September 3, 2015

Service Swap

Surprise! My blog has a new look and format and I absolutely LOVE it. It's what I've always wanted.

I'll admit, when I wrote my last post, giving my site a facelift was not in the works. It wasn't even a hint of an idea at the time. A friend had asked for my help getting her blog set up. While guiding her through the process and seeing newer and better options out there, I started pining for a new, cleaner look for my own. So I started looking...

Hundreds of templates later (and a venting session about the hours spent working on this), I finally found what I was looking for. And it's awesome.

Simple, elegant, easy to navigate... It's practically perfect in every way.

And to think, if I hadn't already been in the "Service Swap" mindset, I may never have done this.

What is a service swap?

An excellent question. I'm glad you asked. A service swap is exactly that - two (or more) people swapping services. It can be one-time thing, like a friend helping another friend set up a blog, or a long-term commitment with a fancy schmancy schedule and everything. You may even be involved with one already. But the best part is it's FREE. Oh, yes. I said the magic word that sends tingles down your spine. Free.

Service Swap -
Handyman Husband in his workshop. He can do just about anything in there. Wonderful Service Swap fodder!
Okay. maybe sometimes it's not completely free. Like when you supply the materials for a given project or feed other kids lunch. But close enough.

How does a service swap work?

Before beginning a service swap, you need to assess two things - what you need and what you can provide.

Service swaps could include:
  • babysitting
  • yard work
  • teaching a skill
  • photography
  • crafts
  • DIY projects
  • food of all sorts
  • carpooling
  • tutoring
  • music lessons
  • mending or sewing
  • and a million more...

Service Swap -
My own handiwork. Crocheting, knitting, and sewing are excellent services to swap.
Here's an example of an ideal service swap: I need someone to watch my 4yo in the mornings so I can help with traffic control at my 6yo's school. My friend, who is at the school in the morning anyway, needs someone to watch her 3yo on Fridays so she can help in her 6yo's classroom. She also needs someone to pick up her 6yo after school one day a week. So we swap services and both feel like we're taking advantage of the other person.

Everyone has their needs met and there's no money out of pocket. I love service swaps!

Another example: A few months ago, my friend needed someone to watch her kids while she worked a second job. Since her kids are the same age as mine, I volunteered. She's a professional photographer, so I accepted a couple of photo sessions in exchange (both happening this month!). She also took photos for my blog and walked me through a few photography things so I can take my own blog pictures.

Have I mentioned how much I LOVE service swaps? Because I really truly do.

Service Swap -
Anyone want to swap cleaning services? Anyone?

How do I find someone to swap services with?

It's easier than you think. Sooooo much easier.

If you're on social media, join community groups. I belong to ones for my city, my neighborhood, and my son's school. Post your need and what you're willing to provide. Be very specific in what you're looking for - "I need someone to walk my 4yo golden retriever every weekday morning and make sure he has food and water in his dish. I'm willing to drive up to 3 kids to Westfield Elementary School every morning and pick them up in the afternoons." 

Speak up! Talk to people in your neighborhood, at work, your kids' schools, the playground, church, the gym, or wherever else you go on a regular basis. Mention you're looking for someone to swap services with. If they can't help you, maybe they know someone who can.

Listen to others. It's amazing what you can learn by listening. "Oh, you and your husband want to start having regular date nights? My husband and I have been wanting to do date nights, too. What if we swap babysitting? I'll take your kids Friday nights if you take mine Saturdays. Or we can swap out every other week."

Service Swap -
Yard work is the reason I have a husband and three sons. Another great Service Swap opportunity!

 This is the coolest thing EVER!

Yeah, I know. That's why I had to share. But don't just rave about it. Go out and DO it. My life has benefitted so much from service swaps. It's worth the extra time and effort. I'm happier, my kids are happier, and my husband is happier (since it doesn't cost us a thing). It's a win-win scenario.

What are you waiting for?

Seriously. Stop reading and go! Make it a thing! You can do it!

1 comment:

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