Life of adventure, Want to be a housesitter?

Do you have a housesit? A few tips!

A few simple tips on what should happen next.

One of the biggest things to remember you are about to complete a service, a job of sorts. Not a paid one, though it should still be treated as one.

Take pride in what you do.

It is very much a happy situation to be in, people are excited to be going on holiday, and it’s a great feeling that we have given them peace of mind to enjoy their time away.

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What to do in preparation for the assignment.

Once you have the job there a few things you need to communicate with the homeowner:

  • What time do you need to be there? For example, we always make sure we are in the same area [as the housesit] the day before. It eliminates any travel delays.
  • Have a few addresses of where you are going to stay before proceeding through immigration. We can now say we are staying with friends as most of our currently return housesits are classed as friends.
  • Do you have a list of requirements for their pets, home and other vital details such as local people to contact, the vet. If not, do make up a few notes by asking the homeowner. It is peace of mind for you when you need to find the phone number of a vet in a hurry. It happens!!
  • Make sure that both you and the homeowner are aware of what is required on both your parts. Each housesit is different. Treat each one as your first.
  • Give the homeowner some reassurance that you are indeed coming, with your flight number [if applicable] or a detailed travel plan.
  • When we first started we always had skype calls with the people we were about to housesit for, now we are confirmed before even speaking to them. Though we do have a few years experience behind us.
  • Photos. These are incredibly important. Make sure you know what you are getting yourself involved in. For us a comfortable place to relax in is essential. What’s important to you?

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  • On a few occasions, we have had the luxury of having the owners spare car to use. For this, we paid the extra insurance that is required.

You need to ask these questions:

  • What days (and times) does the rubbish get collected each week?
  • Are there any water restrictions in place?
  • Any emergency contacts, including local friends, family, and vet?
  • The WIFI code. Especially crucial for digital nomads!
  • How do you contact the owners while they are away?

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During The Assignment

Now that you’re in the house, what’s next?:

  • Provide love, comfort and food to the adorable pets that are in your care.
  • Follow instructions to the “T.”
  • To make life easy for you stick to using one main room, try to resist the urge to spread your “stuff” all around the house. It is far easier to keep a track of it when it comes to packing up.
  • Maybe even take photographs of how the kitchen is set up so equipment used can be placed back in its correct place. Great for those longer housesits where forgetting where things go is going to happen.
  • Be thoughtful when using their power and water. Turn off lights when not in use, avoid long showers, open a window instead of turning on the air conditioner and importantly if you are into downloading movies make sure you ask the homeowner if this is possible. Don’t assume any rights, even better have it in writing what is required or what your rights are.
  • Collect and organise the mail; date it if necessary.
  • Water the plants as required.
  • Make sure the rubbish is taken out on a regular basis.
  • Keep the premises clean and tidy as if the homeowners are still there.
  • Have you noticed that the vacuum isn’t working correctly or the toilet seat is wobbly? Well, fix them if you can. We have done this numerous times, or I should say that the Squire has done this!. It is a small gesture and another way of saying “thanks” to the generous homeowner.

After The Assignment

Before you leave the house:

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  • Leave the house cleaner and tidier [if achievable] than you found it.
  • If possible wash and dry your bedding.
  • If you got to use a vehicle during the stay, leave a full tank and give it a vacuum.
  • Make sure that there are basics in the fridge and pantry, such as milk, bread, fruit and vegetables.
  • Leave a treat, e.g. fresh flowers, a thank you card.
  • We always like to be in the house for handover and share a meal to chat about what has been happening. On the odd occasion that this does not happen, leave a note with any relevant comments and thank them for the opportunity to house sit for them. Then follow up with an email afterwards.
  • Leave the house as if you have not been there. Remember to take all your belongings. We have been very fortunate to be able to leave our larger suitcases with people who we are doing a few housesits for, makes travelling much more relaxed with hand luggage.
  • If the owner doesn’t leave a review soon after, politely request a review on the applicable website you both used.
  • Have the dog/s smelling like roses, well you know what I mean!

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Many of these pointers are mainly using your common sense. Though many are not carried out by housesitters if the feedback from homeowners is anything to go by.

An old adage comes to mind:

“Treat people as you would like to be treated”.

Do you have a housesit

39 thoughts on “Do you have a housesit? A few tips!”

  1. I think those that you housesit for would we chuffed that you have such a thorough set of house rules to abide by, after all they are placing you in a huge position of trust and responsibility! Should we ever be in a position to require a housesitter then I would hope that similar rules are applied!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great tips Suzanne! I don’t know if I’d ever be a house sitter, but as a home owner, it is good to know that if I was to ever need a house sitter, there are some protocols that the sitters should abide by!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ritu, it is a good service for those who would like to have peace of mind while on holiday. Whether you use friends, family or people who do it as a lifestyle. I do believe that many who housesit are like us, we take the role very seriously and are professional. We usually land up being friends with the people we do repeat housesits 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. All great tips Suze, and so right about it being common sense. I guess the bottom line is treating the house and pets as you would like your own treated. We always Skype or WhatsApp before a sit but have generally been booked before the call luckily.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Suz! While common sense, I’m sure not every house sitter treats their sits the same way you or us do. It is good to give some pointers and your tips are valuable. Not spreading out is a sensible thing to do. We close the doors to rooms we will never use and have one main room (usually our bedroom) where most of our stuff is stored. As far as moving things back where they belonged, I always make a list of the things we moved and where I found them. Taking photos is a good idea.

    When it comes to committing for a sit, though, we do require a Skype call to get to know the owner(s). Usually, we have a decent idea about what we are getting into via the listing and emails, but we need some face time to assure we are a good fit and to lose that status of “strangers” to each other.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hiya Liesbet, yes we certainly still do Skype calls for most of our housesits as it is important and more so to lose that status of strangers! Just I have noticed people are accepting us then comes the Skype calls. Even with written dialogue my gut instinct is very much attuned! Bottom line is we have been fortunate to have had some amazing people and animals to housesit. As no doubt the same is for you both.

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  5. Excellent tips! I read them as a homeowner and would be thrilled to have each one followed (in fact, we have friends who often “sit” our house when we are away, and they are wonderful). I will take print out your suggestions and check off each item when we do our first housesit later this year!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This is fantastic advice – speaking as one who is certainly going to use the services of a house-sitter down the line (if you are free, you’d certainly be my number one choice by the way) this is invaluable!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What an interesting lifestyle you lead. And I love all your common sense and responsible advice here. If I was letting out my house and needed a pet sitter I’d be definitely calling you!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. We’ve house sat before and followed the rules exactly as you e set them out. We’re about to have our first sitter come here for a few days, then again for the winter. I do hope what goes around comes around.

    Liked by 1 person

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