Donna Coakley McGowan's Blog
Going away on your vacation should be a time of relaxation and enjoyment. For some of us, however, we spend some of that time worrying about our homes, our pets, and all of the housework we have to catch up on when we get back.
One way to alleviate some of this anxiety is to employ a house-sitter while you’re away. In this article, we’re going to talk about getting your home ready for the sitter so that they can keep things running smoothly while you’re away.
Finding a house-sitter
There are three groups of people you should consult about finding a house-sitter for your home: friends, family, and neighbors. Many young people still living with their parents will be happy to get away for a week or two and have a house to themselves for a change.
An added benefit of asking an acquaintance or relative is that you can usually be assured that they’ll take good care of your home while you’re away.
In terms of payment, leaving them money for groceries and delivery is a good way to thank them for watching your house and pets while you were away.
Getting your house ready for the sitter
You might be at a loss of where to begin when it comes to leaving a note of things to do while you’re away. A good way to make sure you don’t miss anything is to keep a list in your phone and add to it throughout the day whenever you complete a task that you want the house-sitter to do.
You’ll also want to make sure you provide contact numbers for you and whoever else is away on vacation with you, and store the house-sitter’s number in your phones as well.
Next, make sure your home is emergency-ready. That includes checking the smoke detector and flashlight batteries. If you have a security system, it’s a good idea to let them know that someone will be watching your home while you’re away and provide their name in case your house-sitter accidentally sets off the alarm.
Finally, take care of anything you need to do before leaving, such as paying utility bills, putting fresh linens in the bedroom and bathroom, and parking your unused vehicles in a safe place.
Tip: It might be a good idea to lock or hide any alcohol, tobacco, etc. that’s in the house, especially if your house-sitter is underage.
Now, let’s talk about some things to include on your list to leave for the house-sitter:
Recycling information (sort or no-sort)
Which day to take out the garbage cans and recycling
Information about pets: when/how much to feed, treats, walks, when they need to go outside, which vet to call in case of emergency, etc.
Location of keys for shed, house, etc.
Garage door opener
Reminder to take in the mail
Pool filter and cleaning procedure