The following is a guest post about how to outsource for the holidays from regular contributor, Rachel at Useful Beautiful Home.
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed applying the holiday suggestions from various organizing professionals this year (Laura’s Organized for Christmas series is a perfect example). Some tips are new revelations to me and others are things I’ve implemented or already knew from past experience. Either way, it’s a good dose of organizing encouragement for the busy season upon us. Today, I’ll share just how I’ve learned to help myself by outsourcing tasks for the sake of a peaceful home. You may know one or two (or all) of these, but I’m hoping something will strike a chord and give you a boost of encouragement to face the short weeks ahead with all your organizing gusto!
7 Ways to Outsource During the Holiday Season
Amazon gift purchasing online:
I personally have a goal to have all my gifts finished by December 1st. I know many who had a much earlier timeline, but for my family life, December 1st is more reasonable. I hope to do a good percentage online after gathering everyone’s wish list. Ordering online, without hitting the chaotic stores, and having it shipped to my home is my favorite way to outsource a stressor this time of year. Don’t get me wrong, I still shop around town, but the bulk of my gifts are going to be done online this year. That way, the shopping in malls and specialty stores that I do will be more leisurely and enjoyable.
Pick-up or delivered groceries:
Two of our local stores, Walmart and Whole Foods, will do the shopping for you and deliver the groceries to your car when you pull into the parking lot. I realize this may not be available in everyone’s area. For example, I know Amazon has a similar grocery delivery system, but that isn’t available in my zip code (big bummer!). The point is, find a store that uses an app or some other pre-ordering means and send your grocery list to them. All you have to do is pull up to the designated spot and your groceries are loaded into your car. This especially appeals to me as a Mama. The less winter bundling of young children and toting them around germ-infested crowds, the better! ;)
House cleaning service:
My sister recommended this to me a few weeks ago. If you can afford a simple house cleaning from a professional, it may be well worth the investment. If you can afford it weekly, all the better! Even if you only schedule one good household cleaning prior to Thanksgiving or Christmas, that alone would be extremely helpful to a busy hostess! If this appeals to you too, then I suggest getting that scheduled ASAP, as I’m sure cleaning companies or independent cleaning personnel get booked quickly around the holidays!
I’m talking about renewal services that companies offer. For the most part, I don’t use automatic refills online, but this time of year it makes sense. I set things to replenish on a regular basis for “x” amount of time. This is only for things I will need over the holiday months (both before and after months). Things like toilet paper, paper towels, hand soap, moisturizers, even makeup. A lot of dry goods can be done through Amazon’s pantry program or baby program. However, I’ve done this through other companies that offer renewal services, for example; my makeup, other personal beauty supplies, specialty lotions for dry skin, etc. All these things I know will need to be replenished before Christmas, so I set it to happen automatically as one less thing I have to think about during the rush. I also set these type of renewal programs to be stopped by a certain day so I don’t keep getting charged if the need is no longer there. If the company you use doesn’t have a stop date option, then set a calendar reminder in your phone or elsewhere to prompt you to stop the automated shipping.
I love that Salvation Army will come to my home on a scheduled date and gather all my donations at once. That’s especially helpful with small children or ailments that make getting out in the cold difficult. The past few weeks, I’ve been a donating machine and sending several bags and boxes worth to my local donation center each week. I have no trouble running the errand myself, but I know the week before Christmas I’ll have other plans to accomplish. So, I schedule a pick-up in advance for that time period and have my pile waiting for their truck (assuming I have enough donations worth their effort as a company!).
Elfster Gift Swap App:
This idea is not original to me. I just heard about this Elfster Gift Swap app from Lori Marrero several weeks ago. In the past I’ve used a different gift tracking app, but I’m up for trying something new. Where my old app was lacking, this one fills the gap. It allows for anonymous name swapping of gift exchanges, as well as allows groups and large families to post wish lists for others to see. It appealed to me and my family’s traditions, so I’m giving it a whirl this season. I’ll be able to share a better in-depth analysis after I give it a full test run. :) For now, it ranked on my list here because it’s another great way to outsource unnecessary stress when it comes to Secret Santa name drawing and wish-lists.
Rotate menu planning:
I know, this isn’t technically “outsourcing” to another person, but it is in a way. Meaning, I’ve already done all my planning and lists in advance, I just have to implement the system. Basically, I outsourced to myself a few months ago. Also, anyone who wants to jump in and help, could pick up my rotation menu folder and go grocery shopping for me, so I suppose it’s also outsourcing in that way. :) All that to say, a menu plan of some kind is a great way to keep the season peaceful. You could always go with meal plans delivered to your door (like Hello Fresh, Blue Apron, etc.) but those can get pricey after a while. Hence, a good ol’ fashion meal plan, like Laura’s HERE or mine HERE! ;)
There’s my list of holiday outsourcing suggestions. I know there are a few links to follow, but I wanted to make it as easy as possible for you to find what will work for you. THIS is another semi-way to outsource that I’ve written about in the past. It helps with serving drinks and looks festive too!
Do YOU have great ideas to outsource stress during the holiday season? Thanksgiving for the US is Thursday, so please share in the comments below! We could all use helpful hints this week! ;) Happy Thanksgiving dear friends!!!
In the professional world, I’m a nurse by trade. But, around our house, I’m known as Mommy to our young daughters. My two worlds collided and began shaping into a blog. Useful Beautiful Home represents the hours I’ve dedicated to managing my household as efficiently as possible. I offer you motivation to keep your home healthy, organized, and welcoming. My goal is to share what I’ve implemented in my home to inspire you with fresh ideas and to encourage you to keep up the good work in yours! Learn more about me HERE or visit me at UsefulBeautifulHome.com.
- Please note that affiliate links may be included in this post to make it easier for you to find what is being referenced. A small commission is made should you purchase product using these links, but this is at no extra cost to you. As always, any and all opinions are genuinely my own – or the author, in the case of posts by my guest contributors. Thank you!*
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