How To: Prep For A House Sitter

070809sitter-01.jpgBecause our cat is somewhat low-maintenance, we have neighbors feed her twice a day when we go out of town. If our trip is for an extended amount of time, we'll have a friend house-sit for us. However, creating a list of things to take care of before the house sitter arrives ultimately enhances the relaxation factor of our vacation...

  • Even if our neighbors are just checking in on our pet, we'll bake cookies, leave a six-pack of beer or perhaps a gift certificate to Trader Joe's. If our trip is for extended travel, we'll stock the fridge with the house sitter's favorite goodies.
  • We like to ask the house sitter to stop by a few days before we skip town so we can go over important details. Because we always seem to be running around the last minute before a trip, it helps to show the house sitter around when we're feeling less frazzled. That way, we won't leave out critical information.
  • We also like to leave a spare set of keys hidden outside the house in case the sitter gets locked out. If they do misplace our keys, it prevents them from having to contact the landlord and explaining what has happened.
  • And while we like to keep our landlord from having to replace missed keys, we always tell him when we're going out of town. In addition, we provide him with the name and phone number of our house sitter or neighbor.
  • In addition to leaving a long list of important phone numbers and set of instructions, we also leave the sitter a blank check just in case an emergency vet visit is in order.
  • And lastly, we leave a spare set of car keys on the counter just in case our car (for whatever reason) needs to moved.

    Apartment Therapy readers, how do you prep for the house sitter?

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    (Image: House Call: Jon's Contemporary Hybrid)