Don’t have time to keep up with your household chores? Outsource them!
In a perfect world, your closets would be organized, your photos placed in albums and your tax returns neatly filed away. But we all know the world isn’t perfect. Luckily, you can pay someone to do just about anything on your to-do list. Although some of these services may seem a bit decadent given the current economic slump, in many cases they can keep you from wasting time and money&emdash;freeing you up to do what really matters. Here’s a look at just some of the local services available.
Can’t find your phone under your 1999 bank statements and last week’s newspapers? Need help organizing your wine collection? Give one of these pros a call.
Organized Habits&emdash;Organized Habits helps overwhelmed householders and home-business owners create efficient spaces. About $200 gets you a 21/2-hour consultation with owner Natalie Conrad, who will devise a game plan for organizing your living or work environment. For $60 to $75 an hour, Conrad will perform additional tasks, such as setting up a mudroom to handle after-school chaos, organizing a home-office filing system or creating a family communication system that lets everyone know what’s scheduled for each family member every day.
(916) 607-7496; organizedhabits.com
Get OrderLee&emdash;For packrats in Sacramento, Placer and El Dorado counties, Lee Mahla creates smart organization systems for any space that’s been overtaken by the clutter gremlins. A $95 consultation may be all you need to tame the chaos.
(916) 631-6881; getorderlee.com
On Target Organizing&emdash;Perhaps your garage or closet is bulging at the seams, or you need help packing for a move or unpacking after one. Heather DeVivo’s On Target Organizing does it all, from room organizing and downsizing to helping with home-office tasks such as filing, bills and errands. Cost is $50 per hour.
(916) 806-3704; ontargetorganizing.com
Clutter Control Angels&emdash;Certified professional organizer Holly Hitchcock Graff works with victims of chronic disorganization whose troubles run deeper than the average mess. It’s not a job for an amateur. At a lot of places, I have to wear an industrial mask, says Graff, who’s helped many a hoarder get his or her life back. The service costs $200 for an initial consultation, $85 hourly thereafter. For those with limited incomes, Graff offers pro bono or discounted services. And you can always sign up for one of her classes.
(916) 284-4064; cluttercontrolangels.com
Capitol Cellars&emdash;Building your own wine cellar? Capitol Cellars, a Roseville fine-wine store, can help oenophiles with everything from maintaining proper temperature and humidity systems to organizing, storing, and managing precious collections&emdash;something to do before your boxed-wine-loving spouse unwittingly guzzles your prized $900 bottle of ChÃ¢teau Le Pin Pomerol. Consultation is free.
(916) 786-9030; capitolcellars.com
AROUND THE HOUSE
If rearranging furniture, putting up holiday lights or hooking up the new fridge stresses you out, these experts will come to the rescue.
Artful Journey Designs and Staging&emdash;Real Estate Staging Association 2007 Stager of the Year nominee Lori Kim Polk helps home sellers get top dollar for their homes&emdash;and in today’s sunken market, who doesn’t need a boost? A personal design shopper for many of the local glitterati, Polk can snag you a designer discount (I have them all over the place, she says) or gussy up your home with upscale furniture and original artwork from her personal inventory. She’ll show you how to stage to live by putting new twists on items you already have. Prices depend on the job; clients usually pay anywhere from $150 to $3,000.
(916) 300-0402; artfuljourney.net
My Other Husband&emdash;Is your hubby falling behind on his honey-do list? With this handyman service, you can forget the squeaky hinges and do a date night instead (with your real husband, not the Other one). My Other Husband’s expertise covers painting, drywall and plaster repair, window installation and repair, countertop replacement, appliance installation, picture hanging, gutter cleaning, pressure washing, ceiling-fan installation and more. All work carries a one-year material and labor warranty.
(916) 626-9590; my-other-husband.com
Polar Lites&emdash;It’s hard to think about Christmas in the middle of a Sacramento summer, but keep these guys in mind as the holidays approach. They specialize in the installation, maintenance, removal and storage of holiday lighting and decorations, and will assist you in choosing themes and colors using commercial-quality, energy-efficient products. If you really want to go all-out, they can help you synchronize your lights to holiday music. There’s a minimum charge of $500 for local customers.
(916) 923-9627; polarlites.com
Running errands can run you ragged. And who can afford to take off work in the middle of the day to wait at home for a repair technician? Just thinking about your out-of-control to-do list is apt to make you forget you were supposed to snag a table at that hot new restaurant for your anniversary. Relax&emdash;these folks have it all covered.
Errands-Made-Easy&emdash;Take control of your time with this errand and personal concierge business serving the Roseville area. Owner Kathleen Peterson provides housesitting, grocery shopping, gift wrapping, and pickup and delivery services as well as personal organizing and business assistance: filing systems, word processing, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations and more. Most services cost between $20 and $40 an hour plus expenses, and gift certificates are available.
(916) 872-7708; errands-made-easy.com
WeGoShop.com&emdash;Make a list and the people at this Sacramento-based Internet company (which is rapidly expanding across the United States and Canada) will shop at the grocery store or stores of your choice and deliver the bags to your door. You can place your order online, by phone or by fax. Shopping and delivery fees are $12.50 for receipts totaling $150 or less, $20 for receipts between $150 and $300. Additional charges may apply; check the website for details.
(877) 934-6746; wegoshop.com
My Personal Assistant&emdash;Hatched by two veterans of 70-hour workweeks in marketing, My Personal Assistant understands that sometimes you don’t even have time to slap a stamp on a thank-you card. For $15 or $20 an hour, in most cases, Kirsty Richards and Ashley Mayon will wait in line, pick up and deliver dry cleaning, drop off coffee or lunch, housesit, bartend for your party, sell your old furniture to consignment stores, even shop for groceries and have your food waiting for you in the fridge when you get home. Bonus: At the beginning of 2008, the owners made a resolution to go green by purchasing hybrid vehicles for errand running and using recycled paper and canvas bags.
(888) 414-6337; mypersonalassistantca.com
Errand Jugglers&emdash;Folsom-based Girl Friday Yvonne Steinert defines her job as giving clients the 25th hour in their 24-hour day. A mobile notary public, she’s more than happy to stand in line for you at the DMV, cart you to the airport, wait in your home for repairs or deliveries, schedule your tee time or pick up your kids from school and start dinner. Her theater of operation is the Greater Sacramento area, but she’ll go as far as Lake Tahoe or San Francisco. Services are $25 an hour plus mileage.
(916) 984-5130; errandjuggler.com
City Concierge&emdash;Gift buying, important-date reminders, restaurant reservations, comparison shopping, personal research, formalwear and costume rentals, moving and relocation, housecleaning, decorating, landscaping, carwash and detail services, nanny and baby-sitting referrals: You’ll find it all and more through City Concierge, which operates as a one-stop shop for a cornucopia of services and often can get you better prices than you’d get on your own. A $49-per-month membership buys you unlimited requests for referrals and service bookings, plus an interactive website where you’ll find exclusive deals and resources.
(916) 444-8613 or (800) 770-9709; mycityconcierge.com
FOR OUR ELDERS
These services enable aging or physically disabled loved ones to remain independent in their own homes.
A Helpmate&emdash;Owner Denise Carper’s team provides housekeeping, organizing, bill paying, personal care, meal preparation, laundry, errands, transportation, packing and unpacking, medical reminders and party help, plus the occasional rosebush transplant. Special rates ($15 per hour per helper) apply to low-income clients; otherwise, most services cost $20 per hour per helper, with a two-hour minimum. For bathing and dressing only, there’s a special rate of $20 (low-income) and $25. Overnight care (10-plus hours) also is available.
(916) 364-8763; ahelpmate.org
ComForcare Senior Services&emdash;These folks assist with everything from bathing, dressing and hairstyling to meal preparation, housekeeping and medication reminders. They’ll also take clients to doctor’s appointments. Fees start at $19 per hour and depend on the level of care.
(916) 784-9233; comforcare.com
Sacramento Life Force Home Health Care&emdash;Not just for seniors, Life Force Home Health Care provides nonmedical services to clients 18 and older who suffer from a variety of debilitating conditions. For $18 an hour, they’ll do light housework, grocery shopping, errands, laundry, bathing, meals, personal care, companionship and more. Some of our clients like to go to Thunder Valley [casino], says Christine Roche-Bengiovanni, director of client services. We take them wherever they want to go&emdash;anything that will stimulate them beyond their daily routines and improve the quality of their lives.
(916) 481-6825; saclifeforce.com
CLEAN IT UP
Leave your dirty clothes, cars, homes and yards to these professionals.
Oasis Laundry&emdash;OK, they don’t come to your house, but that can be a good thing if you’re embarrassed by the mess. Leave your dirty duds here and they’ll wash, dry, fold and hang them for $1.10 a pound. And don’t fret about wearing last night’s Merlot: These folks are whizzes with stains.
1250 Howe Ave., Sacramento; (916) 924-0221
Launderland&emdash;Drop off your laundry at this midtown operation for $1 a pound (clothing, towels and sheets only; special rates apply to other items) and stay for the cool vibes. Launderland is colorful, to say the least, with wall paintings by local artist Robert Gordon and widowed socks hanging from a rope. The service has gone green, too, so you can pick up your freshly folded garments guilt-free.
1603 F St., Sacramento; (916) 446-1826
River City Maintenance Window Cleaning&emdash;Finally, someone who does windows. River City Maintenance also does gutter cleaning, high dusting, awning cleaning, pressure washing, sidewalks and parking areas, ultrasonic mini-blind cleaning, graffiti removal and construction cleanup. Prices are based on square footage; window cleaning (inside and out) for a two-story, 2,500-square-foot house will run you $237. Look for discounts on the website.
(916) 442-8898; cleanwindows.org
Performance Mobile Detailing&emdash;No need to break a sweat or rearrange your schedule to get your car, boat or RV to shine. Performance Mobile Detailing brings the shop to you. Prices start at $235 for midsize vehicles. Discounts are available for seniors and military personnel.
(916) 955-2197; performancemobiledetail.com
JustJunkIt&emdash;This socially conscious rubbish removal service runs its entire fleet of trucks on biofuel within a 50-mile radius of Sacramento. Services include furniture and appliance removal, yard debris and storage shed cleanup, spa and play-structure dismantling and more. We attempt to repurpose much of the material we receive, says co-owner Jon Lazaro, citing JustJunkIt’s donations to WEAVE, The Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity and other local nonprofits. Prices are based on volume, ranging from $92 minimum to $458 for a full load.
(888) 458-6548; justjunkit.com
The Grout Medic&emdash;You’ve got better things to do than attack your grout gunk with a toothbrush. These professionals do the cleaning for you with state-of-the-art equipment and methods. They can seal and stain your grout and also clean, repair or install tile. Call for a free in-home estimate.
(916) 933-5598; thegroutmedic.com
MEALS AND CELEBRATIONS
When do the above two words sound like work? When you’re the one toiling over a hot stove or frantically trying to locate 52 flamingo-stemmed margarita glasses by Saturday night. Give these experts the grunt work while you eat, drink and get merry.
Meals-For-Life Coach&emdash;A week’s worth of healthful, flavorful meals and snacks delivered fresh to your door every Sunday: What’s not to like? Korrie Hicks and her culinary team tailor meals to your family’s preferences, paying special attention to those with allergies, weight-control issues, diabetes and the like. All you have to do is heat it up, says Hicks. It’s an ideal program for somebody who wants to eat healthfully but doesn’t have the time. Prices vary, but a family of four can eat dinner for about $120 a week.
(916) 212-2028; mealsforlifecoach.com
Capital City Gourmet&emdash;It’s like having your own kitchen fairy godmother. Chef Laila Sanousi shops for ingredients and arrives at your home with her own kitchen supplies to prepare and store meals for your family. If you’ve been at work all day, you’ll hardly know she’s been there except for the jam-packed freezer. Average cost is $300 a week plus the cost of groceries. You also can hire Sanousi to cook for your next dinner party for $55 to $85 per person. Want to learn how to make pizza or cook a turkey? Put on an apron and sign up for one of Sanousi’s in-home cooking classes.
(916) 646-4450; capitalcitygourmet.com
The Party Concierge Inc.&emdash;From intimate gatherings to large events, the folks at Party Concierge take charge of everything from ice carvings and chocolate fountains to flowers and balloons. You can choose from a variety of themes (pirates, anyone?), and they’ll provide custom invitations, signage and hand-painted backdrops from a 40,000-square-foot warehouse. You don’t have to lift a finger&emdash;setup and breakdown are all part of the package. Prices vary widely; visit the website or retail store for details.
601 Dos Rios St., Suite 100, Sacramento; (916) 440-8080; partyconcierge.com
FOR YOUNG FAMILIES
These services allow harried parents to take a breather.
SacramentoNanny.com&emdash;Getting nowhere in your search for the perfect nanny? The people at SacramentoNanny.com understand your frustration (they’ve been there); that’s why they’ve set up this free online service that matches local families with the nanny of their dreams. It’s like a dating service: They’ll provide a venue for the two parties to meet, and you can choose to contact one another via the website.
Tidee Didee Diaper Service&emdash;Huggies, schmuggies. For an average weekly cost of $18, families can have a clean supply of cotton diapers delivered to their door and the stinky ones whisked away. Check out the website for special offers.
(916) 427-6161; tideedidee.net
Despite our best intentions, life’s precious moments can pass us by if we don’t slow down to capture them. These services help you do that.
Retrospectives Personal Historian Services&emdash;What would you give to have a recording of Grandpa recounting his adventures as a World War II bombardier or reminiscing about the day he met your grandmother? Catherine Warmerdam will help you and your loved ones preserve priceless family memories by creating CD recordings with custom-designed labels. But the service doesn’t just focus on grandparents; think travel chronicles, birth or adoption stories, personal tributes, health diaries, ethical wills or family kitchen stories complete with favorite recipes. Price depends on project complexity, and Warmerdam will work with any budget, but plan on spending at least $250.
(916) 806-4466; retrospectives.biz
Out of the Box&emdash;If you’re up to date in placing all your family photographs in albums, congratulations; you’re highly abnormal. Longtime scrapbooking consultant Melinda Hollis can rescue the rest of us from shoebox purgatory by creating keepsake albums. She provides the materials and labor; all you have to do is provide the photos and do the journaling. She’ll even organize your digital photos on your computer. Cost is $70 an hour; package deals on labor and supplies are available.
(916) 729-1234 or (916) 367-3834; outoftheboxintoalbums.com