flowers in the kitchen sink

Overthinking Ordinary Things : Is it weird to give people a tour of your house, even when you’ve lived there for years?

Yesterday I re-published an older post with the title 16 Things I Do That My Husband Finds Weird, and this, my friends, was a not-so-subtle attempt at foreshadowing, because today? Today I’m getting my revenge. Well, sort of.

See, I came across that post again a couple of days ago, and as I read it, I was like, “WAIT. I let Terry list no less than SIXTEEN DIFFERENT THINGS he finds ‘weird’ about me – even though he’s totally wrong about all of them – and I didn’t list a single ONE about him? Well, we’ll see about THAT!”

Because, the fact is, there are LOTS of things that Terry does that I find odd. Opening every single cupboard door in the kitchen, for instance, and then LEAVING them all open until I come along and close them. Carefully arranging all of the dirty dishes on the worktop directly above the dishwasher… and never quite managing that crucial, final step. (Seriously, though, JUST PUT YOUR FREAKING DISHES IN THE DISHWASHER! IT’S NOT THAT HARD!) Owning 15,876 pairs of identical black socks. You know the kind of thing, I’m sure.

“I will write a list of things Terry does that I find weird!” I thought excitedly. “And then everyone will agree that Terry is weird, except all the people who think I’M weird instead, and who are just plain WRONG about that!”

Before I pushed ahead with this plan, though, I thought I better run it past Terry first, just in case he thought it was weird that I was accusing him of being weird on the internet.

He didn’t. (I mean, he’s a blogger husband – he’s used to this kind of thing by now. Also, he finds it impossible to believe that anyone in their right mind would ever find him weird, so there’s that.)

“While you’re at it, though,” he said, “I’ve thought of another 8,655 things YOU do that are totally weird!” And then he listed them. And then we spent the rest of the day arguing about who was weirdest – him or me. (SPOILER ALERT: IT’S HIM.)

The upshot is that there are far too many things we each find “weird” for them to possibly fit in one post. Or even two posts, really. (The other upshot is that I’ve now written the word “weird” so many times that it’s started to look a bit… well, weird. Is it is just me?) Instead, then, I thought I’d start a new series, in which I will present you with something either Terry or I find weird, and you guys can be the ones to decide who’s right. And I’m starting off with one we’ve spent a fair bit of time bickering about lately, and which I will refer to simply as The House Tour…

flowers in the kitchen sink(This is not my house. My actual house is not fit to be photographed right now. This is part of the problem…)


So! Terry and I moved into our current house almost 6 years ago, and for a few weeks/months afterwards, we had a steady stream of visitors, all of whom were given The House Tour.

That wasn’t the weird thing, by the way.

It was, however, just a little bit cringey for me, so I mostly left all House Tour business to Terry, who was presumably an estate agent or something in a past life, because he really enjoyed showing people around the house: so much so, in fact, that he has NEVER stopped doing it.

(That IS the weird bit, just in case you were wondering…)

Yes, almost 6 years on, Terry is still conducting house tours for all and sundry – and I mean that literally. At this point, there aren’t many of our friends and relatives who haven’t had a House Tour (So, it would mostly be people we’ve gotten to know since moving here, then, or ones who live far away and don’t make it to Scotland all that often…), but that’s OK, because the thing is, you don’t really need to KNOW us in order to be paraded past our dirty laundry: and I mean THAT literally, too, because when you don’t know your house is going to be on display to strangers, you maybe aren’t quite so quick to pick up that pair of knickers that didn’t quite hit the laundry basket, you know?

(I jest: I mean, AS IF I’d just throw my dirty laundry on the floor. You get my point, though…)

Seriously: one time Terry gave a House Tour (And yes, it DOES deserve the capitalisation, btw, because it’s kind of a Big Deal…) to the Tesco delivery people who brought us our groceries. I wish I was joking about this. I am not joking about this.

“But, when they brought in the shopping, the woman mentioned that she and her husband had come to view the house when it was on the market, and had thought about buying it!” Terry explained later. “So I thought she’d be interested in seeing all the changes we’ve made since then!”

And, I mean, maybe she was, who knows. You can understand my mortification, though, as I sat in the office that day, listening to two random strangers offer a running commentary on the contents of my dressing room, can’t you?


Because this is the thing: I think it’s bit weird to give two people you’ve never met before a tour of your house, and especially of places like your closet, say, or bedroom. Terry doesn’t – which is how it came to pass that one day I was sitting in the office, minding my own business, when, all of a sudden, the door opened, and an elderly couple wandered in.

“This is Bob and Sheila!*” (*Not their real names) announced Terry happily, materialising behind them. “They live round the corner! I met them while I was walking the dog, and they said they’d always wondered what these houses were like inside, so I thought, why not just show them!”

Why not indeed.


I mean, Bob and Sheila might have been serial killers, for all I knew, but hey! Here they were in my bedroom! Because why the hell not?

(They’re not serial killers, by the way. Honestly, Bob and Sheila are lovely, and I attach no blame to them for any of this: like, if someone offered me a tour of their home, I’d go too, because I’m nosy like that, and I LOVE seeing round people’s houses. So, I should probably clarify here that I don’t think it’s weird to WANT a house tour, or to accept one if it’s offered: it’s just weird to assume that every single person you meet is dying to see your kitchen, amiright?)

“It’s just… it’s WEIRD,” I attempted to explain to Terry later. “Because, I mean, sure, the living room and kitchen are public rooms, but our bedroom and my closet are private areas of our home – I don’t really expect to find random strangers in them, you know?”

Terry did not know.

“You post photos of them on your blog,” he pointed out. “And on Instagram. They’re all over Pinterest. So they’re not really PRIVATE, are they?”

But, for me, there’s a difference between showing someone – even a LOT of someones, as is the case for bloggers, say – a photo of your newly-decorated bedroom – which you’ve tidied up especially for the photo – and bringing them into it in person, then inviting them to lie on the bed, so they can admire that particular view out of the window that can only be seen from that angle.



Terry’s position on all of this, meanwhile, is that this kind of behaviour is totally normal, and, indeed, exactly what visitors to your home – even, I guess, ones who are just there to deliver your groceries – will be expecting. Furthermore, as all of the changes we’ve made to our house since buying it are ones he’s made personally, he feels that it’s not odd for him to want to show off his handiwork: this is why he’s always offering people tours of my closet (He made the shoe shelves in it himself, custom building them to fit the space), and I’m always telling him that, dude, why so weird? Because closets – like bedrooms – are surely private parts of your home, no?

Er, NO, says Terry, who maintains that his shoe shelves are a thing of beauty, which he WILL show people, including the postman, the DHL delivery driver, and next door’s cat.

(OK, that’s an exaggeration: neither the postman nor the delivery driver have seen my closet. Elvis the cat, on the other hand, IS an occasional visitor, but that’s at my invitation, to be fair…)

Anyway, we’ve been having the occasional disagreement about house tours for years now, but matters finally came to a head a few months ago, when we’d invited some out-of-town friends round for drinks, and, just before they arrived, I came upstairs for something, only to find Terry in the act of staging the house for a Tour – which he does by switching on all of the lights, raising the blinds to allow the maximum amount of light in… generally behaving as if he’s about to try and sell the place, rather than just show people around it.

“Are you preparing for a House Tour?” I asked suspiciously.

“Well, OBVIOUSLY,” came the reply. “Because they haven’t seen the house yet, have they?”

Well, no, they hadn’t. But we’ve had the house for almost 6 years now, so it’s not like it’s some new, shiny thing that everyone’s interested in: which is why it wouldn’t have occurred to me to take our visitor’s coats and then be all, “Now, let me show you the inside of all of our closets!”

Terry thinks this is weird of me.

I think it’s weird of him.

Neither of us thinks it’s weird enough to make a huge deal of it, obviously (I say that because it’s just this second occurred to me that, now that I’ve written about it on the blog, some people are going to leap to the assumption that I lie awake at night fretting about it, whereas this was really just supposed to be a random talking point…), but we WOULD like you all to settle the matter for us once and for all, by telling us who you think is right?

So, if someone invites you round for dinner, say, or drinks, do you expect to be shown their bedroom (Um, assuming it’s not THAT kind of party, here, obviously…), plus the content of their closets? Or are you a normal person?

JOKING! JOKING! Settle down, people!

(For the record, I don’t EXPECT a house tour from anyone, but I do appreciate one if it’s offered, and if I know the person’s had work done to their home, I might ask to see it. That’s kind of beside the point, though…)

OK, to put it another way: are you still giving people guided tours of your home years after you move into it, or is that just a little bit … weird?

(Usual caveats apply: post is supposed to be tongue-in-cheek, no one is actually arguing about this, and while Terry and I may well be weird, we are still real people, so please be gentle!)

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  • Myra


    Raymond’s really weird thing was to drag the whole family along to see time share complexes even though he had no ntention of buying one. We went to the Lake District and got a lovely hamper of specialist food as an incentive. We went to lots, even on holiday he insisted we have a day out at one on Lanzarote for a cheap track suit. Great holiday day out! NOT!
    I can’t even count the times we did this until eventually my kids rebelled and said NO MORE! But the free gifts ! he said.
    NO MORE! they said. Phew!
    Now that really is weird.

    June 8, 2018
  • I think Terry is definitely the weird one here! Lol.

    June 8, 2018
  • Amelia


    I’m with you here: it’s weird. Sorry Terry, but it is! Though have to say from the photos, your house looks lovely and I’m not surprised you’re proud of it!

    June 8, 2018
  • I show people around that haven’t seen the house before, but only friends, not the delivery guy.
    But that is probably because I don’t do any handiwork there, if I would, I‘d probably show it off to everyone that isn’t quick enough to decline the offer.

    Anne – Linda, Libra, Loca

    June 8, 2018
  • May


    Sorry Terry, you sound like a great guy but I’m going to have to take Amber’s side on this one… That’s definitely a little bit weird

    June 8, 2018
  • EffEm


    I have moved Far Too Much – every two years or more, which means there is always something new to show people. But I hate doing house tours. I don’t want people in my bedroom. I am with you! That said, because I have moved Far Too Much, I feel the need to show all and sundry the estate agent listings of past and present properties. I want them to ‘like’ my interior choices, goddamit!

    Hang on though… is this your garden? Would you do a garden tour for us, please, as your hard landscaping looks great!

    June 8, 2018
  • If it’s a new house, or you’re showing someone some recent DIY, I think the House Tour is normal, but showing the Tesco Delivery people round is definitely weird. Sorry Terry.

    June 8, 2018
  • I can’t be the only one who was hoping for a photo of the view out your window from your bed, can I? Which I suppose means that if I showed up at your home I would be thrilled to get a tour from Terry. Seriously, my house is never going to look as great as yours does. I would love to see all the details. But, sorry Terry, it is a little weird that he offers them.

    June 8, 2018
  • Team Terry here – my other half and I are weirdos! But we do like a bit of warning first i.e., when folk are visiting, because the place needs to be spick and span (which it rarely isn’t). If our local Bob and Sheila wanted a tour… well, it would depend on whether we’d clicked with them, but if we had then why not?

    We’re in the process of doing up the house bit by bit, so we’re expecting to be conducting them for the foreseeable future. Plus like Terry, my partner does much of the work himself, so there’s a sense of pride involved. As for our private rooms, I have no problem in including them on a house tour. But I’d sooner leave that tour for a few months when we’ve actually done them up.

    June 8, 2018
  • Jenna


    Oooh, I’m with Terry here! But only specifically because he has done so much work to the house. My husband is restoring our old farm-house (that was a terrible wreck) and acreage back into its 1930s/1940s glory all by himself, one project at a time. It was un-liveable for the first two years (no heat, water, sewer, floor slowly sinking, etc). So we always have people stopping by for tours and probably will until the end of time. They actually sometimes stop by and “ask” for a tour! And with new projects always happening-there’s more to show! Don’t get me wrong, it can be totally awkward. But, I do get his point. So if Terry ever wants to take a house tour in Iowa, you know we’ll be ready. Haha! ?

    June 8, 2018
  • Barb W.


    Terry is weird. Even with the neighbors, there should be a heads up along the lines of, “Hey, Amber, I’ve just met these delightful elderly neighbors, do you mind if I just bring them in to show how I fitted out your dressing room?””

    June 8, 2018
  • Jennarose


    I am with you Amber, having random strangers pop up in my house wouldn’t be my favorite thing. I would worry the people coming through would come back and rob us at a later time, obviously I am a little suspicious of people I don’t know.

    June 8, 2018
  • I’m on Team Amber on this. Amber I would feel really weird if I were working in my private space and along came strangers. I think it’s okay to give house tours after 6 years to friends and family who might not have seen the home, but neighbors and delivery drivers? NO and no to anyone but me and hubby on the bed!

    June 8, 2018
  • Kelly Glen


    What a great idea for a blog post, I’m undecided as to who I side with, I’m with you on the various strangers popping up out of nowhere being very weird but I’m also with Terry on him wanting to show off all of his handiwork in your home. If you ever wanted to start a new blog together with Terry instead of just an occasional post on this blog, I think you and Terry both giving your take on matters and both of your thoughts on a subject would be really good.

    June 8, 2018
  • Raquel


    Well, yesterday (and the last time I read that post) I was Team Terry aaalll the way! Not because I think he’s right or everything he does makes sense, but because apparently I’m Terry ?
    After reading today’s post though…. sorry Terry, gonna have to side with Amber (but only on this, I’m still Team Terry on yesterday’s stuff). I understand being proud of the work done in the house and your house IS gorgeous, but one thing is public areas, another thing is bedrooms and closets… and one thing is friends and family and another thing are complete strangers you’ve just met, especially the Tesco people… And in any case there should always be given a heads up to the other person! What if, for some reason (for example you spilled coffee or something), you didn’t have your pants on when Bob and Sheila walked in?? 😮
    Of course there’s also the security aspect, but apart from that it’s just a bit weird and intrusive, I wouldn’t feel comfortable at all and would have to tell my SO to stop it. Of course, I’m a very messy person and my house would never be as clean as yours, like not even close, but still…
    Oh and yes, photos of your house on the internet and actually letting people in there randomly and spontaneously is completely different!!

    June 8, 2018
  • Alicja


    Sounds that he’s extremally proud of it :)))

    June 8, 2018
  • Definitely weird. HOW can you have moved in six years ago, though?! I remember reading about it at the time and it always makes me feel odd when I realise HOW LONG I’ve been reading about somebody’s life on the internet (or people have been reading about mine).

    June 8, 2018
  • This made me laugh!
    I’ve been in my house 5 years and I will still give house tours to people! Especially if it’s a new friend who hasn’t seen it before. But any friends who’ve seen it a while ago will get another tour to show the changes! When I first moved in it was a granny house – so I guess I like showing all the improvements I’ve made. My husband rolls his eyes and tries to make sure I don’t whip out my laptop to bore people with the before pictures!
    I wouldn’t show random strangers, though. And I thought the Tesco delivery drivers story was weird… UNTIL I read that they’d viewed it when it was for sale… I could then see why Terry would have wanted to show them round and let them see the improvements you guys have made since they saw it.
    Looking forward to the other ‘weird’ posts!

    June 8, 2018
  • Lise


    I always default to Team Amber, and agree with above posters about how a-you should be given a heads up and b-YOUR private space (and portion of the bed) should be off limits to ALL random tourists. So yes, Terry is weird. However, the Tesco guys, who had previously considered BUYING the house, merited a tour once the conversation got that far, imho.

    June 9, 2018
  • Thomasina


    Quite honestly one of the funniest things I’ve read in a long while -Tesco driver! Bob and Sheila! Who next ? and for once this emoji is an accurate representation of me whilst reading….I love being given a house tour as I’m so nosey and will quite happily drag people off to look at whichever room or bit of handiwork has been accomplished recently. But it’s always with the caveat that you have to accept whatever state of perpetual chaos the house is in because there’s always somewhere that’s a work in progress ( it’s not that we have a big house or it’s a renovation project, it’s more that I get bored and fancy a change or the hubby has some new bright idea that he will then claim is all my idea when the house is upside down again!) Can’t wait for the next installment. BTW as a random stranger tell Terry I’d love a house tour ? x

    June 9, 2018
  • Zoe


    My other half does this too. I haven’t found the tesco man in my closet (yet), but anyone who hasn’t “seen” the house in the three years we have been here will get dragged round, sometimes whether they like it or not. There have been a fair few randoms too, not least because our house used to be one of the well known local pubs. Every time Luke meets someone with a tale to tell of past drunken behaviour in here they get invited in for The Tour. Like you, even with friends, I find it a bit cringey, especially when it isn’t as tidy as I like (discarded uncomfortable bra not put away in the bedroom I’m looking at you).

    June 9, 2018
  • Deserae


    Sorry Terry, I’m siding with Amber on this one. Totally weird.
    Not so weird I wouldn’t accept a tour if I was in the neighbourhood, though. 🙂

    June 9, 2018
  • Ghalia


    Terry is absolutely, hands-down the weird one here. He is also hilarious – this post gave me a good chuckle!

    Like you, while I don’t expect a house tour if I’m ever invited over to a home I haven’t visited before, I would definitely appreciate one. However, I would find it a bit odd if I was invited to lie down on someone’s bed. It feels like such a person, intimate space and I don’t get why I would have the right to get in that space. Ditto with looking inside someone’s closet – I’m a very private person myself and hold other’s privacy to high regard, so I wouldn’t be able to stop thinking, “Should I really be in here? Am I supposed to actually look at things their things, or just stare into nothing? Why am I standing in someone’s closet?!”

    Having said all that, maybe I’m curiously uptight about these things, and most people don’t mind?

    Looking forward to more in this series 😀

    June 9, 2018
  • Hehe, loved this post! (And am glad more of this is coming :)) I understand Terry’s perspective, but closet, bedroom and especially bed (!!!) would definitely be off limits 😀 I am nosey, too and love tours of other people’s homes (srsly, Netflix’s Queer Eye is a dream come true for me ;)) so I’d never turn down a tour myself, though. I would NOT lie in others people’s beds though. Just no ?

    June 10, 2018
  • Marilyn


    Oh so funny, tears are streaming down my face, thank you very much. Terry sounds so lovely, friendly and welcoming, how could anyone refuse a tour? He would just be so disappointed and crestfallen. I don’t think anyone is weird, by the way, maybe just a little ‘quirky’? And although I appear loathe to allocate quirkiness to any one person, I wouldn’t welcome tours of my home, thank you very much. Except for those by Elvis the cat, naturally.

    June 11, 2018
  • I don’t think a house tour of the communal areas is bad! But the bedroom….no way! Sorry, Terry, but the real estate agent bit’s got to go (just a tiny bit!).

    Also, you guys seriously need a show or something. You’re hilarious!

    xx Lauren

    June 12, 2018
  • Blimey Terry. We are renovating our house too, very slowly, and you bet I am proud to show friends and family around when they visit and show them everything we have achieved (and I’ve usually had a whip round to make sure any errant smalls are safely in laundry baskets). But Bob and Sheila? The Tesco delivery guy? That’s a bit odd. And a bit of a security risk? IDK, I don’t think I would want random people knowing which room in my house is the one with the pricey telly, or Amber’s shoe collection (priceless of course). I’d be paranoid if I was in another room and left a window open Bob might have popped through and nabbed something he set his beady eyes* on during the tour.
    Maybe you could limit the tours just to friends and family? For Amber?
    * Apologies to Bob, probably a totally innocent old chap that I am randomly maligning on the internet.

    June 12, 2018
  • jennyr


    OMG, my husband does the SAME THING!! He LOVES to give tours of our apartment to show all the work we’ve had done (we own an old building that used to be a corner grocery that has apartments above it. The main floor is our inhabited by our small business). He has also taken to leaving a bunch of forks and spoons resting on the kitchen sink and saying, “It’s still clean, I’ll use it again!” When I picked one up and told him he could use it for his dinner, he reluctantly took the rest and put them in the dishwasher…ugh.

    June 13, 2018
  • I’m with you on this one! My partner Bruce loves to give house tours and I’m just thinking please get these people back downstairs. He also likes to point out my huge makeup collection and some people have enjoyed a good rummage around checking out what I have!

    September 6, 2018
  • Adie


    i’ve only just discovered your blog (apologies its taken me so long) and I must say that as a Glasgow resident myself, I’d love to be the next door cat to be able to get a nosey in to someone else’s house!

    October 24, 2018