Sometimes being an adult means accepting your shortcomings. There are many things I am simply not good at, and being okay with that feels like a sign of maturity. The problem is that those shortcomings include making my bed, picking up when the bank calls, organizing my email, putting clothes away — essentially any and all aspects of cleaning and organization within the home. Also, sometimes I forget to hydrate.
Before you blame my parents, please know that by the time I was nine they had already run out of ideas and sent me to an organizational tutor. She tried to battle my deficient attention span with Trapper Keepers and homework planners. No dice. And while I’ve tried and tried to be better with these basic aspects of life, it’s just not where I shine.
So instead of quietly hating myself, I decided to see what would happen if I outsourced all my #adulting for a week with the help of TaskRabbit, FancyHands and Handy.
First up: grocery shopping, care of Nathan and TaskRabbit.
I sent Nathan a very specific grocery list that included twelve ripe pears (green Anjous, Bartletts and Boscs), a five-ounce jar of Spirulina, and a pound of raw, sprouted almonds. Disappointment creeped in when the receipt Nathan sent showed the almonds as roasted, but fortunately he’d asked the bulk foods associate and I got my raw sprouted nuts after all. Nathan’s the best.
Likelihood of my using again: 3/5. It was extremely convenient; I’d been out of Spirulina for weeks. But it also felt silly.
Next up: gmail organization via FancyHands.
I asked Heather at FancyHands to research the best method for Gmail organization and sorting mail by size. I’ve been hovering at my 30gb limit for two months, waiting for Gmail to make good on its threat to disable my account. While the organization piece wasn’t too enlightening, Heather did recommend FindBigMail.com. It analyzes your inbox, creates folders of your biggest emails and makes it very easy to locate and delete, say, five years of lookbooks. I’m now down to 28.4 gb and I’m thrilled. Plus it was free.
Cost: $6 a task (I bought five 20-minute tasks for $29)
Likelihood of my using again: 3/5. I paid for 20 minutes of work that I could have easily done myself, but FindBigMail.com solved a months-long annoyance.
This one was a bit of a flop. I know Lisa from FancyHands is trying, but it’s been five days and I don’t have any names for Patty yet. We’ve already allocated two tasks to the project (a whopping $12) but as I write this, I haven’t heard back from Lisa. I’m holding out hope.
Cost: $12 (two 20-minute tasks)
Likelihood of my using again: 0/5, unless Lisa really blows me away when the final results come in.
Bonus! Style and hang 20 pictures in my apartment.
My apartment walls have been bare since I moved in six months ago, and while I’m not sure if I love or hate gallery walls, I know they intimidate me. More than just hanging photos and art, I needed someone to decide where everything should go. So when I met former gallery-owner Claire F. from Task Rabbit last night, I turned all decision-making over to her and left to make some work calls. Guys. It was amazing. I came back to a home. It’s like she created vignettes in each room through the artwork. It is so much better than anything I could have done, and it only took her two hours. This was the best idea ever.
Cost: $96 + tip ($48/hr, no idea if I’m supposed to tip but she was incredible)
Likelihood of my using again: 100/5, I’m not sure how to say this without sounding like an asshole, but if you have $100 and lots of stuff to hang, hire a gallerist. And if you’re in New York, hire Claire F.
Given the short timeframe of the experiment, I didn’t get all my errands handled, but I definitely appreciated what was accomplished, and booked out the rest of the week. Tonight the cleaning company Handy set up a deep clean of my apartment ($76 for the deep clean, $35 for basic clean), and Angie from Task Rabbit will be unpacking my suitcases and creating an organizational system in my closet ($30/hr).
Ultimately, it still feels weird and unreasonable to pay someone to unpack my bags. Should I hate myself? Or accept that I’m a busy working woman who needs help in these areas and is capable of making the decision to spend money on tasks she’s probably capable of doing herself?
The thing is, capable or not, those bags aren’t going to unpack themselves.
Photographed by Krista Anna Lewis; featuring a Kate Spade rabbit bag.