Monday, December 14, 2015

Day 2251 - Preparing for a House Sitter

Why leave your house empty when you can offer someone a stay-cation!

We travel a lot but we don't often get a house sitter.  We just lock the house up and ask the neighbours to keep an eye on things.

This time we decided to get someone in.  Someone to water the lawns and plants, show some presence and to offer them a mini staycay in the process.

We're lucky that we found someone who is responsible, whom we trust and who lives at home with her parents and looks forward to some alone time.

We're also lucky that this person is happy to do the gig in exchange for free rent.

Here are some quick tips on how to prepare for your house sitter:

  • Take them on a tour of the house before you leave to point out any quirks, areas that need extra care and house highlights.
  • Write a full list of notes to help them settle into the house and to point out how to use some of your gadgets. It can also include a few of the little "jobs" you hope to get done. This list might include garbage day, how to use the TV, air conditioner/heater, house security, garden/plants, cleaning supplies, linen, neighbours, use of phone, kitchen gadgets, regular visitors and any stay-cay highlights (eg the hot tub).
  • If you have pets that will be cared for in your absence, ensure the house-sitter and your pet(s) have met and bonded in advance. Leave feeding instructions, give them the walking route and leave details for the vet. 
  • Get your sitters bedroom set up with clean sheets and clean towels
  • Be up front with any "out of bounds" areas in the house (eg the kids bedrooms or the study).
  • Pack any valuables away. Not necessarily because you don't trust your sitter, but because if they do go missing during that period it makes it awkward for everyone. 
  • Give them your travel itinerary and contact details.
  • Leave an emergency number of someone who knows your house and who lives nearby in case there is a house crisis. 
  • Set the expectations regarding guests up front to ensure everyone is on the same page. We have said she is welcome to invite friends over for a BBQ, movie or a sleep over (but would prefer no big parties). 
  • Make them feel welcome! Remember, this is a holiday for them too so ensure the house is clean, tidy and think about leaving a welcome gift and a welcome note.  You might also like to consider leaving the wifi log-in details. (Think about all the things you love about staying in hotels and apply similar to truly welcome your guest.) 
That's all I have time for today.  Our taxi arrives in one hour to get us to the airport.

See you when I hit the other side of the world! 


  1. So envious of your trip. Have a wonderful Christmas.

  2. I always get a friend to house sit as its piece of mind knowing you have someone looking after the house, and since we now have a dog too, they are a house/dog sitter in one! I find stocking the fridge with wine and chocolate and the fridge with pizza and ice cream is a good thank you together with a bottle of their favourite drop picked up in the duty free shops on the way home :)
    I hope you have an amazing holiday I'll be living through your Instagram snaps I'm sure!


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