4 basic rules of house sitting etiquette

If someone has hired you to house sit for them, there are certain rules that go along with your duties. No matter whether you are staying for one night or a whole month, there are some common courtesies to keep in mind that will help ensure that you are a polite and respectful house sitter and that you're someone that they will ask for help in the future. Here is a brief guide to house sitting etiquette.

4 basic rules of house sitting etiquette

1. Ask about their policies regarding guests

  • If you are staying in a big house, you might be tempted to invite a friend or partner over to stay with you and keep you company.
  • It's important to clear this with the host first.
  • Some house owners don't feel comfortable having people they haven't met in their home and while they are trusting you to take over their house; that doesn't give you the liberty to invite strangers.
  • Be sure to ask before whether you can have guests over in the daytime or evening.

2. Inquire about duties beforehand

  • If there are additional duties besides looking after the house that you are expected to do, make sure you are aware of them before you agree.
  • It's natural for simple things like bringing in the mail and feeding the pets to be included in your house sitting duties, but if more strenuous tasks are involved, like mowing the lawn, etc., you'll want to make sure the compensation covers it all.

3. Don't spread out all over the house

  • If you're staying for an extended period, choose one room to use as your basecamp and keep all of your belongings in there.
  • You don't want to sleep in different beds or misplace your personal things in different rooms because that causes more work for the home owners when they get back.
  • Try to stick to one area of the house to keep things simple.

4. Replace food and other items you've consumed

  • If you make yourself meals or snacks, it's common courtesy to replace the food you've eaten unless they have specifically told you it was okay to dive into the kitchen.
  • Likewise, if you are showering and using the bath products they keep in their house, be sure to replenish their supplies before they get home.
  • Follow these tips when you're house sitting to make sure that you are a polite and respectful house guest.


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