I admit it. I read all the house sitting assignments that come through my email each day. It’s an obsession.
Six years ago, when Conrad and I first found out about house sitting, I remember clamoring to get my hands on a computer, so I could look up house sitting match-up sites.
As soon as I read my first one – I still remember it, a rural home in Portugal with 2 dogs — a whole new world opened up. The homeowners described their area; river running nearby, a few kilometers to a town with a bakery and cafes. Oh my! I felt a surge of urgency to do this crazy thing called house sitting.
Conrad and I have happily changed our lives through house sitting around the world since then. Here is a post I wrote after our first house sit.
I love the humanness of it all. I love how the entire world of families and households are available to me – that we can connect, become friends, and help each other out.
I’ve read gazillions of posts from all over the world, in every corner.
So there’s this trend I see lately. Have you noticed this too – there are many ultra-short house sitting assignments? They are 2-3 days only. 2-3 days!
I really don’t want an assignment under 6 weeks, because it takes that long to settle in to a neighborhood and the routine of living there.
At first blush, the short assignments were nonsense to me, but the more I thought about it, the more logic I found, especially for newbies.
I look at it two different ways:
In Favor of Short House Sits:
The numbers of homeowners and house sitters is growing exponentially – that’s good, right? So I have to believe that when someone posts a need for a sitter for 2 days, they are thinking, (knowing?), that there are a lot of sitters out there, AND NEARBY.
Plus, for all the new house sitters trying to get assignments, a local short-term sit is the perfect way to start, figure out if you like it, and to gather references.
Lillian Yates Duggan, of My Ideal World, did just that. She says,
“I was looking for a short-term sit near my home recently so that my family could try house-sitting. It had to occur within the holiday break as well. Luckily, I found [a short assignment]. It was just what I needed under the circumstances.”
For new house sitters, close-to-home is a tried-and-true method for getting started, as I write in this post.
Against Short House Sits:
Amongst full-time and experienced house sitters, the resounding opinion is negative for short assignments. Here’s what a few veterans had to say:
Beckie Alley of says: “I’ve noticed that too actually, and find it a little frustrating. Some assignments I know I’d be great at doing and their pets are adorable, but for me, the cost of getting there can’t justify the 2 or 3 days needed.”
Victoria Fann says, “I just received a request for one. My issues are that it’s not enough time for the sitters and pets to adjust to each other…plus, the move in and move out (with cleaning) is too much work for a few days.”
Ruth Myers of Happy House Sitters, says, “On my platform we have a 5 night minimum.. Funnily enough 5-6 years ago – it used to be 2 weeks.”
Robin Detrick Lopez of The Mermaid House Sitter says, “It’s hard for me to fathom anyone expecting an international house sitter to accept a 2-3 day assignment. I get calls for 3 day getaways as well but will only accept short stays requested by former clients. All the pre work has been done.”
Tracy McDermott of McNomads, says,
“We analyzed the cost of our housesitting assignments over the past 12 months. We had one sit that was more costly for us to do than a cruise we took last year on Royal Caribbean. True story. Transportation cost to the housesit and during the sit was the factor. Bottom line is we cannot afford to take a short sit because the transportation and set up costs (restocking fridge) are too high. Might just as well be floating on a luxury liner somewhere.”
Tracy wanted to add, “The effort it takes to apply is the same for a two-day or a two-month sit. That costs nothing tangible, of course, but the application process can be time consuming and aggravating. I’d probably opt for a couple of relaxing days at an AirBnB instead.”
And then finally this from Tracy, “I still believe that a loving house-sitter is better for the pets than a strange kennel. Not that I would not take a short sit under any circumstances but they would have to align perfectly with our plans.”
So there you have it. The pros and cons of the ultra-short house sit.
They are here to stay, I believe, and the short assignments are good way to get started in the wonderful world of house sitting. The competition will be lower for those short stays, allowing first-timers to get a foot in the door.
Plus, all the new homeowners on the house sitting sights proves one thing – this movement is growing! People are getting more comfortable with the idea of a sharing society.
Wishing you safe and happy travels always and all ways,