Disappointing start

Thank you @belluca, Betty was so special. I am working the video now to help future sitters!


Hello everyone, I don’t want to stop the flow, but just a reminder out of respect to the OP and those who have commented this thread is heading a little off-topic - ‘Disappointing start ’.

You can comment on the new review system here and there is previous information sharing why the owner’s categories were not launched along with the new review system and that the owner’s categories are currently being worked on. Please feel free to jump on and join the discussion there. Thank you.

2 posts were merged into an existing topic: New review system - Mega thread

Oof. I feel your pain. Our second sit ever was filthy- also only 3 days… but what a painful three days. Thankfully that’s been the only one like that and we’ve had mostly wonderful sites. A few pointers moving forward:

  1. Definitely make sure the listing has pictures- more specifically- if the listing isn’t new, and it’s been awhile since a review was written, you might ask for updated photos….

  2. It’s worth noting if the word clean is used in past reviews- more specifically- if you never see the word clean mentioned, that might be a clue to use step 3

  3. Don’t be afraid to ask- we word it like this “we like to ask a little about cleanliness expectations/habits- we’re not super particular or high maintenance, but we are clean and just like to ask/check on this for aligning expectations”


If you feel this is truly a sitter beware issue, then I say it is an appropriate example of why blind reviews are needed.

One of my sits did not meet my high cleanliness standard but I know reasonably it was not a sitter beware situation either.

Except photos can be deceiving. They could have used them from the first moment they moved in and set everything perfect but they dont keep it up that way. I am at a very cluttered, messy house right now. I would say its also not the cleanest and not what I had hoped for at all. My point is that photos and or interviews are not indicative of how the people actually treat their home on an every day basis.


This is exactly what I would have done. I considered it a good investment in time rather than spending the following days cringing. .

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Sorry to hear you’ve had a bad experience. I’m an owner, and we invariably run out of time and have to leave some things undone. But there’s no excuse for the kind of thing you’re talking about. My ironclad rules include a professional clean before the sitter arrives, and stripping the bed. If I don’t have time to actually make up the bed, I leave the folded clean sheets on it.

This is exactly what happened to me when accepting a sit on another site several years ago. I only realised upon arrival at the horribly grimy property that the photographs in the advert were ‘too good to be true’ estate agent images, from when the couple first moved into the home. A lesson learned - I’m much more circumspect now, and can usually easily spot the ads with the shiny estate agent pics. That is a red flag for me to wonder why the HO chooses not to use images of their ‘everyday’ living environment.

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Thank you @belluca !

This can certainly be true. I am just sharing my own personal experience that the photos of the home are almost always an accurate representation of what it actually looks like and how clean it is.

Oh boy, I’m sorry. How to deal? Just as you did. Clean up, get through it the best you can, and learn from the experience.

I am much better now about scrutinizing listing photos and asking for a video tour. If an HO can’t be bothered to tidy up for these circumstances, the sit is guaranteed to be worse. It’s like dating. The first impression is usually the best you’ll get.

Stay the course, take good care for the pets, and leave the house better than you found it. Hopefully you’ll get a 5 star review for your efforts.

We have been so lucky. All the sits we have done the homes have been spotless and we of course let it in the same condition.
Do not get discourage it is not the norm

I was at a sit that was supposed to be for three weeks, but four days into it, I pulled the pin and looked for something else, because of a similar situation. Filthy microwave and oven, blood stained bedding, bags of dog food in every available space by the toilet and utility area, spiders and spider webs by the toilet, and vanity-the list goes on and on. I don’t know how long your sit is for, but i’d be looking for somewhere else, then tell the HO owner you’re leaving and why, and then make a formal complaint to THS, because of the unbearable living conditions,which by-the-way, contravenes their own policy, whereby the HO is supposed to supply a clean and tidy house, for a sitter, which clearly this is not. How disgraceful and totally disrespectful for the hO to give you such a disgusting house to look after. These HO’s who do that, should be totally ashamed, and struck off the THS site.


@Marcus I’m so sorry and hope that you’ve had better sits since then. Sadly, this is how we all learn to set our bar. I learned this prior to TH life, as a private sitter, but still - since being a local sitter, I get to do a Meet & Greet and assess whether or not I want to live in the home, it’s a bit easier to filter out. On TH, however, we only apply to sits that have beautiful photos of the home AND we request a video tour on the video chat to ensure the home matches the photos for the most part insofar as cleanliness goes.

If cleanliness is high on your list of priorities like it is ours, I would:
-mention it in your profile and application
-request a video home tour
-only apply to sits that look tidy and clean

Oh and I always bring my own set of sheets!! Even if it is a clean house, it’s proven helpful on various occasions!

Set your bar high and keep it there!
There are many beautiful homes that are well kept, with wonderful HOS. I understand the ptsd factor - I’ve had it too and that’s what made me do everything I could to not have those same experiences again.

Carla, Just an observation, off topic. I noticed you refer to the “OP” which I’m assuming is the owner parent. It’s far down the list of topics, but I’m wondering if “THS” could come up with an official list of abbreviations we could be using to eliminate confusion? HO, HS, PP, OP, TH, THS? I’ve seen several variations over the years. I guess I’m a Sitter, with a capital S.

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OP is general online lingo that’s been used for decades in forums, at least English-language ones — it means “original post” or “original poster.”


Oh, how embarrassing, I didn’t know…

Don’t be embarrassed. Plenty of folks don’t know, because they don’t necessarily frequent forums much.


You can also report listings using real estate photos to support for investigation

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