There’s a lot of pressure to be a spring cleaner, a deep cleaner, and a generally great homeowner, but you don’t have to do it all yourself. There are many great apps on the market to help with home maintenance and chores, and we’ll walk you through our top 10 picks, from outsourcing errands to unburdening yourself of your life’s (extra) possessions.
A word on apps: many startups come and go, and some take time to grow. Depending on where you live, these services may not be available to you (yet). While we’ve drawn from a pool of the most popular service and home improvement apps out there, there are still some geographic limitations. If any of these isn’t available where you live, a quick online search will likely turn up a similar product available in your market.
If you don’t know where to start your spring cleaning or you’re overwhelmed by the list of tasks that need your attention, fear not. We’ve created a comprehensive guide to home maintenance by season, which is a great place to start planning your cleaning.
Once you have a map of the things you want to accomplish around the house, you may find yourself looking for extra hands or help keeping on track. That’s where these 10 apps come in.
1: Get all kinds of help from TaskRabbit
TaskRabbit has been around since 2008, and the app is a popular way to match skilled locals with tasks that need to get done. The app offers a wide array of services: hire a handyman to align your doors, someone to assist your mother with yard work, or someone to make a Home Depot run for the house cleaning items you need.
Think of “taskers” as your helping hands for the errands you just don’t have time to run and the tasks you can’t seem to make time to do.
Taskers can be asked to do anything from installing shelves to helping with event marketing, and the range of available help is far beyond your standard spring cleaning needs. If you find yourself excited about throwing a spring fling barbeque in the backyard once you’re done tidying up, a Tasker can help you pick up ice at the last minute.
After acquiring TaskRabbit in late 2017, last March IKEA announced a service partnership with TaskRabbit for furniture assembly and installation. If part of your spring refresh includes assembling an IKEA cabinet, we recommend going with this official partner and sparing yourself the relationship-straining challenge of interpreting pictorial furniture assembly instructions with your loved ones.
2: Hire a cleaning or home repair specialist on Handy
While Handy’s offerings are similar to some of the core TaskRabbit services, this app’s focus is more narrowly associated with the home. Handy’s bread-and-butter is house cleaning and installations.
Sure, there are maid services out there, but Handy isn’t quite that either. If you’re looking for help with a deep clean or finally organizing the items in your garage, Handy has that helper for hire.
Handy also includes a store with a limited inventory of home appliances. Buying them includes expert installation. If the home security system or air conditioner you’re looking for happens to be on their shop, it may be worthwhile to comparison shop.
3: Assign and manage chores using OurHome
OurHome is a task management tool geared toward families. At any age, one of the most daunting tasks can be managing your chores. Whether you and your spouse are the only two at home, or you have four teenagers to wrangle, an app like OurHome can help you assign tasks to your housemates. (See how nice and equal that sounds?)
The OurHome website even recommends using this tool to assign tasks to visiting in-laws. While this may sound daring, it’s not a bad idea. Through the app, you can send them reminders and include detailed descriptions or shopping lists to go along with tasks.
To get kids involved, there’s also a points and rewards system that incentivizes participation. For spring cleaning, you can use this app to turn housework into your own home Olympics.
4: Plan your shopping runs with the Target app
Make sure you have the cleaning supplies and the tools you need to finish all the items on your spring cleaning task list. To cut down on time spent wandering the aisles at box stores, we recommend picking an app to help you skip the checkout line.
All three of these share a few major benefits:
- In-app coupons and deals help reduce the overall cost of your cleaning supplies.
- They all allow purchases to be placed in advance and picked up on-site. If you’re looking to save time, there’s no better way than staying out of the aisles altogether.
- Did we mention how wonderful it is not to walk through a store when you’re trying to focus on getting things done back at home? By staying out of the aisles, you can also avoid spend creep. It happens to everyone: unnecessary purchases add unnecessary weight to your shopping bags and lift directly from your wallet.
5: Outsource your laundry with Rinse
Laundry is the chore that never ends: there’s always more to wash and dry, and never quite enough time to get it all done before leaving the house. When it’s time for spring cleaning, do yourself a favor and outsource this task, especially for heavy-duty laundry like curtains and comforters.
Laundry services like Rinse will free up your schedule and mental energy for chores that require your focus.
Washing heavy-duty items can be tough in a washer-dryer designed for your home or apartment. Industrial washing machines are better suited for these seasonal tasks, but you may not want to spend your whole day at the cleaners.
One caveat: Rinse has a limited geographical range. As they expand, keep an eye out for their service in your area (if they haven’t reached you yet). If you can’t outsource this chore entirely, we still recommend looking for a laundromat with a drop-off service to help manage the amount of time your seasonal laundry takes.
6: Move big stuff with Dolly
There’s no reason to move big items by yourself, unless you own a truck and feel passionate about self-sufficiency. For the rest of us, there’s Dolly. While a few apps higher on this list offer moving and heavy lifting on their platforms, Dolly specializes in this area. The fact that everyone on the platform has an appropriate vehicle and strength means that this service is well-priced, and its customer support is great.
Every time we’ve used Dolly, we’ve met people who are happy to be able to use their truck to help someone out.
When it’s time to dig into spring chores, Dolly can help move bins of yard waste to the stump dump or transport the empties that’ve been building up in the garage to the municipal recycling center.
7: Resell your clothes on thredUP
While donating your clothes to Goodwill or another local charity is a wonderful option, if you your clothing is more gently worn, you have options.
For example: if you’re interested in making a small amount of cash off your clothes, thredUP will help you advertise and coordinate the sale of your clothing.
Local consignment shops are also an option, of course, but their hours may be inconvenient, and there’s always the risk that after you’ve schlepped your clothing down there, they won’t be interested.
When cleaning, getting rid of extra clothes is a great way to free up space for storage. Reselling those clothes to get cash to reinvest in your home improvement is a great way to cover the cost of your spring cleaning supplies.
8: Find buyers for your gently used items on Decluttr
There’s a corner of the app marketplace dedicated to making it easy to donate or sell gently used items without leaving home: Decluttr manages most of the process for you.
If your closet is already clean, but your home is cluttered, there’s a marketplace for that too. Decluttr offers a forum to advertise and find buyers for gently used items. Slightly easier to use than craigslist, think of Decluttr as a kind of online pawn shop.
The model is straightforward: you go onto the platform and select the type of item you’d like to sell. Then, Decluttr estimates how much you can get for it. Once approved, you send in your wares and the app does the rest. For a spring cleaner, this is the dream: put your items out into the world and someone else brokers the sale.
Of course, there are a few pitfalls: there is a fee involved, and you’re not able to set your own price. But if the point of seasonal change is to clean house, this can be an effective way to get rid of electronics or other items you’ve had gathering dust for months.
9: Go old school with CPlus from Craigslist
The most satisfying part of spring cleaning is getting rid of things you just don’t need anymore. A newly empty garage bay or an organized basement can feel like paradise after a winter of collecting life’s junk.
If you have a collection of gently used furniture that’s not currently in use, you may want to give it away. And if you’re oldschool, one of the easiest ways to do this is to use the CPlus app from Craigslist. As on their site, the “free stuff” forum on the app is a great way to recycle and usher your homegoods along the path to upcycling. You post photos and connect with people to pick up your stuff.
Caveat: Craigslist is still the home of the mixed bag. It’s the most egalitarian platform out there: no one is immune to great luck or an odd encounter. But here’s the thing: it’s mostly great. You can find plenty of free furniture if you’re in the market for using furnishings, and with an open mind, you might just make a friend.
If you do choose to give away old furniture on Craigslist, we recommend finding a safe place to leave it away from your home (and advertising that location). In most major metropolitan areas, those items will be gone within an hour, if not sooner.
App or No App, Dig In!
Spring is here. You’ve got all the tools you need to clean your home and get it in shape for the warmest months of the year. At the end of this list, the next step is to get started, whether that’s by downloading an app or making a shopping list of eco-friendly cleaners.
Spring cleaning after a long winter is no small task, but with the right tech, it doesn’t have to take over your weekends all season.