Cleaning by owner pre sitter arrival

I’ve just been reading @Angela-CommunityManager cleaning list for sitters to do before leaving a house. I’m not sure about ‘Spring cleaning’ someone’s house - that’s going a bit far and could offend - however I agree with most of the cleaning, basically cleaning the areas where a sitter had been and the pets. Leaving it as clean, or cleaner, than arrival.
I’m just wondering if there is a similar list available to home owners to adhere to before us sitters arrive? I would hope so….


Hi @Smiley perhaps we should look at the copy, “Spring Cleaning” can mean different things to different folks, it certainly doesn’t mean a sitter has to “clean the shower with a toothbrush” it really is a reminder to leave the home in as good, if not better, way that it was found … all of my reviews say “our home was cleaner than when I left it” (as I’m sure many other sitters reviews say the same)

Yes there is an owner version of this on the blog … and many other useful articles, check it out if you haven’t already …

Owner Cleanliness Checklist |

I will bring up “Spring Cleaning” with Danielle our Content Manager, thank you @Smiley & @mars


This has been mentioned before. Members of the forum suggested the wording be changed long ago, although I can’t locate this post on a search. Spring cleaning can mean washing all the windows, cleaning baseboards, washing curtains, cleaning rugs, etc. Most people will realize this is not what THS means by “spring cleaning,” but the copy should be changed to make this clear.


“Spring cleaning” to me includes going through my closets, drawers, pantry, and cabinets to get rid of stuff I don’t use or need.


Hi @Smiley, I’m assuming that’s the email some sitters receive just prior to leaving the sit. As @mars has mentioned it has been raised before and I was under the impression the wording was to have been changed. Obviously not. As to your question re home owners having a similar list, @Angela-CommunityManager mentions the link on the blog for home owners which means no, they do not receive a similar email specifically setting out preparation for their sitter as far as I’m aware.


Hi @temba I mention a link to the blog as both lists are available on the blog and all members get the same pre sit emails …

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My thoughts are the same as yours and Katie’s. I will clean up after myself and maybe a little extra if I notice it is needed. I’m not doing “SPRING cleaning” to the extent that I would do it at my own home, but I do pay more attention to detail cleaning on the things that I do clean. The microwave that belongs to the HO I just left today hasn’t been that clean since the day it left the factory, I guarantee :bangbang: :grin:

I don’t think I’ve seen anything defined as to what the homeowner is entitled to expect besides “housesitting” and “petsitting”.

I think the definition of houseitter is someone who is there just to care for the house, pick up the mail, receive packages, water interior house plants, maybe watering a few in planters outside, and making sure everything is copacetic in the house.

Pet sitting means giving the very best care to the pets, keeping them safe, keeping the house clean from the pets, and taking care of any medical requirements if there’s an emergency.

Neither of those definitions includes weeding a flower bed or mowing a lawn, for that you hire gardener. (Same with shoveling snow.) Neither of those definitions includes administrative handling of mail or packages, or running errands, You need to hire a personal assistant.

Especially with regard to shorter sits, like 2 weeks or less, at some point, it seems like you’d cross a threshold where it would be appropriate to offer a rate card for what you would be willing to do and what compensation you should get for it.


Thanks for the clarification @Angela-CommunityManager. I’m thinking the email must go to a random sampling of sitters and owners as I have never received it as a long time sitter and also owner.

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I would agree that spring cleaning is the wrong term to use. For me spring cleaning means pulling literally everything out, wiping down insides of cabinets, getting rid of any outdated food, or unneeded items, and basically doing a super deep clean - which is why it only happens once a year. No sitter should be doing that and no owner should expect it.


I think that it’s OK for a sitter to undertake routine home maintenance tasks that the HO would do during that time - mowing, snow shovelling, and other time-sensitive routine tasks. This should be noted in the initial listing, so that anyone not comfortable with the tasks can refrain from applying.

As regards cleaning - I agree that the term “spring-cleaning” is ambiguous, especially when dealing with people of many cultures and varying English language skills.

The level of cleaning will depend on the length of the sit also. If a sit is just for a few days, I wouldn’t dust pictures, clean an oven that I didn’t use, vacuum unused rooms, etc. However, if I was staying for a few months, my cleaning would be much more thorough.

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Hi everyone we will get the “Spring Cleaning” reference removed. I have sent a message to our Content Manager who will take care of this when she is back after the weekend … thank you @Smiley (and everyone else) for bringing this … back … to our attention, I say back as seemingly it’s been raised before.

It’s all about communicating in the right way … thank you all for the feedback :pray: :slightly_smiling_face:


Thanks Angela as always, not sure what we’d do without you tbh!

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2 posts were merged into an existing topic: Sheets and towels

Spring cleaning to me suggests "deep cleaning " I suppose it would depend on length of sit. For a short sit seems a bit demanding or over the top.

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Hi @Catgoddess_99 I hope my previous comment addresses your concern

I would never vacuum rooms I haven’t been in


Im the same. I just did a house sit on the weekend and didn’t go into the master bedroom and ensuite so left that. I vaccuumed anywhere I went into.

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i only do it if it’s a long sit as dust can accumulate even if you’re not using the room. I did a 2.5 month sit once so I vacuumed all of the house vs just the rooms I used. but in general I very specifically limit myself to using only specific rooms so i limit the amount of cleaning that needs to be done.

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I agree that the length of the sit is usually the deciding factor. We recently did a longish one (7 weeks) and aside from the usual vacuuming and dusting, I also changed the sheets in the master bedroom (which we didn’t use). I felt a bit funny, being in the owners space, but the cats had slept on the bed most days so I thought fresh sheets might be nice for the HO.

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I wouldn’t want someone to launder/change sheets in a bed to which they did not have access–not just b/c they no one needs to do that, but b/c that’s stepping over a line, imo.