Crisis averted here -- what did you break on a sit?

As a host, I would always prefer the sitter to be honest if something happened and we would be very forgiving. I was sad to return home and see our dining table filled with scratches - looked like when a kid has been sitting banging the cutlery into the table. Nothing was mentioned to us which made it harder to let go.


That’s inexcusable. Sorry that happened, damaged furniture is a big deal! I am also guessing, there wasn’t a kid present at that time?

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They did had a kid. I have since changed our profile to only be a single person or a couple - for other reasons too. I mean we have four pets so we aren’t too fussed about things happening but prefer honesty for sure.

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On one of my first few sits I was sitting on the couch watching the birds at the feeders on the home’s balcony. The cat came by and knocked my coffee onto the rug. She had the tail strength of a golden retriever! I did my best to get the stain out but after days of working on it the stain was still somewhat visible. I of course fessed up when the homeowner came home. Turns out the cat had done the same thing to her in a different room. I now only drink on easily cleaned flooring. Lesson learned.

So far no major problems, but we have learned to carry certain items (a pour-through coffee filter, a knife sharpener) and stop in at the local thrift store early in a sit to buy our coffee cups and sometimes pots and pans. We also take detailed photos for reference (which we delete after a sit) but we are concerned about French china that can chip even with delicate handling. Next sit I think we may buy a few plates for our use. All these purchases are inexpensive and go back to the thrift store at the end of a sit, except the coffee filter. We do have our priorities!

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Hello @AnnieNai : we do travel with 2 enamel plates and 2 cups, and few tea towels… But I forgot 1 cup in our Christmas sit… We’ll find it back next time !

@MissChef : we did break : - 1 kettle - 2 glasses - 2 cups -… always very easy to replace (except for the kettle… but it was her mother-in-law wedding present and I think the lady OH was quite happy to have a reason to get rid of it :grimacing: :grin: :grin:)

And as @Maryse said, I think we did fix more than we broke : 2 toilet seats - 1 toilet flushing - 2 door handles - 1 leaking sink…

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This was my second sit for lovely homeowners who allowed me to drive their car this sit. (Rental cars were crazy expensive at the time.) You guessed it - I accidentally backed into something (very gently), but the tail light broke.

The car was pristine and I was absolutely horrified. I didn’t want to ruin their vacation, but they weren’t coming home for a couple of weeks and I felt I had to tell them. I sent a picture with an apology note, and shared my intent to fix it. They were most gracious and even called me to let me know they only cared about their dog. Anything else could be replaced.

I ordered the part, which took several days to get shipped. The part was $250, but they misquoted me, so agreed to sell it to me at cost which was $150. The repair shop was going to charge another $100, but couldn’t get it scheduled for a month. So, I went to youtube and figured out it was an easy replacement and did the job myself.

The insisted I didn’t have to fix it, but I wanted to. It was my fault and I didn’t want them to have to deal with it financially or the trouble to repair it. I was happy to do it.

So embarrassing, though!


The first time I broke anything on a sit, in over 6 years of sitting, was the recent Christmas break. I broke two wine glasses, one each on the first two days - just knocked them off the counter. They were bog-standard glass ones so I replaced them with a set of four rather trendy square-shaped ones from the local supermarket - they didn’t have bog-standard round ones as I think they’d all been snapped up for the festivities.
My biggest disaster though was flooding the house on a sit in New York. I honestly don’t know if I was to blame although obviously I felt I had done something to cause it. It was a steam system operated from a 40+ year old boiler in the basement of the house. It needed to be drained of gunk every couple of days and then topped up with fresh water up to a certain level on the gauge. I was doing this until one day it wasn’t showing on the gauge. I went upstairs to the kitchen to report this to the owners but, while I was emailing, water started pouring out of the kitchen light fitting!!! I ran upstairs to get towels only to find that water was also gushing out of some of the radiators upstairs and downstairs. Major panic of course!!! The owners were onto it straightaway, getting the wife’s dad and a friend to come over to help out as well as arranging for a heating engineer to visit. The engineer advised turning the water supply to the heating system off but this meant that the cellar flooded with a few inches of water. Dad decided to turn the water back on to stop the flooding in the cellar - big mistake!!! This caused the water to go back through the heating system and this time it gushed out onto the dining room floor which had a gorgeous parquet floor. Anyway, long story short, it wasn’t a complete disaster in the end. The carpet was rolled back to allow the floor to remain dry and all the other bits of flooding were mopped up before the owners returned home.

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We’ve had two items break while we were on a house sit. One was a French Press which the cat broke when she jumped up on the counter but we replaced it despite it not being our fault. On another house sit I accidently knocked over a home made ornament. There was no way I could have replaced it being home made and was very apologetic. On another house sit I made the mistake of leaving out my dental mouthguard on a table and the dog chewed it. This time around it was the owners who apologized profusely and offered to pay for it but it was my fault. I was more concerned about the dog sustaining injuries after biting into but everything was good!

Oh my goodness… I’m soooo sorry you had to deal with flooding! :sob: Makes the broken stemware seem trivial doesn’t it?

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Doesn’t it just???!!!

Wow! You’re amazing! I also would have been mortified for damaging a car… good on you for being so handy!

I felt so inept, like I had to convince them I really was capable of taking great care of their dog and house.

Luckily, it was my second sit for them, so they knew I wasn’t the total loser that I felt like!

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Whilst house sitting in Greece the backs of the wing mirrors were stolen on the HO car when it was parked in a local car park, apparently these and windscreens wipers are commonly taken! I wasn’t able to get an exact replacement but got something similar. It cost 180 euro in all. The HO wanted to pay the bill but I insisted I would cover the costs.

I dropped a special cutting knife which sort of shattered in a home in Belize. The HO had gotten the knife from USA. Luckily for me the HO was actually visiting the USA so was able to bring back a replacement.

Yikes, shame about the car. What do people do, take those parts with them as they run errands?!

That sounds like it was a ceramic knife… speaking as a person who is very knowledgeable about knives, I won’t touch ceramic kitchen tools. Way too fragile and very brittle. They didn’t know you were doing them a favor :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

As an author, sometimes after a sit I leave a book for the HO. At a recent sit, I left a book on the couch next to some of the HO’s books. The dog chewed mine up (leaving the HO’s books untouched. Critics! Luckily I had nother copy I left for the HO.

Once we stained a brand new couch by touching it with our (clean) skin. The leather hadn’t been treated correctly by the manufacturer and everything we did just made it worse. Since this we like to cover leather sofas with blankets so we don’t sit on them directly. But some cats love playing under blankets and scratching everything underneath them.

I took my first flight in over 2 years ago last week for a pet sit in Colorado. Prior to that, I had been traveling by my car and would pack such things as paper cups, plastic forks, spoons, and paper plates. Bringing these items, I would not have to worry about washing dishes.

Yet, traveling by air, I did not have the luxury of bringing the aforementioned disposable items. I had to make room in my luggage for summer/winter clothes for the ever-changing weather that I would experience. During the pet sit, I had one glass that I used and handwashed it over and over without incident.

However, the day before the pet sit ended, I broke the glass I had been using. I placed the glass in dish water…walked away to do something. I came back a few moments later and added the microwave glass turntable (forgetting that I had put the glass in the dish water) and it cracked the glass. In retrospect, better the glass–than the microwave glass turntable. :rofl:

I took a picture of the glass (attachment below) and went to Wal-Mart searching for a replacement. I found something similar in color, but non-breakable. I informed the homeowner telling her that I had broken the glass and when she returned home, she saw the one I had bought. She said that, “It will be Sharon’s glass and she will enjoy thinking of me when she uses it.” :grin:

Accidents happen–I believe homeowners are generally appreciative when they are informed of said accidents.


I’m on a sit right now with white marble countertops… From a distance they look amazing, and it’s going to look GREAT in my cooking classes this week, but they’re not “sealed” and I’m horrified that I’m going to stain them or do some other kind of damage. The house is 100 years old but this couple just moved in. I mentioned it to the lady of the house before she left: I tried to let her know “gently” that these counters were kinda trashed by asking what she uses to clean them, and faux-naïvely asked, “Is that safe for unsealed marble…?”

We had the same item break on a house sit but it was the cat that broke it. The cat jumped up on the counter during the night and broke the French Press. We did manage to find the glass replacement but when we told the homeowners they said we shouldn’t have bothered replacing it but we felt obligated to.