To keep your home running smoothly, you need a clear household chore list. That much is a given. You can likely do the basics, such as cooking and cleaning, yourself, providing you have the time, inclination and wherewithal (but be sure to put a price on your time).
You can even manage the household budget if you set your mind to it, and prepare your own taxes, with the help of a tax software program like TurboTax, as long as they’re not too complex.
However, there are numerous other tasks — daily, weekly, monthly or seasonal — that you may want to consider outsourcing, for any number of reasons.
You should hire a pro for the following chores and tasks:
Did the fridge die? Is the dryer not working? Toilet out of order? Sure, if you’re handy you could try to figure out things on your own (especially if you’re fairly certain what went wrong), but this is one area where if you mess things up, you could end up owing a whole lot more than if you’d hired a pro initially.
Walking the dog
Why: Frequency of walks
Dogs typically need to go outside several times a day. What are you going to do — race home from work and do it yourself? Unless you’re working from home or have a super-flexible schedule, consider hiring a professional dog walker. To find one in your area, try DogWalker.com; hourly rates range from $15 to $30. Having this chore handled will allow you to be more productive in the office and alleviate feelings of guilt when you have to work late. Plus, your dog will be happy!
Why: Success rate
Yes, there are inexpensive dry-cleaning kits on the market, but the effectiveness and number of treatments vary by brand. Moreover, success rates appear to be questionable by many accounts. Leave it to the pros! But first, check the label on your garment to see whether dry cleaning is even required.
Why: Your health
Sure, shoveling snow is a great workout: shoveling burns about 223 calories per 30 minutes of activity, according to Harvard Medical School. But given its high intensity, it’s best attempted when you are physically fit. If you’re older, out of shape and mostly sedentary, or have a medical condition that could put you at risk when performing strenuous exercise, check with your physician before tackling the walkway. Or better yet — leave it to a pro who owns the equipment needed to clear that snow fast.
Why: Safety reasons
This is something you should outsource, in particular, if you don’t have the knowledge to care for everything the way a professional would. And, as an FYI, it’s also a good idea to hire someone to clean the gutters, power-wash the house or do anything that requires a ladder. Safety first.