How to Streamline your Life in 5 Easy Stepsby Nola Family StaffIt's Time to Simplify your SummerWhile many people associate streamlining and organizing their lives with New Year’s resolutions, the reality is most people need it the most when the school year winds down and summer begins. Schedules change, and parents suddenly must juggle the change of routine and activities. Throw in a vacation, and suddenly it seems like summer could turn into a hot mess! We’ve got five easy ways to help you keep your sanity, and feel stress-free about sliding into summer. But here’s the thing – FIRST, you must agree to not be too hard on yourself. Each task you delegate, or delivery service you engage, is not a sign that you’re unable to ‘Do it All’. It’s a sign that your priorities have shifted. Maybe having somebody clean your toilets or walk your dog means you can spend that much more time with your family, or finish a project for work. The bottom line is – it’s time better spent. 1. Hire what you can. It used to be that people considered ‘hired help’ a luxury for the ‘rich’. Add to that the burden put on moms that they should be able to do it all – work, chores, cooking, chauffeuring, you name it. But a recent study shows that spending money on time-saving services is linked to greater life satisfaction. This was especially true for average families, not just the super-wealthy. And we’re not just talking housekeeping services. Concierge services often do it all. Roberto Diaz del Valle, a New Orleans native and owner of A & B Errand Services, explains that people are often surprised at what an errand service can do for you, “I’ve helped people with everything from planning birthday parties to grocery shopping for their elderly parents. It’s all about giving them some of their time back.” 2. Carpool to Camp. Coordinate with other parents on alternating drop-offs and pick-ups. Ask your kid’s camp director for a list of parents that live in your area, or use social media or Nextdoor apps to do the detective work. Then arrange with other parents alternating drop-offs and pick-ups. Roberto suggests you save even more time and expense by coordinating with carpool parents to alternate watching the kids for an hour or two each afternoon. Everybody benefits. “Doubling up what you’re already doing – like the number of kids you have in the afternoon – isn’t doubling your workload by any stretch. But having the free time when they take your kid – that does double your free time!” 3. Make your chores bite-sized. Instead of running countless loads of laundry every Sunday and feeling tied to the washing machine, run a few loads during the week. When you get home from work throw just one load in, and then dry and fold before bedtime. You can do the same with vacuuming. Vacuum your family room, then put the vacuum cleaner in the corner of the next ‘most-used’ room to wait for the next day. 4. Use automated bill pay and subscription services. It doesn’t sound like they would be huge time-savers, but they really are. Think about the time you spend reminding yourself to pay bills, forgetting to pay bills, etc. and then actually paying bills. Use your bank’s bill pay service plus, it’s free. Do you buy toilet paper, soap and laundry detergent each month? What about your pet’s flea and heartworm medicine? So many of these can be put on automatic re-order through your vet, Amazon, etc. 5. Hire a concierge service. Sure, you can hang all those pictures that have been gathering dust, leaning against the wall. But you haven’t. Or you could finally call the plumber to fix that leak, but you never do because you just don’t have time to deal with it. What about sorting through your half-empty paint cans, or researching the cheapest flights or vacation rentals? Identify the things that you keep ‘not doing’ and pay somebody to quickly and efficiently take care of them for you. “Getting that one task, that’s been hanging over your head, finally accomplished – you’d be amazed at how much lighter and happier you feel. These things nag you in your head without you realizing it.” says Roberto. Let’s add a step six – grab a cold drink, a good book, and relax!New Orleans native Roberto Diaz del Valle started A & B Errand Services, LLC after working over 35 years in the New Orleans Marketplace in the fields of academia, banking and hospitality. He loves to help people find time for the things–and people–most important to them. To learn more, visit AandBErrandServices.com or call 504.319.7227.