If you spend a little time preparing your home for a house sitter, it makes the whole situation even more of a win-win. It will make the house sitter feel more appreciated, and they’re more likely to take care of your home as you would. You’ll be able to enjoy your time away more, and there will be less preventable ‘mishaps’.
We’ve had some house sitting experiences that have been easier than others. Here are the 4 biggest things that we’ve found home owners do that create a successful house sit:
1. Make space for the house sitter’s personal belongings
If you’ve ever stayed in a hotel you know that living out of suitcase is pretty easy. But, it makes cleaning harder because there’s stuff everywhere. If you empty out some cupboard or drawer space, it’s a win-win. You’ll make the house sitter feel more at home, and it will make it easy for them to keep on top of cleaning.
2. Put as many things away as possible
Sure it looks decorative if you have knick-knacks on every bench. It also means there’s more things to get knocked over or pulled out by wandering little hands. It’s also harder to keep clean. Spending a little time putting things away can make a big difference. There will be less chance of accidental breakage or things getting misplaced. And, there’ll be less to worry about while you’re away.
3. Provide a thorough handover of what’s expected
The most important part of a good home owner and house sitter relationship is having a detailed handover. The house sitter will know exactly what’s expected of them, and what they can and can’t do. Can they use the bread and milk that’s in the fridge? It’ll go off anyway. So then, what about the food in the cupboard or freezer? Condiments? If they can use your car, what’s considered reasonable mileage? If you think that it’s fine they leave the house overnight… what about 3 nights? A week? Be clear and upfront because then there’ll be no miscommunication and everyone will be better off.
4. Expect the unexpected
A good handover isn’t just about what day the bins go out or whether or not they can use the tomato sauce. If a pipe bursts, can the house sitter call a plumber? Which one? What happens if the dog gets sick? Can they take it to the vet and authorise treatment? What if it’s your pet budgie? Everyone has a different opinion on whether or not you should spend $2,500 on emergency vet treatment. You should make sure that the house sitter knows exactly what you would do.
Using a house sitter really does create a win-win situation. A little time upfront will save you in the long run. It will make everyone’s experience more enjoyable. Be upfront with your expectations. This will increase your chances of entering into this type of relationship with the right family.