Admin “minion”

I took on a new client this summer. In doing so, I took on a new type of work.

Gwen recently spent six months caring for her mother at her home in Houston. While she was gone (and enduring one heck of a commute to work each day), her home in central Texas fell into a little disrepair. A home starts to wither and fade into just a house when it is not lived in. Gwen had unfinished projects, mountains of mail, maintenance gone by the wayside, and several repairs topping a long To Do list.

Estate work is a different “genre” than any other I had done, but the skills are very transferrable from training and planning workshops and other events. It’s all about attention to detail and rolling up your sleeves. (This was also one sliver of the Estate side of things for Gwen. While I spent several days at her home, she also has her Mom’s home of several decades where some real Estate work will take place.)

I worked at Gwen’s house several days while she went to work. Each day, she came home to a “tour” of the things I had done, questions I had for her, and dinner made[2]. Here are some of the tasks I accomplished–and “job titles”[1] I “held”–for her in the two weeks I spent with her.

[1] I’ll be quite honest. I’m not a professional in these areas. But, I’m an honest person. I worked with Gwen on what I could do and what was outside my scope. For any task that was outside the skill set for either her or me, we consulted professionals.
[2] Gwen wasn’t just a client, she was a dear friend, too. She is sorely missed.



  • Took down a screen that was ruined by a fallen tree limb.
  • Trimmed trees in preparation for other work to be done.
  • Watered the ground near the foundation of her home


  • Collected bids from several trades for projects around her home
    • arborist,
    • tile,
    • painters,
    • window replacement, and
    • handyman.


  • Deep cleaned: dusted the vaulted ceiling, cleaned ceiling fans, baseboards.
  • Cleaned: dishes, laundry, floors, surfaces.


  • Opened, sorted, filed six months of mail. Most of this was bills on auto-pay, so it only needed to be filed. Recycled all the junk mail that comes in bills.
  • Created a temporary filing setup to ease her sorting through papers. Sorted/filed several crates of papers from old projects. Organized urgent items to the front of the entire filing setup I created for her.
  • Emptied, organized, had her cull, and reloaded some cabinets.
  • Freecycled, Craigslisted, donated, consigned, and tossed:
    • clothes,
    • appliances,
    • electronics,
    • books, and
    • more.



  • Researched garage door openers and installation.
  • Researched combining several landline and cell phones so family can call old numbers and reach Gwen.
  • Reroute her mom’s mail to her.
  • Cancel her Mom’s oxygen.

Live In Person

  • Prep Oxygen boxes for return.
  • Return to sender some subscription books; cancel subscription.
  • Organize medical papers for quick access.
  • Organize other papers for an urgent project.
  • Errands: many, many errands.


  • Prepare a salad and snacks for her work’s potluck on a mandatory holiday workshift.
  • Prepare dinners so there was just one less thing for her to do when she got home from work each day.

The process was rewarding for me. I could see real progress in the work. The process was also rewarding for Gwen as there were several days she came home from work to some of her ToDo items “TaDone”! On the days that she and I worked together, we took note of how much this was kicking off a long list of stuff that needed to be done. We made a big dent and set things up (like files and trades) to be easier for her to complete on her own. We even found the “good” place for her to sell some clothes.

Minion for Hire

So, if you need a clone–or want a minion at your disposal–let me know. I’ll customize a bid for your needs.