good friend Shawn who is a professional chef and culinary instructor (Shawn grabbed me during a party to ask where the vinegar spray bottle is (not do we have one, where is it grin)); my sister-in-law who blessedly knows I’m fussy and checks (can I use this for that?); another friend who I taught to cook and knows most of my foibles.

A small part of the problem is where to put things. Having a guest try to empty the dishwasher without guidance, while appreciated, means hunting through the kitchen for things I know we have but can’t find.


Great post. Fun read.


No one is allowed to use my kitchen including my wife, you want a cup of coffee or something out of the refrigerator that’s fine but with no exception does anyone come in my kitchen when I’m in there cooking. I have worked in and owned professional kitchens they work and function completely different than a home kitchen. once my mom years ago when she was alive decided to do the dishes and put everything away it took me weeks to find everything. No one seems to complain when they sit down to eat about the rules in my kitchen and the cyclone I created their meal in.


No way! I am (barely) okay with helpers when I’m cooking but I would prefer if you just grab a drink and hang out with me. That’s why there is a small bistro table and chairs. I also really hate dinner guests cleaning up, rinsing dishes, loaded the dishwasher etc. Hands off please. Conversely, I don’t really want to do dishes at someone else’s house. I’ll always offer and gladly do the work if asked.

We don’t really have anyone that stays more than a night or two so no one really needs to cook anything.


Exactly! Those who don’t know how to care for tools might feel I’m being a control freak but so be it.

If a guest has a different eating schedule (earlier breakfast, food for meds late at night) let me know. I’m happy to work it out and get you oriented as to what is kept where, etc. If I’m going to be away for an extended period (like for work) I’ll let them know what the meal/snack/beverage options are for that period. If my guest has a fluid timetable (sightseeing, uncertain arrival time) let me know and I’ll plan a meal that has flexibility.

If the guest begins cooking in earnest without asking me then I am going to be seriously annoyed. Their future as my houseguest is very uncertain.


Agree with you totally on the DW part, most especially when they empty it, it can take a while to find things…so my guests showed up early after they said it would be awhile. Was just getting out of the shower, so hurried up to manage the kitchen, but it was chaos- they were busy emptying the dishwasher, so it took me 3 X as long at least so all was clean and put away.

So I was glad it was a very good friend and cut them some slack; what really appalled me was the day they left, I was in laundry room and couldn’t find my cleaning products! The friend apparently decided to tidy up my laundry room, evidently in the middle of the night, because I didn’t see or hear her.
The problem was she put things on top shelves that I couldn’t reach. So, laundry room off limits unless they want to just throw dirty stuff on the floor.

Anyway, thankfully it was a good time with lots of laughs.

ETA I really HATE it when they want to clean up, as I’m very picky about some dishes and knives. Also, I’m kind of a fanatic as to what goes down my drains. Greasy plates get wiped off and any glassware that has lipstick gets precleaned around the rims.


OK, they can use the kitchen to make tea or coffee in the morning, or eat some bread, toast, something like that.

My best knives, I keep them in box inside drawer, so nobody will be able touch them anyway. I am very particular with what should go inside the dish washer…

I know during our vacation when we were out of town, neighbour sometimes came and took some rare vinegar or some food in the pantry. They would tell us afterwards and replaces with similar items.


I…hate it. At least, the only ones who really take over are in-laws, whom I love dearly, but who are big messes in the kitchen. Inevitably there’s a trail of flour left on the floor, greasy buttery fingerprints on cabinet drawer pulls and appliances, and my pantry raided for the last of our scant baking supplies.

But - I’m a control freak :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes: - at least where my kitchen, where I spend the majority of my time at home, is concerned.

That said - I truly appreciate anyone who washes up :grin:



I have never been asked this question in my entire life !

Actually, my only guests are my 2 Young grandsons … (Age 7 & 8) … or my parents as they live in Northern Girona and we live in Barcelona. They are very neat and make their beds too ! Their moms taught them well.

We all have dishwashers too …

So, we are a very close knit family, and when we go up to my parents, during festive national days or for Christmas, we always assist my parents or in laws.

So, we do not have these problems ! It can be quite un-nerving at moments I am sure !


Normally I would wholeheartedly agree. But I just spent a month secretly rewashing everything my mothers caregivers washed. Every one of them has an aversion to using the dishwasher. Every one of them does the dishes in low light under lukewarm running water. The water at the kitchen sink takes eons to reach a hot temperature. So their efforts are a complete waste of time imo. (I won’t even go into the crud often left on the “washed” dishes…)

Edit: These women are amazing in so many ways so the dish situation rates very low in the overall scope of things. Considering my mother can only blink without assistance I’ve got no legitimate complaint. The caregivers efforts allow her to remain out of a nursing institution. But in complete honesty I think it would drive me batsh*t crazy if I lived with that dish situation day in and day out.


Yuck. Poorly washed dishes are gross.


I must be really scary because no on EVER attempts or asks to use our kitchen. They offer to help, yes. Chop veggies, stir sauces, cut out cookies. But no actual cooking.

And I am 150% with Harters re NO MORE HOUSEGUESTS! I cringe when we get an invitation that I know will include out of town friends. NO! Don’t put that guilt trip on me! We use all of our bedrooms so i have to “close up” office and work spaces, unpersonalize bathrooms, etc. And I am not used to keeping up day-long conversation. But how do you communicate this in a “loving manner”?


“I know a great little Air BnB nearby!”


That’s as in “I know a great little Air BnB nearby, where you can be yourselves without worrying if you’re upsetting us."


Yes but likely because its roomy. If I’m cooking outside, others are cooking parts of the meal inside. Our dining area isnt inside the kitchen at all so that makes for standing around, enjoying a drink and convo during prep but once the meal is ready, retreating to the table. I like company and I like company while I cook or while my wife is.

I also like putting the younger members to work. It encourages home cooking.


Hey Rooster, you are back!! Great to see you again! Are you staying long this time?

While I cook for guest, actually I don’t mind they accompanying or drinking in the kitchen vs lone cook and the others having fun outside… LOL