gaThis week we asked our team of Personal Assistants to give us their best tips on all things travel, moving, and organization. Whether you’re working with a personal assistant and want them to implement some of these tips, or you’re looking to use them yourself–as always, we’re here to find and bring you the best tips to make life easier!
Tips for Travel:
For travel planning, I have a few tips:
- Create an outlined itinerary for each day with activities. Include confirmation numbers or reservation details!
- Purchase AirTags or similar devices to place in luggage.
- Check-in 24 hours before your flight, and call 24 hours ahead to confirm any reservations (flights, dinner, excursions, etc)
- Stop any newspaper or mail services while you are gone. The post office can hold your mail!
- You (or your VA) can reach out to emergency contacts (family, partner, etc.) with your itinerary and their contact info (my client did this so her mom could call me if she needed something when my client was out of the country).
In my years of being an assistant, I’ve done a lot of travel planning! For luggage, I suggest to pack your important items in your carry-on so you can begin enjoying your trip as soon as you land, regardless of the status of your luggage. I found using a backpack is a great choice because holds a lot, fits under the seat, is lightweight, and is easy to carry. In my case -> my carry-on always includes a swimsuit, something to walk and explore in, a comfy dress for dinner or lounging, and something for sleeping. Obviously, this list would be tailored to the client’s needs and preferences. I also like to include an extra pair of shoes that would work with my choice of outfits. I suggest carrying any medications and “must haves” on board too. Happy travels!
Tips for Moving:
- Declutter before to reduce the amount of items you need to move.
- Set aside a box of essentials you can unpack first such as toiletries, kitchen supplies and bedding.
Don’t wait until the last minute to start packing—your move should start about 6-8 weeks before the truck arrives. It might mean living in a house full of boxes with only a few necessary items unpacked by the last week, but it’ll save you from all of the last-minute stress packing—which is usually when things get damaged or broken.
Start by decluttering and sorting out items to donate before packing what you absolutely won’t be needing until after the move. For example, any off-season clothes can get stored in suitcases and set aside.
Also, if you’re looking to hire a moving company and can plan your move during the off-season, (October—March) you’ll have way more flexibility (and probably access to discounts!).
Tips for Client Organization:
One big thing: To organize a space, divvy it up into phases so your client doesn’t get too overwhelmed. It can take a lot of mental energy to sort through things (especially if they’re sentimental).
Set small goals/phases, for example, an office could be broken up like this —
Phase 1: Sort through all the paperwork, make piles for files, shred and recycle/trash, and then do those things (put them in file folders, shred them or trash/recycle them);
Phase 2: Once the keep papers are all in file folders, put them away in a file cabinet. Then, do another small step like organize the bookshelf or take inventory of what you need (baskets/storage containers/etc…).
Phase 3: Lastly, organize the desk, clean your space, and put up any decor.
This can be divided up into a couple of consecutive days or one day a week, whatever works best for you and your client!
As a PA I find using a shared To-Do list with the client helps prioritize tasks and keeps them organized. The client is able to list their most pressing tasks and I can check them off as I go. I’m able to ask clarifying questions ahead of time and even tackle more ongoing tasks after the priority tasks are complete, updating the client on my progress. It’s a great overall organizational and communicational tool with the client.
Looking for even more tips on travel, moving, organization, and so much more? See our related posts below!