We used housesitters for the first time last week. Usually Lucy also gets to go on holiday and stays with Davids friend but they have a rescue dog now and when Lucy is there they cause chaos. So we used two different sets of friends to house sit while David and Cameron were in Durban and I was in Montagu. It was a little bit chaotic and we learnt a few lessons, so next time we use housesitters we will definitely be a little more organised.
These are a few of my tips and things to remember when organising a housesitter.
- Find someone you trust. I know there are many businesses that will organise a sitter for you but honestly I am not keen on that idea so ask around in your friendship circles, you will probably find someone who is willing to do it.
- Confirm all payments upfront. Decide on an amount before you agree to anything and ideally put it in writing. I don’t think you need a contract really but an email or message that clearly states it all.
- Remember to let them know if anyone is coming to the house. If you have a domestic or a garderner or deliveries, make sure you let them know who it is when and when they are coming. If there are any changes in the routine, let your domestic know as well so that she isn’t left standing in the cold at 7h00 mid winter.
- Be clear about what you need/want them to do. If you need the dog walked, plants watered, let them know. Again, probably best to do this in an email so that everyone is clear.
- Let your neighbours know. This one is dependent on where you live and whether or not your neighbours care but if they do and if they are likely to corner your housesitter and ask them 20 questions, maybe just mention to them that you are having people stay there while you are away. (We have these kinds of neighbours, we have just discovered).
- Make sure they know how all the appliances work. Sounds silly but if you have a dishwasher or washing machine, spend 5 minutes showing them how it all works.
- Leave all relevant contact numbers with them. Most of us do always have our phones when we are away but sometimes you are in an area that has no signal or you decide to leave your phone at home, so make sure they have alternative contact numbers. Also make sure they have the vets number and if you have an alarm, the security companies number as well!
Do you make use of housesitters? Have I left anything out?