Perfect Summer Projects for Your PA or HM to Tackle While You’re Away

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Managing a high end home is typically a full-time, year-round job. But, things may slow down for your household staff when you travel. That’s why summer is often the perfect time of year for your household manager or personal assistant to address home maintenance projects.

I’ve curated a categorized list of projects you and your assistant may want to consider below. My Summer Projects list, pictured above, can be downloaded here.

Administrative Projects

Keeping files, manuals, and miscellaneous paperwork organized can sometimes fall to the wayside in favor of addressing more urgent needs. So, if things are going to be a bit slow for your assistant this summer, he may want to update: 

  • Estate manuals

  • Emergency and fire safety preparedness plans

  • Professional contact lists

Organizational Projects

If you have just finished watching Marie Kondo’s show on Netflix or reading her book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, you might ask your assistant to purge a closet or clean out the attic. Here are some other ideas:

  • Go “Marie Kondo” 

  • Clean out the garage, basement or attic

  • Inventory storage units

  • Prepare donations

Maintenance Projects

Moving furniture or removing items from the home for professional cleaning can be a bit of a headache. So, why not have your assistant manage these tasks while you’re away? He might tackle projects like:

  • Clean antique rugs

  • Restore artwork

  • Polish silver

  • Servicing Heating/Ventilation/AIr Conditioning (HVAC) Systems

  • Schedule evaluation/updates to security systems 

  • Schedule a deep cleaning (inside cabinets, ovens, closets, etc.)

Renovations

Renovations can, of course, be even more disruptive than maintenance work. If you’ve been putting off updates to parts of your home, like painting or flooring installation, summer may be the perfect time to get these larger projects done. For example, you may ask your assistant to oversee renovations like:

  • Resurface the pool

  • Install new flooring

  • Interior or exterior painting

  • Install a new security system

Take Stock

Sometimes, in a large home, it can be easy to forget what you have and where things are kept (even more so if you own multiple properties). Asking your PA to inventory and catalog your belongings to get a handle on what goes where:

  • Inventory the wine cellar

  • Appraise antiques

  • Catalog butler’s pantry

  • Inventory fine china and silverware

  • Catalog jewelry and artwork

Imagine returning to a home that’s been deep cleaned, reorganized, or renovated. Perhaps that security system you’ve been longing for is finally up and running or the painting you’ve been meaning to have restored is now in pristine condition. What a lovely treat to come back to! 

No big travel plans for the rest of this summer? You can always circle back to this list for project inspiration later in the year. No matter when you travel, asking your HM or PA to tend to larger organizational, maintenance, or renovation projects while you’re out of town can be a great way to make the most of your time away.

Enjoy your final weeks of summer!

Really, You Were A Nanny In Graduate School?

Surprise is the reaction I get most often when I describe how I got started in the private service industry. Most of us have interesting stories about making this a career – you can’t just choose it as a college major (yet) – so the getting started story is actually one of my favorite questions to ask candidates during an interview... what road led you to become a Personal Assistant, an Estate Manager, a Private Chef, etc?