A guide for HO’s: Items Sitters Need / Wish They Had

There’s a long thread where sitters noted amenities they wished every sit had. As HO I’ve read the whole thing and it was enlightening! I thought it would be like infra-red sauna or home theater but IMO it’s just practical things every home should already have accessible to people staying in and taking care of their home :joy:

The thread seemed to be mostly sitters talking to sitters (mostly about coffee LOL) so I thought I’d start a new thread with details I gleaned. It would be great to see sitters and HO’s both contributing to this convo. Feel free to add or comment! I think if we can keep it simple it will be easier for homeowners to see where they can make little tweaks for happier sitters.

Here’s a list of repeated requests I noted:

  • Luggage rack
  • Functional Mop and Broom
  • Decent Cookware, at least one small and one large pan
  • First Aid Kit
  • Bedside Lamp
  • Power outlet or power strip near bed
  • Coffee Pot or Press
  • Kettle, electric or stovetop
  • Cheese Grater, Tin Opener, Bottle Opener, Sharp Knife
  • Good Window Coverings
  • Basic Cooking Items: salt, pepper, oil
  • Space in Closet / Dresser for unpacking
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Yayyyyy @Shafofo love this list. We ALWAYS had each and every one of these for our sitters. Makes me feel good knowing what I thought was important actually was!

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  • Space in the refrigerator
  • Empty hangers in the closet
  • Good (sharp) chef’s knife
  • Mirror in the sitter’s bedroom
  • Box of tissues
  • In addition to a power outlet near the bed, it’s a nice bonus when some of the common charging cables are provided (Lightning, Micro USB, and USB-C). I bring cables for my devices, but often need to unplug them to bring into different rooms of the house, or take on the go. Having extra cables to minimize unplugging is always appreciated!
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Kitchen towel!

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As a homeowner I am really surprised that people seem to live without most of these things sitters would appreciate to use during a sit.
There’s not even one item mentioned that I don’t use myself and therefore the sitters can certainly use them when they stay in our house.

However tissues, plastic bags and zip lock bags are something we don’t want to use ourselves. We believe that it is possible to reduce the use of throw away plastic to an absolute minimum.
Somewhere here on the forum I read that there are sitters, who take along plastic plates and cutlery, because they don’t want to clean any dishes! I cannot believe this!

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  • pump soap for hand wash & hand sanitiser in kitchen & bathroom
  • antibacterial bench spray
  • paper towel in kitchen
  • vegetable peeler that works (not blunt)
  • vegetable / cheese grater that works
  • cork screw
  • water jug with lid for the fridge
  • microwave containers with lids
  • plastic food storage containers with lids
  • zip lock bags for food storage
  • bin liner bags
  • plastic food wrap, foil & baking paper
  • something to stand up toothbrushes in the bathroom
  • hairdrier
  • bandaids
  • room air freshener spray for toilet
  • soap dish/holder in the shower
  • clean dish brush & dish sponge in the kitchen
  • cleaning clothes

That will do for now.

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A bedside light, each.
Freezer space is lovely

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I agree, though sometimes it’s just down to making things easy to find vs keeping them where we normally do. My last sitter couldn’t find our cheese grater and I wish they’d just poked around more or texted me. I use it daily but keep it in a weird, convenient-to-me spot!

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  • car seat cover for pets (e.g. if renting a car)
  • membership passes to local parks, museums, public gardens etc. if HO is in position to share
  • Utility towels (e.g. pet drying)
  • map of the area with favorites highlighted (walks, shops, etc )
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I know what you mean! I love your way of describing it – “a weird, convenient-to-me spot”. I have lots of those, and that’s why I love to do an in person handover, as I try to remember to show the sitter those weird places. I also tell my sitters that if they take something out and can’t remember where it goes back, just leave it out and I’ll return it to it’s weird spot when I return. I’d rather do that than not be able to find it in my “convenient-to-me” spot. I call those items “orphans” and tell my sitters not to worry about any orphans left out when they leave the sit.

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Yes! I always ask/send a text if I’ve looked in all the “obvious” places but can’t find something that most people have. It funny that sometimes the response is “hmmm, maybe? I think I used to have that…not sure if I do still!”
I also hope that by mentioning it to the HO maybe they will find it/get one for the next sitters.

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As HO I’m happy to say that we can put a check next to 99% of the items listed in the different posts. :+1::+1::slightly_smiling_face: I would add to those the user manuals to the major and minor appliances which we always leave in the office. :slightly_smiling_face: As two people working from home we also leave two computer monitors (nice addition to a laptop to work) and a printer. We also have four huge bookshelves full of books although 75% are in French (our first language). And the bonus is a fully automatic coffee machine for espressos, cappuccinos, etc with enough coffee beans for the duration of the sit. We want our sitters to be happy because happy sitters happy cat. :slightly_smiling_face:

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  1. Kitchen towel (paper)
  2. Tea towels
  3. Plastic washing up bowl (for those of us who are sitting alone and have never used a dishwasher)
  4. CLEAR and UNAMBIGUOUS instructions on how to turn on the TV ! Hide the 5 remote controls and leave me only one which turns on everything. Delete your family’s individual names from the SKY programme.
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Nope! Not here.
We try to use as little plastic as possible. Nobody needs plastic containers, because those made of glass also do the job and look much nicer.
Waste bins can be washed out. We don’t use plastic bags for them.

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The cheese grater and the scales are regularly the hardest things to find!

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Just be sure to tell the sitters @Pawtastic, otherwise they’ll keep looking! I have no scruples putting something in a bin (especially a greenie bin) without a bag, but I need to know that the HO is okay with that. I love detail about waste disposal and recycling. So many owners don’t go into detail, and to me, that’s a very important aspect of life…

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Deffo user manuals for appliances ! On a recent sit I somehow “locked” the hob on the second day, after managing to use it perfectly well on the first. Fortunately, the HO eventually picked up my message and managed to talk me through how to unlock it. Dinner was rather late that evening.

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I would like to add:
Microwave
Coffee-ground (or beans if there is a grinder)
Tea bags (or loose if there’s an infuser)
Toilet brush

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My Welcome Guide is about 24 pages long and all of this is mentioned in it.
However how I get the sitters to read everything is beyond me…

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Insect nets at the windows / doors (if there are a lot of flies / mosquitoes etc.)

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