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The Strategic Decision to Outsource at Home

If you're sitting on a never-ending to-do list, give some thought to outsourcing here and there to help lighten the load. Here are some things to consider if hiring help is worth it for you:
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Woman eating breakfast and using phone at home.
Woman eating breakfast and using phone at home.

Many of us strive for quality recreational time and adequate work-life balance but it takes work to attain and hold on to. When working to pay the bills gets the most attention, personal projects tend to get pushed aside. With only 24 hours in a day, it's challenging to keep up with daily responsibilities, let alone bigger projects and activities.

Lucky for us -- in this age of technology -- task superheroes are easy to summon. Household help, personal assistants and errand runners are no longer limited to the wealthy set. I personally still consider outsourcing a "splurge", but it's a worthwhile expense at times and an investment in peace of mind.

If you're sitting on a never-ending to-do list, give some thought to outsourcing here and there to help lighten the load. Here are some things to consider if hiring help is worth it for you:

You just don't have time. And you may never have the time in the foreseeable future to tackle that project. Or you need a lot of things done in a small timeframe and there is only one of you to get those things done. Hire a helper!

You simply don't know how to do the task. Or you're not that good at it. I encourage self-sufficiency, so if it's a skill you can learn or improve at -- then you must. But for now, let a pro handle that baffling endeavor.

You need to chill. You work hard. You deserve to play hard. You also deserve a clean home, fresh laundry, organized personal files and all things wonderful. When you're stressed out and still have x, y and z to do -- maybe it would be more helpful (for your sanity) to just put your feet up and trust a pro to take it over. I have a rule for this one: no guilt! It's common to feel guilty that someone is taking care of your responsibilities while you actually sit (sigh) and relax (sigh). You're paying them aaannndd you deserve a break.... so relax!

You just need to get the job over with. It's a one-time only project. Maybe you know how to do it, maybe you don't. Either way, it needs to be done and you would like some help. Organizing your kitchen cabinets, cleaning out a storage unit, painting a room and more. It's not a bad investment to spend on some assistance to get it done quicker.

You just don't wanna. There are some things we just don't want to do. I used to detest cleaning toilets so I hired a cleaning lady to come over once a week to do them. Eventually I got over my hang-up when I realized how much money I was spending on a five to ten minute task. There will always be household tasks that we don't feel like doing, so I don't recommend using the "don't feel like it" excuse too often because you could rack up some hefty bills. Try this: on the days you're thinking "I would rather watch a Caillou marathon than (insert household task here)," then by all means please get a helper!

One last thing -- before trusting a hired hand to come into your home, find a source that provides background checks. There are many reliable websites and apps that perform checks on their contractors, including Care.com, Taskrabbit and HelloAlfred.