House Sitter Checklist When Leaving Home For A Vacation

We are heading out for our Magical Christmas at Walt Disney World in just 6 days!! Much like anyone who is within a week of leaving home for a vacation I’m preparing as quickly as possible.

I’m really looking forward to spending time with my family at the most magical place on Earth but don’t want to end up half way there and remembering I’ve forgotten to inform our house sitter of something. In order to make sure I haven’t slipped up I’m creating a house sitter checklist which I’ll share with you all.

1. Make an Information Kit

Providing our house sitter with all the information she may need will save her time and energy should a situation arise. This is all information which we have on hand so it’s simple to put together, it includes:

  • Contact information – I prefer to have updates while away so she’ll have our cell numbers, email addresses and of course Facebook messaging.
  • Emergency contact information – My parents live nearby so they are the emergency contact for our house sitter. I’ll provide her with their phone number and ensure they can be reached at all times. Make sure you know your Emergency contact person’s schedule so that you can provide alternate contact info if necessary. We have discussed emergency situations with my parents and they are comfortable making snap decisions for us if necessary.
  • Communicate About Visitors – This is a big one for me, I totally trust our house sitter but believe it’s important to discuss who I would or wouldn’t want in my home. There’s nothing like coming home to a rip roaring party to turn a trip into a downer.

2. Inform People We’re Leaving

Over the years of using house sitters we’ve found it best to notify people when we will not be around. Making them aware that someone is living here while we’re away will keep them in the loop.

  • Neighbours – Letting our neighbours, friends and family know that we have a house sitter moving into your home will ensure that nobody phones the police when they see someone going in and out this close to Christmas.

3. Prepping Our Home

  • Stashing The Goods – Frankly this isn’t a big deal for us but my advice to those who have breakables which are valuable to them is to stash them away. We never know when accidents will happen so by putting things away you can be sure they’ll be in good condition when you return.
  • Cleaning the House & Yard – Our house sitter is amazing and I want her to want to come back. By leaving her a clean house chances are she’ll feel comfortable. This includes making sure the snowblower is primed to be used in the event of a snowfall and any other outdoor chores are done.

4. Preparing The Dog

Our house sitter knows Miss Coco quite well, we’ve taken the time to establish this relationship. We have left her vet’s information, stocked up on food and I’m leaving a list of the finer points of caring for her such as the importance of crating Coco when leaving the house.

5. Services

Our house sitter needs to know everything about our home’s usual services in order to keep everything sailing along.

  • Garbage Collection – We have noted garbage & recycling day for our house sitter and left garbage bags and blue bins in a noticeable location.
  • Internet access – We have wifi and have met with our house sitter to go over the passwords and ensured that she can indeed hook up her computer and phone.
  • Home deliveries – Being a blogger I do get delivers. For the time we’re away I’ve suspended deliveries so that our house sitter won’t have to deal with this.

6. The House Sitter’s Needs

House sitters are people too and they will need the facilities to live their own lives in your home as well as enough information to settle into your home and neighbourhood quickly and easily.

  • Spare keys – We are leaving one set of keys with our house sitter but another will be left with my parents. Hey our sitter is only human and if she’s like me she could end up losing a set.
  • Kitchen space – It’s important that I clean out our fridge as much as possible so our sitter has the room she may need. This also gives me a chance to get rid of the hundreds of bottles of salad dressings we manage to collect.
  • Clean linen – We are making sure we leave an abundance of clean bed linen and towels for our house sitter.

7. Utilities

While all the utilities are paid for and running in our house, our sitter needs to know everything about maintaining these critical elements.

  • Gas and electric – We have left instructions for the safe use of your electricity and gas services. We did take the time to show her where the fuse box is, how to replace a fuse if necessary and in case of a major issue my Dad will help.
  • Heating  – We learned this one the hard way one summer in the past when a house sitter cranked the air conditioning for a week and left us with a HUGE bill. This time when we did the walk through we showed the sitter how to adjust the temperatures and agreed that she keeps her home at approximately the same temperature we do so there won’t be any surprises.
  • Laundry appliances – I’ve written instructions for our house sitter on how to use our washing machine and dryer, we have a new fangled space aged set so I hardly know what every option does!

Well that looks like I’ve covered everything, the beauty of having someone house sit more than once is that she already knows so much of this I’m sure she’ll be fine.

Now I really must go, I have to pack!!!

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