I’ve always liked the idea of bartering work with someone. Not only does it avoid the awkwardness of billing one’s friends and family (which can strain relationships), but often it highlights their talents.
Truth is, I consider my skills relatively boring: writing and proof-reading. My family and friends have McAwesome** skills with automotive engineering, computer programming, and construction. When they help me, all I can offer in return is undying love and a hearty lasagna. (I believe they prefer the lasagna, particularly the spinach version.)
This past week, one of my friends needed my skill! I helped with her résumé (or curriculum vitae for my readers abroad). I distilled all her experience and skills into a two-page version and a one-page version. It was fun talking about her various job titles and degrees, and I appreciated even more what an interesting person she is.
In exchange, she’s going to clean my house in March.
Considering her credentials, it’s hard to imagine her putting on an apron and wielding mop. However, her cleaning service started as a complement to her husband’s landscape business. She expanded it following the economic downturn and fits it into her regular work schedule.
I’ve always cleaned my own house (including the onerous Spring Cleaning), even when my peers recommended their “lady.” After downsizing my life (and income), I considered hiring cleaning services a great luxury. Although my friend assures me that is a small job – she knows just how small The House of Nonsense is – I feel like I’m getting the better end of the bargain.
**They are both awesome and fast.
Cynthia Townley Ewer’s Organized Home (The mother lode of cutting clutter and calming chaos. Her checklists alone help with spring cleaning!)
The Fly Lady (Not just a website for tips but also a means of developing better habits and more mindful living.)