A Beginner’s Adventures in House Sitting – First Foray

Approximately 16 miles from our house where my partner, our housemate, and I live is the luxury apartment complex where we had our very first house sitting experience. On one of the many hills on the Eastside (East of Seattle), this luxury multi-story apartment complex boasts a spacious and contemporary living space within an upscale neighborhood community. Around 1000 square feet, this apartment felt cozy and just large enough. It may seem odd to house sit just a bus ride away from where we currently live while we still have a house. That may not be the case in 6 months. Our plan is to finish out our lease and then house sit, friend visit, and family crash our way through several months’ worth of living before heading out of the country.

To prepare for this rather interesting house hacking method, I researched the best websites to join and set up our account on Trusted Housesitters. The interface and setup was easy to work with and there were thousands of listings internationally, hundreds in the USA, and many within our own area. Most of the listings don’t go out much farther than 3 months. I log on and check new listings every day, looking to meet our needs come August 1st. We need high-speed internet and space to work. Both of us, my partner and I, work from home. I love dogs, cats, rabbits, goats, etc. I would absolutely love to house sit for a pig or a corgi! I look specifically at how far from the Seattle area the sits are and how many applicants they have as well as length of time and location (also looking in CO and FL). As newbies to the site, we have less credibility than others. We come as a couple. This could be a bonus for some homeowners, at least I hope.

We chose two house sits, one within 20 miles and one in Canada to gain good standing on the site. The first house sit we completed last week and we learned quite a bit about our daily habits. Here is a list of items we forgot to bring with us:

  1. Regal gift card that I had printed and was going to use when we went to see Sonic
  2. Wireless keyboard
  3. Swimming goggles (they have a pool!)
  4. Robe and towel
  5. Soccer ball
  6. Pants (not just leggings or sweat pants) since we went out for a fancy dinner date
  7. Debit card

Because we were staying in town, we continued our daily activities even though we were farther away from some activities. We didn’t take all our life’s items (like a debit card or a towel) that we wouldn’t normally need on a vacation. Except, this wasn’t a vacation.

I brought my all-in-one computer (still quite heavy) so that I had a desktop setup for work. I also brought all the groceries and some food prepped meals with us (not knowing if we’d have enough space in the fridge). I couldn’t find a tea kettle at the apartment and boiled water in a pot every morning for our coffee and tea.

It’s interesting to hop into someone’s life not knowing where the forks are located or if they have towels I’m going to like. I really am attached to the towel I use daily. We lived out of a suitcase plopped onto the floor. If we stayed longer, I would have organized my clothing better, but pulling items off the floor and out of a suitcase is perfectly fine for a few days.

Am I supposed to eat the avocado that’s over-ripening on the counter or should I put it into the fridge? I’m living in someone else’s house with their own preferences for cleaning and organizing and living. We only stayed 6 days, so I wouldn’t think of changing the structure of their life, how their apartment was organized. We did clean the toilets and run a load of linens before we left as well as wiping down the counters and the kitchen floors.

Since we live close to this house we were able to set up an in-person meeting prior to the actual house sit. This helped build good communication and expectations with the owner and her dog’s needs. She also provided a well thought out and detailed house sitting guide that lives in the Trusted Housesitters website.

The other component of house sitting is the pets! I fell in love with their little Min-Pin-Chihuahua mix. She was an absolute cutie! I grew up with larger dogs and it was nice taking care of a little pup. Poor thing had some bladder issues and so I took her out for frequent pee breaks during the day and she would have a few accidents on puppy pads at night. She often would sit curled up on my partner’s lap or huddled next to my side during the day and disappeared under the large expanse of blankets in the bed at night. It’s been many years since I’ve slept with a doggie!

I’m excited for our future adventures house sitting and ecstatic to save on rent and utilities for several months this year.

You can save too! Using this link (my referral link), you can sign up for Trusted Housesitters and save 25% off your yearly membership: https://www.trustedhousesitters.com/refer/RAF286731/

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