HO arrives home 24 hours early

We have good reviews - one HO even said that we left her house tidier than she did - we spend the last morning or evening making sure that everything is pristine and in its place. During the time that we are ‘sitting’ however we may not be as tidy - on our last sit we had had breakfast, sat around reading the paper, fed the animals and then went out for a drive and an early lunch. We had not washed breakfast pots or tidied but we would have done that as part of our leaving routine. When we go back HO was there and had washed up and tidied - this was embarrassing all round and she insisted that she had said that she was returning on that day. Naturally booking on website shows that she was wrong but it is not how we would have liked to end what was a fantastic ‘sit’. Does everyone else keep the homes immaculate throughout their time?

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Oooh - awkward. And no, we don’t keep the house pristine when we’re on a sit. It would be impossible to relax if we kept it to that standard. We always reserve several hours before leaving to make sure it’s ticky-boo but if a HO arrived home before that… :flushed:
Sorry that happened to you.

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Hi @anniepa - That is not good that the HO arrived home early.
I have already mentioned on another thread that some HOs say in their listing that they want their house to be kept tidy at all times and I wonder why if they are not there and you leave it clean and tidy when you leave.
I don’t like to live immaculately - that is not a home. Also, there is nowhere to put all of your “stuff” so some of your belongings/food have to be left out.
One hint that I have learned - never leave it till the last day to mop floors or hoover carpets incase you don’t know how to work them and have to ask!
I do hope that she leaves you a decent review.

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Yikes, that would be awful. I keep the house much tidier than I do at home, but there’s no way that it would be perfect every moment. We always spend the last day before they arrive home doing a thorough clean so if they came back a day early, they would be much more likely to find it was not ready. I certainly hope they don’t give you a poor review for that!

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My worst nightmare. I’m a bit of a tidy freak and try to keep the place tidy but yes, if the dogs want walked before I load the dishwasher they get walked.
Obviously, there’s always stuff lying around, there’s no place to keep it. Ask them what their hotel room looks like after a fortnight?

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We are somewhat OCD, so we usually keep things tidy and organized. Don’t think we would have too much of a problem with a HO coming home early, but one never knows what circumstances my effect that.

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I try to double check with the HO about when they are planning to return just to be sure.
And good HOs are clear. Just got a text from the HO for the sit I’m on now letting me know they wouldn’t be home until Sun evening - which is fine. We had talked about a ride to the airport, but letting me know in plenty of time to make arrangements to take BART.

We are a bit OCD as well and never leave the house without kitchen and counters cleaned up, bed made and I generally vacuum daily.

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Welcome to the community @anniepa
and @Knowmad … Hope you both enjoy your time here connecting with our friendly members!

We are similar to others… we like to be comfortable but always keep on top of clearing up. We’ve had a few early returns so I do my big clean the day before now so it’s easy to keep on top of stuff on the last day :slight_smile:

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Oh, how awkward. We keep the house tidy during our sits but not as tidy as it is when we leave, we are living there after all!

That is such a nightmare, I would have felt so uncomfortable in your shoes. We came very close to that situation once, it was the day before we were supposed to leave a sit and the homeowner messaged to say that she would be home that evening. This was late in the afternoon. A quick check of the site showed she had input the dates we were going by and she was very apologetic, offering to put us up in a friends AirBnb for the night, but we decided to leave and get a hotel closer to the airport as we were flying out the next day anyway. Despite the abrupt ending, it was a great sit with lovely animals and we would sit for her again any time!

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Hi @anniepa ,
I think that’s a horrid thing to do and has put you in such an awkward position. Of course she knew when she was due home because she wrote the listing.
We all aim to leave our sits in excellent order but we should be free to relax and not have to live in ‘show home’ conditions whilst enjoying the pets and location.
When I start a sit I close all the doors to the areas that do not apply to me or the pets. Then before I leave I start at the furthest point and clean my way to the door. Hubby loads the car.
If the HO arrived directly after breakfast there would be breakfast things on the table. If they arrived home in the middle of the night the bed would have not been made. Arriving before they were expected has simply set you up for a fall however she words it. I do not believe it was unpremeditated.
Perhaps your feedback should reflect that HO came home a day early whilst you were walking the dogs and before you had a chance to do your final deep clean. This would at least put your side over before they said anything and possibly warn others of the possibility that it may also happen to them

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Oh no! - That is really awkward. Hand on heart, we are not the tidiest people, and find living out of a suitcase doesn’t help. We always spend the last day doing a thorough clean and homeowners always come back to a home that is as clean or more often cleaner than they left it. However, we too would be caught out if they decided to come home a day early unannounced!

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Oh no! That’s probably my worst nightmare! I actually remember dreaming about that a couple of times when we were housesitting for a couple of “clean freaks” owners (they actually called themselves that hahahaha). I imagine how awkward it must have been for you, especially because she had done the dishes, and I really hope the HO leaves a good review because that kind of “mess” you left it’s just what it means living in a house (and actually it was nothing serious really) I usually ask the HO for a text message before getting home, also to make sure I’ll be there to receive them (I could be out food shopping or walking the dogs as it happened to you) but she definitely made a mistake with the dates and she should have at least apologized for that.

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Oh no, very awkward indeed! We always clean really thoroughly before leaving, but if a HO were to arrive a day early it would not be pristine, it would be a bit “lived in”. There are 4 of us and 2 of them are 12 and 10! They are great at helping with the hoovering, but not amazing at keeping all their clothes in one place!

Welcome @anniepa! I am so sorry you had this most-feared experience! This almost happened at my last sit. It was late in the evening when the HO said she may come home early the next morning. We were in a state of panic, not knowing what to do first.
I couldn’t deal with it at that moment, so just went to bed and prayed for the best. Thankfully, she postponed her return a day so there was time to get the house in order. From now on I will do all the heavy cleaning two days ahead. The linens and towels can’t be laundered until we have used them for the last time, so we’re stuck there. I do not ever leave dirty dishes in the sink but leave the plates and silverware, glasses and mugs we use out on the counter to dry after each use. They’re clean but the place looks cluttered. I am very tidy and clean at home but as others have said, there is no place to put all your stuff in someone else’s house so it’s out everywhere. If I’m going to prepare any food, I will also get it done one or two days prior to the HO’s arrival. I hope she leaves you a decent review. Let us know.

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Pfff… it was rude in any case not to send you a text stating her time of arrival, as most owners will. So much more comfortable for everyone!
As for us, we keep the house tidyish and clean, but it looks lived-in, which is only natural. And like everyone here we do a deep clean- preferably the day before to avoid last-minute surprises -and if we can find a spot ( kitchen cupboard, window, patio etc) that we can leave cleaner than we found it, all the better for our sense of pride!

Hi anniepa. How very awkward and embarrassing to find the HO at the house when you returned from your drive. I hope you reminded her that the date on her listing did not match up with her return. We are not clean freaks, far from it, but do try to restrict which parts of the home we frequent. So we keep doors to some rooms shut other than for cleaning or if the animals are used to using them. We try to do the “big” clean the day before and leave the last minute items such as laundry for the day of. I would mention in your review that the HO arrived a day early without notice. Your previous good reviews should speak for you

I am writing this as a HO. We do not keep our big old house immaculate, I resent time spent cleaning when I could be doing more interesting things!! We do have a lovely cleaner who comes in onece a week, and she usually does an extra bit before we have sitters due :rofl: I certainly would always prefer people to be comfortable while staying in our home, and would far rather sitters spent time with the dogs and enjoying their time here, than cleaning the house! Furthermore I would never dream of returning unannounced, even when returning on the correct day I always communicate our ETA to the sitters.
Hopefully your next sit will be a better experience…

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My motto is “If the HO came home early or showed up unexpectedly, I won’t be embarassed.” Which means that house is in order - maybe not perfectly clean but not looking like a frat house either - and the dishes are at least stacked neatly in the sink if we haven’t had time to finish cleaning up.

I’m not a clean freak, but I do like things tidy and my husband is pretty good about that. We, like others, do the big clean the day before the HO is due.

After a house sit last week in which there was considerable confusion created by the HO who changed dates several times, I now intend to get it crystal clear when they are leaving and when returning.

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