Back in my early twenties oh so long along, I used to house sit for family friends while they were on holidays. I got to stay in a couple of really nice places, while looking after the owners house and pets.
Now I am a home owner, I can definitely see the advantage of having a housesitter. Lucky for us we have such a huge family that there is usually someone available to come and stay for us.
Getting the house ready and knowing what to do can be a bit daunting when you haven’t done it before. As I can draw experience on being both the sitter and owner, I thought I’d share what I do to prepare the house.
Once you have figured out where to pop your guest/s, be sure that you let them know where you stand on them having any overnight guests of their own.
Clean out the wardrobe and and drawer – don’t forget to leave some hangers.
Clear off the bedside tables
Towels – leave some out and let them know where there are more.
Car – do they have a car? Where can they park it?
Eating – let them know what they can have from your pantry. I clear a couple of shelve’s for them, as well as leave the fridge pretty much empty. I also clear out a bit of the freezer so they can use that also.
Since pretty much everything in my pantry is gluten free, I have all my containers labelled as such. (I get labels from places like Stuck on You and Bright Star Kids for mine) and I explain if they need to use the gluten free flour or the like, please use clean utensils.
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Kitchen appliances – leave the instructions for the appliances like the dishwasher, oven, coffee machine
Closest supermarket or shops – especially if your house sitter is not local
Phone – make sure they know the number and if you expect them to pay for STD or mobile calls.
Internet – we have a huge download limit so we are happy for them to use our internet. We leave the wireless password as they will be bringing their own laptop.
Heating – leave instructions on how to work the heater. Plus any quirky tips like how to reset it or relight it.
Washing Machine – ah you see where I am going? Leave instructions on how to use this too. Plus any quirky tips.
Iron and ironing – where are they and where are they kept.
Leave all your holiday details, like where you are staying and when. Also leave them contact details of a neighbour or family member if they need help.
If you need plants watered, be sure to let them know how often.
Rubbish – have to let them know when to leave the council bins out.
TV/DVD/Foxtel – leave instructions on how to work these units
and leave the cleaning goodies in an easy, accessible spot so it encourages use of them.
So if your housesitter is also a pet sitter, consider leaving them instructions on:
- cleaning (ie litter)
- quirks your pet house, ie likes to run around the house at 4am or likes a particular chair to sleep on
- number of your vet
- exercise requests and where the lead etc is kept
For me specifically, this is what I like to also do:
- Put the boys toys away
- Leave extra blankets out
- Mow the lawn
- Put a hold on the mail
- Clean and tidy the house
- Leave some books and magazines out
- Leave milk and bread in the fridge, some chocolate biscuits in the pantry
and the most important thing – leave them the keys!
Have you house sat? Do you have house sitters when you go away?
Image courtesy of njaj / FreeDigitalPhotos.net