Owner & Sitters Expectations

Just a question out of curiosity. I have a new housesitter agreed for September and she has been reading up on the forum. She apparently saw someone complaining that their house sitter had not washed the sheets before they left. I have reassured her that I don’t expect that and she honestly does not need to bring her own bedding.

I treat it as though I’m providing an AirBnB but I just happen to be leaving my stuff and my lovely cat in place. So I expect to find the house pretty much as I left it but I don’t expect it to be cleaned particularly or bedding washed. My house has always been tidy when I’ve come home and the cat is always happy.

What are the expectations of other people providing sits? Am I missing something?


Hi @Joandacat There has been a discussion about this. Here is another thread for you to look at, to see the views of members.

Hope this helps.
Kind regards

Also a home-owner - yep, those are my expectations. I’d like the sitter to tidy up after themselves, ideally vacuum on the last day (my pets are furry shredders :grin:) but otherwise no special house-cleaning required* - just care of the pets!

*I wouldnt complain if anyone insisted… :wink:


No, that’s exactly the way I do it!
I never use our own bedding for the sitters anyway (except of course the mattress) and the spare pillows and blankets will be stowed away when they have left. When we return I am actually glad when enough laundry is there to fill up the machine so nobody has to get up in the middle of the night to wash and dry sheets.
My husband always says that we have invited pet sitters to our home not cleaning staff. So if it’s reasonably clean (windows, cupboards really do not have to be cleaned) the kitchen and bathroom are tidy and no waste is lying around it’s alright.


This is such an informative topic for sitters, thank you for starting it. I never know what to do and not do. It will be great to read pet owners expectations


In my experience as a sitter, What the HO prefers varies so I tell them that I will strip, and remake the bed if they have no objections.
In some households they are very particular about how they tend to their bed linen. Some owners especially in the UK and Europe will use a laundry service or have a housekeeper.

Once again, we have to be comfortable having these discussions. It’s really not a big deal until you ruin someone’s nice bedding so be ok talking about it.


We’re the same. We always ask the HO what they’d prefer and mostly it’s to strip the bed and remake it with clean sheets in case they have guests or a new sitter coming. If there’s time then we’d happily wash the old ones too.


I always strip the bed, but I would not go near a washing machine I had not used before or been left strict instructions on how to use, unless advised/asked by the HO to do so.

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Clarification: you request the sitters to bring their own bedding? That would be a first for us. We always use the home owners’ bedding and wash it and remake the bed before we leave.

Me? No, absolutely not. I read on a thread that some people always take their own bedding because the HO bedding doesn’t necessarily meet their expectations. My sitter for Sept clearly read something similar because she specifically asked if she needed to bring her own bedding - to which my response was no, don’t do that! As a result of some of the comments from sitters I’ve seen, I’ve updated my listing to specify the bed will be made for them, with cotton sheets, a feather duvet and a mix of feather and fibre pillows. And I really don’t want them to wash sheets or make up the bed when they have finished…


We have almost always flown to our sits so we will not be bringing bedding. We’ve never been asked to though.

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What? No! Certainly not! I have extra bedding for guests and this will be stowed away when they are gone until the next guest (sitter or whoever spends the night here) arrive.
Putting new covers on the blankets and pillows for guests would be a sitter‘s waste of time, because I would take it right off as soon as I get home.
We have our own bedding which is stowed away while guests are in the house.

I always wash towels and bedding at the end of a sit. I certainly don’t expect an owner to have to clean up after me.

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But what if the owner explicitly asks you not to wash anything? Would you still do it?

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No, of course not! I wouldn’t do anything against the owners wishes. But to be honest, it’s not a topic of conversation that has ever come up. It’s good manners on my part and a reasonable expectation for the owner - and generally, I observe that they are delighted to find the laundry done when they come home.


This is helpful. I am new to house sitting and am wondering how many of these kinds of details are covered between the owner(s) and sitter prior to the sit? I am gathering that folks don’t necessarily leave a manual or something to clearly articulate expectations?

I used to do it automatically but sometimes the family is arriving home in the morning and there is no opportunity to get it done so now I ask what they would like done. Most say to strip the bed, some ask to start the load of laundry.

Regardless, I always ask now because I want to know what settings they use for their bedding, should it be hung to dry or put in the dryer, and do they normally iron it.

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Most folks definitely leave a manual - some use the online Welcome Guide and others provide written info when we arrive. I always like to see if ahead of time so I can note things I want to ask about when we do the handover.

You may want to read an earlier post where this topic has been discussed at great length (211 posts). If you search key words using the magnifying glass you’ll often find posts on topics of interest to you.


Thank you @Snowbird for reminding everybody about the sheets and towels thread.

Should these 2 threads now be closed down? I feel that they have been done to death, there is nothing new being added.
Thanks very much

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