Every mother outsources some of her tasks. If you count machines as outsourcing, then we outsource our dishwashing, laundry duties (sans folding), and I don’t think any of us stoke a fire when we want to bake. Some of us hire nannies or daycares to outsource childcare. All of us outsource food prep, whether it’s eating out or buying prepared foods. And then, of course, we could hire a professional cleaner to help with the house.
All this sounds expensive.
What if there was a way to outsource much of the above in a way that helps you in the ways you need it, and helps someone else at the same time? A win-win, you could say.
We were having our house cleaned professionally for a while, and paying that bill got tiresome. Real fast. But we host a lot and I really don’t like worrying about whether or not things are clean. I’d rather focus on the food and the people, whether that’s my children, my husband, or our guests. At this point, it makes a huge difference to me to have help with the big, weekly, whole-house clean, and I didn’t want to give it up. Then my husband had a brilliant idea: find someone we already know who likes extra cash and has extra time and hire her! We don’t necessarily need a professional.
So here’s what we did:
- Identify our person. Ours was a talented, young married friend who’s working part-time and in grad school.
- Set an hourly rate. We felt this needed to be high enough that it would never cause resentment to build. This, of course, varies for each person.
- Compile a loose list of tasks to outsource.
- Set a weekly hourly limit. This helps stay on budget and helps avoid asking for too much.
- Ask and wait for her to say YES.
I can now happily report that for less than it costs our family of four to eat a meal out, we can outsource our house cleaning.
And if I need the fridge cleaned or the open shelves dusted or the baseboards wiped, I’m not charged an extra fee for it. The cleaning is a huge help, but what takes this arrangement over the top for me is that I can outsource some research and projects. I needed to replace a couple light fixtures, and she sent me a short list of great options. I’m going to attempt indoor vegetable gardening this year, and she compiled a list of helpful information to get me started successfully. She’s going to tackle a couple painting projects for me. And if I need help with food prep for the week, she’s happy to help with that too.
It’s lovely to see her smiling face each week, and it’s a bit of extra cash for her as she and her husband start out on life together. I’m freed up to be more productive, more carefree with my kids and more present for my husband. This is a game changer for us, and I wanted to share the idea in case even two hours a week would make all the difference for you. Sometimes it all feels overwhelming, but the right solution might be a simple one!