Keeping your Personal Belongings Private

private, off limits, put jewelry box away

Every household has different rules, but one rule that should be standard in every home is that the parent’s bedroom is private and off limits to the children’s friends, babysitters, or nannies.

Almost everyone has personal “stuff” that they don’t want anyone touching. If you designate one room in your home, usually the parent’s bedroom, to be a private room, it may save you a lot of headaches later.
Before the sitter arrives, put away money, jewelry, or anything else you wouldn’t want to be touched in your “private room.” Even if your sitter is the most trustworthy soul, things can get knocked over, broken, kicked under something, or lost by accident. But, if everything is put away in an “off limits” area, nothing can happen to it.

Some families allow their children to sleep in their parent’s bed or even just watch TV in their parent’s room. If this is the case at your house then maybe you want to designate another room of the house to be private or off limits.  I had a client tell me once that she had used a young babysitter to watch her little girl one afternoon for a couple of hours. When she got home, the sitter and the little girl had taken all kinds of clothing and shoes out of the mother’s closet and were playing dress up! Nothing had been damaged but the mother felt very uncomfortable about the sitter rummaging through her closet and wearing her clothes and shoes.

I once had a sitter help herself to my expensive perfume. She used so much of it that you could smell it in every room of the house. It also helps to point out to babysitters or nannies on their first visit to your home what rooms they are allowed to use and any particular items you’d prefer they don’t touch. You may not want the sitter touching your antique Victrola, or the batch of cookies you made for the school fair the next day, or even your kid’s pet hamster for fear it might escape.

I’m not suggesting you store homemade cookies in your bedroom, but you should put away money and valuables and also be sure to let the sitter know what is off limits as far as rooms, furniture, and other items that you don’t normally keep in your bedroom.

Obviously, this is a matter of opinion, and if you choose to give your nanny or babysitter run of the house, then that is your prerogative. But if you do have personal items that you want to keep private, or if you are uncomfortable with people outside of the family hanging out in your bedroom, then let the sitter know up front that that room is off limits and simply keep the door shut.

*Image courtesy of John Kasawa at