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Publié le by NmNomador

A Guide to Hygienic House-sitting Practices

As regions and countries begin to slowly open up around the world, our beautiful community of animal-friendly travelers has been active! It is encouraging to see such a renewed enthusiasm for travel. If you are currently planning a vacation this year, then we are sure it will truly be a well-deserved escape.

However, as a community, we must also be sure to enter this next phase with caution. This is the time for all of us to look at applying strong health and hygiene practices going forward. Because house-sitting is based on placing a high-level of trust between house-sitters and homeowners (who are often strangers to each other!), we want to ensure that after the extreme health crisis experienced this year, that this shared trust will continue. 

Below you will find our tips to prepare for house-sitting in this new, post-peak pandemic world. These are based on our observations of health recommendations developed in different sectors of the accommodation and tourism industry, and feedback from our members' experiences.

Before your stay

In such an exchange as house-sitting, everything is about communication and transparent dialogue. We can't say it enough: take the time to get to know each other! Ask every conceivable question in order that you choose the right house-sit or select your ideal house-sitters.

From the arrival of the house-sitters to the return of the homeowners

House-sitting is so completely different from other forms of accommodations. In a hotel or Airbnb rental, one traveler usually promptly follows another. But, in this case, you have a house just for you, loaned by a homeowner in exchange for the care of their pets and home. Therefore, you cannot expect strict sanitary protocols. It is instead up to each member of our community to do their utmost to ensure that the house is safe for the house-sitter on arrival, and for the homeowner on their return.

Whether you are a homeowner or a house-sitter, our suggested good hygiene practices to employ are as follows:

Consider the arrival of the house-sitter(s).

It is a key moment in your relationship: the moment when you get to know each other and the moment when a meal is usually shared. We advise you to discuss this point together before arrival: do you all feel comfortable sitting down to a meal together? Is there a way to have it in the open air, like on a patio? Will one of you feel more reassured if you all wear masks? If you are feeling worried in any way about how this opening meal may unfold, then be sure to express it.

Clean the house carefully on arrival and departure.

A thorough cleaning of the entire house is imperative at both ends of the exchange. Even if no one expects hotel comfort, put more emphasis than ever on tidiness and cleanliness in order to lower the risk of any possible transfer, and ensure peace of mind. A good cleaning (vacuuming floors and carpets, washing tiles, cleaning a work surface with a soapy sponge, etc.), is required to first remove dirt and impurities. Then it is also advisable to regularly disinfect frequently handled objects and surfaces such as remote controls, light switches, door handles, etc.

Pay special attention to bathrooms.

Toilets and bathrooms must be left and returned in an impeccable state of cleanliness. They should be disinfected before the stay, regularly during the stay, and at the very end of the stay. If you have a bathroom that can be used exclusively by the house-sitters during their stay, that can help. Be sure that the laundry basket and dustbin is emptied before they arrive and that the entire room is washed top to bottom.

Care for the kitchen.

The kitchen must also be tidied, cleaned, and disinfected - everything from the sink, worktop, wastebasket, and refrigerator. Ensure that everyday objects (i.e. the coffee maker) are thoroughly disinfected.

Stock up on household products.

We advise homeowners to leave new cloths for the house-sitters to use (e.g. micro-fibre wipes that are not very expensive in supermarkets), as well as new sponges. We also recommend that homeowners provide the products they wish to use for surface disinfection, especially if a special line of products is preferred.

Use Nomador's inventory of fixtures and home-book as a guide.

Finally, we remind you that you on this website, you can download:

  • An inventory of fixtures adapted to house-sitting that will serve as a checklist to go around the house.
  • A home-book, on which you can write down all the precise instructions for the maintenance of the house.

Take care of yourself and the community

As always, we encourage you to treat each other with respect and care, and especially in these coming days when travel begins to increase again. We have come a long way since COVID-19 first upended the world, and it will be some time yet until any sort of normalcy resumes. We must look out for each other’s health in the coming months and ensure that safety is top of mind so that holidays can be enjoyed to their fullest.

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