House sitting is a great way for an older teen to begin learning how to live on your own while making some money at the same time. Generally, people prefer a junior or senior in high school for a house sitter, but if you’re a freshman or sophomore, you can still manage as a house sitter as long as you are willing to show you’re responsible.
House sitting can be done several different ways. Some people just want someone to check on their home once a day or a few times a week while they’re out of town. For others, they want to have someone there at night so their home won’t be left unattended for too long at a time.
Whichever the case may be, you can be assured that your skills are definitely needed. It’s important to realize that this isn’t a time to be throwing a party and having all of your friends over to visit. You’ll need to be sure your friends respect your responsibility or else simply not tell them you’re house sitting.
You’ll typically be responsible to make the home look lived in, which makes it less inviting to burglars. Turning on different lights and having music or the television going at different times is one way to do this. Another is to open and close blinds or curtains on a daily basis, and maybe even move children’s toys outside here and there, so it always appears that someone is home.
Never leave a mess when you’re house sitting. Even if this means getting up 15 minutes earlier in the morning to wash up your breakfast dishes or put away last night’s dinner dishes. While people want you to be in their house, they don’t want to come home and have to clean up after you.
Be respectful of the owner’s property and be sure to tend it with care. If you sleep in a bed in the house, make it when you get up; if you use the shower, clean the bathroom when you’re finished. Wash all the dishes you use and put things away where they belong. What if the owners came home early and found a mess? You’d likely not get asked to house sit again, and you’d be mighty embarrassed by the fact that they found your dirty clothing lying on the bathroom or bedroom floor!
For some people, house sitting may also involve tending to pets or house plants. You may need to be willing to walk Fido and tend to Fluffy’s food, or even clean up Fido’s mess. It can also mean as water plants and turning them so they get the right sun.
Usually, you’ll need to collect the mail and newspapers and place them in a central location or forward them to the owners, whichever they prefer. Always be careful to do this daily so mail or papers don’t build up. That’s a sure sign that no one is at home, and one of the main reasons someone would hire you to house sit for them.
Living on your own is a responsibility that everyone wants to achieve at some point, and house sitting is a great way to show your family and friends you’re responsible enough to do so when the time comes.
Be mindful of the fact that the neighbors may be watching what you do and reporting back to the owners, so it’s probably not a good idea to have your boyfriend over (without permission), or pay a neighbor kid to clean up the dog’s mess when that’s what you were hired to do.
In short, if you demonstrate to friends, family, and potential clients that you’re capable of this responsibility, you’ll soon have a thriving business during vacation season, especially. If you go the extra mile and show how well you can do this, you may even have people lining up for your services and happy to pay you very well to house sit for them.