Are standards falling?

You go women! Us sitters love a mopped floor… gross generalization but largely on point :wink:

Oh no! Just, really, NO.

While understanding the continuum of “clean place” surely there’s no area on the trajectory where a bathroom that hasn’t been freshly scrubbed and a household infestation can be included in the “clean” column?

As far as linens go, with 2 exceptions I’ve found nothing but freshly-laundered on all beds and in all baths in my personal experience.

However, I have some pretty specific (yes, that does mean picky and maybe even divaesque) requirements for my sheets. As such, i bring my own to every sit and let the homeowner know in advance that they need not bother making the bed up before the head out. Sleep is a bit of a challenge for me at the best of times and if my sheets aren’t 100% cotton, cool & crisp, im not going to get any rest.

Yes, I know… if you’re rolling your eyes at my self indulgence, fair enough… its definitely a “first world concern” but I don’t expect anyone to provide sheets that meet my standards so I don’t feel too bad about indulging myself in this way.

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I’ve been sitting for a long time too. Fortunately I haven’t run into any of those issues. Are you in the US?

I have never ‘sat’ for anyone so can’t say if ‘standards’ have fallen. I do know that before anyone comes to my home, be it family , friends or cat sitters, then the house is presented in as good a way as possible. My self respect demands that!. It would seem you have been particularly unfortunate or are very ‘picky’.
I would have thought that before you go on any ‘sit’ you would have made some sort of ‘contact’ with the people you are going to ‘sit’ for and determined whether they come up to your exacting standards or not. If you are so upset with what you are finding it is for you to find out before hand, ask questions and scrutinise photographs and if you don’t like them then don’t sit, it’s not difficult.


Couldn’t agree more regarding asking questions. In addition making clear what you expect. I don’t mean a full fridge or a meal but simple things like where the vet is and shops are. You get a ‘feel’ for people by exchanging emails , phone calls; whatever. I have only been with this site a very short time and have three sits arranged with people I have exchanged details with. Strangely, the very first person who contacted me I rejected, I simply didn’t feel happy with her but that is the point, there must be an exchange; and in detail.

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I have just left a review for my second sit, it was done by the same sitter that did my first, I did advertise, but only got one applicant who then accepted another sit before I even spoke to her.
I approached another member who had saved my profile, but she wasn’t available either. So I contacted the sitter direct as he was brilliant before.
I treat my sitters like they are my guest, my house is very clean and tidy (obviously that’s my opinion) the room the sitter stays in has a super-king size bed and its own en-suite. Clean bed linen, towels, shower gel, shampoo and conditioner are provided, with extra bedding and towels also available.
I do not close off/ban areas to the sitter, the house is yours when I’m away(if I cant trust you in my home, why are you sitting my VIP’s)
I want my sitter to be happy and comfortable, heating is not an issue and I wouldn’t expect them to put up with being cold or for them to pay for it either!
Any sitter would be given the opportunity of eating anything in the house and I would also purchase anything additional the sitter wanted (in this case, oat milk and ice creams😊)
I do not expect them to do any additional chores, not even washing the linen and towels, unless they are happy to do so. I do ask that the house is tidy when I return.
I’m very aware that in the UK kennel prices are expensive, (not that I would put my dogs in kennels) I think for two dogs for a fortnight you could be looking at £400 plus.
My attitude is, that feeding one or two sitters, heating my home and providing comfort and care works out significantly cheaper than dog kennels for a fortnight!
I do wonder if some HO’s look on it as a way to save money, rather than a better way to have their pets cared for? I’m not naive enough to assume that every sitter is only doing it for the pets, if that were the case, why are some sits in amazing areas always the first to be snapped up, yet others struggle?
At the end of the day, it’s cheaper than kennels and for some, a way to see places all over the world at a possibly reduced cost………
(P.S. I gave my sitter a bottle of wine and a box of chocolate on my return)


When do you feel like walking the extra mile? For me it’s when I feel appreciated and trusted (!) and given a warm welcome. We are taking on quite substantial responsibilities - homes, grounds, pets, having to be flexible and adaptable whilst the owners may well be abroad and literally out of reach in the short term. What could possibly go wrong?
Let’s be honest…
Quite a lot actually!
I’ve been reading about a lost cat and the owners’ consequent early return and the house sitter being subsequently ejected… what a nightmare!
Some people wouldn’t consider doing what housesitters have successfully done for years all over the world.
Some of my best sits have brought unexpected dividends: new friends, experiences, and wonderful bonds with loving pets.
Some sits require a lot of time and effort spent with animal care. One I regularly do has 13 dogs and an extensive estate to keep an eye on! But the owners fill the fridge and pantry, provide a maid and gardener as well as a pool and luxury modern accommodation. They say, “We want you to enjoy the dogs and spend your time with them while we are away… “ it’s not slave labour and yet by the end of the seven week stretch there is no doubt in our raised fitness levels! It’s a very hilly farm in the wilds!
Another sit had only one pet a lovely elderly Lab that was happy at home or on a short walk. I felt very much appreciated when I saw the super clean home and freshly cut flowers in a bedside vase. It’s not hard to welcome guests…aren’t we doing this ourselves at home too? Thoughtfulness works both ways.
I heard recently someone say you have to teach people how to treat you. So yes raise questions at the video call. Let them know your expectations, whilst learning of theirs!
The best fit is only achievable when both parties are clear about what will make them comfortable and satisfied by the experience.
Most of my sits have been great. I’ve learnt valuable lessons from the not so great too.
One HO began, “You weren’t our first choice.”
I never asked why but probably as we reside in another country… but there we were! nothing like starting on the wrong foot!


Thank you @Highfive for these wise words which we will use to close out this topic.

Why close it now?

Because the original question has been discussed at length and while there is no definitive answer as levels of cleanliness “standards” can be very subjective. This conversation will continue in the same vein and will by definition, become repetitive detracting from its purpose, to help better communications around personal expectations.

What is acceptable to one may not be to another, a good sit experience is about honest communication between everyone concerned, making the right choices and being aware of each other’'s needs and expectations.

A home should be clean, tidy and welcoming, a place where the guest (sitter) can relax, unwind and start to enjoy the company of beloved pets in their new surroundings.

For instance a sitter may arrive with a suitcase but would prefer not to live out of it for the duration.

Walking through a door that shows the sitter’s arrival and stay has been carefully prepared for, where a smile and “Thank you for caring, now you can leave knowing your home world and all its precious possessions are safe with us” is all that is needed, is the essence of “Welcome” which in my experience, and the many members I speak to is how it works, most of the time.

And for pet parents/owners being able to walk in happy to be back in their lovely, well cared for home and be greeted by ecstatic furry family member (s) is the icing on the cake to what will have been a great trip and TrustedHousesitters experience

Our fair and mutual exchange ethos, happening every minute, of every day, around the world flows both ways.

Thanks everyone …