Holiday Life Hacks in the GTA: So You Can Work Less & Enjoy More
If there was ever a time to get over the guilt of outsourcing household chores, the holidays is it.
I know I’m not alone when I say I would much rather wrap presents and drink hot cider with my kids than scrub my baseboards and pooper scoop the backyard. I am a big believer in simplifying the holidays and putting your own mask on first. One of the best ways to achieve holiday bliss is outsourcing as many chores and tasks as you can. ‘Tis the season to be jolly, after all.
Think you can’t afford it? Start by reviewing your holiday budget with a fine tooth-comb to see where you can cut back. Are there a few gifts that could be downsized to free up some cash? For most of us the added expense is worth it to relieve stress and prevent being run completely ragged trying to do it all. Planning ahead and getting creative with your holiday budget can make a big difference.
Here are some “holiday helper” options to save your sanity this season.
Simply Laundry in the GTA
Everyone’s heard of dry cleaning but many laundromats offer a wash and fold service too. The sign on the door at my laundromat sold me on trying this out a few years ago. It said: “All Your Laundry Done in Four Minutes: Two to Drop off and Two to Pick up.” Some, like Simply Laundry in the Greater Toronto Area will let you schedule a pick up and return online for as little as $1.95/lb for wash and fold service.
If you’re like me, you can (usually) keep up with the day-to-day surface cleaning, but it’s the big stuff that never gets done. Services like Molly Maid can be hired as one-offs, requiring no commitment, which is great for those of us who only need help once or twice a year. This is a great way to relieve some of the stress that comes with hosting guests over the holidays.
Grocery Gateway, Loblaws & Walmart Home Delivery
I’m always surprised to find out how many people hate grocery shopping because I love it (as long as I’m sans kids). So if the thought of roaming the aisles trying to find everything you need to keep everyone happy and fed gives you nightmares (not to mention finding the time to do so), an online service might be your jam. Grocery Gateway by Longo’s, Loblaws and Walmart.ca all offer home delivery.
It’s never been easier to get good, healthy meals delivered to your home. Due to cost, this isn’t a full-time option for most of us but it’s a Godsend over the holidays especially if you don’t love to cook and your resentment over doing so is likely to boil over quicker than the gravy. Services like HelloFresh offer trial boxes with no commitment required. Special diets to accommodate? A quick online search will turn up options for everything from vegan to gluten-free delivery options as well.
Christmas Dinner Delivery
I just heard a collective intake of horrified breath… Don’t worry, I know most of us would sooner BE a turkey than turn its cooking over to someone else but outsourcing the big meal is one way to eliminate a huge amount of stress from Christmas Day (not to mention time spent shopping, prepping and cooking). Try searching “Turkey Dinner Delivery” in your area or ask your local grocery or specialty food store about their holiday catering options.
Can’t get to the lights this year? No time to find them or shop for new ones, let alone put them up? Find a service that will do it for you. Get a free quote from Illuminations Canada or search for a local service in your area.
When extra commitments and demands on our time ramp up, one of the first things to slide in my house is homework time. It’s never easy to fit in but the late nights and erratic schedule can make it almost impossible. Consider hiring your regular babysitter or a local high school student to hang out with your little for an hour or two while she does her homework each night. You can tackle your to-do list while she tackles fractions. You might find that everyone enjoys the break in routine.
Why spend an hour or more waiting around the auto shop or dealership when there’s so much to be done at home? If putting on your winter tires is one more thing on your list that doesn’t get done, try booking an appointment with a service like GoTire that will come right to your driveway.
My cats love Christmas because they believe the tree is erected solely for their amusement. My dogs hate Christmas because their daily walk is often replaced by a tossed tennis ball in the backyard. Hiring a responsible neighborhood kid to walk your pup or let them out for a pee during the long hours you’re away from home is a great solution. Or look into a doggy daycare service in your neighborhood that will board your pooch for the day and send him home too tired to eat the box of Turtles you just wrapped and put under the tree.
Having two large dogs I used to dream about hiring someone else to clean up my yard. And then I realized my dreams could come true thanks to services like Poop Patrol. Instead of hoping for a thick layer of snow to cover the yard, make one phone call and get that mess taken care of so you don’t have to worry when Grandma ventures out to feed the Cardinals on Christmas morning.