When most people have the builders in, it requires dust sheets, a few more boxes in the spare room, and perhaps some tea and biscuits.
For the Queen, during a complete refurbishment of Buckingham Palace, rather more drastic measures are needed.
The finest masterpieces which line her palace picture gallery are to be taken down this year to make way for repairs, put not into storage but in a special exhibition for the general public.
Around 65 star paintings, including works by Rembrandt, Van Dyck, Vermeer, Rubens and Titian, will be taken down from walls and corridors, and moved to be showcased in the nearby Queen’s Gallery.
Experts hope the exhibition, entitled Masterpieces from Buckingham Palace, will allow visitors to see and appreciate the works properly for the first time.
Until now, the paintings have been visible to the public during the palace's annual Summer Opening.
But there, experts believe, visitors too often miss them, instead being enamoured with the spectacular State Rooms and their treasures along with the one-off exhibitions about Royal life.
From December, they plan to hang them with a new lease of life in the Queens Gallery, with more space and expanded labels, in the hopes of giving the public more time to appreciate them.
Desmond Shawe-Taylor, exhibition curator and Surveyor of The Queen’s Pictures, said the plan to synchronise the major reservicing of Buckingham Palace with the exhibition would avoid making “fantastically complicated arrangements” for storing the paintings elsewhere, while giving a new audience to its “absolutely stonking masterpieces”.
The reservicing, a £369 million project taking place over ten years, will see the comprehensive refurbishment of the palace to protect it for the future, including replacing electrical cabling, plumbing and heating which have not been updated since the 1950s.
A previous stage has already seen around 3,000 Royal Collection items, from fine art to everyday furniture, removed from the East Wing for safe-keeping.
From December 2020, paintings from the Picture Gallery will be rehung in the Queen’s Gallery, a separate building open to art-lovers all year round.
Focused on the classical Old Masters, it will have paintings from the 16th, 17th and early 18th centuries, as well as watercolours showing how they have been hung over the years.
“It’s actually worked out fantastically well,” said Mr Shawe-Taylor.
“These are pretty much the best paintings in the Royal Collection.”
When open for tours in the Buckingham Palace Picture Gallery, he said, visitors were often seen excited and absorbed, “wandering past lots of thrones and splendid pieces of furniture” without having the time or energy to dedicate to really seeing the paintings too.
“There's a whole State Rooms package, in the middle of which you suddenly come across these Vermeers and Rembrandts,” he said.
“Many visitors will just think ‘I'm not in the mood for calm, peaceful Vermeers’. It’s a different experience.
“When they go into the Queen's Gallery it’s a totally different space, with time to look at them properly. We hope it will mean everybody can really get to know these paintings.”
He added: “It is a certain aspect of the Royal Collection that it will show in blazing technicolour. It will be absolutely the best you can get.
“I hope it will be engraved on visitors' minds, the range of things in the collection which in a sense have been here all along.”
Masterpieces from Buckingham Palace will run from December 11 to February 2022, when the paintings will be returned to their refurbished home, provided building works are complete.