I have to say, it’s posts like this and the many similar ones I see, that have so far stopped me putting a sit up as a HO (we have combined.) I feel I see a lot of judgement on here. ‘Clutter’ is so subjective and doesn’t always mean un-clean. @Jilly gives me hope though.
We are creatives, our house is pretty full of stuff…stuff we have collected from many years of travels, books we love, pictures we have taken. I have shelves of spices and interesting things to cook with. It’s clean for sure, but I know some would say cluttered. Does our old Victorian schoolhouse suit it, sure. But do I want the judgement…not sure yet.
Cleanliness is a non-negotiable. But, as a sitter, I know this is a two way thing. I get free accommodation in return for my time looking after pets. The HO gets free pet care in return for letting me stay. Is that not ultimately what this is, an exchange? Surely when I want a gleaming and luxurious hotel, I book one, not a pet sit.
@Lina_and_Tom , I’m the same. I don’t have any pets but I have a vegetable and fruit garden plus raised flowerbeds and lots of pots. I would love to have sitters here to look after, and enjoy, the garden over the growing months.
However, I live in a static caravan, which in itself shouldn’t be a problem, but when I see what some sitters are expecting I’m afraid to risk it. There are so many flaws in my home, things that are broken, items and furnishings that are worn/stained, rust on my taps and radiators, quirks that I would have to explain to people. And quite honestly, I have better things to do with my limited income than spend it fixing and replacing things that don’t bother me.
Many of the owners I have sat for say I leave their home cleaner than when they left, and I often do because, if it’s a long sit, I like to have something to do so I’ll clean a lot of stuff that I know hard working people don’t always get the time to do.
I live in an area that is very beautiful, with the sea within earshot and a view of mountains and fields from my living room window. For anyone who likes hill walking, or water sports, it’s a superb location and a great spot for exploring the beautiful surrounding area. It is a place that a sitter would definitely need a car though, if they did want to go anywhere, as the nearest bus stop is over 3 miles away. I have an electric bicycle but no car.
I just think it’s a shame that we are made to feel less than adequate and that potential sitters are missing out on a great opportunity.
Some of our most interesting sits have been in lovely old houses. We have found that owners of these home are fantastic to talk to and usually have a similar outlook as we have.
As someone else says it’s a subjective topic. What’s cluttered to us is homely to others.
As a point of interest, we lived on a 40 foot yacht for over five years. There is no room for clutter. We bought a two bedroom apartment in an old building last year. No clutter. I wouldn’t say it’s completely bare - I love art, books and cooking - but everything has its place.
What your saying is it’s a lived in home not a show case. I’ve also stayed in pristine homes where I’m scared to touch anything. Every time someone stands up I’m plumping up the cushions. It’s not relaxing.
It not only saddens me on a personal level to think that we have even one member who feels judged and I’m sorry that you do @Lina_and_Tom as a company and team passionate about what we do and the community we have built that is not what TrustedHousesitters is about.
Every member is different, every sit, every pet if we were all the same and expected the same in pets, people, homes and places we would not exist as a business or as a community.
There are sits and sitters for everyone expressing and sharing preferences brings color to a conversation but choosing a sit or sitter is extremely personal and often happens when a human connection is made which is more important than decor or style. The only condition which is non negotiable is cleanliness otherwise it is each to his/her own.
Where else would you find the opportunity to stay in such a variety of homes, experience living someone else’s life and be privileged to share their most precious possessions … homes and beloved pets.
When I’m looking, If a sit is not right for me for whatever reason I don’t apply because the next one could be and the one I passed by could be right for another sitter. No matter what impression the images or the listings have on me I am very aware that every listing is a member’s precious home, something none of us should ever forget.
Hi @Jilly I think perhaps any sense of inadequacy is something we sometimes put on ourselves, rather than others doing it to us. I have yet to sit in a home that’s smaller than mine and yet I have had homeowners apologize for their small home. No apology needed, and I can put their mind at rest by telling them the size of my one-bedroom home. Others on this site live in spaces far smaller than mine, from what I’ve read.
My suggestion to you, if you do decide to list your home, is to be honest, both with your listing and your photos. Also don’t focus on what it doesn’t have, but rather what it does. You’ve already listed wonderful reasons why someone might enjoy your home. Then you leave it up to the sitters to decide if they’d like to apply. Chances are you may attract someone who downsized their home and no longer has a garden and misses that.
Your Welcome Guide could clearly set out the quirks and how you work around them. Most homes have their quirks that need to be explained.
A Victorian schoolhouse full of books? Sounds fantastic to this sitter!
@Angela-HeadOfCommunity I completely agree with you
Blockquote No matter what impression the images or the listings have on me I am very aware that every listing is a member’s precious home, something none of us should ever forget.
But some of the tone on here really doesn’t reflect what you have said above does it?
Time will tell if we do list as a HO, but I’ll be honest if I’d joined this forum before taking out the membership there’s no way I would have gone combined, just being honest.
@Jilly think your place sounds wonderful!
Have you thought about reaching out to the van life community and trying to find someone that way? They could live in their own van so you wouldn’t have to worry about yours and they would have a vehicle. there are many people who would love to have a safe place to park up and not have to worry about being forced to move on in the middle of the night.
I appreciate your honesty and it really does concern me to think that the impression you have from some of the discussions on the forum, as an owner is a negative one.
One very important thing to bear in mind is that the forum is a small representation of our 90+K members, we work hard to maintain a positive tone and welcoming environment and you’ll find many conversations that are informative, positive and engaging.
Like many platforms of a similar nature there will be a small cohort who are inclined to have the loudest voices and use them to express their opinions in ways they feel will afford them the most attention.
It’s not that their points are not valid but some are inclined to focus mainly on things that haven’t worked or are currently not working for them and not the many positive aspects of their membership, members who are a valued part of our community some having been part of TrustedHousesitters for many years and who have enjoyed a great pet and house sitting lifestyle.
I have been privileged to have been welcomed into many homes around the world, cared for the most amazing pets, made lifelong friends and that truly is the same story for so many in our community … although they may not have all done 200 sits … I’m addicted
Members enjoy sharing homes and pets in a mutually beneficial and fair exchange a win win win … the third win is for pets. Sitters really are as different as the homes we choose to sit in and there are occasions when it doesn’t work to everyone’s satisfaction but that is the same as any product and service and when that happens we do our very best to help, support and find a solution.
I hope that you will feel confident enough to list your home if you need any help with this you can contact me directly via the Direct Message option or reach out to our Membership Services Team … and our community are the forum.
@Lina_and_Tom hello! Just want to pop in here to say and echo what Ángela has said.
I have been a full time sitter since 2018 (barring mandated quarantine).
From my numerous experiences, they have been absolutely wonderful with very few minor, less than perfect situations. Overall, this been the best choice for me at the most excellent time of life.
I also agree, @Lina_and_Tom , don’t let a couple thoughtless remarks put you off. And speaking from experience, these people may have had no idea how harsh their comments sounded.
This lifestyle is fabulous. You will meet so many wonderful animals and make lovely new friends. And a combined membership will make it easier for you to travel. A whole world awaits.
@CreatureCuddler that’s an interesting idea, thanks. I will need to check with the site managers to see if this is permissible.