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Preparing the House for a Housesitter

July 18, 2013

House Sitting

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.

Local Takeaway Menus

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.

Pets

So if your housesitter is also a pet sitter, consider leaving them instructions on:

  • feeding
  • 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

Categories: travel Tags: ,
  1. Mary Preston
    July 19, 2013 at 11:51 am

    Apart from family, I don’t think I would want anyone in my house while I was away.

    Good tips though.

    • nellbe
      July 20, 2013 at 9:14 pm

      Thanks Mary.

  2. July 20, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    Good tips. I’ve never used a house sitter but I’ll know what to do now if we ever do.

    • nellbe
      July 20, 2013 at 9:12 pm

      Thanks Libby

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