Nervous my house won’t be nice enough…

Hi, I’m hoping to post my first sit soon (once I get the pictures needed) and I’m super nervous that my house won’t be nice enough for the sitters to accept my request.

My house was built in the 50s and is not in the best shape. And I’m a pretty cluttered person, unfortunately. My house will never be air b&w pretty. It’ll be clean, but it’ll still probably be cluttered.

So I guess my question is, just how clean and organized does my house need to be?

I’m not overly worried about my cats, they’re adorable and everyone loves them. But I am incredibly nervous about a sitter being horribly disappointed in my house.

As a new sitter I think honesty is the key- somebody who (like me) likes a minimalist home for myself might pass, but others who like a more cluttered home for themselves would feel very relaxed with yours. We all have a preferred style of living- discomfort only arises where there’s a mismatch due to a lack of genuine disclosure and discourse. I have a friend who feels uncomfortable at my home due to it being ultra modern and pristine…. but our old house was more cluttered being a large busy family home. We all go through different stages of home making. I think bathrooms/kitchens/guest bedroom do need to be super clean to show respect to the sitter but as to style that’s very much personal taste.
It might be worth getting a cleaner to do a few hours for you prior to a sit if you’re at all concerned about your first time as an HO and adding this into your description.


Those should also be uncluttered, at least have free surfaces and some empty shelf space.


Well in our old house the kitchen was very cluttered, shelves with horse photos on and old horse bits hanging from hooks, a collection of old horse shoes, a large window sill with multiple pottery bottles dug up from the ancient garden, lots of fossils and geological specimens…. all clean but very much part of our style of living in a 400 year old Barn. I don’t believe we would ever have cleared all this away for house guests or when we ourselves had sitters (for our horses).
It really is about style of living, and nowadays we live in a minimalist way having spent 2 years getting rid of 90% of our ‘stuff’ but we never judge others we are simply selecting/applying for sits according to the style of how we wish to live now.


If I am supposed to use a kitchen, I want some space.

But some people have stacks with 40 plates, all the way up to the next shelf. Fragile coffee mugs and tea cups everywhere, also on the kitchen sink, it is almost unavoidable not to break things. And it is a lot of unnecessary work to clean at the end.


@NinaRose It sounds like you care because you are concerned about your sitters impression. That is already a good sign!
Its important you show your home truthfully. Make the pictures as good and clear as you can. If cluttered is just your style others who have a similar style will be attracted. Personally I don’t like clutter- having lived a nomadic lifestyle for many years my husband and I have become used to the concept of ‘less is more’
What is super important for us is that the home should be very clean- especially bathroom, kitchen & bedroom. And if you can clear some space in these places for sitters stuff that will be very much appreciated. Also space in the fridge & freezer and please clean the fridge & clear out rotten food! It happens so often that one or other of these basic criteria are missed that its worth mentioning especially since you are asking for tips.
I saw a listing yesterday where the pictures were so appalling I’d be surprised if anyone at all applies!! Everything messy and in complete disarray, unmade beds, dogs in crates looking sad, toilet seat up(:woozy_face:) & toilet paper hanging out of the bin… etc etc A first time host. I was seriously tempted to write to her and tell her what a poor impression her pictures made- but in this case I could not make contact as THS informed me ‘You are busy on another sit’


Best to speak openly with the sitters. (Especially if you assure them that you won’t expect them to do a 5 star deep clean at the end of their sit. )

I’m a sitter and some clutter doesn’t bother me. I often feel more relaxed knowing that the owners are relaxed and not obsessed with cleaning/tidying or having the house look like a show room.

Some people are very fastidious though, so the main thing is that you find a good match.


Also clutter is different to dirt. If you have a comfy, lived in house it can still be clean and welcoming. Yes to shelf space, clean kitchen and bathrooms & minimal cat hair but don’t stress @NinaRose as there’s a sit for everyone. Just make sure to close the loo seat in your pics and take nice, bright images and lots of them :raised_hands:t3::raised_hands:t3:


We’re sitters, and as long as it’s clean, we really don’t care. The fact you are asking means you are a sweet person, believe me, it’s just as much about the pet owners as it is about the pets, and you sound like a nice caring person, so sitters will feel connected to you for that reason, as well as liking the look of your pets.

It’s about the place as a whole, whether that’s your location, your home, your garden, your pets, you yourself, or whether our family lives near by. We’ve sat in tiny one bed flats, and huge houses with land. We like a mix for different reasons, the lived-in-look wouldn’t put us off, and there are a lot of sitters like us on here.


Why do you like your home? Are there interesting architectural features? Is it cosy? Is there a nice garden? Is the neighbourhood interesting? As long as things are clean and the basic amenities are usable, I love places with a bit of character that the owners have made a home. Transparency (without being overly self-deprecating!) is key.


Sitters are individuals, with individual preferences, so you should be able to find a match. Just be transparent and clear with your listing and photos, so you don’t end up with a mismatch and potentially get dinged in your reviews.

Personally, I dislike clutter and value cleanliness, so prioritize sits accordingly.

Clutter tends to make it harder to clean thoroughly.

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I feel you. I have a small apartment in an old building with no modern amenities, and when I first joined got so psyched out by the magazine-perfect million dollar homes available in my city that I got a friend to do my first sit instead, convinced no one would ever want to stay here.

So I created a profile that is really honest about the strengths and challenges of my place. I have lots of photos that accurately represent how I would leave the space for a sitter - clean and relatively organized, but also, how I actually live here. And I make sure to leave plenty of space for a sitter’s things, even moving some of my things into storage for longer sits.

5 successful sits later and I’m a lot more confident about my listing and what I have to offer - there are plenty of sitters out there who will never apply, and that’s totally ok with me. THS is about finding the right match - your people are out there, just just need to figure out how to craft a profile that will call them to you!


Clutter can be a range from more clutter than your sister-in-law is comfortable with to complete hoarder, and different people have different comfort levels. If you have boxes or cartons stacked, some people will be put off, but others might not care. If you have boxes blocking entries or partially blocking and it’s a tripping hazzard, that’s another matter.

Some people really like minimalism and may be disappointed with many of the homes on the site. Personally, I like seeing how other people live, so if clutter is a matter of too much stuff and being overly decorated, I don’t live that way (anymore) but it doesn’t bother me if it is tidy, clean, and not a tripping hazzard. Your photos will reveal all.

Note: I stayed at a lovely home where the owner went overboard with seasonal decorations. Not my thing, but I really enjoyed it!

Your home photos on the listing should give people a good idea and you can also do little video tours on chat. A home can be clean and even tidy and still have a lot of stuff.

Frankly, I think for many sitters it’s a combo of things with location being big on most people’s list. Someone could have a beautiful stylish home, modern and minimalist, with a cleaner coming once a week, and easy pets, but if it is in a location that is not where I want to be, I’m not going.


I can’t add any more than has already been said several times.
I would recommend that you post your listing here so we can give you feedback as to whether we think your house is attractive to sitters.
Here’s how to add your listing:

As a sitter, thank you for caring :hugs:


Sitters who find your house, location, dates, and pets/care desireable will apply. If all these factors are highly undesirable, then you wont get sitters applying. Trial and error.

If you are downtown London, UK in peak tourist season with cats, you may get 5 applicants instantly (within minutes). It wont matter much if your house “isnt good enough”.

A good picture of the bedroom, kitchen, living area will make it easy for sitters to make a decision. We do this VERY FAST! Link your post to your profile and you will see!

Please don’t worry. There are +100,000 sitters. SOMEONE somewhere will think your home is perfect for them. Good luck.


The pictures of a home/ pets are actually the last thing I look at. The stars certainly have to align for me. Dates , lenght of sit, and location being most important for me to even read a sit. I then look at the type of animals. I then google map the area and if it seems like an option, I read about the sit and look at the photos last. Having stuff doesn’t bother me, it can even be interesting but I would be turned off by photos showing cluttered counters and tables. Sorry but I would just think cooking and eating areas couldnt be cleaned properly. You aren’t in competition for the biggest newest house. By the time sitters look at your photos, your sit has already caught their attention. Doing some decluttering / organizing would be helpful.

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The most, er… interesting ‘clutter’ I’ve come across so far on a sit were boxes containing the ashes of previous pets stacked up on the kitchen window sill! All neatly labelled as to who was who, but dating back a good few years.


So many good answers here already, but I can really relate so I’ll pitch in my two cents worth! Our house is quite small and about 35 years old. We had renters for much of that time so it’s not in pristine shape and was a very basic house from the get go. I was so nervous about our first sitters and spent a lot of time on the “welcome guide” and cleaning. We chose one room for storing extra things that helped free up space for the sitters (decluttered the bedroom and the bathroom so they would have room for their own things) and then locked it. In the end, when I asked the sitters’ advice, she said (in a personal email, not on the THS feedback) that it could have been cleaner, but otherwise had no complaints. I’m more careful about deep cleaning things like the dishwasher before I leave now but I haven’t had anything but positive feedback having had several sitters. I think as long as you do your best to be honest (“older home”, “rustic”, “small”), it will be ok with the sitters who choose to apply. You can also always double check regarding their expectations when you meet them online. Best of luck to you!!


With over 75 sits, I’ve had all kinds. The only really unpleasant house was not quite clean and very cluttered. It was during Covid but the weather was good and the dog and I spent a lot of time at outdoor coffee shops and in the park. I think the pup liked it that way too. And I’ve also sat in a 19th C grade 3 listed castle, a 16th C tudor house, and a mid-1900s house in London. All were easy to adapt to. New condos in big cities, a few mid-century moderns. Just be honest and show some honest pictures.


As a HO for all sitters to feel they do not have to tip toe around my breakables, I actually remove them from the kitchen and bathroom. I put pictures away, vases, special items that I would be upset if they were damaged or broken. I think it is up to the HO to clear things out.