Snowbird Prep

Snowbird PrepWhile You Are Away

“During a season that brought ants into our kitchen and rainwater into our basement, we’re so glad we hired Sarah as our Home Manager to check on our home and oversee calls from service providers in our absence.”   -Sandy, happy GHHM client

Every fall, snowbirds prepare to pack up and head south for the winter. Sometimes they discover just how much can go wrong inside their home where no one can see what’s happening.

“I’ll just turn off the water heater…”

Did you know that turning off your water heater has the potential to void its warranty?

“I’ll just turn the temp down…”

Did you know that a cold water heater can interfere with water softener systems, and lead to speedy corrosion and spring a leak overnight?

“It’s clean enough for while we’re gone…”

Did you know that sugar ants can literally explode in a feeding frenzy when unchecked, and are one of the hardest infestations to eliminate?

“The Security Guards will walk around the exterior every day…”

Did you know that a running toilet can waste up to 4,000 gallons per day and cost thousands if no one is inside to hear it?

Inside your home there’s potential for a variety of issues with pests, water systems and furnaces that stop working during freezing spells. Just as snowbirds in the south hire Home Watch Services for the summer, a growing number of local residents are seeing the value in Home Watch Visits for ensuring the safekeeping of their home in Gig Harbor during the winter.

Did you know?
GHHM can provide peace of mind for the safekeeping of your home with our experienced and professional home manager who will regularly inspect the inside of your home with pre-scheduled Home Watch Visits. Sarah Friesen, the Owner of Gig Harbor Home Management, will meet with you personally for a free consultation and will create a customized checklist and inspection plan in order to protect your home investment while you are away.

Call 253.225.4864 and visit our Home Watch page for more information on how to prepare for extended absences.

What Can Senior Move Managers Do?

What Can Senior Move Managers Do?

Thank you to The New York Times for featuring NASMM (National Association of Senior Move Managers) itself & several NASMM members in an absolutely amazing article! The NASMM blog featured the full text (due to the NYT subscription-only payw23retiring-pic1-master1050all) so anyone can read it and learn more about what Senior Move Managers do. Please read the article to find out more about this growing industry:

Sarah Friesen, Gig Harbor Home Management Owner & Home Management Professional, is a NASMM member and trained Senior Move Manager. We can help with any part of your moving process!

Call us today at 253.225.4864 for a free consultation, or visit our Relocation Services webpage for more information.

Outdoor Games

Outdoor Games

August: the summer month we savor while spending as much time as possible outdoors. (And to think we’re already halfway through it!) If we aren’t having dinner on the deck, then we’re most likely visiting a friend’s patio. Whether the kids are running around at our feet, or we’re enjoying grown-up conversations and great food, everyone’s smiling in the sun.

Provide extra entertainment and laughter at your next backyard party with a few of these unique outdoor games. You might just find your friends won’t want to leave!

Mölkky (
A unique game involving strategy and skill and can be enjoyed by both young and old. Toss the throwing dowel underhand and knock over the skittles. Topple one skittle and get the amount of points branded on that skittle, topple multiple skittles and get the amount of points equaling the amount of skittles toppled. First one to 50 wins! Mölkky is a great way for children to learn math skills and have fun at the same time.

Lawn Twister (
twister Make Twister on your grass! Simply use spray paint for the colored circles. (Seymour Paint makes a quick drying marking paint that washes away after a few heavy rains or with a garden hose.) The soft grass cushions any falls, and doesn’t everyone like laying around in the yard in the summer?

Be the first team to knock down all your kubbs and then the king, or be on the opposite team of the player that knocks down the king before knocking down all of their kubbs. Watch out: Knocking down the king without knocking down the kubbs is like sinking the eight ball out of turn.

Cornhole (
Think beanbag toss… but with rules, scoring, teams and way more fun. This can be played with 2 or 4 players. Each team has a platform with a hole in it, and 4 corn bags. You take the beanbag, toss it at a rectangular plywood board about 30 feet away, and hope to either stick it somewhere on the platform or sink it through the single hole cut into the surface.

Egg & Spoon Relays (
A classic for all ages. You can go the old fashioned route and use real eggs and spoons; use plastic Easter eggs; or purchase a wooden version online. Divide players into teams, line them up, and run a classic relay race. If a player drops the egg along the way, he or she must return to the line and begin again. Make the game more challenging by setting up an obstacle course. Or, add another twist: The kids must hop like a bunny, waddle like a duck, crawl like a turtle…. The possibilities are endless!

This list is just a start. Browse more online and you’ll be in lawn game heaven with all the other options out there for backyard fun.


While the summer brings out the best in most of us, it can also be overwhelming if you’re the one hosting the party. If you need help with cleaning or organizing before or after, call us – we’ll do it for you so you can have fun – stress free. 253.225.4864

And if you have ideas of your own to share, come join us at our Facebook page. We’d love to hear from you!

10 Tips for Raising Responsible Adults

10 Tips for Raising Responsible Adults

Stephen Coveys 7 Habits of Happy Kids is taught in many school districts across the country, and if your kids were lucky enough to learn the habits last year… then hopefully they haven’t forgotten about it this summer!

Of course, wehabits hand tagxedo want summer to be fun and memorable. We want our kids to relax in the off-season from school. But this doesn’t mean they can’t help out their parents at home.

Helping around the house covers several concepts from the 7 Habits, and try to keep in mind we aren’t raising kids, we’re raising adults. This can be tough to practice, but worth the extra time and energy if it means our children will become adults who can take care of their belongings, manage their time, and maintain some basic cleanliness.



Here are 10 tips to help teach kids to care for their home and belongings:

  1. Make your bed every morning.
  2. Wipe out the bathroom sink, counter, and faucet when you’re done brushing your teeth.
  3. Put on a fresh toilet paper roll when it runs out.
  4. Hang up your wet towel after a shower.
  5. Take dishes to the sink when you’re finished eating.
  6. Hang up your coat and put away shoes when you walk in the door.
  7. Bring in your things from the car (and throw away your garbage).
  8. Unload your backpack every day after camp or school (mom and dad should provide simple steps for lunch boxes, wet swim suits, etc.).
  9. Be ready for tomorrow and think about what clothes or special items you need to get ready tonight (like washing your swimsuit today so it is ready for tomorrow’s camp).
  10. Have a 10-Minute-Tidy every night for family common areas: put away dirty dishes, books and toys, crafts, dirty socks, homework.

With several weeks of summer left, there’s still plenty of time to implement these tips. (And continue them well into the school year!) Keep reminding yourself “future adult, future adult, future adult” and let them know how much you love and appreciate their help.

Don’t forget: If you need help with home organization before or after school starts this fall, call us 253.225.4864 – we’ll provide a personalized, free consultation & estimate. No job is too big or too small for GHHM!

Your Summer Bucket List

Your Summer Bucket List

If you haven’t created a summer bucket list yet, there’s still time!

photo 5Here are a few helpful tips:

– Keep it simple and have fun with it.

– Keep expectations reasonable and costs low.

– Your ultimate goal should be focused on time spent with loved ones, being good to yourself, and finding joy in moments, rather than unattainable goals.

– Write down your ideas and hang it up in a place you’ll see it every day.

So, what’s on your list for this week?

Have fun!

Be Spontaneous

Be Spontaneous

Summer is so beautiful in the Pacific Northwest. However, we can get so busy sometimes that we miss amazing opportunities to get out and truly enjoy it. Whether you’re working, running kids around, or constantly on the go with errands, it’s time to slow down. It’s time to be spontaneous. Look for ways to take 30 minutes to enjoy these fleeting moments of summer. Stop at a local park or beach and just sit, relax, and soak it in before it’s over.

You’re more lmexican-siesta-1385302-mikely to make spontaneous beach/park stops if you keep a summer storage bin in the back of your car. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Picnic blanket & snacks
  • Sun hats
  • First aid kit (with sunscreen!)
  • Sweatshirt/sweater
  • Beach towels
  • Shovel, bucket, sand toys
  • Balls, Frisbee, kite, bubbles

Have fun!

If you don’t have the time or ideas to put this together, remember our organizing professionals can help! Call us at 253.225.4864 or visit for more information.

Summer Bucket List

It’s Summer: Go Make a Memory

I went home for Christmas, to the house that I grew up in.
Going back was something after all these years…
And I thought of all those summers I paced that porch and swore I’d die of boredom there.
And I thought of what I’d give to feel another summer linger, where a day feels like a year.
And I let time go by so slow, and I made every moment last.
And I thought about years. How they take so long, and they go so fast.

These lyrics from songwriter Beth Neilsen Chapman remind us to slow down…enjoy the moment…make a memory.

All too many of us allow hectic schedules for two months, only to feel disappointed (and tired) in September because we were too busy to actually enjoy, relax, and just be.

Here’s our advice: create a Summer Bucket List. If you have kids, have them participate in the idea process – it’s fun! Ask your partner for input, and make the formation of your list one of your first summer memories of 2014.

Some of our favorites: make homemade popsicles; watch an outdoor movie; go to a local beach you’ve never visited; make homemade bubbles; feed the ducks.

A word of caution: keep expectations reasonable and costs low. Your ultimate goal should be focused on time spent with loved ones, being good to yourself, and finding joy in moments, rather than unattainable goals.

Summers are long; and they go so fast…make this one count.

For inspiration on starting your own list, enter your email under “Subscribe to Our Newsletter” to the right.

Let us do the house cleaning and home organization so that you can enjoy enjoy a carefree summer. Call 253.225.4864 for details.

Check out our SUMMER SPECIALS!

Award Photos

Here are a few awob_cs_rs_winnerphotos from the awards gala where Sarah won the Rising Star Award. This bi-annual award honors a woman entrepreneur who has owned her business for less than five years, and is showing the persistence, tenacity, and leadership to make a difference in her business and community.

Sarah’s acceptance speech:

“The joy (and challenge) of a small business startup is that every objective, goal and marketing effort is a direct reflection of the owner’s personal values, beliefs and branding. When I consider who I am and how I’ve transferred my belief system into the ideAWOB.CR.118ntity of my company, it becomes clear that several factors have inspired and influenced me over the years.

My genealogy is filled with a family history of service-oriented individuals. “How can I help?” is as common as hello and goodbye. I believe that my career as a home management professional captures all that I have been taught about walking alongside someone during their time of stress, chaos or overwhelming workloads.

Over the years, I have considered several workplace mentors to be cornerstones in the formation of my business standards, and still try my best to operate within their treasured mantras:

*  Do it right, or don’t do it at all. 

* Create win-win partnerships: with employees, clients and providers. Always.

*  Make the phrase “Attention to details” a marketing advantage and live it in every way. 

* Honor and care for your clients, but not at your expense.  

My passion for helpingsarah_1 others, my love of organizing, my inspiring family, my influential mentors and my entrepreneurial spirit all came together one day, and I had no idea of the growth potential. But I did know that I had something valuable to offer Gig Harbor homeowners: competent, trustworthy care for their home.

I believe that many of you are familiar with my corporation’s mission, vision and values. But what I haven’t always shared is that from early on in my business growth, I knew that I wanted my company brand to connect with people.

Author Simon Sinek said “People don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it.” This philosophy captures the essence of our values at GHHM. The reason we work so hard is to provide peace of mind and protection through our home watch services, and provide the gift of time through our organization, relocation and cleaning services.

Connecting whatAWOB.CR.124 I do to an emotion about why I do it (and why they need me), points out the unique nature of what sets me apart in this industry: I consider it an honor to be given the key to someone else’s house.  It’s a very personal decision for them. I want to earn their trust and be their advocate.  I want the client to feel they are in charge and I am their representative. I take pride in giving my clients my personal touch.  I don’t outsource my core services – everyone who goes in that house as my representative is on my team.

2012 was a year of market testing, industry research, brand creation and to be honest, an assessment of my willingness and courage to be a small business owner. 2013 was a year of creation as I designed, implemented and managed six service lines. I also shifted from sole proprietor to corporation, hired my employees in order to handle client growth, worked with 20+ service partners, and solidified our corporate objectives, mission and vision.

2014 will be a year of strength. Gig Harbor Home Management will continue to expand its clientele, and solidify its reputation in the Gig Harbor market as a reliable home management expert and resource.

I am so proud of the progress we have made, and excited for all the potential the future holds for myself and my team.”

Thank you everyone, for making this possible!






Why Hire a Relocation Services Manager?

Why Hire a Relocation Services Manager?

Relocation Services Management® is an industry designed to fill the growing need for trustworthy and comprehensive support during a transition to a new living space – whether an apartment, a retirement community, or assisted living.

Aging demogra27195291_ml-1phics contribute greatly to this need as the number of Americans over the age of 65 will double to over 70 million by 2030. But there are other factors, outside of pure numbers, that contribute to the growing need for Relocation Services Managers.

Increasing housing options. The last decade has brought an amazing variety of housing choices to the market. People are able to stay in their home longer and then move to a living space of their own choosing, therefore relying less on adult children for their long-term care.

Changing work and living patterns of adult children. Family members may not be able to help with the moving process due to geographic distance, career, personal obligations, or their own health limitations.

Evolving family dynamics. Although many adult children do help their parents move, there are times when strained relationships make this difficult. Whether they feel “parented” by their adult children, or worried they are too much of a burden, or perhaps have children that are no longer living, there are a number of situations in which family support simply isn’t an option.

Physical and emotional obstacles. Moving (at any age) is one of the top 5 life stressors. If there are additional factors such as the death of a spouse, or an illness, then moving brings about an even deeper challenge. When people experience physical and emotional difficulties during a move, it’s not unusual. Many people don’t realize that caregivers can experience similar conditions as well, due to the high level of stress and fatigue throughout the process.

Numerous factors influence a transition to a new living space; therefore, people can be easily overwhelmed. With the expert guidance of a Relocation Services Manager, chaos and anxiety are minimized, emotional and physical distress of key decisions are reduced, and costly mistakes and remorse that often accompany major lifestyle transitions can be avoided.

The Relocation division of Gig Harbor Home Management can oversee many aspects of a transition. Our Relocation Services Manager will oversee details of a move with dignity, respect and care, while bringing peace of mind to you and your loved ones.

Call 253.225.4864 or click for more information.

Get Ready For Summer

Try these simple ideas now, so you can relax and enjoy the summer ahead!

Start outdoors.
Walk around your home and look for areas that need painting, staining or repairs – such as wooden decks and fences. Tune up your garden equipment and finish yard clean up. Prepare garden beds for hot weather with a fresh layer of compost. Remember to program your sprinkler system. Schedule your annual window cleaning and pressure washing before the summer parties begin. Do you need to update the patio/deck décor or furniture?

Go inside.
Service your air conditioner and change the ceiling fan direction so it pushes the air down. Establish a house rule that shoes are removed at the door so dirt, sand, and grass aren’t tracked through the house. Create a bucket list of fun things you’d like to do this summer.

happy-kid-1-1286628-mIt’s time for FUN!
Take some extra time to organize your calendar. Book those summer parties, register for kid’s camps, plan family activities, and even schedule some downtime. Organize summer supplies and stock up on sunscreen, bug spray, beach towels and kid’s clothing. (Do the swimsuits fit?) Toss or donate anything your kids have outgrown or won’t use. Pack a “Grab
n’ Go Bag” to make last minute summer outings a breeze. Finalize vacation plans and hire a Home Watch Manager to check on your home while you’re gone.

Gig Harbor Home Management can help you accomplish all your household duties this summer. Our professional organizer can keep your home running smoothly, and our expert team of house cleaners can efficiently tidy your home each week – so you can get the most out of your summer! Call 253.225.4864 for a free estimate.