I am not one to pop up unannounced, but I have had to at times. When I do, I have a few rules to follow. I thought I'd share these rules with you.
1. Try to call ahead
It is always best to attempt to announce your arrival. Simply call the person and let them know that you are stopping by. You never know- they may have company already, a sick kid, or heading out the door. If they are home and lounging, it will give them a chance to get presentable (I know I need that chance).
2. Be Understanding
They may not have snacks on hand to set out. They may have been in the middle of cleaning, building forts, or any number of things that would make their home be less than presentable. They could be sick and not let you in. They could be in their jammies. No matter what it is, remember that they are in their home- their safe place- and were not expecting company, so be understanding of the presentation of themselves, their children, and their home.
3. Don't Invite Yourself In
If you need to have a chat, see if it can be done on the porch- their house may not be presentable. While you are at it, if you can avoid it, do not bring your children. While staying outside, keep them in the car where you can keep an eye on them. If you guys sit on the porch, maybe they can get out an play.
4. Don't Stay Long
Excuse yourself after a few minutes. Remember, they were in the middle of something when you showed up and they need to get back to it. Even if they ask you to stay, do this (unless you know for certain they are being sincere).
5. Schedule a Later Date
We all love to spend time with our friends, but it can go much more smoothly when scheduled ahead. If you'd had to pop in on someone, take a moment to set a lunch date, play date, or night at the movies. If you can't do it then, be sure to call at a later time and get it set up. You don't want to be one of those people who only pop in.
The main thing is to be appreciative of their accomodations, be respectful, and act how you would expect someone to act if they popped in at your home.
Do you have anything to add to this list?