How to prepare for a house-sitter
A house-sitter is God’s gift to all vacationers. It could be anyone from a friend to a professional sitter complete with references and five years’ experience.
Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your house-sitter and put your mind at rest while you enjoy your well-deserved holiday.
MAKE IT EASY
Create an information pack. Your house sitter is new to your home and possibly your neighbourhood, so make it easy for them to settle in. Make sure they have your contact information, emergency numbers, instructions on how to use your house alarm, and any rules they need to pay attention to. Let them know what days rubbish and recycling services visit your street and include a couple of sets of house keys.
TELL THE NEIGHBOURS
Avoid awkward moments and false alarm police callouts by letting your neighbours know that someone else will be staying at your place while you’re out of town. You may even choose to leave a spare set of keys with them.
Don’t forget to tell any regular service providers (you may even want to cancel these services while you’re away) and, if you’re going to be on holiday for quite some time, a call to your insurance company could be a good idea too.
SET THE STANDARD
Anyone who signs up to babysit your home while you’re away is effectively agreeing to keep it in the same condition as you left it. You can set the standards by making the effort to clean your home and garden before you go. Store your breakables and valuables in a safe place while you’re at it. cupboards with food and treats, and make sure their favourite toys and walking lead are handy. Run through everything petrelated with your house-sitter. Let them know who your vet is just in case something bad happens while you’re away.
Collecting mail and feeding the cat are common house-sitting expectations. But is there anything else you’d like done? Start your car a couple of times a week to keep it ticking over? Undertake various cleaning responsibilities? Additional expectations could equal payment of some kind, so make sure this is clearly outlined before the house sitter accepts the job.
IT PAYS TO STAY
Some house-sitting arrangements include payment of some kind. But some people are happy with free accommodation, a pantry full of food Sky TV and internet access. Payment might need to be considered if you have a lot of pets to feed and walk every day.
A tidy home is what you should return to – providing you leave it that way for your house-sitter.