There are many things that cause house sitters concern but with the right preparation, and good communication with the home owners, most potential problems can be avoided or, at least, prepared for.
So, what is my biggest fear?
It’s locking myself out of the house.
At home I have to lock the door behind me, it doesn’t lock automatically, but many homes that I look after have doors that lock once you close them. Leaving a spare key outside somewhere doesn’t always help because if the key is on the inside of the door you can’t get another one in from the outside.
So, has it ever happened?
Yes, just once thankfully. I was very distracted on the morning in question because my granddaughter was in hospital seriously ill and my mind was elsewhere. As soon as I pulled the door behind me I realised what I had done.
So, what did I do?
I tied the dog’s lead to the front door handle, climbed up on to the top of an 8 foot wall at the side of the house and crawled along the top of the wall between the house and the next door neighbour’s house for about 6 metres. I sat there for quite some time trying to pluck up the courage for the next part but eventually I did it. I used a pergola to swing myself across to a barbecue area and then managed to get a fly screen open from outside and get in a window that was slightly ajar. Not bad for a 64 year old with bad knees.
Will it happen again?
Hopefully not. I now always keep the keys on a lanyard and have it wrapped around the door handle. This reminds me to put them around my neck and take them with me. I certainly hope it doesn’t happen at this sit, It’s a 3rd floor apartment!
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