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By Cybele Weisser
March 10, 2015
Getty Images

These days you can outsource even the most mundane chores—at a price point that isn’t out of reach for the average Joe. And a host of new web-enabled services have made the process a snap. Money asked freelance writer and busy working mom Cybele Weisser to try out some of them to see if the time they bought her was worth the price she paid. This post is part of a series recording her results.

The Chores: Odd Jobs at Home

Some items on my to-do list have been there for years because they seem so endlessly procrastinate-able.

Two examples: cataloguing the several hundred vinyl records my spouse acquired during college into a spreadsheet so that he’d know what he has (and what he could, I hope, one day toss), and deep-cleaning the gunk out of the crevices of our decade-old refrigerator.

→ Outsourcing options: TaskRabbit and Agent Anything help you find pre-screened independent contractors willing to execute almost any odd job. Zaarly is similar for home services; Thumbtack, for home repair.

→ What I tried: TaskRabbit, which has the largest national network of contractors.

→ What it cost: $75 for the record cataloguing; $88 to clean out the fridge. You pay by the hour, from $15 to $35 for unskilled labor depending on the person, location, and task.

→ Time saved: 3½ hours

→ How it worked: I entered a description of my job on TaskRabbit.com, and the site popped up profiles of dozens of “Taskers” available in the time window I chose.

Each profile showed the Tasker’s bill rate (each sets his own), a photo, and customer reviews. I looked for people on the lower end of the range with good reviews.

And since they’d be in my house with me, I picked individuals who looked like they probably weren’t serial killers.

→ The verdict: Mixed.

Both Taskers, fairly young folks who did the work to fund other pursuits, were friendly and polite, and they got the jobs done.

However, I didn’t love spending hours in my home with strangers. Also, the price seemed high.

And I think I could have done both jobs faster myself (though in the case of the fridge, less thoroughly—who knew masking tape would extract crumbs?). I wondered whether getting paid hourly may have caused the Taskers to work less efficiently.

Still, since I would have otherwise put off these jobs infinitely, it was probably worth the money to actually get them done.

More from Money’s outsourcing series:

The Easiest Way to Deal With Online Shopping Returns

Advertiser Disclosure

The purpose of this disclosure is to explain how we make money without charging you for our content.

Our mission is to help people at any stage of life make smart financial decisions through research, reporting, reviews, recommendations, and tools.

Earning your trust is essential to our success, and we believe transparency is critical to creating that trust. To that end, you should know that many or all of the companies featured here are partners who advertise with us.

Our content is free because our partners pay us a referral fee if you click on links or call any of the phone numbers on our site. If you choose to interact with the content on our site, we will likely receive compensation. If you don't, we will not be compensated. Ultimately the choice is yours.

Opinions are our own and our editors and staff writers are instructed to maintain editorial integrity, but compensation along with in-depth research will determine where, how, and in what order they appear on the page.

To find out more about our editorial process and how we make money, click here.

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