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Getting Help with Your Holiday To-do List Has Never Been Easier

wrapping presents

Need help wrapping presents? Try TaskRabbit or Zaarly.

Now that it’s holiday season, your to-do list has likely exploded.  On top of  your job either in or outside the home, you may have cards to send out, family to entertain, gifts to buy and packages to mail, with no extra time to fit it all in.  Wish you had some extra arms and legs?  There’s an app for that. A new story in the Wall Street Journal examines two websites that let you farm out your chores.

TaskRabbit already has people assisting those who need help with such holiday tasks as gift-wrapping, snow shoveling, stuffing gift bags, assisting with Christmas parties, serving dinner for Rosh Hashannah and decorating.  And it’s not just holiday-related chores, but any kind of work people need help with, including grocery shopping, filing, cleaning, organizing, furniture assembly, packing, virtual office assistance and more.

Blogger Kristen Howerton, of Rage Against the Minivan and She Posts, wrote about her experience using TaskRabbit and said she loved it.  She has used the service to get help with everything from buying and delivering a kid’s bike from Wal-Mart to her house to organizing and labeling her children’s toy drawers.  She wrote, “I am here to tell you: I am a convert.  I am their new best customer.  The experience this month was so great that I decided not to keep looking for household help . . . I’m just going to hire a TaskRabbit when I need something done.”

To utilize the service, you simply post a task on the site and the background-checked TaskRabbit who makes the lowest bid to do the work will automatically be assigned to take care of it. For those who want to make a little extra cash, you also can sign up to be a TaskRabbit by filling out an application, completing an interview and passing a background check.  Currently TaskRabbit is only available to people living in Boston, the San Francisco Bay area, New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles, but its website says the service will soon be available in Atlanta, Austin, Dallas, Portland and Seattle as well.

Zaarly works in a  similar fashion, allowing you to seek goods or services from those living nearby.  One person posted that he was working hard in his yard and would pay $10 to anyone who could quickly deliver him an energy drink.  That task was fulfilled.  From a cursory look at the tasks on both sites, the rates seem pretty affordable.  Most seem to cost between $20 and $50. So if it’s time to offload some of your chores onto someone else, now you know where to go!!

And now to look for a virtual assistant …

Photo credit: Stockxchange/shouftas

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