For the travel enthusiast, house sitting is ideal. They get to live free in a comfortable home for a duration of time while exploring the local environment. On the other hand, homeowners are leaving their homes and pets in care of a complete stranger. But there is no need to worry. This mutual exchange of value has a long history of success. The internet has only accelerated the possibilities. It’s now easy to find a reliable house sitter from a trustworthy source so you can put your mind at ease and set out on your adventure.
Remember to discuss the following items with your house sitter before you leave:
✔ Whether it’s your security system, the laundry room or entertainment unit, explain how your house ‘works’ in detail. Show your house sitter the electrical meter, the plumbing shut off, the internet router, and all the necessary passwords they will need to know.
✔ If you have pets, write down their routine and needs. The list should include the pet’s personality, food preferences, medications and their daily routine. A thorough checklist will prevent stressed out pets, aggravated house sitters and unnecessary phone calls.
✔ Make a list of emergency contact numbers and post it on the fridge. Include your immediate family members, doctor, veterinarian, fire department and a local neighbor or two. Your mobile number and the number of the hotel(s) you’d be staying at should be included, so they can get in touch with you.
✔ Be frank about any rules you want them to follow, whether it’s using your groceries, toiletries, computer or inviting someone over. Setting boundaries is an essential part of building trust.
✔ If your house has unusual quirks – a questionable dishwasher, sticky locks, or a broken garage door – let your house sitter know. They are taking responsibility for your home and that includes all of its foibles.
✔ Tell your house sitter of any potential guests who may pay a visit while you’re gone. It could be a family member, a friend, a nosey neighbor or an old aunt you tend to forget about.
✔ Let your neighbors know that there will be a house sitter looking after your home. Introduce them if possible and leave an extra key with them. If any of your neighbors have a peculiar habit, it’s best to let your house sitter know.
✔ One often forgotten area to cover is the telephone. Should they answer it or let it go to voicemail?
✔ Notify the house sitter if you are expecting any important mail or packages, and what they should do with them.
✔ Don’t forget to go over the handling of garbage, compost and recyclables.
✔ If your house sitter is new to your area, show them around or leave brochures on the local attractions. Let them know where to buy groceries and medicines, show them the nearest hospital or a medical center and where to walk your pets. This will ensure they also have an enjoyable experience.
Once you’ve made your checklist, go over it to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything. And remember to write down the house sitter’s cell number just in case. You’re now ready to enjoy your long-awaited holiday in peace!