A Lifestyle Revolution: Cleaning and Outsourcing our lives, with pleasure and leisure.

quiet st james park

As Londoners we lead busy lives. We have long workdays, home DIY projects, kids to raise, we are active in our communities, we have many social and work engagements and much more to fill up our days.

When you subtract the time we spend at work and sleeping, two pretty important activities, most of us only have 35-40% of the hours in a year to do all the rest of the things that we need to do and the zillions of other endeavours and pleasures that we want to do.

A common conundrum amongst the urban over stimulated is how to fit it all in? Not just cram it in, but integrate what’s important to us in a way that delivers quality, pleasure and meaning.While outsourcing might have been a dirty word in the past, outsourcing parts of our lives can enhance and improve in ways we may not have previously imagined.

Wide variety of options

A steady new stream of entrepreneurial efforts from food prep, to pet care, to babysitting, to home cleaning make it easier than ever to have the full-on lifestyles we’d like without sacrificing time or quality.

This phenomenon of personal life outsourcing started slowly a number of years ago with  supermarket deliveries by companies like Ocado. We became used to doing our weekly shop online during our lunch hour and having it delivered a few days later at our convenience. Over time what used to take a precious weekend morning has evolved to such a degree that it now happens in a snap with a few taps on our mobiles while we are on the go.

More and more there are services and apps that do pretty much everything to meet the needs of increasingly active people.

Perhaps grocery delivery isn’t quite time-saving enough and you’d prefer ingredients be delivered ready to assemble. But should you sacrifice interesting dishes that are fresh and healthy? Thanks to new ventures like Gusto and Hello Fresh you can tick all the boxes of convenience, quality ingredients, nutrition and taste! How the world has moved on!

What about all those DIY projects that you just don’t have time for? Companies like Handy Squad can send over someone to put up shelves, change the sink tap and other odd jobs around the house that need to be done but don’t necessarily need to take up your whole Saturday.

For those of us who travel a lot having a pet may be a distant dream for when life calms down at some undetermined time in the future. Thanks to technological innovation and some creative thinking there are now services like BorrowMyDoggy that enables pet lovers to walk and play with pets in their area whose owners need help with walking and attention giving. Having a pet in your life can bring real joy and satisfaction and what a perfect way to get the joy without the responsibility and time commitment of pet ownership. Talk about win-win.

Time is now a luxury, you can’t afford to waste it.

And then there’s the age-old dilemma of finding a reliable babysitter on Saturday night so that you can enjoy a bit of adult time. As you would expect – there is indeed an on-demand service for vetted, qualified child minders called Likeminders.

Probably the oldest personal outsourcing area is in home cleaning. This isn’t a new service by any means but it is being reconsidered, revolutionised and made accessible to more people than ever before. Having a clean home is fantastic. Spending hours cleaning each weekend isn’t.  With only 35-40% of our time each year to do both what we must and what we want, more and more people are turning to cleaning services to take on this very important task.

Increasing availability

10 years ago finding a good, reliable cleaner was hit or miss. Most of us didn’t even know where to look. Now we have cleaning services that vet and organise cleaners for us.

It is so interesting that today, services that used to be considered luxuries, thanks to technology, are rapidly becoming affordable necessities for modern life. So we can virtually extend our time by borrowing, sharing and outsourcing, leaving us able to do more while expending effort on what is most important to us.