Space in the Fridge and Freezer

Homeowners who recognize how important It is to leave space for sitters in the bathroom and wardrobe are very thoughtful. It’s especially important for those of us who prefer longer sits and we’re always grateful when it happens. It makes us feel welcomed and appreciated.

Lately though, we’ve been confronted with a number of jam-packed fridges and freezers in a row. Much of it is due to how many people are on special diets these days; man, Keto bread can take up a lot of freezer space! :laughing:

One recent homeowner made special food for her dogs. She left us so much that there was almost no room for human food. As it was only a mixture of chicken and rice, I would have much preferred to make it fresh for the pups.

I’m struggling with how to request a clean out before our arrival. It is as simple as asking?

Sitters, have you found a good way to approach the subject?

Homeowners, would you be offended by such a request, or is it something you wouldn’t think of without a gentle nudge?

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Since we have never had the problem in thirteen sits, there was always room somehow. We have never asked before.

If we had to, we would hide the request under another pretext.
Something like: “Thank you for your hospitality. But you don’t need to fill up the fridge for us. We will bring our own things or go shopping when we arrive. We don’t expect that you pay for our food. If you always freshly prepare the food for your pets, you don’t have to pre-cook it. We love to prepare it every day fresh for them.”

That should be enough as a hint.

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The only problem I have had in this area was on a sit in Chaing Mai, Thailand. Food in the fridge wasn’t a problem, but the HO kept all her cosmetics and medicines in the fridge. There was no aircon in the home, so it did get very hot during the day.

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You made me lol Pete mac
A ladies needs to put them somewhere
Think on this occasion you should have been put first.

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@Happyhousesitter , as an owner I would never leave too many things in a fridge, I can understand sitters need room for their own stuff !

I give croquettes to my pets so it’s dry and kept outside the fridge.

As a sitter I guess it’s impossible to ask (in advance) " please to leave the fridge empty", unless the HO does explains they will prepare food for their pets. Then I would follow Stefan’s advice

But if I discover the fridge is full, once inside the HO home, I would leave a note or send a message to the HO telling it was not necessary.

Of course it would be better to advise the following sitter on a feed back explaining the situation but it’s fairly hard not to upset the HO

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We have an electric cool box .
It has different connections for car home etc.
Lots of storage.
Especially if the HO has dead mice in the fridge. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

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As a home owner, I would not be offended if you asked for space in the fridge. But I can see that it would probably depend on how you phrase it. And of course everyone is different, so I can only speak from personal experience. For example, phrasing it like “I would be very grateful if you could free up some space in the fridge/freezer for me. On my last house sit, there wasn’t any space in the fridge and I had nowhere to store my medicine/food”. Or you can phrase it like “I respect your belongings and that includes the food in your refrigerator. I don’t feel comfortable rearranging it without your permission, therefore, would it be possible that you clear a shelf for me in advance?”

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Thanks, @StefanK. We always manage to make room too. It’s just easier some times than others.

Your suggestion reminded me of different experience at a recent repeat sit. The freezer (and two small additional freezers) were so jam packed, that I teased the homeowner about the lack of space. She pointed out that she had bought (and/or cooked) it all for us. What a love!

Give it time. It’ll happen. We’re on our 41st sit.

We jokingly refer to the US as the land of the big appliances, big beds and big napkins. Somehow Americans seem more likely to fill whatever space they have.

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I think its common courtesy to leave space for sitters in the fridge freezer. The sitter should not need to ask for space when they will be living in the home, taking care of everything and expecting to cook etc. I am a sitter but if I was a host I would always make space, and also encourage the sitter to use anything from the fridge or larder they need, especially spices etc. We always very much appreciate it when hosts make us feel super welcome in this way and we never take advantage. Also space in the wardrobe so we can unpack properly on longer sits. It just feels more welcoming.

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Yes, these things are an occasional issue for us too. I don’t think it’s rude to expect space for sitters’ personal stuff. Once, I had to move the numerous bottles of bathroom products, AND the homeowners’ pajamas, just to have space for ours. It’s just common sense manners to me.

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When arriving at a sitting, how often do you find fridge full or empty? and do you leave it as you found it?

I prefer to find it pretty empty, as long as there are milk, bread & eggs available, the first day is easily survivable without the need to immediately go to the shop. I normally take a bag of supplies with me and of course anything from my own fridge at home.

I have been overwhelmed on occasions with a fridge full of good intentions and enough food that I cannot possibly eat it all on my own, its a great gesture and it is appreciated but unfortunately often some of it goes to waste.

Most HO say help yourself to what you can find but I always replace what I use as it feels wrong not to!

Fortunately I do not have any horror stories about what I have found in fridges.

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Welcome Martin, this question is frequent, look on other threads, using the magnifyer…