Posts Tagged ‘housesitter’

Preparing the House for a Housesitter

July 18, 2013 4 comments

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.


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 /

Categories: travel Tags: ,