Cleaning before departure

Hello fellow sitters and homeowners! We will be completing our second sit shortly and I am curious about the level of cleaning you do before leaving. My motto is generally to leave it as I found it, or a bit better. I strip the bed and wash sheets and towels. This particular homeowner said not to worry about changing the sheets. They left clean ones so I would at least remove. What do others appreciate and/or do?

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I always wipe down the bathroom and kitchen counters really good, and make sure anything I used is clean and put away. If I’m watching cats, I sweep or vacuum around their litter boxes as it gets a little gritty. Take all my trash and recycling out. And I always wash the sheets and towels and leave it all exactly as I found it.

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That sounds like what I would do. Thank you! It is also a short sit (four days). Definitely getting rid of rubbish and the recycling makes sense. As well as cleaning the loo. I would not want to leave without doing that!

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As you say, I leave it as I found it or better if necessary. Clean where you’ve been, I don’t generally clean the rooms I haven’t been in. Definitely give the kitchen and bathroom a good clean, fridge and oven. Make sure all rubbish is out. I will wash sheets and towels and remake bed if there’s time. If no time the least I’d do is strip the bed. I usually get milk and bread in.

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I think you already nailed it, we do the same. We also clean everything related to the animal: bowl, water fountain, doggy towels etc. We don’t remake the bed (not all HOs use the same sheets as us and often we’re in the guest room anyway) and rarely get food (unless maybe it’s a long weekend where all stores are closed and we know their preference).

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Think the other answers pretty much cover it.
As regards the bed linen, you have been told not to change the bed so don’t. I have been a sitter for a few years and I always ask the owners what they want me to do about the bedding and towels. I follow their wishes.
I recently had my first sitter and I asked her to strip the bed and leave the sheets and towels in a pile. When I came home she had washed them all. I was quite annoyed that she hadn’t done as asked because I had my reasons for making the request.
In her review I mentioned that she left the place spotless and even washed the sheets although I had told her not to. I actually put that in the review to warn other owners, not to praise her. I did still give a 5 star review because it was a seemingly minor thing but my reasons for it were important to me.
I find the majority of owners tell me to just leave the bed as is, or strip it, I am rarely asked to launder the bedlinen. I think it’s because owners don’t want to be coming home to washing hanging on the line, or indoor airer, when they want to get on with their holiday laundry.

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A great title about cleaning.
There is a very busy thread headed “Sheets and towels” - use the magnifying glass to search for it.
May I ask members to read that before making any more comments on sheets and towels as it covers everyone’s views and I feel that it has now been done to death - in my opinion!!

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HI everyone and thank you @Itchyfeet for bringing member’s attention to sheets and towels, the topic can be found here forum.trustedhousesitters.com/t/sheets-and-towels in fact this is one of the topics with the highest engagement. Who would have thought that there would be a LONG conversation on the subject :wink:

We were going to merge your comment with “Sheets and Towels” @Rosalie but gave your comment its own space so that members can talk about general cleaning tasks and not focus on beds and bedding.

If this topic gets overloaded with comments about bedding we will merge …

Thank everyone … and enjoy your clean conversation. :smiley:

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I would wash the bed linen, even if told to just strip the bed, as long as I’ve the time to dry and iron them and hopefully remake the bed as it was. I think most people say to just strip the bed as they don’t want to put the sitter out. If I ever sit for you I will follow your instructions to the letter :wink:

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We have also been told occasionally that cleaning during our sit isn’t necessary (even though we staid 2+ weeks). We didn’t take that instruction literally, of course :). But I will keep in mind that some people really don’t want the bed sheets washed.

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@Smiley I can understand why sitters might think they are doing the owner a favour, especially in the absence of any specific instructions, but when given specific instructions it would be good to follow them.
I had actually messaged while I was away to tell her and even messaged my neighbour (who was in contact with her) to pass on the same information in the event that the sitter didn’t see my message.
I think I might have phoned her as well I know I certainly thought about it. :thinking:

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Hi Angela. Thanks for the link. When I clicked on it, though, it said I was denied access. I will discuss cleaning other than bedding here. Thanks again.

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I was told the same at a recent sit but was asked to wash the sheets and towels after their Airbnb guests had left the cottage nearby! Needless to say, I did wash my bedding and it was much appreciated although I did explain that washing the Airbnb bedding wasn’t really part of my ‘job’! :joy:

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I wouldn’t be game for that either! I am happy to clean up after myself. And do a bit extra. But I do see some requests from HOs that I find a bit out of line. I see house-sitting as a mutually beneficial arrangement.

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Hi @Jilly, would it perhaps be an idea, for your next sitter experience, to take a moment to explain to the sitter WHY you ask them not to launder their sheets? I find it so much easier to accept a ‘somewhat’ strange request if I understand the rationale behind it, e.g. you might have other specific items you wish to wash with the laundry load, so please leave it. Or, you use special chemicals for laundry only. Or water saving, or load saving, or you wish bedsheets to be done at 60degrees but all other things on a quick cycle, so no need to wash until there is a max load available etc. etc. I am frugal and in my mind, I am always interested in other people’s way of handling daily tasks with frugality… Probably, like most others here, I feel very uncomfortable leaving bedsheets unwashed for the owner. One HO made it clear that she had a weekly/fortnightly laundry service (as part of her Airbnb) so it was easy to comply then. Just a thought.

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Hi @Rosalie. I think maybe @Angela-HeadOfCommunity meant to include this link, not the other one.

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@botvot thanks for the suggestion. I am going to add it into my welcome guide for future sitters and I will reinforce it verbally as well, although I don’t really see the need to explain why. I never queried owners that I sat for as to why they didn’t want me to wash their bed linen I just did as they requested.
It really shouldn’t be an issue, I have learnt from the first experience that some things need to be over emphasised.

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Hi try this one the other one was broken … sorry about that.
http://forum.trustedhousesitters.com/t/sheets-and-towels

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Thank you, Angela.

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Jilly, I think it could possibly be that sitters think you just don’t want to inconvenience them as they are getting ready to leave. Many sitters pride themselves on leaving the home as they found it with sheets washed and beds made and will go out of their way to keep those standards. Obviously that works best in homes with clothes dryers.
Maybe if it was phrased more that it is your personal preference for sitters not to do that they would totally comply.

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