Sunday, February 18, 2007

Wishful Thinking: Domestic Outsourcing

D and I occasionally think about what tasks we can hire others for. We have long hired cleaning help. Later we added yard help, and more recently an organic gardener. We occasionally hire a handyman to do odd 'n ends around the house. We have an accountant for taxes. For holiday meals, I hire a helper to serve and clean up, an incredible help.

Yet there are so many other areas where we would be delighted to pay someone to do the tasks, but since they are not at regular times and we tend to be very fussy about them, it never seems practical. The downsides seem to outweigh the benefits. When I've hired someone do my laundry, for example, I could never find my clothes. It would be nice to have daily kitchen clean-up, but how do you find someone to appear for 15 minutes a day? My husband would love to have someone magically do his filing, but they would have to also be a mind reader in order for it to be useful. So we do all these things ourselves. As empty nesters, there is not enough to keep a person busy consistently, and managing an employee and meshing with their shtick and schedule is in itself another item on the to-do list.

Any ideas? Any suggestions? What functions are out-sourceable?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There is no need to hire anyone. You are on the right track with hiring someone to come clean the house, paying an accountant for preparation of income tax, hiring a gardener, especially one for an organic garden, and hiring a person or company to handle maintenance of the yard and shovel snow. However the rest of the things you mention can be done without hiring anyone. My wife and I are fortunate that a recently retired friend of ours has agreed to come over, organize our office, and periodically come over to keep the office organized at no charge to us. She does this for many other of her friends and loves doing this for them. As our baby boomer generation retires and gets close to retirement I would think that there must be more and more people out there like our friend.