Often we can procrastinate for far too long before actually taking the first steps to making changes in our lives. Fear may hold us back, or uncertainty of how to go about things, or maybe other people scoff at our ideas and cause us to hesitate.
If you have been considering house sitting as an option I would urge you to jump in and give it a go. After all, what do you have to lose? Take the plunge and jump in with both feet, very few people regret it.
In my previous post, Why House Sitting? I mentioned that it was unforeseen circumstances that prompted me to take the plunge and maybe, if it hadn’t been for those circumstances, I too would still be procrastinating.
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One thing I can say is that I have never for one moment regretted making this change in my life. For me, it has been a major change in lifestyle but it doesn’t have to be for everyone. I know many house sitters who sit within the vicinity of their own homes and jobs, they sit for weekends or even during the week if the commute to their place of work is achievable. This is actually a great way to get started without making major changes to your life and you can build up reviews and references in anticipation of the time when you may decide to set off around the world.
The first thing that I did was join a couple of Facebook groups for house sitters so that I could ask questions and glean some information on the subject. One of the most vital aspects, if you want to make a success of house sitting, is to find the best website to register with. This will depend very much on what country you want to sit so it’s good to be able to ask questions in groups and get a general idea of how best to proceed.
One Facebook group that is extremely useful is House Sitting Magazine – Lifestyle group and, if you are not on Facebook, they have a website https://housesittingmagazine.com/ with lots of great advice. I actually have an article in this month’s edition of the magazine so I am really looking forward to seeing that in ‘print’ (it’s an online magazine).
So, after a bit of research I decided that Trusted House Sitters would be the best site for me to register with as it seemed to have a great deal of sits in the UK and I knew I would have to start there. I live in Ireland and although there are some sits here it’s the UK mainland that has the greatest number of homeowners looking for sitters. I was advised to start with a few short sits to begin with to get some reviews under my belt.
Before I registered I did go on to the site numerous times and read lots of other sitters’ profiles to see how they had presented themselves and what information they included. That meant that once I paid my registration fee I was able to quickly get my profile set up and go live. If you would like to read my profile you can access it through this link, click here. You will have to enter your email address to gain access but don’t worry, you are not signing up for anything.
I then began searching for sits and started applying. Your initial application is very important, you need to grab the attention of the homeowner and stand out from the crowd. You can get lots of advice on how to go about all of this via the House Sitting Magazine sites mentioned above, they have great information. And be prepared to apply for lots because many homeowners never even reply. Don’t be afraid to apply for sits that overlap with each other, if you do get offered ones with the same dates you are under no obligation to accept.
I was very surprised how easy it was to get my first few sits. OK, they weren’t the ones I was really interested in, my goal was to get to a warmer country but I had to start somewhere. Surprisingly though the first one that I was accepted for was 2 weeks in France! I was rather gob-smacked with that unexpected result.
France came later though, my first sit was for just 2 nights in Edinburgh with Zac, a really cute little dog and it was a good one to start with. Easy for me to get to and short enough not to send me into a panic thinking about it. The homeowners said that they were surprised that anyone bothered applying for a sit that was only 2 nights so that may be something to keep in mind when you are applying.
My second sit, in Wellington in England, was to look after a cat. I never actually met the homeowner. She left before I arrived and came back after I had gone, she just left me a key. I don’t think I would risk doing this with a dog though it could be dangerous.
After this everything just sort of took off and I haven’t looked back. If you read my previous post Why House Sitting? you will see that I have been somewhat busy. You will also notice in that post that I mention getting many of my bookings privately, this is because Portugal is my favoured location and there are not so many sits available there so I devised a different way of obtaining those. I’ll do a post on that soon, after all I need to keep you interested so you’ll come back to my blog for another visit.
25% off Trusted House Sitters
If you are interested in registering with Trusted House Sitters either as a house sitter or a home owner. You can use this link or simply use the code RAF232761 at check out. I also benefit by getting 2 months free registration.