We are sitters and have encountered this on numerous occasions and just wondered what others have experienced.
We have shown up to sits with a dishwasher full of dirty dishes needing to be run and clean dishes needing to be put away with no mention from the HO. We discover it when attempting to use the appliance. Not a huge big deal but it would be nice if it was mentioned. “Do you mind…we were in a rush”. Also, Ho’s take pot luck on where we put the clean dishes if we can’t figure our where they go.
We’ve also encountered washing machines full of dirty clothes, towels, etc. We assume dirty, but not willing to do a sniff test to confirm, so we run the washer again.
We’ve also encountered full dryers/clotheslines with clothes needing to be folded and put away…somewhere? I don’t enjoy folding my HO’s underwear, bras and clothes. We do it because, well, what else are you going to do?
I am on this particular rant because we have encountered all of this at our current sit with absolutely no mention from the HO. We don’t mind a few dishes, but to jam pack the dishwasher, washer/dryer to full capacity and expect the housitters to deal with it, with no mention, is just not nice. I would never think to leave my stuff for someone else to deal with!
HO’s, I know you are busy getting ready to go on holiday, but please take the time to unload the dishwasher/washer/dryer, or deal with your dirty clothes when you get home. Or please mention it to your housesitter and ask them if they mind doing these tasks. It’s just the respectful thing to do.
That’s definitely not the situation where we should “leave the house like you found it”!
I’ll run the dishwasher, but I’m not putting stuff away. My pet peeve is people putting stuff away that I can’t find it! My mother-in-law stayed with us for a week, and I didn’t find a lot of my stuff until we moved out of that apartment.
(Okay, yes, silverware, as a nod to @mars below )
I’m not touching the laundry though, that’s just a step beyond.
Not the ideal situation, but I wash the load of laundry (sometimes dirty stuff is not enough for a full load so the HO leaves it in the washer until there is more), fold the stuff and leave it on top of the washer/dryer or laundry table. I run the dishwasher and put away the things that obviously match other things. If I am not sure where something goes I leave it out on the counter and mention it in my parting note.
@MissChef we sit full-time and often longer term, for a month or more. Not using the aforementioned appliances is not an option for us so we have to do something with the contents.
Yeah, it’s irresponsible of the homeowner… So just leave the comments about it in your review I guess. Otherwise, perhaps they would not know that leaving housekeeping work for a sitter to do is not acceptable to most of us.
I would not fold the laundry. I hate folding laundry and it’s bad enough doing my own. I would put it in a laundry basket for them to handle when they return. We aren’t housekeepers and shouldn’t be treated as such.
I also wouldn’t wash what is in the washer as you don’t know what it is and if it might need a specific cycle. I’ve had multiple items of clothing ruined by “helpful” people who washed my clothes on my behalf.
That is not acceptable. We once arrived, after HO already left, key under mat…to find the kitchen sink full of dirty dishes. All the benchtops were full of dirty plates with caked-on food. And a pot of rotting food on the stove. Disgusting. We had to clean everything before we could even use the kitchen. We highlighted all this in our feedback, but the HO did not respond. You should definitely feedback your concerns to your HO.
To be honest , except for a sink full of dirty dishes, this does not bother me. I think, to be economical and environmentally friendly people tend not to turn dishwashers on until they are full. We never use them so if we arrive to a dishwasher that has dirty dishes in I just press the button for it to run, put them away and it is not used again during our stay.
We have arrived where there has been a couple of items in the washing machine and we just add them to our next wash - We have never arrived to a full load but if we did, we would be happy to start the washing machine
Yes, it happens, but 80-90% of the time there isn’t a single dirty or clean dish in the dish washer or any dirty laundry lying around where it shouldn’t. We are OK with doing the dishes and have even done some laundry for HOs, but we would just leave the clean laundry in a basket for them to fold / figure out. It’s just rare enough that it doesn’t bother us too much if everything else was OK, but you can always mention it to them. We have also arrived at dirty houses where a cleaner was due to arrive the next day (the HO asked us if this was OK).
This would be an extremely rare situation in my experience of 40 sits so far. If dishwashers have been going or left full after being washed the owners have told me. I’ve, on occasion, found laundry in the basket and asked the owners if they’d like me to wash it - and they’ve been very grateful. I will also iron it for them, - have the time after all- and think it’s nice for the owners to come back knowing they don’t have to do other laundry in addition to their holiday clothes. Obviously if the owners weren’t friendly I wouldn’t consider doing that but I’ve always had lovely owners.
However……if I was to arrive to a sink full of dishes I would be less than impressed and there should be no excuse for that and, yes, I would mention that in my review (once I’d been reviewed ).
Sitters, like owners, are all different and willing or not to take on these surprising extra tasks. Usually no big deal for me.
I simply fold what is left behind, and let the HO know it’s been placed on top of the dryer. Having been in the same situation, when I’m the one packing and rushing to get out the door on vacation, I realize it’s something that was obviously overlooked. They are more than thankful, and I’m pleased to help out. There is no exact science to being a HO or a sitter, we just take it for what it is…one human being helping out another.
Yes, that’s just our attitude. Sometimes I feel inclined to judge HOs more harshly but then I also see threads about sitters not remaking the bed being unacceptable to some HOs and I remind myself that I’m not perfect either. A sink full of dirty dishes would be a bit much for us, though we have also arrived at a house where the whole floor and dog bed were full of pee (and the washing machine didn’t work). Not pleasant, but it does give us some perspective and appreciation of all the super clean houses that we have sat since.
It’s interesting the different perspectives. To me, it’s no big deal. I realize we are not intended to be “maids, cooks and bottle washers” but kindness goes a long way.
Some people do not ‘measure up’ to our standards, it is still no big deal. We live and we learn. No need to criticize. In fact I have been on sits where I have cleaned and done the laundry (my choice on long term repeat sit) and the HOs were taken aback by it and have said please do not do that again and so I don’t. it’s no big deal.
We need to remember that we are in another’s home, this is their space, not ours.
I agree with all of the comments but would have to add that this instances are rare in my house sitting experiences.
Maybe it is rare because I don’t choose any sittings where there are young children. It must be so difficult preparing for a sitter and on the whole these instances are usually where there are children in the household
I didn’t know but it turns out it is a year today that I joined the group
Yet again a very concise and sensible reply. We have exactly the same attitude. If it needs done we do it. It doesn’t take much effort to fill the dispenser and push a few buttons.
I do agree finding where the dishes live is sometimes hard so I’m likely to put them in any cupboard then to them back out and leave them on the counter top as we leave.
“Into each life a little rain must fall”
As a HO, I would NEVER leave my dishwasher or washing machine full before going away. I also offer to leave a meal for my sitters as they’ve often travelled a long way to get to me.
And BRAVO! Wish all HO’s were so sensible, considerate and respectful… How refreshing!
If there are little things to do on arrival, I don’t mind. I give a helping hand with a good heart and great pleasure. I washed the hosts personal laundry, the dogs belongings, vacuumed the cats tree and have always left the homes very clean, if not immaculate, with bed linen and towels already washed and hanging on the rack or in the dryer, even when not asked.
One time, I even helped out a host with organizing things that needed to be organized. It was my way to thank her (that and offering her a gift) for entrusting me right away with her pet and home for 9 weeks, as she gave me her keys even prior confirming on the platform. I’ve done it for free, in a quasi-professional manner, as I would have only done for a family member or dear friend. Well, never do this btw, even if the person tells you enthusiastically “yes, please do, I am very bad at organizing things”, LOL. In the end, I learned a magnificent life lasting lesson of ingratitude!
Unfortunately some people are just good at being silent or not valuing these kind and thoughtful gestures… So I’ll be more careful to whom I land a hand, in order to avoid being disappointed and hurt; raise my expectations and value my worth accordingly to the quality of care I genuinely offer. Just wanted to share my experience.