Those Little Irritations

I won’t go on any sit without a welcome guide well ahead of the stay. If they don’t send one, I’m prepared to cancel. I nudge in a friendly way, if needed. For example:

“Our sit is drawing near and I’ve not received a welcome guide. Unfortunately, I can’t go into sits blind. Please send, because I’d love to see our sit go forward as planned.”

Before a sit, the sitter has leverage to press for a guide (doesn’t matter to me whether it’s via the THS template, a Word or Google doc, a PDF, a video or whatever). I’ve never had a host not send me one when nudged.

I simply don’t get why it’s so hard to get a welcome guide ahead of a sit if a sitter wants one. Neither a host nor THS can force any sitter to show up for a sit. We have agency and it’s up to us to decide whether we use it.

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How big were the poo bags?

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For me it’s behaviour they are so used to, and just accept as their normal, do don’t bother mentioning until you arrive.
Dog very aggressive towards other dogs, making walks rather nerve-wracking, and if I’d been told in advance I wouldn’t have done the sit.

Elderly cat that frequently pooped next to the litter tray and not in it. Fine in a way as they warned me (when I arrived) to put paper down. But also misleading photos of the bathroom and litter tray. They’d had it completely redesigned and currently the only place for the litter tray was directly against the front of the loo - so you had to sit there with your feet either side of it! Not for me if I’d known …

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No Dog poop bags
1/2 bag of kitty litter left
Dishwasher filters full of food and usually broken glass
No Loo Roll, anywhere
Near Empty Hand Soap Dispensers
Hoovers full and full of hair on the rollers, so does a very average job
Hard Floors and no mop and bucket or anything to clean them with.
A Pet that has accidents or vomits and nothing to clean it up with
No washing basket you can use, because it’s full of the HO clothing
Hand Towels and Bath Mats
No pegs, if there is outside drying space
Washing up liquid is another where there is a little bit left or just none at all
Dishwasher Tabs 2-3 left in the Box

I get the feeling that they just honestly forget and as most people buy what they need week to week, they forget there’s still someone using these items whilst they are away, just not them and they put it on the shopping list for when they get home.

Then there are those who remember someone else is in their home whilst they are away and they leave full and plentiful supplies of Loo roll, kitchen towel, cleaning products etc, I have some lovely repeat sits where they leave new Cloths, sponge, washing up gloves for me, there’s always cleaning products, loo roll, tissues, kitchen towel, hand towels and bath mats.

As far as food goes, the HO will usually be clear about what you can help yourself to, if we used something up for some reason, I always replace it, we try out a little bit of condiments, sauces and some spice blends, we have quite often then purchased our own when we get home, it’s really broadened the foods we eat, we made our last cordless hoover purchase based on what we have used at sits, along with our washer, dryer and dishwasher (they all had to be replaced last year! argh)

We often take our own pegs, some big bags as makeshift washing bags (Ikea bags are good) I take Hand soap, Loo Roll, Dishwashing Liquid, Dog Poop bags, depending on how long the sit is, how far away etc, I might take other creature comforts too. I always take my Chef’s Knifes, to date I have never sat a House with Sharp Knifes, even though there is a draw full. Enough basic food to get us settled in and then go to the supermarket. I like to initially just be there for a good 24hrs before leaving again as the Pets are very aware the HO has gone away even if you come in hours after they have left, they see the suitcases they can feel their energy is different and they Owners are excited and anxious getting closer to their departure, so we just hang out with them and even then, I will often leave the Teens at Home and go and do the shopping.

As for the quirky house things that HO are just used to, I ask now be it in person at hand over or prior about Sticky locks, Windows that you do not open, because they will NEVER close again, the quirky things they are used to, do the lights trip, does a tap drip at random, is there a sticky internal door that you just leave open because it’s sticky etc, again they are used to these things and honestly just forget, we lived in a house that the Hot water pipes screamed like someone was being murdered, we had Plumber after Plumber come out, there was no fixable problem, we had family come from overseas and we’d forgotten about the noise and they thought they’d broken something, they came out in a panic.

In our early days, we were on a steep learning curve, especially with 2 Kids, getting the shower to work, different hobs, dishwashers, washing machines (especially ones with out a digital display to tell you how long it’s going to be and even after googling the model it still doesn’t tell you how long the cycle is going to be, so setting a timer so you know how long it actually takes) We are pretty good now, I made it into a funny story, we always make the most of a sit, even if we are not enjoying it and lots of things have gone wrong.

All that being said, we were only doing it as in interim thing as the Kids wanted a Puppy! They realised cuddles on the Lounge watching TV was a very small part in owning a Dog, they then thought a Kitten might be nice, again they are all different and they decided they were not ready for their own pets yet. We are going on 6yrs now, not full time anymore however we have regular repeat sits and pick up new ones that we agree on, the Pets first, the House and then the location, it’s been great hence why we are still doing it.

Happy sitting all.

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This little irritation has been mentioned many times before, but as it has become of epidemic proportion and (despite the fact that I don’t need any of that stuff) a major irritation for me, I’ll repeat it again… a shower cabin full of shampoo/conditioner/body wash containers, but all of them, and I mean ALL of them, are empty.


Reminds me of a sit I did one summer in the Pacific Northwest. The switch plate for the living room lamp was a really intricate piece of wooden art and it took me FOREVER to figure out how to turn it on. It was like a mini Rube Goldberg device. Combination amazing and frustrating at the same time. Never seen anything like it.

One of my mantras is #TheresAYouTubeVideoForThat. It’s amazing what I’ve been able to figure out thanks for this medium. I’m indebted to all those content creators!

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No cleaning liquids (that I could find). No directions or instructions for that in the WG. And I do not know these British brands of things by sight, so I need to actually read the labels of an infinity of jars, most of which turned out to be for skin care etc.

So I asked the HO when she came home and she told me not to bother. Problem solved!

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One of the reasons I always travel with a towel for my hair. Not promoting a particular product, but something like this because they’re very small to pack:

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No hairdryer, no extra towel for wet hair, no place for our stuff ; bedroom, bathroom, fridge. It continues after 6 years of housesitting. Space consumed by plants or nic nacs. No, i dont want to live out of my bag lol. Just thoughtless when having guest’s. It’s Especially worse when its international, with 2 suitcases!:woman_shrugging::wink:

My one is when we arrive for a sit and the HO, wanting to be helpful) takes us around the entire house and bombards us with endless information to such an extent that my head’s about to explode. I don’t remember any of it, so I don’t know where anything is :woozy_face:. I’m going to ask future HOs to just keep it to the Top 10 essentials and write everything else down!


When I have just finished my final clean of the bathroom then my husband announces he needs a last wee before we leave. Grrrrrrr!!!


@Colin yes, or shower!!! Oh no, you’re not! Nonono. But in the bigger scheme of things, I guess it’s like having a guest that uses the toilet. We’re not going to scrub the toilet after 1 guest use (I’m of course specifically talking about 1 pee after cleaning it already)

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I’m always very grateful to have the offer of a “stranger’s leftovers”. I hate waste and am happy to eat the HO’s remaining food rather than toss it, or watch it go slowly mouldy. As for not being paid: I should think there are very few HOs who go into this sitting lark thinking "Hee hee hee, I’m saving SO much money here! " I see sitting as a mutually beneficial arrangement. Yes, the HOs would have to pay for kennels or professional sitters otherwise… But then, we would have to pay for hotels or AirBnBs or whatever. But none of it is about money.

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the one question i always have for the owners, how long can the sitter be away from the house?

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Contrary to an earlier post, I think the HO should NOT turn off the mail delivery. We do longer sits (1 - 3 months) and periodically we have need of snail mail to bring us documents. Having no mail service also limits your ability to receive packages, even medications.

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You made me laugh as all of these are truly inconvenient! Especially the poop bag…liner, lol
I’m guessing they didn’t pick up their pups poo???

Over a year of expired coffee and knowing it has never seen a cleaning, can be frightful! Also having no creamer, no matter how much I like coffee, it still requires creamer!

Not letting me know the bathroom door can lock from the inside after you exit the bathroom, and you’ll never be able to open it unless you’re a CIA agent! Oh, also no nightlights anywhere so you’re hoping you don’t stub your toe or step on a pet.

A very stinky pet and pet bedding!! Some people are immune to the smell of their animals.

Also if you’re going from 500 ft elevation to 8000 in less than 24 hours that you may need some specific recommendations on how to adjust and ways to make it easier. I found myself becoming anxious, short of breath and foggy within a couple of hours and no one around to get help. But eventually found a market which had elevation adaptation supplies.

Also, can you please trim your dogs nails before they are ingrown? One dog I sat could hardly walk and would never want to go out, and once I was able to get it out, it just stood there! Very troubling!!

All so crazy, but the good outweighs the inconveniences so far :slight_smile:
Thanks for the laughs!!


Don’t know if this counts, it’s not technically on a sit but when you are applying and take the time to write a sweet introduction… Only to get an automated “you weren’t chosen” a few days later. How hard is it to just write something like, “Hi, thank you for applying but we ended up going with the first people who applied” Or some such thing, it could even be cut and paste but just a personal response even if it’s just a couple of words would be so much better.

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