Friday, September 6, 2013

Improve Work-Life Balance by Outsourcing at Home

A while ago, I read the book Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg where she talked about outsourcing the things you could at home to make more time for your loved ones.  At least, that is one of the lessons I remember learning, so I tried it out this week.

I normally cannot afford a cleaning service and have only used one in the past when moving out, however since having a baby, my home has become particularly messy.  I just do not have the time to clean, let alone tackle the many other items on my to-do list.  So I decided to treat myself to a home cleaning.  It is my birthday month, so I justified it as a birthday present to myself.

I have always had slight trust issues when it comes to the idea of a stranger cleaning my home, so I started with a friend's referral.  I called the person, and first of all, she barely spoke English.  Then, when she found out where I lived, she lamented how far out of the way it would be.  Already turned off, she then asked me to text her my address so she could Google Map it to see just how far it was.  She said she would call me back.  After I hung up, I concluded I would not want to use her even if she did call back, which she never did.

I then turned to the web to help me find a reputable cleaning service.  I scoured Yelp and found cleaning service after cleaning service with terrible reviews.  I thought, either people have insanely high expectations when it comes to cleaning services, or there are no good cleaning services out there.  I finally narrowed it down to two.  I called both and left a message.  Tranquil Home was the first to call me back.  The appointment setting process was super easy, and she was able to send someone out in two days.  They charged me a fair hourly rate, and on Thursday I had my house cleaned.

At the end of the day, they were not able to perform miracles, but she did work five straight hours and delivered decent results.  I think the only thing that would have been icing on the cake is if she had time to clean the windows and blinds, but as it is, I did not request it so I am okay that she did not get to it.  What I did get was more precious time with my baby, because those are five hours of cleaning I did not have to do myself.  I believe that is totally worth it.  And that is how I improved my work-life balance this month.  It's a process and a balance of resources but I was very satisfied with this choice.

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