What are the instructions given to a HO by TH

I read on an earlier post that TH now encourage a HO to leave the fridge completely empty and not to leave items for the sitter to use, is this correct? When we started with Trusted nearly 8yrs ago we used to get loads of things left for us, but some recent sits (not all) are leaving hardly anything. We arrived at our latest sit on Sunday afternoon and didnt realise until after 4pm that we hadnt been left any milk or bread and then all the supermarkets were closed luckily we found a local shop to get some essentials. I just cant understand why TH would say not to leave the sitter with anything at all, we were lucky we had a car but how would someone manage if they didn’t have transport?

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I usually get groceries delivered, whether or not I have a (rental) car. Of course, if you’re somewhere in the sticks, that might not be an option.

Hosts have been told to clean out the fridge for as long as I’ve been a member (15 months) and probably before then. I still get left food by most hosts.

I would be thrilled with an empty fridge. I buy my own food and don’t eat anything of the HOs. I typically have to throw out their leftovers or anything that will go bad while they are gone.


There is a checklist that ( sometimes) gets sent out to homeowners before a sit it says

“ Clean out the fridge and dispose of any open or perishable food items. Why not make some extra space for your sitters to store their food, too?”


I think the check list should also say, get your sitters sone essentials to help them settle in.


Unnecessarily complicates sits, so THS is unlikely to get involved. Too many variables and questions and why shouldn’t sitters just provide their own food or ask the hosts ahead of the sit whether anything will be left (or mention that if there are perishables, the sitter would appreciate them).

Think of THS like a dating site. They offer a platform to meet. What you eat or drink on your dates is your business.


Thankfully I have a better success rate on THS than dating sites :rofl:


When I started as an HO, the overwhelming consensus on this forum was that sitters wanted an empty fridge. Also, many people have dietary restrictions (and have had sitters with sone), so I don’t assume that sitters eat or drink the same things I do.

Personally, I check in with my sitters to see if leftover perishables are acceptable, but most of my sits are several weeks, so I try to use down as much as possible. I don’t generally keep bread for myself, so I’m not going to buy it special in the hopes that a sitter eats it - although I live in a city where there are 24-hour groceries within a 5-minute walk.


We don’t expect owners to leave anything for us, and actually prefer a clean, empty fridge so we can fill it with the foods that we enjoy and have purchased ourselves. We don’t really touch perishables, as most of the time they are really not our taste, or we can’t eat them in the first place due to dietary requirements.

I don’t think a sitter who doesn’t have a car would choose a sit that’s not accessible by public transport & not near amenities in the first place. We don’t drive and cannot do sits not accessible via frequent public transport (wouldn’t make any sense! :laughing:)


I recently did some email housecleaning and can’t find the email, but there is definitately something sent out telling hosts to leave plenty of room in the freezer and fridge. There is absolutely nothing implying or mentioning (that I can remember) that hosts need to leave staples of any kind for sitters.

So I think a lot of this is based on how the hosts read/interpret the very little bit of information they get.

I also sit, but haven’t been doing that through THS as long as you have. My experience has been a mixed bag with fridges filled with perishables that I don’t want to completely bare fridges and cupboards. It’s a mixed bag, and I wouldn’t take anything for granted. So I check the welcome guide before arrival and see what that says, and if it says nothing and it’s an out of the way place, I’d address it directly with the homeowner and/or arrive with basics.

Sitters should always expect nothing to be provided by owners. We learned the hard way a couple of years ago in the UK, arriving at a sit near dinner time, expecting the owner would provide dinner for us as all owners before had. Our grocery order was being delivered the next morning. We had no transport, it was dark, wet and cold and we could not walk to the nearest shop for any supplies. All we had with us was some leftover cheese, crackers and olives and a bottle of wine gifted by the owner. That’s what we ate for dinner while the owners cooked dinner for themselves and didn’t offer us any food!

We have never been caught short since as we are always prepared for nothing. Anything more is a bonus!


Wow, that must have been difficult, we would have thought the same as you, when you are arriving at meal times its usual that you would eat with the family as a way of getting to know them. We dont expect a full fridge etc but a little bit of milk to make a drink etc isnt too much to expect. The best thing about it is that we had just left a housesit and left bread and milk for the hosts so they didnt have to rush out shopping on their return.
I wont make that mistake again though and will make sure we arrive with supplies.

Still makes me mad & embarrassed on behalf of all Brits @Crookie we’d have made you a feast!! #shockinghospitality


I prefer a clean house and empty fridge. When there’s food left in there, I don’t really want to eat it especially if it’s a container where it’s been opened. But almost every home leaves too much food and not enough space. Ugh.

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It must be the best approach. We are all so different with different habits. (Although I might have also expected to join the hosts for dinner if I arrived near dinner time. Must be European upbringing)

I personally don’t expect anything and, quite frankly, don’t want anything either … maybe a drop of milk for my morning Nescafe that I have with me. I don’t eat breakfast or yesterday’s bread, so the host’s generosity and hospitality sometimes put me in a bit of an uncomfortable situation.

Once, when I was sitting in a faraway and ‘exotic’ country, my fantastic the-best-host-ever jam-packed the fridge and freezer with Western food for me. One of the reasons I wanted to visit that country was the food. I was dreaming of ‘stuffing’ myself with local delicacies but instead had to make myself eat delicacies from Europe. Oh boy, how difficult it was for me. It took two weeks and a bit before I could indulge in some serious ethnic food. Irony of life. :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:


I do not read this as “empty the fridge”. For me, cleaning out the fridge means making sure nothing expired is in there (or will expire during the sit), and physically having a clean fridge. Perceptions are so different:-)


I’ve had hosts who told me that they didn’t want to throw away food, because that’s how they interpreted clearing out the fridge. Instead, they started asking me, item by item, would I eat X. (I’d arrived a couple of days early, at their invitation.) I didn’t want to go through that, so I just told them to leave everything and I’d decide whether to eat or throw, if something started going off.


If I’d encountered this, I would’ve given away the gifted food to locals. Often, there are folks who can’t afford such and they’d be happy to try food they normally wouldn’t buy.

Ugh, that so unpleasant. We had a similar situation in the UK but the HO in our case insisted on us arriving for dinner. We arrived in the evening but there was no dinner as the HO mentioned they got too busy packing/prepping and didn’t have time to prepare anything. They say intermittent fasting is good for you? :sweat_smile: Since that night even if we are invited for dinner we politely decline and always bring our own food.

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This is my expectation, too.