I was wondering about something similar this past week. I spent the night at my friends' (a couple's) house due to bad weather. (I did ask them if I could spend the night about 24 hours beforehand, knowing that a bad storm was coming that would shut down the roads.) I didn't expect them to entertain me, or to make sure everything was spic and span--I was grateful just to have a bed to sleep in.
But the place was a mess. I don't mean kind of cluttered. I mean the type of mess that could potentially grow into such a rip-roaring mess that the department of sanitation has to be called in to clean the house. (I am NOT exaggerating.) My friends have always been cluttered, but I have NEVER seen the place like this. Both kitchen sinks, all countertops in the kitchen, and the entire kitchen table were covered with dirty dishes (with food still in them). There were also random dishes throughout most of the house. 2/3rds of the couch was covered with laundry. I opened the fridge looking for ketchup, and there was food spilled EVERYWHERE. (Yes, most people have some food spillage in their fridge. But I'm talking about items that have been knocked over, spilling the food, and haven't even been uprighted yet, jars oozing with crud onto the shelves, etc. Nasty.) The doorway into the two bedrooms was cluttered with piles of junk, so you couldn't get in without walking on clutter. In order to close the blinds in the bedroom I had to step on piles of clutter, and then do a long stretch because the door blocked the window (but I couldn't move the door due to the piles of books and clothes and purses and stuff). I started to slip on stacks of paper at one point and thought I was going to topple into the bookcase. Although the sheets were supposedly clean, the bed was covered in piles of books and papers which I had to move onto the floor in order to get into the bed.
Now, again, I wasn't expecting a 5-star hotel, just someplace to crash. Although I did ask to spend the night (which typically is a no-no, but I was a bit trapped due to weather conditions, and I've known one of the two people for many years), when I spoke with friend she mentioned their place was dirty, but I didn't get the impression that they were uncomfortable with me staying there. (Maybe I'm just really clueless and I missed it. But really, I had several other friends I could have called if they weren't able to house me for the night.)
So, I was wondering where this falls in terms of rudeness. Should people clean up before they have guests that they have invited? Should people clean up before they have a guest (i.e., me) who is uninvited, but whom they have agreed to host? [If I'm threadjacking, let me know and I'll move this to a new thread.]
I felt a little miffed that friend didn't at least clean off the bed for me, but at the same time, I did ask to spend the night, and it was only 24 hours notice. (I was also very disturbed by the appearance of the house--I've never seen anything like it, except in photos from a friend who used to work for the department of housing.)
P.S. Does anybody else ever hope that their friends don't lurk on this site and recognize a description of themselves???