There is nothing that gives peace of mind during a vacation than making a house sitting checklist and knowing that there will be a professional visiting your home regularly to make sure that everything is in order. Imagine coming home from a wonderful vacation, only to find an overflowing mailbox, a dead or dying garden or the pool full of leaves and debris. Devastating, right?
When you choose to get expert house sitting, you won’t need to worry about any of these problems because you will come back and find your home intact – just like you left it. However, there are some things that you can do to make the experience even better for yourself, and your house sitter.
Let’s take a look.
Make a house sitting checklist
For the house sitter to deliver as expected, it’s important to ensure that you properly communicate your expectations. The best way to do this would be creating a house sitting checklist with all the necessary information while you will be away. You can keep a copy and re-use it every time you need house sitting in future. This document should have the following information:
- Contact information – The best way to do this would be giving an email address that you’ll check once in a while during the vacation. It can be the same email address where they will be sending the pictures and updates after every visit.
- Emergency contact – Appoint a trusted friend or a neighbor who lives nearby and instruct your house sitter to reach out when she needs someone to make decisions on your behalf.
- Rooms that the house sitter should not use
- If you live in a rental property, you should also include a copy of the by-laws that came with the lease agreement and services such as trash collection, internet access, magazine subscriptions, etc.
Before you leave, you might want to have a word with your neighbors and tell them that you will be away and that you have made arrangements for house sitting. You don’t want your neighbors to call the cops when they see a new face in your home.
Prepare your home
Your house sitter will only need access to the parts of the house that need attention. You can lock the other parts to make work easier for them. For example, you can leave only one bedroom and bathroom and leave the others off limits.
You should also get rid of all the perishable foodstuffs in the house. If you don’t manage to consume all of it before leaving, then talk to your house sitter about it and give your permission to use it. It’s also a good idea to store your valuables in a secure area like a safe or closet. Although the house sitter is trusted, others may know you’re away and try to take advantage.
Provide the necessary grounds maintenance equipment and give clear instructions of what you’d like your house sitter to do. For example, if you have a pool, inform your house sitter exactly how you would like it maintained including the amount of chlorine to be added and the frequency.
Prepare your vehicles
When you leave, you will be leaving your cars behind to face a period of disuse. You can choose to have your house sitter clean and maintain your vehicles while you are away. You could ask them to run the car for 15 minutes every week and to clean any leaves, dust or bird poop on it.
It’s also important to ensure that utility bills are paid in your absence so make sure you talk to your sitter and agree on the best way to do that.
Make sure you adjust your security system accordingly to make room for house sitting. Talk to your security company and get an access control code or password for your house sitter. It’s also important to have a chat with them and if possible do a demo on how to manage the security system.
Congratulations! You’ve made it to the end of the house sitting checklist. You can now go and enjoy your vacation knowing that your house sitter is well prepared to take good care of your home.