Taking care of someone else’s home and pets may seem like a cake walk, but in reality, great house sitters need to be committed.
How to house sit your way around Australia
A love of animals is not enough to do the job properly. Make sure you treat the job with the utmost professionalism, respect, and care.
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They have trusted you to do the right thing and as a house sitter, you need them to be happy to ensure future house sits.
Let me tell you, people talk! We've had people weeks later ring and say, Mr X was most happy with your visit, can you come and do our place next month? It's how it all starts, so do the right thing and you will never have to go into a van park or free camp again.
So you've decided you want to be a house sitter, so you can save money while visiting an area, or while travelling about in your caravan? Best to start by joining a Facebook page and reading how others are first getting the sits, or the things that can go wrong, and then weighing up if you are still willing to do it.
There are plenty of house sits out there, so don’t feel you are locked in once you make contact. It's why emails are best at the beginning, there is no personal contact and it allows you to say no in comfort.
Now you need to decide where you will do house sitting and what your requirements are. For instance, we have a clear plan and our most important specification is that we must be able to get our van onto the property owner's land -- not in the driveway or down the street.
Our van must be in a safe place, and easy to get in and out the yard.
We don’t always stay in the house, since our van is our home and that’s where we live. We also don't live-in, or agree to a house sit, if other family members are staying in-house. Why are we there then?
We always take photos when we get there with the date and time, so no issues come up about anything down the track. We write notes about things like the lawn mower not working, that a lot of plants are dead, or that the pool is green, etc.
Make sure there's enough fuel for the mower, chemicals for the pool and food for animals. It's not your job to buy such things. Just because they away do not mean they don’t pay!
Also, know and respect your limits, in that you can’t drive their car or go into specific areas of the house, or change the diet of the animals because you believe in a better way. Just follow everything as it is written.
Ultimately, enjoy your visit. You can create friends for life or a new family, as we have along our way. It is an enriching experience that can give you much happiness.
And you will save so much money from not having to pay for van sites or be in free camps.
Your success is all about how you conduct yourself -- if you do it as you would expect in your house, you will be fine.