Owner & Sitters Expectations

@Itchyfeet I will tag @Angela_L to make sure she sees your request.

IMO, as is the case in most situations in life, communication is key. Every HO is going to have different expectations and that’s ok as long as that’s clearly communicated.
Frankly, there is a section in our listing where we are able to clearly communicate our expectations of the sitter, and HO’s should use this space to clearly state up front what they expect a sitter tp do. That way prospective sitters can have a clear understanding before they opt to bid for a sit. Of course, clearly communicationg expectations (again) never hurts, especially in the welcome packet we prepare.
I outlined by expectations in my ad and I don’t expect a sitter to do anything beyond that - if they want to that’s fine but it isn’t expected. We always tell our sitter that our cleaning ladies will come to the house a day or two before we return so the sitter doesn’t feel obligated to do an extensive cleaning and then we know the house will be in the condition we like it to be in when we return.


Hello Joandacat,

We are HOs and sitters.

As HOs, we ask sitters to strip the bed. If they have time to toss them in the washer (along with their towels), they may do so, but it always depends on when they depart our sit. We don’t want them to get up super early to do wash! :slight_smile:

As sitters, we always strip the bed and place them (with our used towels) where the HO tells us to.

Personally, I think it’s nice to come home to a clean home, and as sitters, to clean what we used and clean the areas that we used while sitting.


Just ask! Cover this in your pre-sit interview, find out what the HO wants you to do with the sheets and towels – if they’d like you to strip the bed, leave the used linens and towels in the washer, wash the linens, remake the bed … It’s very simple, no guessing, just do what you and the HO have discussed in your pre-sit intervew.


@NigelLovell Our family shares the same philosophy - we strive to leave all places (homes, beaches, hiking trails, etc.) even better than we found them :sparkles:

Even when there is a cleaner coming in after us, we do a solid surface clean so the cleaner can spend their time deep cleaning a bit more. We always wash & replace the linens. We agree, leaving a clean & tidy space is definitely our personal pride and way to show appreciation to the owner for welcoming us into their home :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

As a home owner, I know how much I appreciate returning home to a freshly cleaned home, so after a long day of travel, we can relax and focus on spending time with our pets :paw_prints:

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Completely agree, simples!!

@Pawtastic This is exactly why we “STRIVE to leave all places even better than we found them”. Strive & better (not necessarily cleaner) being the key words :wink:

Often times during introductions, we have had owners point out tasks they have not had a chance to get to (or are incapable of due to physical limitations) - whether it is vacuuming/mopping, snow shoveling, sweeping decks, tending to plants, etc. We know life gets busy at home, so we love the chance to help with little chores around the house the owner has mentioned :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: When applicable, it has always been appreciated and received exceedingly well. Obviously, there are instances where you are correct! Owners leave a spotless home :sparkles: so we still strive to leave it in the same condition we walked in to. That entails intentionally cleaning on our end from general daily life of humans & pets to not undo any of the owner’s previous hard work. Especially being a sitter family, we want the only changes you notice in your home after our departure to be positive ones (if any).

We are owners as well and do the same as you mentioned with our own home - spend dedicated time preparing for our incoming sitters, so we always appreciate the efforts sitters make in regards to returning our home to the same level :hugs:

One last perspective to consider… “better than we found them” can also include tasks outside of cleaning - refilling pet food storage bins, leaving a snack/meal for owners returning home late or after a long day of travel, fresh flowers, etc :two_hearts:
(I tailored my initial comment with a focus on cleaning since this thread was originally about washing bedding / cleaning the home.)


Yes leave it as you found it I would never like to offend my house owner .I just clean sink area and bathroom if needed and fridge if needed. But I have just been mostly lucky in my house sitting experiences. With wonderful appreciative house owners.The other side of the spectrum is when a house owner is so particular and showed a 70 Something lady how to dry the door of a washing machine and the detergent drawer to take out after using.how to to close and open a blind .well just to say it took all my will power to bite my tongue and say as my mother would have said dinnae teach yer grannie how to suck eggs. An old Scottish saying that only some would appreciate…

Yes, showing the sitter all the cleaning equipment should normally do the trick and is not too much of an ask @Mekia02. A home should be returned to the owner as it was handed over (or better). Pet hair is part of the game! You live with it and deal with it as best you can. Seems an odd one to us :flushed:

@Mekia02 I agree with @Cuttlefish, it’s part of the ‘job’ when you’re looking after a pet.

Some pets shed really badly. As long as the owners have the equipment, such as a hoover, to deal with it, I don’t see the problem.

I do think it’s a nice gesture to provide sitters with one of those brushes to keep pet hairs of your clothes.

Please forgive me if this has been asked and answered. I’ve done a few searches, but have not found it.

I know that as a homeowner I am sent a guideline of how to prepare for the arrival of my sitter starting about a week out. I have asked our sitters if they also are sent any sort of guideline or checklist on how they are to leave the house and have received either no answer or a very vague one. I just want to make sure we are on the same page. For instance if I am being asked to wash all the pet bedding before their arrival are they being asked to do the same before they leave? I would assume so, as the goal is to leave the house the way they found it, correct?

I leave a very clean house and want to return to the same. I’ve been actually OK with minor cleaning like one would do after a houseguest leaves, but think I’m probably being overly accommodating as this is not leaving the house the way they found it.

Is there anywhere I can read just what is being sent out to sitters as a guideline so I can either adjust my expectations or add suggestions/reminders to my welcome guide?

Thanks in advance!

Sitters are not sent anything, in my experience. I just finished a sit and did not get anything from THS. I leave houses cleaner than I found them, and sometimes arrive at houses that are not as clean as I would like, but we all have different standards.

I’m a homeowner here also, and I scrub my house before a sitter arrives. Sinks are gleaming, floors are mopped, surfaces are dusted, etc. I often return to a house in a similar state, but not always. It has never been dirty (except for stains on a light-colored rug :frowning_face: ), just not as clean as I left it.

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As a sitter, I’ve never been sent any guidelines on how to leave a house. I usually just leave it as I found it. I strip the bed and put sheets in the washing machine. Don’t usually remake the bed, unless specifically asked to do so, you might put the wrong bedding on!

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It seems hit and miss. We received a reminder about leaving the house clean etc on one of our sits and then for the others nothing. I think it is an issue with the system that it doesn’t automatically send these out.


This is what I was afraid of. Inconsistency makes it so much more difficult for us to all be on the same page, even with the basics. Certainly every sit is unique and I expect those details to be in the Welcome Guide for sitters. I’ve had two first time sitters who would have greatly benefited from a few reminder emails about how to prepare to leave a sit. It is so much easier to see something in black and white like on the “Sitter Cleanliness Checklist”.

I guess from now on I will print out that check list and add it to my Welcome Guide since I may never know for sure if my sitter is receiving any guidance from THS.

Thank you for this post, it has answered one of my concerns.


Thanks for sharing, makes a lot of sense.

Kelownaguel, gave me a chuckle, funny, but realistic.

I think a home-owner needs to specify to their sitters what their expectations are/how they would like to find the house on their return.

For example, my sitters are generally a week or less, in which case I would like them to clean up any mess they/the pets make, tidy up, hoover on the penultimate or last day but I dont expect them to ‘clean’ as such. (I have a fortnightly cleaner.) My expectations would be different on a longer sit.

I would wash pet bedding before a sitter arrives to reduce the likelihood that it would need washing whilst they were there. That doesnt mean I expect them to wash it again before I return; I do expect them to wash it if it’s soiled during the sit.

Washing’s a tricky one anyway - much of the reference to laundry on here seems to assume a tumble drier, which I dont have. Therefore it wouldnt be reasonable of me to expect a sitter to strip/wash/dry their bedding before I return home. I might ask, if it’s sunny, they see if they have time to get it on the washing line!

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Occasionally we get the cleaning list for sitters just before we exit a sit but not often. It’s very long and quite annoying IMO. We always leave a home cleaner than when we arrived. If you have high expectations then it’s easier just to show/tell the sitters what you’d like them to do before they leave (& put it in your listing that you like clean, tidy, respectful sitters) as that all helps prevent any misalignment between expectations either side. Hope that helps.