Running errands? My top ten tips

Before you even step outside the front door, prepare yourself to tackle a long list of errands with my top 10 tips. When it comes to being organised, preparation is everything.

  1. Use the phone!
    Speak to a peep. Example: I once traveled across town in heavy traffic to purchase a sofa bed from a retail warehouse/showroom (their words).  Their website listed 6 colours of a particular style sofa bed so I assumed at least one colour was in stock.  After all, they only sold beds, and had 21 styles of sofa bed on their website.Well, turns out NOT A SINGLE sofa bed was actually in stock there. Had to be shipped from interstate (eg had to purchase it first). Not one of those 21 styles.  Hmmm. NEVER ASSUME.
  2. Make a list!
    Check things off your list as you go. Stay focused! Just stay on track.
  3. Eat/drink/go to the loo before you leave.
    Allow for these things in your journey. I’m the first to abandon all plans when I’m starving hungry or desperately thirsty.
  4. Be prepared.
    If you’re traveling by car, ensure you have enough petrol, air in the tyres and spare change for parking, AND allow time to find a park!
  5. Wear comfy shoes, and a cardi or zip jacket.
    A zip jacket will help avoid the jacket-on-off thing when in and out stores.  Perfect temperature control!
  6. Start with the errand that is furtherest away.
    This is my all-time favourite errand success technique! That way, if anything kyboshes your plans (you run out of time, you are called back to work early, whatever), at least you have the major errand out of the way. Good time management simply means making good decisions.
  7. List errands per geographical area.
    I use to note all errands – they are broken down into categories:

    • supermarket
    • fruit & veg store
    • hardware store
    • chemist
    • health food store
    • office supplies
    • other (dry cleaning, clothing alterations etc)The benefits are far reaching: I don’t have to rely on memory, my tasks are already batched, and I simply prioritize my travel route based on location.  Super easy!
  8. Prioritise by size and weight.
    If all errands in your ‘hood, start with the one that requires the least carrying, eg collect your dry cleaning LAST and that jewellry repair FIRST.
  9. Worth noting that regular business hours vary wildy. For example, trade and building supplies open early, close early. One person businesses sometimes close for lunch etc.
  10. Finally, always find out if companies deliver – free, or for a small fee.
    A clothing alteration, for example, can easily be posted (provided it doesn’t require you to try on).  And you’d be amazed at how many chemists offer free local delivery for presecriptions! Same with groceries! Take advantage of anyone offering free shipping or ask if they can ship for a fee.  It’s a huge time saver.

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