Heinous or Harmless – Guest Room

From My Email Inbox.

Scenario: You and your spouse are staying at someone’s house for one or two nights and they have a pair of twin beds in the guest room, with a nightstand in between.

Question: Would you even think to move the nightstand to put the beds together? Would it depend on the type of floor (harder to move on carpet…) or if the bed(s) had wheels, etc.

Is rearranging someone’s guest room acceptable or not?

If you *did* rearrange someone’s guest room furniture in this manner during your visit, would you make sure to return the room to its original set up?

Heinous or Harmless to move the furniture? Heinous or Harmless if you moved it and left it that way without putting it back? Discuss.

20 responses to “Heinous or Harmless – Guest Room

  1. I can tell you two things I think are heinous.

    1. If you do decide to move to furniture and scratch the floor. Heinous.
    2. Moving the furniture and not moving back to the original position. Heinous.

    • I agree with Elisheva. No one should know that you moved the furniture, and if no one knows, no one should care. That said, unless I were planning an extended visit, I wouldn’t do it.

  2. My wife and I would probably leave it as is. And we might even try sleeping together in one of those single twin beds 🙂

    But for those who do opt to rearrange the furniture, it’s only polite to put everything back the way it was in the morning. It’s harmless unless you cause damage to the beds or to the floor, so be careful!

  3. DON’T move the furniture!!! If you don’t like the bed arrangements, find other accommodations & otherwise just deal with it!! It’s really NOT the end of the world to sleep on separate twin beds (even if you don’t “need” to halachically) but rearranging the furniture is just not nice & could be awkward especially if the host(ess) noticed the new furniture arrangement.

  4. I would expect the hostess to show me the room and mention then something indicating moving them together was ok. If not, I’d leave them as is.

  5. It’s not someone’s guest room, but we rent a condo with my parents every year and we stay in the “kids” room where there are generally two twins. Usually, we will rearrange everything on the first night, and then put everything back when we leave. The floors are carpet, and we’re there for a week, plus it’s a rental, not someone’s house.

    When we stayed at home hospitality when we were visiting New York, we rearranged the furniture a little so we could use the space better. We put it back when we were done, and made sure we didn’t damage anything. Yes, they are doing us a favor by hosting us (and feeding us) but we also were given use of the room – if it doesn’t damage the furniture or room, go for it, as long as you put it back.

  6. Lady Lock N Load

    If there are two beds and no night table in between, then I think it would be okay to move the beds together if it would not damage the floor. If there is a night table in between the beds I think one should not rearrange the furniture without permission (which may be awkward). If one does move the beds you should certainly be a good guest and move the beds back and strip the linen if you have time.

  7. My husband is 6’4″ and sleeps on his side with knees bent – I’d welcome a few nights without them in my back. 😛

    Seriously though I wouldn’t bother if it were just a couple nights. If it’s somewhere that we’re staying for a month I would assume we know the people so well it’s just not even an issue to move the beds together, but I would always put things back as they were. I also always make sure the bed is made when I leave or if it was a longer stay I take the bedding off and wash it.

  8. My wife and I stayed with some friends when we visited Pittsburgh. They had some old twin beds (probably dating to when their kids were young).

    I don’t think we moved the beds together, but the safest course of action for moving the furniture is to ask the host. They would know if it is even feasible to move the furniture. It goes without saying that you should be very careful not to damage things. So I would say harmless to the first point if you informed the host and it was not a problem.

    With respect to the second point, it would be heinous if the room were left without moving the furniture back. The host may take care of the sheets, but generally we are talking about moving furniture in this situation, so it’s common consideration to leave the room in the condition you found it.

  9. Rude to move without asking. And if it’s not an extended stay, will it really kill you to sleep in 2 beds?
    And porque, Señora Jadassah, I am getting my email update en español?

  10. Be grateful for the hospitality and leave the furniture alone!!

  11. The nightstand in the middle makes it a bit different. There I would say probably best to leave them apart.
    That being said, I was always told that when you have a Frum couple coming over, you needed two separate beds, so that there would be no family purity issues or related embarassments.
    Likewise then it was always acceptable for said frum couple to move the beds together, but for reasons of tzanua they should move them appart again before leaving.
    Obviously damaging the furniture, flooring ect is unacceptable and if done one should offer to reapair/replace.

  12. Harmless. A guest bedroom is set up in most Frum homes in this mode. Most hosts and hostesses understand if the furniture is temperarily swtched for the guests tastes. We personally put back the whole room as we found it when we leave a home. Although we do strip the beds to make it easier dfro our hosts.

  13. I have stayed in rooms where its a trundle bed, with no night stand. So to gently roll the beds together its fine. Its safe to assume they rolled the bed out there, and its not going to ruin the floors.

    To start moving furniture when you are only staying for shabbos is a bit much. Plus like in your picture, where you putting the lamp? If its heavy furniture you really want that awkward conversation that the leg broke when moving it?

    Also most girls I know would tell the husband to do it, and I am just too lazy 🙂

  14. I see nothing wrong with moving the beds together, as long as you determine 100% that it’s fairly easy and there will be no damage. And of course, you MUST put it back the way you found it.

    Alternatively, you can ask the host(ess) if they mind)

  15. It’s one night, for God’s sake. You cannot bear to be two feet away from your beloved? Grow up. It is a serious breach of etiquette to even think you can rearrange SOMEONE ELSE’s home. If Lucy and Desi were able to do it for years, why can’t you for ONE FRIGGIN’ NIGHT?

    • Lea, you are hilarious as always. Even though it takes me 45 seconds to put on my makeup, I’m your biggest fan.

    • Because Lucy and Desi weren’t permitted to sleep in the same bed… 🙂

      It’s a little risky to discuss fictional characters in the context of a real-life discussion. Besides, some of us are old enough to remember the days before TV allowed a couple to be portrayed as sleeping in the same bed. I’m an I Love Lucy fan and I couldn’t resist adding my comment.

      But, Princess Lea, if they slept in separate beds, how did they have Little Ricky? 🙂

  16. I’d move the furniture if need be. We’re very careful about not scratching the floor–my husband’s family builds houses so scratching a floor is evil to them–and we return the room to its original state afterwards. I’m notable for making sure the lamp is on my side (hey, I stay up later reading!). But it depends on the nightstand. A lot of people put cheap nightstands in their guest rooms that are easy to move and the twin beds are usually on wheels. If it’s one of those heavy-Bubbe-passed-it-on-to-us nightstands then I’d be just as inclined to think the floor might get scratched or we’d get hurt moving it! I think asking if we could move the furniture would just embarrass the family (since we’d be announcing that I was not in niddah).

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