Recently, I was talking to a group about organizing and we devoted a few minutes to sharing websites and resources which can make life a little easier.
I was surprised how many attendees had not heard of these sites, which I tend to take for granted. If by chance they’re new to you too, they’re definitely worth a look.
(With apologies to international readers, many of these are US-only).
Catalog Choice ~ Wonderful free service where you join once, and then simply select the catalogs you no longer love to get; they take care of the rest for you.
Yellow Pages Opt Out ~ This is a multi-step process, but well worth doing if endless directories are landing on your doorstep.
Task Rabbit ~ Currently only in San Francisco and Boston, but hopefully, expanding soon. You list the tasks, errands or chores which you need completed, and ‘runners’ bid on them. Great examples include grocery shopping and Ikea pickups – and any “to-do” which is simply not getting crossed off your list.
Virtual Assistant ~ If you are buried by administrative or office tasks, consider working with a virtual assistant on a project basis. This frees you up to earn money doing things you’re good at and enjoy.
Remember, you don’t have to do everything yourself, and it’s getting increasingly viable for even middle-income earners to outsource certain tasks. If you don’t believe me, take a dip into A Housekeeper is Cheaper than a Divorce.
Google Maps ~ Everyone knows you can look places up on Google maps. But if you’re driving somewhere unfamiliar, I find their Directions feature gives the most accurate guide to how long it will take, especially if you take the “in traffic” time. While you’re there, ask the map to show you current traffic conditions, too, which can literally save you hours.
Yelp ~ You can subscribe to a review service, like Angie’s List, but increasingly, comments and information on Yelp is a free and accurate guide to what you’ll get from a restaurant, store or other supplier. This is a great way to balance the time you spend researching something, with the reliability of information you’ll get.
Save your stuff from landfill:
Freecycle ~ You’ll need to join a group in order to give and get free stuff in your neighborhood. This is great if your town is easy to define, but hard if you live within 5 miles of 5 towns, like me.
Donation Town ~ Great service to schedule a charity to come and pick up your things.
Gazelle ~ Ship off your gadgets and electronics items and get cash in return.
Craigslist ~ Unless you are very patient and have lots of free time, people I talk with are increasingly saying that selling things on Craigslist is simply not worth it, due to low prices and no-show buyers. You can, however, list things in the free section and simply put them outside your house.
Whether or not these sites are new to you, consider building your own toolkit of links and resources to draw upon and make life easier.
What other essential websites would you add? And for smartphone users, what are your favorite sanity-saving apps?