13 Tips to Keep Track of Your Stuff When House Sitting

14 Feb, 2023

13 Tips to Keep Track of Your Stuff When House Sitting

Spread the love

If you are thinking of becoming a housesitter and spending time travelling by housesitting read this blog. It can be useful to learn and prepare by understanding the etiquette when house sitting, learning how to keep track of your stuff when your living in someone else’s home. Read on to learn more.

What is the etiquette for house sitting?

Veteran house sitter Kelly Hayes-Raitt shares her tips for living on top of other people’s stuff when house sitting in more than 20 countries.

By Kelly Hayes-Raitt

House sitting etiquette when house sitting

Keeping track of your stuff is trickier when house sitting and you are living on top of someone else’s stuff. Some homeowners clear space in a closet or dresser, but others may not have the room. This is your chance to get creative! Here are my tips for house sitting jobs, gleaned from 12 years of unpacking when house sitting:

    1. As you settle in, find one place where you will always put the keys when you enter. It might be in the door lock (if it can’t be accessed from the outside), or in a bowl near the door. The, um, key is to find a place that is intuitive where you will automatically drop the keys upon entering.

      Consistency Is Key When House Sitting

    2. If you are a chronic key misplacer, you might want to invest in a Bluetooth tracker. These little devices (such as Tile Pro and Tile Mate) slide onto your key ring or into your wallet. To find misplaced valuables, press a search button on the app to activate the device’s beeping sound. Some apps show the last location of your missing item on a map.
      when house sitting
      Bluetooth trackers can find lost keys.
    3. When house sitting, I find one hiding place for my passport, credit card and other valuables and one consistent place to hide my laptop – every time I go out.
    4. Even when house sitting on long assignments, I limit my “living” space in the house so my belongings and work aren’t spread around.

      Get Creative!

    5. I find one place to unpack where I keep all my clothes together. When house sitting in a cramped terrace house in London, for example, I used the baby’s crib as my “dresser.”
      when house sitting
      Kitty checking out Kelly’s wardrobe.
      Photo by Kelly Hayes-Raitt
    6. Ditto for the kitchen: I keep all my dry goods in one space and arrange my refrigerated stuff in a single compact area.
    7. Bathrooms can pose the biggest challenge, as they are usually small and already cluttered. For shorter sits, I have a small travel bag with pockets that hangs over a towel hook. This is where I can easily keep my toiletries.
      Shoe organizers are inexpensive and can keep your toiletries organized when house sitting.

      When long term house sitting

      When house sitting for longer periods, I buy one of those over-the-door hanging storage thingies that has plastic pockets meant for shoes and hang it over the back of the bathroom door. This becomes my medicine cabinet where I can stow a hair dryer, toiletries, medicines, needle and thread, etc. I put my “office” stuff in these pockets, too.

      They don’t cost much and I leave them behind. When I leave a recurring house sit, I roll the filled storage unit up and stow it in a closet with my vitamins, shampoo and cold medicines all ready for my return.

      Keep All Your Stuff Together

    8. I put a cup in the bathroom for my jewelry, and it’s where my rings and necklaces always go. Cups are tougher for curious cats to get into!
      when house sitting
      Sometimes the pets live on top of your stuff!
      Photo by Kelly Hayes-Raitt
    9. To avoid leaving behind computer and phone cables, I proactively focus on where I plug them in. I charge my phone in the bathroom and leave it near the sink where it is visible and less likely to be forgotten. I use only one outlet for my computer cord. Exception: Bunny sits. Computer, phone and other nibble-tempting cords go up on a shelf – one shelf – and stay there!
    10. Some house sitters take photos of how the house looks when they arrive before they move the homeowners’ belongings to accommodate their own stuff. When they prepare to leave, they return the kitchen cupboards, fridge, bathroom and other areas back to the original states.

      Things to Have On-Hand When House Sitting

    11. One of my first purchases when house sitting in a new location is hydrogen peroxide to keep on hand for emergencies. I use it as a topical antibiotic for kitty scratches, a dental cleanser, and a de-skunker. (Mix 1 quart hydrogen peroxide, ¼ cup baking soda, and 1 teaspoon dishwashing liquid. Wearing gloves, apply liberally to area hit by the skunk, rubbing the mixture through the fur down to the skin. Let stand about 20 minutes and rinse. Repeat, if necessary.)
      when house sitting
      “Walk time!” Sometimes the pets communicate using your things. Photo by Kelly Hayes-Raitt
    12. When house sitting, I carry binder clips, the office supply that is usually used for securing stacks of papers. They: Pin up clothes for drying, pinch bags tight, temporarily (or longer!) repair a torn hem or busted luggage strap, hold electronic cords neatly, tightly close recalcitrant shower curtains, and, of course, keep my papers organized.
  • House sitting etiquette where to sleep

  •  It may be evident for you but if not the house sitting etiquette of where to sleep is where the homeowner proposes. They will have earmarked a bedroom for you, stay where they tell you.
  • Top Tip when house sitting

What is House Sitting?

Spread the love

Kelly Hayes-Raitt

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.