Earning Extra Cash
Consider this - When you have your long vacations so do many of the people in your community.
Instead of moaning because 'There's nothing to do' and 'you have no money', rise above the rest and start your own mini-business caring for your neighbour's homes.
It is important to remove, for the security of the property, all of those little signals to thieves that the home is vacant.
Letter boxes should be emptied regurlarly, free papers and other advertising material removed and lawns kept trim, tidy and free of litter.
Windows, doors and outbuildings should be checked regurlarly, as well, to ensure that there has been no intrusion of the property.
Some families keep birds, rabbits, cats, dogs and other animals that they may need to leave at home.
These will all need to be fed, watered walked and checked on a daily basis.
Keep the number of jobs to a level that you can handle.
The first thing that you will need to do is to speak to your local police officers.
Tell them what you plan to do and a little bit about yourself so that they can see that you are not the real burglar.
Ask their advice on the best way to organise your tasks to ensure that you are giving your customers what they are paying for.
Print up a number of A5 leaflets stating your name, address, the service you are offering and why your neighbours should consider it, along with any other details that you think will encourage them to take you on.
Give them out to as many people as you can that know youor your family then put the rest into letterboxes in the area that you are thinking of working.
How to do it
A few days before your customers are due to leave on their vacation call in on them to assure them that you will be doing the job and geting any last minute instructions.
Be sure that you have all of the necessary contact details just in case something goes very wrong.
You will also want to make a last minute check, if you are looking after some pets, that all of their food and other needs are available.
Try and plan each day out so that you do each house in a logical sequence and are not traveling backwards and forwards between them.
Each of your customers will have a list of things that they will want you to do and will be paying you to do just that.
If, when you check around each home, you see something that doesn't look right please do not attempt to investigate it yourself.
Contact the local police station and let someone know of your concerns.
Your main task at each address will be to ensure that the mail, papers and other junk are collected and that the property seems secure and untouched.
Water any plants that your customer has asked to be looked after along with any other jobs you have been asked to do.
Pets and pats
Many things will be different for the pets left in your care and they will need a little extra love and reassurance along with their food and water requirments.
Don't forget that all animals require and desire clean water and food bowls, cages, hutches, kennels and bedding.
Because you may want to do this job another time it is wise to keep a close eye on the health of your charges as nothing annoys a customer more than coming home to dead pets.