When you ask how someone is doing, “Busy” is just as likely as “Good” to be their answer. In this fast-paced world we live in, finding ways to delegate can be a life-saver. However, sometimes the cost is hard to justify on a budget. Here is a list of ways busy moms can delegate without breaking the bank.
1. Personal Clothes shopping such as Stitch Fix –
Taking my kindergartener and preschooler to the mall while I try on clothes is about as appealing as sticking a fork in my eye. Half the time, my preschooler is pulling the curtain open to play peek-a-boo with her brother who is halfway across the store shopping for himself (the boy loves to shop, what can I say?). Rather than chasing my two kids around while shielding my naked body with the closest piece of fabric, I’ve come to love and appreciate delegating my wardrobe to Stitch Fix. The best part is I also get the perks of having a personal stylist.
Online shopping could work too, but I like knowing there’s a person on the other end who somewhat knows the measurements of my body and what I am in the market for. I’m already not a patient shopper so having someone do it for me is the bomb dot com. I know there are other companies you can get personal styling from, but Stitch Fix is my choice.
2. Target Red Card –
Having almost anything shipped to your home that you could want including furniture or pharmacy items for FREE is a real benefit with the Target Red Card. I’m too frugal to pay $100 for Amazon Prime to get my free 2-day shipping, so instead I resort to using my Target Red Card, which also comes with a 5% discount on all purchases. With a little planning, you can order birthday gifts, diapers, personal hygiene items, or some good reading at no extra cost and you don’t have to spend a certain amount for the perk.
Can’t stand to wait and online shop often? Amazon Prime might be a good answer for you. You can still delegate errands for less than $10 per month.
3. USPS Postage Stamps –
What mother to young children hasn’t dreamed of having a drive-through option for everything? Today, your dream has come true, at least for postage stamps. I used to be able to buy my stamps at the grocery store checkout (for a 50 cent premium) or at the bank ATM. In my area, this is no longer an option. Luckily, USPS has it all figured out for you. For a little over a dollar in shipping costs, you can have stamps delivered to your home, all at the reach of your typing fingers. When you’re running low, order your next book so you have them in time and eliminate standing in line with your kids.
4. Picking out books –
Your local library is a vast resource for all sorts of items including books, movies, and music CDs. When I come across a book I want to read, I always check our library catalog first. Not only can you read books for free, but the friendly librarians will even pull the book for you. I can’t think of a better reason to get them a Christmas gift. Not kidding. These kind men and women willingly walk the shelves for you pulling your latest fix while you get things done elsewhere. And, you don’t have to drag your children to the quiet adult-section and have them pull off books they want to “read” from the shelves. (For the love of Pete, does anyone else have a precocious two-year-old?) My new mode is to order my books online at the library website, wait til they ping me that it’s ready for pick-up (typically a day or two if it’s on the shelves, longer if it’s checked-out), then head to the library with the kids to pick out their own books/movies. When I check out the kids’ items, I request my items which are already sitting behind the desk waiting for me. It’s a literary win for everybody!
5. Curb-side pick up
No time for grocery shopping, but don’t want to pay the premium of online shopping? Several grocery store chains in our area offer curb-side pickup. Simply order your list of groceries online and tell them when you want to pick it up. They’ll meet you at the curb at the designated time and you’ve just eliminated the time spent walking through the aisles and standing in the checkout line. Takeout just got less appealing and your food bill smaller since you don’t have helpful children throwing their own items in the cart.
6. Dry cleaning
Any vendor who’s willing to pick up and drop off at your home or office means one less place you have to run to. I know dry cleaning is one business that provides this service, but others I’ve seen are dog groomers, veterinarians, windshield repairmen, and certain medical services like blood work. Before you fill your Saturday with a long to-do list running around town, check to see if they will come to you.
7. Decision making –
Go with me on this one, but scheduling as many tasks on my calendar as possible – down to what days I do laundry, my meal plan, and when I’m going to read a book frees my brain from having to think on the fly and make multiple decisions a day. Studies show that planning habits free up brain power for being more productive in other areas of life. The more I can delegate by scheduling in advance, the more brain energy I have to put into being creative or playing with the kids, which in the end is a no-brainer for me.
NOTE: iCal and Google calendar have great syncing capabilities.
Recently my nine and eleven year old decided we needed to have individual nights for doing the dishes. They used to share unloading the dishwasher, with me reloading it after dinner and cleaning the kitchen. Somehow in the discussion (started at their prompting) we reorganized dinner cleanup into everyone taking turns so that everyone gets certain nights off. I can’t tell you how amazing it’s been to have a clean kitchen at night without me having to lift a finger after dinner.
Delegating KP duty is just the tip of the iceberg. It’s amazing how much help you can get from your kids. There was a day and age when people had kids literally to help out on the farm – many hands make light work. The mantra is still true today when it comes to laundry, cooking, and house chores. Don’t underestimate your kids! With proper training, kids as young as five and seven can do a decent job cleaning the house from top to bottom. Even my two year old (when she isn’t pulling toys out from every corner of the house!) is able to put her laundry in her drawer, put toilet paper under the bathroom sinks, line the shoes up neatly by the door, and put her toys into the toy bins. Being able to let go of perfection and delegate chores to the kids frees up an enormous amount of time and energy.
9. Dinner –
I’m a big advocate of easy dinners. If you’ve been around here for several years, you know I love the feeling of throwing a few ingredients in the slow cooker and quickly steaming some veggies and rice (in a rice cooker) for an easily prepared meal. I also might make a double batch of a family favorite so we can have leftovers the next night. Any time I can eliminate from prepping is more time I can spend focused on the kids when they walk in the door from school.
Try implementing one of these tips this week to see how much time you can gain by delegating some of these tasks. And let me know in the comments how you delegate to free up your time.
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All good advice Leighann!
I’m glad young mothers have these options these days!