Should You Outsource at Home?

Outsourcing some of our personal life is becoming inevitable.  Whether we grew up in two income households where our family did everything on their own or not, we need to accept that our world is changing, and we need to adapt to survive.  Commutes are longer, cell phones have many of us working 24 hours per day and some are holding down two jobs to make ends meet. If we don’t allow ourselves some help now and then, we may drown under the pressure.

We Are Allowed to Get Help

Outsourcing anything at home is a challenge; often because we don’t feel entitled. We do everything ourselves to avoid the stigma or guilt of having help. Or we are overwhelmed at the idea of asking for help and dealing with external companies and payment.

I had no choice; growing up my doctor told me to avoid vacuuming and sweeping and such, as it would cause undue wear and tear on my hips. As a typical teenager who liked money, I did it anyway; I mowed lawns until I couldn’t anymore and as a student I cleaned houses and airplanes for spending money. As soon as I was working and could afford it, I hired a company once every two weeks to clean my house and never looked back. I used to meet my friends after they all had dinner; I would work late and eat a sandwich from home. Doing so once or twice a week usually covered my cleaning costs and skipping dinner out was probably better for my waist line anyway.

Over the years, I’ve had to deal with more than one person who gave me attitude, who told me nobody could clean their home as well as they can. I would just smile and say “Well, good for you!” and change the subject. Many think I’m a princess who thinks she’s too good to clean up after herself, but I challenge them to step in and clean the bathroom of a 727 after somebody has been air sick due to turbulence, ‘nuff said. You are very welcome for the visual; I hope you are not reading this on your lunch.

Nobody Can “Do It All”

Due to events in my life, I have outsourced nearly every part of my life at one time or another. As a new mother, I spent two years laid up in bed and in a wheelchair recovering from surgeries; I had very limited time and energy. My husband had to work full-time, and we both wanted as much time with our baby as possible, so I became an expert at running my house and family from my bedroom.  During those years, despite having very little money, I had help with almost everything; I learned to be frugal and creative.

I have tried doing it all, (I once laid a dozen 40 lb garden stones crawling on my belly because my legs didn’t work) and I have tried outsourcing; in most cases, I recommend the latter. It’s not always perfect, (I once found an open bottle of BBQ sauce under my sink; never figured that one out) but it beats the alternative.  The key is aligning expectations and having clear communication. I hope some of my tools and techniques will help you move some things off of your plate.