Removing personal touches from the home. Yes or no?

Hi there,

I’m about to use TrustedHousesitter for my first longer trip (3 weeks) and busy getting my home ready for my sitters (emptying wardrobe space etc).

My question is do i remove personal touches from my home e.g. family photos, trinkets etc? I’m not sure how far into AirBnB territory i should go.

Thanks for your advice in advance,


Hi @PeFreem Welcome to our community forum and to TrustedHousesitters and thank you for being a caring and considerate owner, prepping for your sitters to make them feel welcome but in all honesty this is your home and we know we are being welcomed into a home, not a hotel or an Airbnb.

If you have precious items you would rather put away that is absolutely your choice but as sitters we welcome a clean and tidy home, somewhere to place our personal belongings, space in the fridge, the bathroom etc., we would like to be able to relax and enjoy your pets and home … your home being the operative word.

I’m sure our members will give you some more helpful advice.

Enjoy your sitters and have a great trip. May we ask where you are going and who are you leaving to keep your sitters company?

Angela and the Team


If you have anything you value, put it away in a safe place. Not because it will be stolen but if it is broken both the sitter and you will go through a lot of anguish.
I have been known to take photos then put some fragile things away in a cupboard and put them back when we leave, just to be on the safe side.
Honestly, just leave some space in the wardrobe, fridge and freezer and make sure all fragile stuff is safe. Maybe do a sweep to make sure no opened letters or bills are lying around. Leave the place clean and tidy, lots of pet food and treats and go and enjoy your break. Us sitters are a hardy bunch and cope with anything else.


What a sweet question! :heart:
My advice, as a sitter, is to only bother moving your things if you don’t want the sitter to see them or touch them!
Otherwise, no need to change your home’s “personal touches” at all.

When I sit in someone’s home, I enjoy that it’s a home, not a hotel!

If you have precious breakables in areas the sitter will be using, you could move those if you wanted to be extra careful.
I know there’s a couple times I’ve gotten little nervous when I’ve seen something fancy / unique and breakable that’s within my or the pets’ reach.
On those occasions I have moved those types of things to a safe location and then put them back in the original location as I am cleaning up to leave, just to make sure I don’t accidentally bump into it and break something irreplaceable!

And if, say, the bed-side table is full up, and I need a space there for my clock or glasses at night, I do the same thing… put the homeowner’s things aside for the moment, and put them back before I leave.

Have fun on your trip! :blush:


i agree with the others. we know we’re going to someone’s home, not an airbnb. I would only put away anything you don’t want seen or would be devastated if it was lost to you. Accidents unfortunately happen so if you have something particularly financially or emotionally valuable, it would make sense to protect it.


hi @Angela-HeadOfCommunity thank you for your encouragement, i’m heading to London from Singapore, leaving my two cats to be cared for :slight_smile:


thanks all for your speedy responses, I’m glad you all are on the side of homely and comfortable. This is given me piece of mind that my approach is right :slight_smile:

Now to buy treats and essentials for their arrivals :upside_down_face:

thanks again


Hi I had an American friend when I was young and we were visiting her parents home in London. I remember watching one of the indoor cats expertly weave his way in and out of their expensive vases on the mantelpiece. Apparently he did this all the time and they didn’t bat an eyelid. Your post reminded me of this. Have a good day Caroline


Nothing to add to your question but just wanted to say that your thoughtfulness and generosity have moved you to the top of my Favourite Homeowners list. I’ve never been to Singapore and would sit for you in a heartbeat :star_struck:


Safe and happy travels @PeFreem knowing your kitties will be happy at home.

I lived on Beach Road in Singapore for almost 2 years and visited many times while I was living in Mumbai and love the city, sights, sounds, food and people.

On my first visit from Mumbai I was asked if I’d like to see the designer stores on Orchard Road, my reply was “I really want to go to a supermarket” … fresh fruit & vegetables were more of a must see and purchase than a LV Handbag :heart_eyes:

Have a wonderful time in London, stay warm and dry.


I do the same @luckycat : just to make sure not to break it by accident.
I also take pictures to make sure to put it back in the right position : this is a tip I read on this forum and I’ve never though of doing that before !! :roll_eyes: :face_with_hand_over_mouth:

Often, I “clean” (meaning I take the things to a safer place) a table or a shelf close to the entrance door, so I can leave my hand bag, my keys, my mask, my alcoholic lotion… It makes it easier for me to find these essentials I need when I leave the house. Otherwise I never remember where I put it last time I came in : I need to have a kind of routine, not to loose my stuffs !

Thank you so much @PeFreem for getting your home nice and confortable for your sitters.


Just chiming in here @PeFreem that I echo what has already been said and that for me, the “feels” of a home is part of the joy of the experience.
Best wishes!


Now to buy treats and essentials for their arrivals

This is very generous of you, but I would encourage you to touch base with your sitter before spending too much time or money as everyone has very different ideas of what treats and essentials are. There was a thread on this and someone mentioned that they always supply bread, milk, coffee, cereal, yogurt, etc. for their sitters. They go out of their way to do it, which is very kind. For me, that would be a complete waste of time and money because I don’t eat/use any of those things. I still appreciated the thought and effort but I felt bad that it was all going to go to waste on me and I gently encouraged them to take as much as possible as a traveling snack as I really hate food waste. Others chimed in with similar but everyone seemed receptive to receiving a gift card to a local specialty shop so they could pick out some treats for themselves. :slight_smile: Really though, either way is quite kind and will be appreciated.


Hi all,
I am new to THS, and requested a sitter for a 3 week stay in July and have someone confirmed! It sounds like a great fit–the couple have connections here and are excited to be coming back! Being newbies we wanted experienced and reviewed sitters and they are. But to my main question:
It was very helpful to read about leaving space in the closet etc…as I was wondering what would be enough space. For example, my bathroom vanity drawers are chock full. Would it be good to clear out one large drawer and perhaps two smaller ones?
Do you lock up your personal papers, eg financial records? (Is that too obvious–of course?) We just don’t do that, our file cabinet is right in the bedroom…
This forum is very helpful and I appreciate your advice!


Hi @Mitbar, welcome :-). It is always nice for a sitter to have some space made available for clothes, toiletries and food. Especially for a 3 week stay. Your suggestion for your bathroom vanity drawers sounds good. Some space in your pantry and your fridge is welcome, and some freezer space is always appreciated. How much space for food would depend on how close you are to shopping, etc. What you choose to lock up depends on you and your comfort level. No sitter would take affront at your personal items being locked away. Also, if you have any breakable items that have special meaning for you perhaps you might tuck them away safely. I personally am not comfortable with sections off the home being locked up in case there was an emergency (burst pipes, electrical outages, etc.) that would require access to a closed room.

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Hi @Mitbar welcome to our community forum and to TrustedHousesitters how wonderful that you have your first sitters arranged and of course you want to make then feel welcome and prepare for them, but remember it is your home too. iI’s the little touches that make sitters feel at home, space to relax and enjoy being “home” this article from our blog contains some of my tips as an owner and a sitter …

You decide what it is you do with those items you feel need special attention, be it personal documents or precious things that you and the sitters would feel more comfortable being kept safe and secure. It really is up to you.

Communication is key to a successful sit experience and the more you communicate with one another the better you will get to know each other.

… and you have us here on the forum, you’re never alone.

Angela and the Team

Hello @Mitbar
You pose an interesting question where the answer is going to depend on your own personal comfort level.
In my experience, to my knowledge, nothing has been locked away, except for weapons, which have been “declared” as being in the home. I have been told things like our “private living spaces are here…You should have no need to enter there” but not closed off. So the interesting part is that many of my HOs demonstrate a certain level of trust such as “open my mail”, “send me a photo”, “put my bill, credit card, whatever on my desk in the office” as examples. I have also seen jewelry that I know are family pieces openly displayed. These are of course people that I have attended to more than once.
They trust me and I respect and honor that confidence in very high regard.

As far as space, many of us travel light but a drawer and space for food is always appreciated.
Best wishes.


Hello @Mitbar
You may also get good advices reading a new discussion called
“A discussion on locked room”.

(I don’t know how to put a link to that page but I’m sure you’ll find it.)

To my opinion : do as you feel the more confortable with. As you chose sitters with experience and reviews, don’t hesitate to ask them : communication is the key point, and there is no silly questions to ask !


Thank you, Amparo. I am pretty trusting but also don’t know the new sitters, so…you are right, it will be a comfort level thing to decide. It probably sounded like a silly question, as it is something personal to determine. I hope to develop the level of trust that you have had.
I am happy to make space, make it as comfortable as possible, as this is such an amazing mutual gifting experience.
Best wishes!

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Thank you, Angela, I had not seen that particular checklist, so will look it over. I have found the forum to be really helpful. Appreciate all the tips!