A loveletter and a wishlist to Owners from Sitters

Hey there, Owners! We’ve got a few sits under our belts now and have met some absolutely incredible owners and their animals. Chances are you are one of those awesome owners because you are reading on the forum to learn and to support others. Thank you - we love owners like you!

I would like to share a sitter’s wishlist, the “basics” and some “extras” that tend to be overlooked in welcoming sitters, in no particular order:

  1. Please clear out some closet/dresser space for clothes. It’s surprising how often this is overlooked.
  2. Clean fridge and freezer space for us too please. Not all sitters eat out.
  3. PLEASE, please, please take the time to complete a detailed THS Welcome Guide. So helpful! Reading the Guide in advance often generates questions that can be answered quickly in advance of your time away. A print copy is appreciated as well and referred to often.
  4. Let your vet know you’re away and make appropriate financial arrangements in the event of an emergency.
  5. Please be accurate and detailed in your THS post about pet care responsibilities. I.E. “Walk the dog daily” can mean a whole lots of things from a couple of five minute toots around the block to pee/poop to a daily five mile hike up the mountain. “Check the horses” is also vague. You get the picture. The more a sitter knows from your description of responsibilities, the better the applicants you should get :crossed_fingers:. Those who don’t want to do those 5-mile hikes likely won’t apply.

I’m sure that other Sitters can add to the wishlist. Again, thanks to all the amazing Owners out there who so warmly welcome us sitters into your houses to care for the animals you love. Looking forward to meeting more of you as we continue this amazingly rewarding journey as animal lovers and sitters!


This has all been said before on the forum but, the problem is, only a small minority of members have joined the forum. Owners get this kind of list emailed to them but some of them probably don’t read it. Also, we as sitters, need to leave the homes as we find them.


Supposedly owners get told some of this (fridge etc) in emails they get before the sit starts. If they aren’t reading those emails they probably aren’t going to read any posts about it either.


When sitting I’ve noticed that hosts with one bedroom apartments or where sitters are using the main bedroom don’t usually leave closet or shelf space. I think it’s mostly because they don’t have it. I also host, and am in that situation. I have an ikea cube on top of my dresser, and manage to clear 4 cubes. There is also a desk in the bedroom and top is always cleared so it can be used as a desk or as a suitcase holder. The best I can do on closet space is clear some space in the coat closet outside the bedroom. So my point is, even in a small space things can be done. I think most homeowners just don’t think about it.

This is one of those areas where instead of THS sending out an email saying that this is something hosts need to do, and people in tiny apartments looking at it and scratching their heads, they might send out some kind of helpful household hint kind of explaining how. Even making sure the top of a dresser is clear, and maybe setting up some clean plastic bins for stuff. And/or as I do, moving a few coats to my personal closet to make room in the coat closet.


My name is Jenny. Thank you very much for this helpful list. I’m a new HO and have our first listing up. I’ve joined the forum to learn. And I have!


Hi, Owner here! I joined the forum a year or so prior to even posting my first sit.

If you look at my profile my first post on here was asking advice on redecorating my guest room to make it sitter-friendly. I incorporated most of the advice and my guest room now has nightstands on both sides of the bed, lamps on both nightstands, plenty of charging outlets all over the room, blackout curtains, a full length mirror, half an empty closet, a fully empty dresser. In addition - a 46 inch flat screen with Roku, a bench to sit to take shoes on/off, folding luggage racks, and even guest robes.

So some owners do read these posts and act accordingly:).

I do appreciate the prior input - this year I posted my first sits and have been fortunate to have lots of interest.

My pets are cute and well behaved as well, so I’m sure that helps :slight_smile:


We sitters love owners like you. Well done and thank you! :pray:


@B1anca it would surely be better if pet parents had to complete tickboxes BEFORE listing sits, including:

As a host, I agree:

To leave a clean, clear space in fridge and freezer for use by sitter.

To ensure oven and microwave are left clean for use by sitter.

To ensure a bathroom is left clean for use by sitter



We do get a list that includes all this. And when I was a new HO, the forum helped me tremendously.

But as Smiley said, people who aren’t going to pay attention to the list that’s emailed to them are not likely to come to the forum and see this either.

BTW, I’m an HO in a very small place, and I make sure to clear room in my closet - I pack a lot of my own clothes away and sometimes even take it down to my storage area - and remove everything personal from the bathroom. The hardest thing for me is kitchen space. Fridge and freezer isn’t really a problem, but I just don’t have adequate space for dry goods, but I do my best and hope for a little grace.

It helps when sitters let me know what their plans are. I’ve had sitters who are home, working remotely, and eat in most of the time, and I’ve had sitters coming to my city specifically for the restaurant scene who didn’t use the kitchen at all other than to make coffee in the morning.

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I just shared what was effectively a wishlist (clean kitchen and bathroom, space in the fridge & freezer) with what would have been a repeat sit, where the wishlist was based on my first sit there. My sit was cancelled. To be honest, I’m glad as I’d not have agreed a repeat sit if I’d had known what the first would have been like. Lovely pet though.


@DianeS just curious if you mentioned these things in a review as well?

When you say canceled, do you mean confirmed and then canceled by the home host or just that an " invitation" revoked after your wish list was expressed?

Good for you for speaking up and hopefully the host will make adjustments for future thsitters.

I wondered about putting it in the review but when I drafted it all my observations seemed so petty (but not - unflushed loo, dirty kitchen, no room in fridge or freezer, description of pet, and more) that I decided not to in case potential HOs are put off. Instead I did what I believe previous sitters did and said what a lovely pet & location without mentioning the state of the home. I’m new to this and gradually learning how to read between the lines & spot what isn’t said. However, the new star rating system will make it all so much easier to be helpful to other sitters.
I’m not confident that the HO will take on my suggestions - I was told “this isn’t the sit for you”.

As an HO waiting for a sitter I read these comments & take note of them… I am not overly worried my place will be spotless upon return… that being said, the place will not be spotless when we leave either but I will make room in one of the two fridges for groceries for the sitter (each fridge has a freezer too). As far as flushing - well, there is a saying - if it’s yellow, let it mellow; if it’s brown flush it down… Being rural, we have a well & septic tank - so we conserve water as much as possible… But the place (toilets included) will be clean for whenever a sitter comes…

I’ve done lots of sits - and while I understand folks wanting closet and drawer space, I travel fairly light - as much as closet or drawer space, a place to open up my carry-on in the bed room. For you in the US, Woot.com was selling them for $13 and they are very sturdy and well-made. But you can find them on Amazon as well.
And refrigerator and kitchen space, too.


Yup, I have two luggage stands for guests at my home. Mine are more modern looking, but there are many variations on Amazon and elsewhere.

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Yellow is fine.

As a current host (I’ve had 3 sitters) and a wanna be sitter, this thread has been very informative for me. Thanks for everyone that shared their thoughts and suggestions. I definitely want to be one of those amazing hosts and this thread helps me with that!


I’ve never thought of that. I will let my future hosts know we cook a lot. :slight_smile:


Something I really appreciate as a sitter is instructions! Hoover, oven, washing machine, dishwasher etc. I know it’s laborious to write it but it is so helpful. I forget things especially when things are said in a rush and all at once. Write it down please.

Love the luggage rack idea- just ordered one plus a small hamper for the guest room. I’ve only ever had short sits ~7 days max - so it wouldn’t occur to me to have dresser space (this is perhaps a ME thing, because I also just live out of my suitcase in a hotel). But the rack I got has little cubbies.

Most of the things we do for our sits are what we do for our house guests - so i always have a basket of essentials : spare tooth brush and paste, mini deodorant, disposable razor, etc. Anything you’d want a reasonable Airbnb to have, I try to have too (spare towels, blow dryer).

I’ve had guests let me know over the years things they’d like to see in my printed guide and I hope each sit is better than the last!