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 www.gigharborhomemanagement.com 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.

TubBoys_vintage
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 Senior Move Manager?

Why Hire a Senior Move Manager?

Senior Move Management® is an industry designed to fill the growing need for trustworthy and comprehensive support during a senior citizen’s 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 Senior Move Managers.

Increasing housing options. The last decade has brought an amazing variety of housing choices to the market. Seniors 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 seniors 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, seniors and their families can be easily overwhelmed. With the expert guidance of a Senior Move 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 Senior Relocations division of Gig Harbor Home Management can oversee many aspects of a transition. Our Senior Move 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.

We WON!

Sarah Friesen, owner of Gig Harbor Home Management, won the 2014 AWOB Rising Star Award for business excellence!

We’d like to share with you Sarah’s thoughts on winning this award….

“The joy (and chalawob_cs_rs_winnerlenge) 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 identity 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 helping 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 what 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!

What is a Tickler File?

Tax season is long gone, spring is here, and summer plans are already in the works. It’s nearly half-way through the year and
your paper management system is probably out of control. If so, create a tickler file – an effective system that takes the stress out of finding important papers all year long.

What is a tickler file? It’s a simple filing system made up of 43 folders—one folder for each day of the month (numbered 1 through 31), plus one folder for each month of the year, each labeled with the name of one month.

How doesorter-466101-ms it work? A tickler file gives you control over paper you want or need to take action on at a date in the future, but not today. So, if you’re going out of town on the 20th, you can file your travel itinerary, directions and confirmation numbers in the folder labeled 20. If your child’s birthday is in October, you can collect party ideas through the year and file them in the September folder—giving you plenty of time to plan. Having a spot for these future actions means they no longer pile up on the counter waiting for you to take action. Simply check your tickler file daily, and your actionable papers are ready for you.

Where to get one? You can make your own tickler file using plain manila file folders or decorated file folders and a labeler. Or, you can simplify things a bit and purchase a pre-made tickler file on Amazon.

These forty-three folders will simplify your life – give it a try!

 

 

When to Toss the Tax Paperwork

Tax season is over… and you’ve probably been looking at all the paperwork and wondering, how long do I need to keep this stuff? Well, it isn’t as long as you Tax Tablethink!

The IRS says:
“You must keep your records as long as they may be needed for the administration of any provision of the Internal Revenue Code. Generally, this means you must keep records that support items shown on your return until the period of limitations for that return runs out. The period of limitations is the period of time in which you can amend your return to claim a credit or refund or the IRS can assess additional tax.”

See the chart image posted here, and if you have more questions about how much paper you should store, click directly to the IRS site for additional information.

A word of caution from Gig Harbor Home Management: Some websites suggest that you store old tax returns electronically in order to cut down on paper storage in your home. They suggest sites like Dropbox or Amazon Cloud. We strongly urge you to consider the risk associated with this! Your tax return contains extremely confidential information, and if stolen could provide significant identity theft opportunities. Oftentimes, large organizations who promise us privacy and security can still be susceptible to hackers. In our opinion, don’t take the chance!

If you’re facing paper overload in your home office, Gig Harbor Home Management’s professional organizing team can bring some calm to your chaos. Call today for a free consultation at 253.225.4864.

Award Finalist Panel for Women Business Owners

Sarah Friesen, owCS2014logo_datener of Gig Harbor Home Management (GHHM), participated in an award finalist panel Wednesday night, hosted by the Alliance of Women Owned Businesses (AWOB) at the Inn at Gig Harbor. Sarah, and eight other finalists, were selected from 60 nominees for three different Crystal Star Awards sponsored bi-annually by AWOB. Wednesday night’s event gave the finalists a chance to publicly share a little about themselves, their business, and their journey as an entrepreneur.

Each of the finalists enlightened a room full of attendees with their unique business perspective, advice, vision, and obstacles. Every question asked of the panel was answered with eloquence and passion. When asked about her company’s value statements, Sarah said they strive to live by the, “do it right, or don’t do it at all” motto that has stuck with her since college.

“Everyone has a different definition of what’s ‘right’ when it comes to their job performance. So we talk about this work ethic at our staff meetings, and I can’t emphasize it enough,” said Sarah. “When I decided to expand my business and hire six employees, this was one of my main requirements. I can’t have my staff doing ‘good enough’ work – it has to be done at the highest of standards, with the ultimate goal of understanding each client’s unique expectations.”

Sarah Friesen is one of three finalists for The Rising Star Award, which 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.

The nine finalists will attend an award gala on May 15, 2014 to find out who will win The Rising Star Award, The Shining Star Award, and The Crystal Star Award. The Award winners will be selected by a panel of three judges, including Julie Anderson, Pierce County Auditor; Bremerton Mayor Patty Lent; and Jeff Rounce, publisher of the South Sound Business Examiner in mid-March.10155891_623859794362856_4914968433473032561_n

Jill Neumeister, President of AWOB, shared her enthusiasm recently, after the nominees were selected. “The caliber of women finalists in this year’s Crystal Star Awards showcases the incredible amount of professionalism, passion and dedication that women business owners in our local communities have,” said Neumeister.

Join all of the finalists, as well as numerous AWOB members and guests at the Gala Awards Dinner & Ceremony on May 15 at Fircrest Golf Club. Tickets for the gala are on sale at the AWOB website, www.awobwomen.org.

About Sarah Friesen – Owner of Gig Harbor Home Management Inc.
Sarah’s business originated in 2011 with a vision for providing high quality, customized Home Watch Services for snowbirds, vacation rentals and vacant homes. In 2013, Sarah hired employees and expanded her services to include house cleaning, professional organizing, and senior relocation services.

Sarah joined AWOB in 2012 looking for educational opportunities to facilitate her own growth as a new business owner. She has been an AWOB sponsor for the past two years because she believes in its mission to support women in business. However, Sarah believes her most influential role with women is as an employer and supervisor.

In addition to AWOB, Sarah is a member of the Gig Harbor Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Professional Organizers.

For more information on GHHM, visit www.GigHarborHomeManagement.com or call 253.225.4864. You can also connect with Sarah through Facebook.com/GigHarborHomeManagement.

How to Prepare Your Home for Sale

Follow these guidelines if you are striving to sell your home quickly for top-dollar.

  • Purge

Show your potential buyers that there’s plenty of room for all their stuff. Your crowded closets and overflowing cupboards will only testify that space is limited. So give it away, throw it away or put it in storage temporarily.

  • De-Personalize

You might enjoy the knick-knacks and the countless family photos. But every reminder of YOUR family detracts from the buyer’s ability to imagine his own family in the space. So remove photos and personal items in order to create a clean space that feels spacious and neutral.

  • Clean Relentlessly

Buyers don’t want to imagine living in someone else’s mess, or worry about layers of grime and mildew waiting for them upon closing. If you want top dollar for your home, then demonstrate your commitment to taking care of it by keeping it super clean.

  • Remove Items You Won’t Sell

If you will be taking a chandelier or a set of curtains with you, then it is best to remove and replace before you put it on the market. Otherwise you’ll have to negotiate these items in your agreement and it might frustrate a buyer.

  • Remove Bold Colors

Neutral colors appeal to a larger number of potential buyers. Spend a few dollars and paint it beige so there’s one less reason for a buyer to walk away.

  • Hire The Experts

If you find yourself emotionally tied to your belongings, consider hiring the experts. A Home Organizer can assist you with removing excess items that can jeopardize a sale and assist you in arranging items in a way that enhances the space.

  • Take a Walk

Does your yard speak of a home that is well managed? Are gutters clear of debris and foundations cared for? Is the roof maintained in order to increase life expectancy? A quality service provider can take care of gutters, roofs and windows all in one day…and give your home a facelift that more than pays for itself when you sell.

Gig Harbor Home Management provides home organization, home cleaning, relocation services and vacant home watch for empty homes still on the market. Call us today at 253.225.4864 and we’ll provide a free in-home consultation to get you started.