Unpacking space on a long sit

We arrived at a 3 month sit last night and are struggling to unpack because there is very little space for our things. Kitchen cupboards all completely full for example, and we’ve been given one small chest of drawers for two people in the bedroom. The house is lovely and clean and they left gifts for us, and they certainly seem like lovely people, but I find the lack of space quite disrespectful as we are going to be here for a while. What do others think? Am I expecting too much?


Could you empty the areas you need into one of the spare bedrooms or rooms as it’s a long sit and shut the door on it all? Or, could you ask the HOs for a solution as it’s early days? I guess they’re super relaxed and happy to have you hence the gifts and maybe didn’t think about your stuff on top of their own…


Hi @second_star. Yes that can be frustrating. Pet parents have a lot to think about before leaving home, and, unfortunately, clearing space for their sitters is often one of the last things some think about. Some of my nicest, best repeat pet parents have this issue.

When I find there isn’t space for my items, I take “before” photos of the areas I need to use (coat closet, shoe rack, drawers, cupboards, etc.), then I find better locations for some of the pet parent’s things, giving me space for my things for the duration of the sit. As part of my end-of-sit cleaning, I use the pictures and put everything back exactly where I found it.

It would be nice if I didn’t have to do this, but at least this way I can feel comfortable during the sit.

@second_star here’s an earlier conversation on this same topic:

This is exactly what we have ended up doing. There is a cleaner that will be coming, once or twice a week, and I’m a little worried that they might tell the HOs we have been moving things around, which could lead to a bad review. Has that been an issue for you when you’ve moved things around before?

I agree its disrespectful, especially on a long sit, to not have any space left for you. If its a weekend or a few days we generally just live out of our suitcase - no problem. But on a longer sit I like to ‘move in’ a little bit to feel more at home. I read your longer post before you edited it shorter…:wink: and understand how you feel! We’ve experienced all of that too.
We once did a sit where the hosts left absolutely no space in our room. All cupboards completely full, no bedside tables or lamps & there was even a spare (completely unnecessary) sofa -taking up the tiny space remaining-which we had to clamber over to get into bed!! And that was in addition to them locking up two rooms with there stuff!! We felt not only disrespected but mistrusted! :woozy_face::roll_eyes:
Anyway…back to your situation- I think its a great idea to take before pics and then move the stuff while you are there. Its probably a lot easier than talking to the hosts about it when they are already gone. Its important to feel at home.
We have often moved stuff- e.g cleared bathroom shelves, or kitchen counters if needed. Or covered up things etc We always return things to their rightful place at the end of the Sit. But it does rather spoil the first impression to not feel properly and respectfully welcomed.
Its the same with cleaning. Its so disappointing to have to do a serious deep clean before being able to settle in to a sit…but we’ve had to do that a number of times. And lack of generosity is another downer…
I know if I was a host I would treat my trusted housesitters as honoured guests and do everything to make them feel completely welcomed and appreciated…
Fortunately we’ve also had many wonderful hosts who have treated us exactly like this. :pray:


Thanks, that’s useful!

That’s what we’ve done- with a view to putting it all back. It means we can keep
everything much tidier, and I’m sure the cleaner will be happy that our stuff isn’t everywhere!

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Thanks! Nice to know others feel the same. I think my horrible cold wasn’t helping my mood! Luckily the house is wonderfully clean- and we will be able to keep it lovely now that we have put things away.

No, it’s not been an issue for us. If you’re worried about the cleaner saying something, send the pet parent a note, saying you needed to move a few things out-of-the-way so you could store your items. Include the pictures, so they know what you moved. Assure them that you’ll move the items back before leaving, so everything will be just as they left it when they get home.

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We would like space to store food / ingredients to prepare a meal in kitchen cupboards. We usually take some of this with us when travelling by car so we don’t have to shop immediately. If all kitchen cupboards are full we have to store it somewhere else, like on the kitchen worktops. This isn’t ideal, especially if the pets can access the worktop. Lots of homeowners are brilliant at leaving space in the fridge, but less so at leaving space for food in cupboards.

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That’s definitely a drag. I just came off two sits and neither client made room for my clothes or, at the first place, room in the fridge, so I just had to do some clever rearranging. I just figure the people are frantically trying to pack and make a plane, and maybe it didn’t occur to them to take stuff out of a section of closet and the drawers.

So often I will pack their stuff and put it in a box, or wherever, so I can hang my one suit that I usually bring along in case I have to dress up. BUT! I always take a photo of everything before I move anything so it’s easier to put stuff back exactly where it was.

The nice thing about the last sit was that, even though they didn’t make room in the fridge, they left me a ton of food including fresh salmon and lots of delicious veggies and told me to eat it all, so it wouldn’t go bad. So for the first, say, 4 days, I didn’t even visit the supermarket, I just did what they told me to do and enjoyed some high-quality eats!


@Joshua a refrigerator full of salmon and veggies on one sit, and a $1k tip on another?! You, my friend, certainly know how to pick your sits! :clap:

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We are the opposite and often feel guilty that the home hosts have gone to the trouble of emptying drawers and wardrobes for us when we tend to live out of our suitcases. Creases are in vogue for 2023 :joy:


As a sitter, closet space is something that isn’t a big thing to me although our longest sits have been two weeks. It doesn’t bother me to live out of my suitcase as long as I have facilities to wash my clothes. On local sits I always ask if there is room in their fridge for some food items. That’s probably more important to me than closet space.

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I always leave closet and fridge space for sitters, but hadn’t thought about leaving cupboard space. Mainly because my trips are usually short. For longer sits in future, I will tell sitters just to move my stuff aside if they want to use my cupboards. I don’t care if things aren’t put back exactly where they were originally - it’s a small kitchen, I’ll find stuff quickly enough!


But! I should add that my last client left 13 post-it notes in the apartment. I actually thought it was adorable. She also printed out a 5-page instruction manual. I really like this person. :slight_smile:

Those large storage tubs are your best friend!!