I can’t be the only one who suffers from Carrier Bags in the Hall syndrome.
You know how it goes: You are inspired to spring-clean your wardrobe, just like the magazines tell you to. All fired up, you tear through your chest of drawers, discarding tatty jumpers and too-tight jeans. You come to terms with the fact that you will never again fit into that black cocktail dress, and resolve to put it on Ebay. You find forgotten gems with worrying stains, scrunched up under your shoes.
Soon, you have five piles: charity shop, bin, laundry, dry-cleaners and sell. You could really do with a cup of tea. You throw away the things that are practically rags, throw a handful of items into the washing basket, and shove the rest into carrier bags, which you bring downstairs, and leave near the front door, fully intending to move these things on when you next get a moment.
One month later, they’re still there, laughing at you. Six months later, they’ve been shoved into the cupboard under the stairs, and you occasionally remember them with a twinge of guilt. Don’t worry; you’re not alone. I have a stash of baby furniture in the loft that I’ve been meaning to sell for so long that they’ve become a symbol of all my human failings. I think I’d actually be wiling to have another baby, just to avoid having to deal with them for another couple of years.
Because of my (extensive) domestic failings, I’ve long been intrigued by the world of outsourcing. I have sold my own services on Elance, and commissioned work from Fiverr. For a very short period of time, I had a virtual assistant, before I realized it was totally ridiculous. I even once did some research for a journalist who wanted to outsource his article on outsourcing.
Well, now a new site has launched in the UK called OneNear, which looks like it can revolutionize my hallway. OneNear lets you list tasks that you would like someone else to do for you — say, ”take clothes to the charity shop and dry cleaner” or ”list items on Ebay.” Then, local people or businesses can bid to do those tasks, and you pay them through the site.
I cannot tell you how excited I am about this. I am already compiling an long list of things for other people to do, while I put my feet up and read a novel (read: finally empty my inbox and complete my tax return).
I’ve also passed on the details to my sister, who is a student and could earn some extra pocket money by picking up some tasks. Hell, I’m even tempted to do tasks for other people, so that I can pay someone to do my own chores. Somehow, other people’s chores never seem quite so awful as your own, do they?
Over the last 40 years, our lives have changed. Women have entered the workplace, we have higher expectations of our social lives and family life has become ever more frantic. This means that we all need to change the way we manage our time. For me, spending a few quid on getting my chores done makes sense if it means I can clear out my weekend to do the things that really matter.
I’m looking forward to kissing those the bags in the hall goodbye.