Your bags are packed and the plane tickets are bought; now all you need is someone to hold down the fort while you’re away. It’s common for people to ask a family member or good friend to house-sit, but even friends and relatives can get overwhelmed taking care of your home.
Help your house sitter 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 your house sitter verbally, consider making a separate checklist for each day you’ll be gone. Be sure to include exceptions, too, like skipping watering day if it rained the night before.
Map it out
Even if he or she has 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 to find basic emergency items and necessities is essential. This should also include where to 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 in awhile 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 a laundry list of chores? Not so much. Be sure he or she understands what they’re getting into before you leave.
Choose someone you trust
You might think that having a relative house-sit is the best option, but if you find a friend or neighbor more trustworthy or reliable then it’s best to go with that choice. No matter who you select, be sure to have a back-up sitter available if an emergency should arise.