Housecleaning. Laundry. Grocery shopping. Mowing the lawn. By the time you check everything off your weekly to-do list, you start it all over again. On a typical day women in the U.S. spend an average of 2.2 hours handling household chores, while men spend roughly 1.4 hours on the same tasks (what bums), according to a Bureau of Labor Statistics survey. But everyone could use an extra 15 hours a week to do the stuff that’s actually fun.
Outsource your life, and you’ll get that time back. Give the following tasks to someone else so you can save yourself time, money and sanity.
Beyond the Housecleaning
At the end of a long day, the last thing you want to do is hit up a pile of dirty dishes or laundry, or mop up or scrub down anything that needs cleaning. Yet these chores have to be done to keep your home livable. Although you may initially hesitate to pay someone for a thing you could do yourself, just think about how much you’d get in return.
Hiring a professional house cleaner frees up time better spent on the things you enjoy, such as relaxing with your family or finally planning your dream vacation. A housecleaning or maid service could cost $100 to $150 per cleaning, depending on the size of your home and what needs to be cleaned, explains Angie’s List. But did you know your housecleaner can handle other tasks for you too, such as laundry (washing, drying and folding) and even organizing your closet? Get these chores done at a cost-friendly rate without sending your dirty clothes off to a laundry service or searching for a pro closet organizer. Cleaning duties vary depending on the company or person you hire, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.
Landscaping for Long-Term Value
Mowing the lawn is something you can do yourself, but do you really want to? If you’re too busy or physically unable to maintain your yard, trusting the work to a landscaper could be a better option.
Leave the planting, pruning and mowing to a professional landscaper. The average homeowner doesn’t have a green thumb, but if you hire the right professional at $30 to $80 per visit — the average price homeowners pay for mowing, per Home Advisor — your lawn will be in good hands. Sure, tending to your own lawn is just a little sweat under the sun and the occasional gallon of gas, but when a sweet-looking yard can add up to 10 percent to a home’s value (according to HGTV), you’re better off leaving it to a specialist.
The right TLC for your lawn can add value back to your home, too, so find the most qualified contractor you can. Be sure to employ a contractor who’s fully licensed and bonded in case any accidents happen on your property.
Grocery shopping can be another time suck, especially when your only chance to handle the task is the after-work rush or on weekends. Instead of dealing with gas, a full parking lot, a six-year-old pressuring you into a junk cereal and a line at the checkout, perhaps you should give grocery delivery a try.
While you generally have to pay a delivery fee and tip, it can save you a couple hours a week and even some cash in the long run. Fees vary from about $5 to $10, as noted by Money Crashers, but you can clip online coupons and figure out the cost per unit online to make sure you’re getting the best prices without ever setting foot inside a grocery store. Also, if you’re prone to impulse purchases, you can take a more objective look at what you buy without surprises at the cash register. Those who live far from a grocery store or have to pay for a taxi to haul their groceries may find this is a far better deal than traditional grocery shopping. Some services, like AmazonFresh, even allow you to save shopping lists and view purchase history so you can repeat your list with one click each time.
As you think about how you might be able to outsource your life, take a tally of which chores and tasks you’d like to delegate and calculate how much time they take, which ones you enjoy or abhor, and how much it would cost to outsource them. Not only will doing so relieve you of the task, but it’ll also put you in charge of your time and leave you with a dazzling home.