We’ve all heard the phrase You can’t do everything. I would venture to say most of us agree with the sentiment, but surely I’m not the only person who still rushes around trying to accomplish it all anyway? Well, actually, that was me, but we’ve implemented some changes in the way of outsourcing some of our household chores and it’s making a huge difference.
According to a study from The University of Michigan, the average married woman spends about 17 hours a week on housework. Despite having the girls pitch in on chores, those 17 hours were coming increasingly harder to come by as naps for the kids became a thing of the past, as I started putting more effort into blogging, as I focused on wanting to be present with my kids, and as I prepare to take on homeschooling. My list of what I needed and wanted to do in a day was longer than the hours I had to work with. Not an unusual situation to be in, but one that I wanted to address.
David and I sat down, listed out all our responsibilities, the time it took to accomplish them and the cost of outsourcing them. David taught me years ago about finding the value of my time, and we each defined what our hours are worth (more on how you can do that here). Basically it has taught me that some things simply are not worth my time. We use that factor, as well as how much I enjoy or despise a task, to decide whether or not to outsource it.
The Household Chores We Outsource
I love a clean house. No, more than that, I need things to be put together and organized in order for me to function at my highest level. Having things messy raises my stress level. It’s just a fact about me (that has only developed in adulthood, as I was quite the teenage slob!) that I’ve learned to accept. I’m pretty good at keeping counters uncluttered, the floors swept, and most items in their place. But as for cleaning? Like deep cleaning? I really hate it. There, I said it.
Because of the time it takes and my lack of interest, we chose to have a team of household cleaners that come every other week to dust, mop, scrub bathrooms, and make sure things are truly clean, not just the tidy that I manage. It’s life changing. The hours I save and the stress it saves me is well worth the investment.
This one is new for us, and if we are being honest, David said a little piece of him died when we signed the lawn contract. But it needed to be done. We have a decent size lawn and though keeping it cut was manageable, keeping the flower beds weeded, the edging up to date, the bushes trimmed, and the grass fertilized was not. Once we made the decision, I think we both felt a sigh of relief as we realized we’ve been struggling (and failing) to keep up with our yard work for longer than we wanted to admit.
Hiring a lawn service has already allowed us to spend weekend time accomplishing other home maintenance projects that we’ve had on our list for months (years?) like installing new fans, wiring for overhead lights, changing shower fixtures and other tasks, instead of fighting the losing battle against the stubborn North Carolina crab grass.
Though I identify as a SAHM, there are other commitments that demand my time and attention too. I found myself juggling too much, feeling scatterbrained and half-assing everything, including the time I had my with girls. Now, I have a sitter (nanny?) come one day a week. I chose one day versus a couple hours on multiple days to allow me a solid chunk of time to stay focused. On this day, I am able to do a lot for the blog, take care of personal appointments, attend to home care items, and manage other miscellaneous tasks during the time, leaving the other 6 days of the week more open to focus on quality time with my kids.
One last thing that is worth mentioning.
Dropping the guilt.
This took a long time for me to do, and honestly I still squirm uncomfortably when I’m watching others take on the tasks I feel like I “should” be doing myself. However, I’m getting better at accepting it because honestly it just makes sense, as it makes our home run more efficiently and actually has allowed us to increase our household earnings. Outsourcing these household chores has not only decreased our stress levels, but it has also allowed us to focus on the tasks that are moving our lives and businesses forward.
For me, I enjoy meal prep and cooking and laundry is manageable (even if not necessarily enjoyable), but I do have friends that outsource those items instead. It’s all about figuring out what best suits your particular situation. Maybe it’s a couple of tasks and maybe it’s none of them, but outsourcing household chores can be a real game changer for families looking to more efficiently use their time. I know it’s made a big difference for us!
I’d love to head your thoughts on this idea!
Is outsourcing something you are comfortable with?
Which home tasks do you enjoy? Which do you not?