“I am the person who notices we are running out of toilet paper,” says Ellen Seidman in her Mother’s Day blog post in 2016. Working moms everywhere can relate to this statement. Many of us are used to the added mental load that we carry in addition to our full time jobs. Like many working parents, I would rather spend my time outside of work with my son rather than doing boring household chores, so I have been honing my systems to maximize kid-time and minimize “punch me in the face” tasks like light bulb shopping.
Automate Your Toilet Paper
Many companies like Amazon and Jet allow you to sign up to have essentials delivered at your desired intervals. Take items like toothpaste, paper towels, deodorant, light bulbs, laundry detergent, aluminum foil and every other boring item that no one wants to shop for but that your household needs to function smoothly, and automate all of these orders. Bonus here is that you have an archive of the right sizes/items that you have bought in the past.
Outsource Your Laundry
What if someone else just handled all of your clothes? Dry cleaning, regular laundry, you name it – big city residents can take advantage of services like Rinse that take all the time out of laundry and dry cleaning. They will come to your door to pick up your clothes, then return them at a time that is convenient to you.
Write it Down and Attack it All at Once
I find that just getting all the things in my head down on paper takes a huge mental load off. Inevitably, my list does not feel as heavy on paper as it does in my head. From there, I set aside some time once a week and blast through that list. This normally entails setting up appointments (doctor, plumber, etc.), household tasks, or other household needs that fall outside of my automated purchases. I like using Amazon’s Alexa to call out items as I think of them to compile my list throughout the week.
Greek Yogurt, Bread, and Ketchup… Delivered
There are now a million different delivery services out there, from individual stores (Whole Foods and Vons) to broader companies (Instacart). You can create your shopping list online between meetings and arrange to have your groceries delivered when you want. The more you use a service, the faster it becomes as you have a list of curated favorites. Yes this does cost a bit more, but it can give you back some valuable time.
Thanks to the glorious invention of the Internet, it has never been easier to have the equivalent of a virtual assistant. It seems like every day there are companies sprouting up to address new tasks. If you have something that you hate to do, it’s worth a search – there may be an app for that. Oh, and don’t forget the toilet paper.