Real Simple readers hire out these 5 dreaded tasks to simplify their lives.
Think money can't buy happiness? Well, maybe it just depends how you're spending it. Last year, new research showed that spending money on time-saving services did in fact make people happier. Whether it's hiring someone to clean your house or build that IKEA furniture you've been putting off, outsourcing your most dreaded chores could leave you time for what you really enjoy. What may seem indulgent at first, is really just investing in your own happiness. And if you think you're the only one who wants to outsource their turn walking the dog or doing the dishes—don't worry, you're not alone. In the July 2018 issue of Real Simple, we asked readers: What service do you hire out to keep your sanity during the workweek? Here are 5 smart ways readers outsource chores to make their workweek less stressful.
Order a Meal-Kit Service
My husband and I enjoy cooking, but about two years ago, we noticed we were getting into a food rut. We’d leave all our creativity at the office, even though we have about a dozen cookbooks. I finally decided we should try a meal-kit service. I started researching and found one called PeachDish. It’s easy to come home and follow directions, and it also really helps cut down on food waste, since they send you exactly what you need to cook your meal. Now we cook together, and weeknights are a lot more fun. —Jackie Gates, 33, Lead Procurement Manager for Marketing Contracts at Shell in Houston, Texas
Call an Organizer
I have an organizer who helps me clear clutter and arrange the house so it’s easier to find things. Since I’m on the road a lot, it’s hard to keep up with everything. I buy a block of hours and use her as needed. I have a house I’ve lived in for 35 years. As you live in a house, you get things, you put them in a closet, and they never go away. She emptied the kitchen closet while I was doing other stuff, and we worked together to decide what to get rid of and what to keep. I make jewelry, and she organized my supplies. All these little things add up to save a lot of time. —Susan Fitzell, 60, Educational Consultant in Manchester, New Hampshire
Pay a Laundry Service
Getting our laundry picked up and dropped off is something my wife and I have come to rely on. Every Sunday, we get the laundry together, and the delivery guy picks it up. It comes back folded, which I love. When I was growing up, my mother always did everything, and it was instilled in me that that’s part of having a work ethic. But being a parent has definitely changed my opinion of domestic work. I think getting help in that area is totally fine, as long as you pay people well for their services. It takes a lot of the pressure off. —Jamie Schmitz, 46, Bar Owner in Brooklyn, New York
Find a Dog-Walker
I have a 5-year-old pit-shepherd mix we rescued from our humane society, and my husband and I usually also have a foster dog. Our lives are so busy, and I found I was always on social media asking, “Can someone let my dog out? Can someone go play with my dog for 30 minutes?” Now we use a dog-walking service called Wag. Someone can be at your house in half an hour. It’s easy to pull up the app, and in a few seconds you have a walker. In my line of work, I never really have a set schedule, so the service is a big help for me and my dogs. —Sarah Johnson, 28, Director of Marketing At Bevan Rabell Inc., a general aviation and avionics firm in Wichita, Kansas
Hire a Personal Assistant
I outsource the scheduling of my doctors’ visits and other tasks to a virtual personal assistant. When I realized I hadn’t had my annual exam in about three years, I decided to hire someone. My husband said, “If this were a task for your business, you would have done it immediately, but because it’s about taking care of yourself, it goes undone.” It’s hard to make the time to call and schedule these types of things, but if it’s on my calendar, I’ll go. —Adrienne Dorison, 32, Business Operations Consultant in St. Petersburg, Florida