Simple Systems To Automate Caregiving and Home Tasks
If there’s one constant about caregiving, it’s that there is always something to do. Whether you are doing something for your caree or handling your own life to dos, your to do list is probably never-ending. If you’re struggling to get everything on your to do list done, you may need to let things slide, automate or delegate tasks.
While I try to live a relatively low-tech life, there are some big positives to technology. If you aren’t a big tech person, it’s time to jump in to some technology that can help you simplify your life. If you’re uncomfortable on a computer or aren’t sure how your smart phone works, you can take a free class at your local library or senior center, or ask a teen in your family to help you.
Once you know what you’d like to get help with or what you can automate, set aside some time to establish systems. Some tasks are easier to automate than others. It may seem like you don’t have the time to set up systems, but once you get systems in place, you’ll be thrilled with the time you save.
Tasks to Automate to Simplify Caregiving Tasks
If you don’t even know where to start, there are some tasks and to dos that can be automated simply. Here are some of my favorite things to automate so that I don’t have to worry about them.
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- Automate self-care: I know, you’re thinking, I have a billion to dos, self-care doesn’t even make it on my list! That’s why I suggest automating self-care. There are a number of self-care apps out there that can remind you to do thinks like take your medication or drink water. Set up these apps on your cell phone to start a small self-care routine.
- Automate cleaning: I love being in a clean house but I never have enough time or energy to deep clean my entire house at one time. I’m guessing you’re in the same boat, especially if you are maintaining two homes. If you’re struggling to clean, can you automate some of your tasks? Purchase automated shower cleaners for your home and your caree’s home. They won’t do a deep clean but at least they’ll make it easier to manage. The same thing goes for toilet bowl cleaners – they may not make your toilets sparkle, but they’ll be more manageable. If you can afford it, invest in a Roomba to keep your floors clean. Again, it may not get everything, but you won’t be starting from ground zero.
- Automate shopping: Obviously, you can’t automate all of your shopping, but you can automate some things. If you have Amazon Prime, you can grocery shop through Prime Now for an $8 fee. Aside from the convenience of not having to go into the grocery store, you can save your shopping list. You can also set up a Subscribe and Save Amazon Prime reorder system for things you (or your caree) use frequently. When you set up five or more items, your purchase is discounted. Don’t know what you can set up for Subscribe and Save? What do you use frequently – toilet paper, paper towels, contact lens solution, granola bars, items for your caree? I bet you can come up with at least five items if you give it some thought.
- Automate essentials: If you like a certain type of food or product, consider a subscription service. There are subscription box services for so many things now – from food items to clothing and beauty products. If you enjoy trying new skincare, a subscription box is a great way for you to treat yourself without having to leave the house.
- Automate finances: If you aren’t taking advantage of online bill paying, you’re missing out on a huge time saver. Once you set up an online account with your bank, you can set up automatic payments for recurring bills. For example, if you are paying down a credit card, you can set up an automatic payment for a set amount monthly. You can do the same for your mortgage and any other bill that doesn’t change. For those bills that change from month to month, you can set the payee up online and pay the bill when you have time by setting up the date you want it to go out. No more running to the post office or wondering if your check got lost in the mail.
Trying new things can feel overwhelming, particularly if you’re using technology that you’re not completely comfortable with. However, once you get a system in place, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner. In many cases, these automated systems don’t just save you time, they can save you money.
You don’t have to make all of these changes on the same day. Pick one task to automate and just do it, no excuses. You’ll be relieved once you are able to take something off your to do list and it may just inspire you to tackle another task.