Housesitting 101: Tips & Tricks
Whether it be for friends, coworkers, friends’ parents or relatives, housesitting is a fun and easy way to earn extra cash. I have been housesitting for over a decade and have learned some valuable tricks of the trade. If you are thinking about taking on this side job, here are some easy tips to follow:
Follow the Directions
Like most things in life, following the directions is key. If plants need to be watered Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, do not wait until Sunday to do that job. Your homeowner will notice and be quite peeved to come home to a house full of dead plants. They took the time to write out directions and while you get to stay at their house and eat all of their food, the least you can do is stay on task.
Do not throw parties or let strangers (to them) over to their house without their permission. No one likes their personal space invaded. Period.
Do Not Abandon the Animals
If part of your job is to take care of the pets, you have to stay in town and be with them. The neighbors will tattle if you skip out for a few days while the poor dog or cat was left outside all night. This lack of care is not cool to the homeowner or the poor little soul that you selfishly abandoned.
Only Eat/Drink What Has Been Designated to Consume
If you want to be re-hired for the future, it is probably best to not drink the entire bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue Label (at $200/bottle!).
Pick Up After Yourself
Do not be a slob and make the homeowners do your chores when they return from their trip. Always do your own dishes, take out the trash and put the used linens in the washroom.
Housesitting Like A Champ
The best part about housesitting is that you get a little break from your day-to-day existence. I often bring a couple of books and choose to sit in the back yard for the fresh air on longer sitting stints. If you are good at what you do, the homeowner will handsomely reward you on top of the nominal fee with gift cards, bottles of wine, souvenirs, etc. One set of clients kept bumping up my fee $5/gig because they enjoyed my services so much. What started as a $20/night job quickly turned into a $30/night job which does not sound like a big deal at first but considering they did not fly and would take a whole month off to go visit their daughter across the country via train, that became quite sizable chunk of cash.
Housesitting is a fantastic way of earning extra money-just make sure you are responsible enough to take on the task and always leave the home better than how you found it.