Hello Good People: Sitters or Pet Owners. I’m having my first Homeowner experience quickly coming up in 3 weeks. My Sitters will stay in my house for a month. I’m trying to figure out how to approach the subject of Household Supplies, like: toilet paper, kleenex, paper towels, and so on. I don’t mind buying a large eough supply for them to use & I know where the sales/special prices are, which they would not. i.e. I can get it cheaper. Should I ask them for the $ to cover these items or am I being nit-picky? I plan to supply cleaning items for no charge (obviously) & I’ll also propose some basic cooking items on a “reimburse-as-you-use” or free type basis. Does this sound fair? What else would you sugest? Thank you for your time/input.
Very fair. On a long sit, we buy our paper goods and cleaning supplies but always take into consideration what the HO wants us to use, eg. no bleach products if they have a septic tank.
We do use things in the kitchen but always replace them with the same product. I think you are being very reasonable.
A month isn’t a long sit and I would expect there to be plenty of toilet rolls, they’re not expensive. If things run out I replace them which I think is nicer than handing over money. I’m from the UK btw.
I agree with @Smiley
I have done sittings of 4 weeks or more and I expect to have sufficient paper products to last me. I would also expect sufficient cleaning products. Your aim is to make the sitter feel comfortable.
You can find other threads concerning what food to leave etc. Just use the magnifying glass at the top right of the screen to search for key words.
Good luck with your first sitter
Hi @CANCAN welcome to our community forum and to TrustedHousesitters it’s great to hear that you have confirmed your first sitters and it is a learning curve in the beginning.
There are many great articles on the website blog to help steer you through this first experience, like this one 10 questions to ask before your sitter arrives | TrustedHousesitters.com
Other more experienced community members will pass on their help and advice and there are many conversations on the forum around first sit experiences for sitters and owners, it’s always worth knowing this arrangement from the other side too.
When asking yourself the how, what or why, put yourself in the sitters “shoes” what would make you feel both welcome and comfortable for instance, have you provided enough information for them to know all they need to know about your pet’s needs, your expectations and your home, the welcome guide is their go to reference.
As far as how you manage the sit, this is an equal exchange arrangement and as long as everything is clear and agreed from the start then it will be a successful experience for everyone, especially your pets who are getting their very own, one to one companions.
We cannot stress enough the importance of good communication between you and your sitter so that you are all on the same page with expectations and arrangements …
Feel free to ask questions and do explore the forum …
Have a wonderful trip and welcome again.
Angela & The Team
Whichever way you decide to go, make sure you share that information in your sit listing, and with sitters already booked, so people will know what to expect.
My experience is in the U.S., where I’ve been housesitting for decades. I’ve never been asked to pay for toilet paper, even on 2-month sits or sits I was paid for. So this is the first time I’ve thought about this!
Toilet paper costs me less than $5 per month at home. I think I might feel unwelcome, or that my work with the animals was perhaps undervalued, if I was asked to reimburse the homeowner for toilet paper for a sit under 2 months.
The only reason I can think of to use paper towels at a sit is to clean the homeowner’s house or to clean up after pets… right? Maybe I’m missing something. Sitters might find it unusual to be asked to pay for a product primarily used for cleaning the homeowner’s house.
Personally, I bring my own packets of kleenex because I don’t assume the homeowner will have it in their home.
I always conserve resources and keep aware of my environmental impact, so I only ever use what I absolutely need. One roll of kitchen paper towels and one box of kleenex last me well over a month. But everyone is so different!
Of course, all sitters and homeowners have different cultural and personal norms, so as long as you’re clear about your expectations ahead of time, and the sitters agree to them, everybody’s fine!
Good luck with your first sitters, and have a great vacation!
When we lived in OZ, we subscribed to https://au.whogivesacrap.org/ & I see they’re in the US/canada so it may be an idea? There’s heaps to last at least a month or more in the boxes.
Just an idea.
I love that company!
I love WhoGivesACrap too @RunnerC. That company has been a lifesaver during all our lockdowns!
a agree with the others that i’ve never been asked to pay for paper or cleaning products and i would definitely give the side eye to any HO that asked me to do so. it would make me wonder what else they might try to ding me with. for less than a month, I would expect there to be enough of everything. for more than a month, i would not have a problem restocking my own TP. i don’t think i should ever have to buy cleaning products unless the HO leaves money for them. i shouldn’t have to pay to maintain a HOs home.
for the food stuff, if you don’t want to let them just use yours and hope that they’ll have the good sense to replace that stuff if it runs out/low, better IMO to just tell them they’re on their own for kitchen stuff. again, asking me to pay would make me give the side eye and wonder what other bills are heading my way. most HOs invite the sitters to use whatever they want with no mention of reimbursement. a box of pasta is much cheaper than paying to board your pet. most sitters I know would replace anything they use anyway, though there are some who wouldn’t, which gets mentioned here in the threads.
basically, though i’m sure you don’t mean it this way, these things come across as cheap and selfish to me and don’t really fit with the ethos of the site. if this is what you’ll want to do, you’ll want to mention it in your listing so people can self select out of applying rather than wasting anyone’s time.
As HO, I ask sitters what I should get for them, and leave them the fridge full. I buy decent wine for them, and ask them to please not raid the cellar. I would never ask for money for their shopping, and always leave them some money in case they need to buy more food for the animals, or more cleaning products.
They do need to buy their own petrol if they use our car, and they need to have either a French or international licence so I can put them on the insurance. If they can’t do that then I will want to see proof that they are insured to drive my car.
But charging a sitter for food and household supplies? Never!
When we have a new member either owner or sitter asking questions about an experience they have not yet had, ie a first sit, please consider that they might be “just asking” and try not make assumptions about the motivation behind any of the questions, even if we don’t agree and as we know sometimes the written word can be misinterpreted.
Please remember we were all “newbies” once upon a time and many of us didn’t have the benefit of being able to ask the help of fellow community members.
We can help with guidance drawing from the benefit of our experience … we don’t want any new member thinking “I wish I hadn’t asked” do we?
Hi @CANCAN , congratulations and best of luck with your first THS experience. I have never had a HO request that I replace paper products. That being said, I have never had a sit as long as a month. When I use more than one roll of a HO’s paper products, I usually leave replacements. I think it’s best not to even mention this and just to plan on providing these for your sitters. I feel the same about cleaning products, that it’s not necessary to mention them, just to let your sitters know where they are. I often use my own products anyway because I prefer them.
I have purchased laundry detergent for many of my sits as a consideration so they have enough available when they return. A good sitter will not leave the HO high and dry of supplies.
As for food, if your sitters are flying and unable to bring their own food with them, it would be nice to leave breakfast foods and let them know exactly what you have purchased just for them. After that your sitters can get to the store to buy their own food. Try to leave plenty of space in your fridge and freezer for their food. If there are perishables, such as produce, offer them to your sitters. If they do not want them, dispose of all perishable food, leftovers, anything that will spoil and that your sitters do not want to eat, before you leave. Your sitter will not want to have to clean out your fridge of spoiled food. Most HO tell me to use anything in the cupboards although I rarely do, except for some spices, condiments, sugar or flour. If I have used a noticeable amount, I buy replacements.
For me, all of this is understood without saying. If you have chosen good sitters (their reviews will tell you a lot), you will be pleased, or dare I say, overjoyed, upon your return.
I have enough to last the time I am gone, and usually leave about $50 in case they need anything while I am gone. No one uses the money but it is available should they need to. When I am sitting, I try to replenish anything I use up, including food, cleaning supplies, etc. it has never been an issue.
@temba Love WhoGivesACrap!! So did this little darling…
@Vanessa-Admin Put my order in yesterday for the one off Give Edition where the loo rolls are wrapped in Christmas paper and you can give them as a gift or re-use the paper to wrap your gifts. Great idea!
It’s very clever marketing… Pop a photo up please when you get it… would love to see that. I don’t think they deliver in France… but I’m going to check
I crinkle up the paper wrapping from the rolls and use it as crinkle ball cat toys. It’s perfect for that, and it has pretty designs!
Who Gives a Crap is the best!! Eco friendly and funny, too:)
I see it as a benefit to me if sitters have plenty of toilet paper, kitchen towels, cleaning products etc. Less chance of the wrong things being flushed, or surfaces being improperly cleaned.