Your bags are packed and the plane tickets are bought; now all you need is someone to man the fort at home while you’re away. It’s most common for people to leave their home in the trust of a family member or good friend, but even friends and relatives can get overwhelmed taking caring of your home.
Help them feel more prepared (and put yourself at ease) by following some basic tips.
Leave a daily checklist.
Instead of jotting down random tasks that need to be done or telling them verbally, consider making a separate checklist for each day you’ll be gone that they can check off. Be sure to include exceptions, too, like if they can skip watering day if it rained the night before.
Map it out.
Even if they have been a guest in your home a million times, your house sitter likely won’t know where you keep the dog food or medical supplies. Providing an outline for where they can find basic emergency items and necessities is essential. This should also include where they can find the breaker switch, in case of a power outage.
Set the ground rules.
If you’re comfortable having your house sitter stay at your home full-time while you’re away that’s fine, but if you would prefer that they simply stop in once and a while that’s OK, too. It’s imperative to set these boundaries, though, so expectations can be met.
Keep requests reasonable.
Asking your house sitter to keep your pet fed and entertained and to keep plants hydrated is completely practical, but leaving them a laundry list of chores? Not so much. Be sure that they understand what they’re getting into before you leave.
Choose someone you trust.
You might think that leaving your home with a relative is the best option, but if you find a friend or neighbor more trustworthy or reliable than it’s best to go with them. No matter whom you choose, be sure to have a backup sitter available if an emergency should arise.