The unwritten house rules of Britain’s homes

Do you abide by these ‘rules’ in your home?

We're a nation of house proud Brits. We can't get enough of TV and online property porn, and like nothing better than showing off our style and personality at home.

But how seriously do you take your position of a proud homeowner?

A new study into life behind closed doors has revealed the top 50 house rules we're living to - both in our own homes and other people's.

No shoes on the sofa tops the list, followed by always flush the toilet (!) and no shoes worn past the front door.

living room with blue and white rug and sofaset with cushions

(Image credit: TBC)

The survey, by Yale UK, polled 2,000 people to compile the 50 rules. Do you live by them, or are you much more relaxed about your home - and your guests?

The list seems to get pretty strict as it goes on (no pets on the sofa?!) but we would love to know if you agree with the rules...

1. No shoes on the sofa

2. Always flush the toilet

3. Take your shoes off in the house

4. Put clothes in the wash basket

5. Turn out the lights when you're not using a room

6. Empty the bath when you're done

7. Don't leave wet towels on the floor

8. No swearing

9. Turn off the TV when you're not watching it

10. Toilet seat down

man wearing white trouser red socks and relaxing with pillows

(Image credit: TBC)

11. No balls in the house

12. Coats hung up not on banister

13. Put your shoes away when you take them off

14. Always lock the door when you leave

15. No slamming doors

16. Never leave anything lying about on the stairs

17. Don't eat messy food on the sofa

18. Last one to go to bed must check the door is locked/windows shut etc.

19. Last one out locks the door

20. No looking at phones at the dinner table

21. Placing keys back in their designated spot/hook

22. No cups on table without a coaster

23. No food upstairs

24. Always put something back where you found it

25. Complete homework before playing

26. No shouting

27. No pets upstairs

28. Put plates in the dishwasher after eating

29. All food eaten at the table/ no food in living room

30. Don't go to bed on an argument

bedroom with blue wall and black cat on bed

(Image credit: TBC)

31. No going to bed angry with each other

32. No snacking and ruining your dinner

33. Always use a coaster

34. No leaving dishes ‘to soak'
overnight because you're too lazy to wash

35. No running in the house

36. Kids not allowed in the parents'

37. No video games past 9pm

38. No feeding the dogs at the dinner table

39. If you cook, your partner cleans

room with copper tap plates and white cup

(Image credit: TBC)

40. No boyfriends/girlfriends sleeping over

41. Certain windows shut at all times

42. No pets allowed on the sofa

43. No drawing or painting in the bedroom/lounge

44. Not allowed to sit in dad's chair

45. Leave keys on the side near the front door

46. Put your dirty shoes in the garage

47. Pet not allowed in the front room

48. No kids in the study

49. No ball games in the garden

50. No talking with your mouth full

Animal lover? Check out our easy way to make your home pet friendly.


Heather Young

Heather Young has been Ideal Home’s Editor since late 2020, and Editor-In-Chief since 2023. She is an interiors journalist and editor who’s been working for some of the UK’s leading interiors magazines for over 20 years, both in-house and as a freelancer.