Full dishwashers, washers, dryers and clothesline?

Early in my pet-sitting, I have arrived at a homeowner’s home only to find a dishwasher filled with dishes–the dishes were clean, just not put away. Disclaimer: I do not use dishwashers. If there are any dishes to be washed, I will wash them by hand. There were a few unwashed dishes left in the sink. This particular homeowner did not have dish detergent, so I purchased a small bottle of detergent / sponge and washed the few unwashed dishes. I have also arrived to find trash cans filled to the rim, or items left in the washing machine and like washing the dishes left on the counter, I took out the trash, replaced the trash liner, and washed the few items left in the washer. I have spent time cleaning up a bathroom and picking up items strewn about here and there. However, I chalked it up to no big deal and focused on the pet(s).

Hi @Lost.In.Translation What we do as pet-sitters is unconditional and self-less. If you don’t mind doing the little things with great pleasure and a caring heart, why would it matter if those didn’t value your kindness and thoughtful gestures? Doing something for someone without expecting anything in return is valuable. When you expect something in return–that is when disappointment and hurt set in.

Not everyone will react the way we would like.

If we show acts of kindness to someone (even when they don’t say thank you), be grateful for the positive impact you have had in someone’s life and the special pets you had the opportunity of caring for.


It’s very kind that you wanted to help organize things that seemed like a complete mess, your heart was in the right place but as you have experienced, it is generally best to leave things as they are. People may not like where you (or I) would place things and may feel it is an invasion of their privacy. You are far from alone in this. Anyone (maybe everyone?) who has been sitting for any length of time has a list of lessons learned like this. It would make a good book: House and Pet Sitting Lessons Learned the Hard Way. :grimacing: I remember seeing a listing where one of their sitters, who happened to be a professional interior decorator, felt she did them a favor by rearranging their furniture while they were gone. The HO came home to a different room – it was not appreciated. :open_mouth:


I can never understand how anyone would think “organising” something with or without asking or being asked , for what is a stranger essentially, would be a good idea!

1 Like

I would be furious! I wouldn’t care what the profession of the sitter is. I like my house as it is and I arrange furniture the way I like and to rearrange it is an intrusion. People may make suggestions of what might look better but please leave it up to me if I want it.

To do something like this on a sit would never even cross my mind.

What I do is move things on a kitchen counter if I find it impractical but I will put everything the way it was before the owner comes back.

I used to have a cleaning lady who loved to redecorate my things and I was happy to let her go.


I appreciate everyone’s response and thoughtful feedback. It’s always great to get other’s perspective. It was jut extremely frustrating to, yet again, walk into a situation with a full (not a few dirty dishes) dishwasher, a full (not a couple of items waiting for a larger load) washer, a packed (not a couple of items) dryer, with absolutely NO mention (either verbally or in a note) from the HO. Hence my rant. Of course we dealt with the tasks at hand and carried on with our new bosses (2 dogs and 2 cats) just like we always do.

We have done 87 house sits in 13 countries over the past 4 1/2 years and have encountered all sorts of living situations. We are extremely grateful for this lifestyle and all that comes with it, both the good and the challenging.

We always leave our HO’s with well cared for pets, an immaculate house, washed sheets and towels, re-made bed, emptied dishwasher, emptied trash bins, mowed lawns, a tidy garden, a meal/thank you gift of some sort and a thank you card as a token of our appreciation and as a kind gesture, not to receive something in return. We love what we do and we like to make people happy. We want our HOs to return home and not have to lift a finger.

Of course we clean up after the HO (dishwasher, laundry, dryer) where necessary and get on with it. Not the end of the world in the schemem of life, but a bit frustrating just the same.

Thank you again for sharing your experiences.


I find it kind of gross to wash my clothes with someone else’s clothes, that’s not something I would be comfortable with. I once had a roommate who washed my dish towels with her socks and underwear… So now I can’t even use anyone else’s dish towels ever! So gross :nauseated_face:

Seriously! Not cool at all. I would never do this in a home I was looking after and would not take kindly to it being done in mine!

Hi @Knowmad I personally think you are being gracious about the way you’ve handled this. I have no issue with the odd expectation because of circumstances or genuine oversight. That happens in life, and I get on with it and do what’s needed to be done. Sometimes I do errands or tasks that others would see as asking too much of me, but that’s my choice. However, for the situation you’ve described, where it was multiple full loads, etc., then I think the people were disrespectful. The situation you’ve outlined at the start here, where ALL of these happened on the same sit, I feel is someone taking advantage of you. Kudos to you for not being petty and ‘leaving the home as you found it’ - which is wording often seen in listings. You rose above that and that’s impressive. :clap:


@Snowbird thanks for that. It’s hard not to feel taken advantage of, but they are such a lovely couple and I don’t think they meant any ill will. They just didn’t give it any thought at all and it’s surprising how often we see this.
I was apparently at my breaking point yesterday and it resulted in a rant :grinning:


I’ve already noticed how this forum can turn to bullying in a snap on other threads. Here we are again!

First of all, I am only talking about house tasks, housekeeping and cleanliness, as I have been always thanked with much gratitude towards taking care of the pets as well as if they were my own.

For those who are so quick to judge, here is the context:
First, I’ve asked her: “Do you want some help with organizings things?”, to what she answered: “Yes, please do, I am very bad at organising.” It’s called consent! And if she said “No please leave everything as it is” instead, I would have never helped at all. How rude and intrusive is that?!

I have reorganized the kitchen and toilet’s closets, where I found food. So the only things I’ve organized are food, washing and cleaning products and other things related, by categories. Simple, intuitive and gain of space. Under no circumstancies, have I reorganized the whole flat, moved furnitures from rooms, or touched her personal belongings! How rude and intrusive is that?!

I also had to do a deep cleaning as it was a partial sit, and the previous guest were supposed to pay the maid which was not the case, so I found the flat dirty. Also found out while reorganizing that everything in the kitchen was sticky, probably because not knowing that the vent works, so I’ve cleaned all items for her. How rude and intrusive is that?!

Guess what, I did expect her to be really happy, but even thought she had a neutral reaction, whatever were her reasons (maybe she was jet lagged, maybe she did regret not saying no instead because she had her habits, …), she wasn’t angry at all.

We did talk about that later and she did understand that I was being (indeed very) kind and willing to help. This who I am as a person and as an Healthcare Professionnal. Hard for some people here to understand that though!!!

And most importantly she was happy after all I guess as she asked me to go for walks, asked me back to sit for her or to just pass by, has recommended me to her friends outsite THS. 2 have reached out to me saying that she said “everything went really well” and asked me if I was available to sit for them; one even specifying that she would pay for my services. I have done 5 sits, all 5 stars and all HOs said in their reviews that they would have me back. LOL

At what moment some of the adults here think it’s okay to start judging poorly someone, whether directly or indirectly, trying to make someone look bad, as if I trashed her place, while I am nothing else than a generous and considerate person.

This forum look like a remake of Mean Girls at times, thanks to some people here. I would have never thought that ADULTS, “sharing” the commun purpose of helping others and their love for animals and pets, could be sooooo wooooonderfull. SHAME ON YOU!

OMG I can not believe some people. We leave our home as we would except to find it. Disgusting

Admin Notice: This topic is now closed.
Thank you contributors. The point of homes being prepared to an acceptable standard of tidiness and cleanliness in preparation for a sitter’s arrival has been made here and is the message across the website and throughout member comms. We are now closing this thread to prevent any wider discussion taking it off topic.