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Preparing for housesitters – Top Tips

Welcome your Housesitters

Having new visitors in our homes can make some of us a little nervous, and puts a little steam into our dusting and vacuuming routines before they arrive. Preparing your home for housesitters can also inspire some people to go the extra mile to prepare their home for a guest, a newcomer, and this is not a bad thing. Here are some top tips gleaned from our years of experience in housesitting and working alongside homeowners and housesitters to optimise the experience on both sides of the exchange.  To make the best impression, and optimise the chances of repeat housesitter visits follow these tips and prepare your home for your housesitters ahead of the dates.

Preparing for housesitters

Make your home welcoming

Top Tips – Preparing for Housesitters

  1. Create a welcoming home

Offer your housesitters a warm welcome

First impressions are important and however simple, rustic or sophisticated your home making the housesitter feel welcome is important. Inviting new housesitters into your home will often mean that you haven’t met them before. It is an opportunity to create a good first impression and put them at ease by making them feel welcome. Please note that you may well become friendly with your visitors, I have made new friends whenever I have housesat in our network. Creating a welcoming atmosphere to introduce your housesitters to your home will help set everyone at ease and set a positive and relaxed tone to your meeting.

      2. Internal preparation – Clean and clutter-free surfaces


Organised counters and shelves make a tidy kitchen

The ideal way to present your home to housesitters is with clutter-free surfaces and tidy organised spaces. Here are some top tips:

  • Put away all your loose paperwork – kitchens tend to gather all manner of paperwork, post opened and unopened
  • Replace items back into their home cupboards, if they live on the counter push them back to make sure the counter clutter is at a minimum
  • Keep your surfaces and counters are tidy and clear of your possessions when the housesitters take over
  • Ensure you have cleaning materials soaps, sponges, wiping cloths near the sink and that there is a plentiful supply, and use them to clean before the housesitter takes over. If you set the standard you want the housesitter to maintain while you are away, you will show them exactly what you expect them to maintain. Show by example. It is the best method.

Following these tips serves two purposes, it means that your own things are safely put away and they are where they should be, and you have created a ‘clean and clutter free standard’ you want the housesitter to maintain.

     3. Key areas – bedroom, kitchen and bathroom


It is important to give the housesitters some dedicated space

However, grand or modest your home the key and vital areas should be clean and presentable and welcoming your housesitters. Set them a standard you want them to maintain in your absence, and above all they need some dedicated space e.g their own bedroom.

Bedroom – Prepare a bedroom for the housesitter, making sure there is clean linen and somewhere for them to put their things.

Bathroom – If you are sharing a bathroom remember to leave it clean and tidy as you would wish to find it returning home.

Kitchen – Don’t forget to clean your microwave if you have one, your hob and give the counter tops a really good clean. These areas of a kitchen are easily forgotten as you are preparing to leave for a holiday. Don’t forget to clean them and leave cleaning products to make sure your sitter has the means to clean after themselves also.  In your briefing document explain to the sitter how you like your home to be cleaned.

‘Utility room’ and white goods – make sure you spend a little time showing the housesitter how to use the washing machine, dishwasher, vacuum cleaner and any other machine you want them to use to keep your home clean.

Preparing your pets for the housesitters

Many homeowners choose to use housesitters to care for their pets rather than kennels or pet boarding elsewhere to maintain routines and minimise disruption and reduce pet anxiety. It is important to introduce your pets to the housesitters with you present if you possibly can. The ‘pet meet and greet’ is very important if you can dedicate the time.


Make time for the pet meet and greet

Some homeowners like to spend a day or two with the housesitter to help pets and sitters slip into the same routines, to allow the pets to get used to the sitters smell, their touch. It is also useful for you to detail the pet routines so the sitter has a document with all the necessary information for once you have left.

A warm welcome and clear instructions can help you forge a good relationship and this often makes for a lasting friendship between housesitters and homeowners. It’s good to plan ahead and make an effort to start the relationship on the best possible footing.


To find your housesitting solution register with HouseSitMatch:

To register as a House-sitter follow this link

To register as a Homeowner follow this link


Lamia Walker
Hi, I am Lamia, founder of HouseSit Match. After years of corporate travel and stressing about home and pet care when away from home, I decided to build a solution, online. Now I run HouseSit Match an online network where we help to match home and pet-owners with house-sitters and pet-sitters in a friendly social way! Helping our members combines my passions for pets, travel, marketing and I meet fabulous new people every day!


  1. Francien Daniels-webb

    My sentiments exactly. My experience as well! Homeowners actually appreciate the need to de-clutter and love that the sitter maintains the same.
    I do find that some owners are working up,to,the last minute but have made every attempt to welcome me with a meal in or out. Food in the fridge meeting my dietary requirements and a lovely relaxing bedroom. In one home ‘my bedroom is just that mine!’
    Lifetime friendships are made and this has been proved to me these past 5 years and especially now that I am fighting breast cancer via full bi-lateral mastectomy, left lymph glands axillary clearance and a few extra stays in hospital, chemotherapy treatment (the big guns first then 12 weeks of weekly chemotherapy followed by 28 days of radiation.
    Visits, texts, emails, phone calls and FaceTime, flowers, hand and nail creams, baskets and buckets of delicious healthy beauty treats, scarfs, pj’s, chocolates, my favourite salami, scented candles, home made biscuits/cookies, cards, prayers, visits with the doggies I love and miss and taken for a coffee and light meal when I am able, all from my dear owner/friends from all over the world is more than I would have ever.
    I was always happy with being appreciated at the end of a sit but what my family and I are experiencing is more then we could have ever imagined.
    I won’t be sitting this year (2017) as planned which was heart breaking and my first little cry was that I couldn’t sit for all those owners and friends I was booked last year! But they were all more concerned about me then that they would have to go back to the drawing board.
    So 2018 will find me completing already booked sits and going back to the USA to spend time as a guest withnall my beautiful friends.
    Can life really get better than that?
    Love my perfect lifestyle.

    • Lamia Walker

      We wish you all the best Francien, and a quick return to housesitting and good health.
      All the very best, from Lamia and the HouseSitMatch team

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