Everything You Need to Know About Running Errands

CitizenShipper CitizenShipper · Updated: July 10, 2023 / Published: October 20, 2020

We all have errands. Whether it’s picking up the dry cleaning to returning library books. Errands are small tasks that are outside of your usual routine. While they often result in a good outcome, they can often be hard to organize, easily forgotten, or pushed aside. 

In this article, we give an overview of what errands are, how to organize your life to get your errands done and give you some secret tips about how to life-hack your errand list. 

What Do Your Errands Say About You?

Errands are highly personal tasks, and no person will have exactly the same errand list as another person. They are a reflection of your personal style, priorities, hobbies, and values. For such a mundane idea, an errand list can actually say a lot about a person. For example, if you see an errands list that includes:

  • Pick up dry cleaning
  • Book theatre tickets
  • Call tailor

It gives you a very different sense of the person from a list that includes:

  • Return library books
  • Pay the art gallery membership fee
  • Call Aunty Mabel. 

How to Organize Your Errands

Having a system to organize your errand is essential if you are ever going to get them done. Especially if you have errands that are time-sensitive, such as returning borrowed items or purchasing tickets. How you organize your errands needs to be in fighting with your overall organizational style. Do you write lists or prefer voice notes? Do you always stick to your calendar, or are you impulsively going through your day?

One good method of organizing your errands is taking some time on a Monday to put them in order of priority. What is most pressing? What is the least urgent? The errands that have the biggest consequences should go first – ie paying bills, fees, or returning items. At the same time, the errands that have the least consequences should have less priority. 

When To Do Your Errands

This is an important question, and its answer depends a lot on your lifestyle. Do you work a strict 9-5, forty-hour week? Or are you a freelancer or entrepreneur with a flexible schedule? If you are the former, you will need to utilize your precious lunch breaks to complete your errands. This requires a high level of organization! A good tip is to call ahead to wherever you are going so they are expecting you and can have your item that needs to be collected ready to go. FOr example, call your dry cleaners and have them prepare your clothes for you and possibly even prepay over the phone, so all you need to do is grab them and run!

When Errand Lists Get Overwhelming

Sometimes errand lists can get bigger than they need to and feel suddenly overwhelming. This may happen during especially busy times of the year, such as the end of the financial year, Christmas, or other major holidays. If your errand list is getting too long, you can’t bear the thought of pushing through crowds to get your personal tasks done or if you just simply don’t know where to start – consider an errand-runner. 

Who is an Errand Runner?

An errand runner is a service that can do your errands on your behalf. Errand running jobs can include everyday tasks such as picking up or delivering packages, doing the groceries, walking the dog, or one-off things such as purchasing seasonal foods, assisting in research, or personal organizing. 

How to Hire an Errand Runner

There are multiple ways to hire an errand runner either on an ongoing or a one-off basis, The easiest way is to use a marketplace service such as CitizenShipper where you can describe the errand you need completed and local errand runners can bid on your job. You then receive a list of quotes with information about your errand-runner such as their style, estimated time for completion reviews from previous hires. This makes the task of hiring an errand runner really easy and fast. 

What to Look for in an Errand Runner

One of the key things in an errand runner – is their availability in comparison to yours. You are hitting an errand runner to make things easier for you, not more difficult – so they should have an appropriate amount of available tie to do your tasks when you need them. For example, if you need someone to do your grocery shopping but they are only available after hours -they won’t be a good fit. 

Know What Needs Doing

It sounds obvious but before you hire an errand runner make sure you clearly think through what is it you need to do. The more specific you can be the more accurate they are able to provide a quote and the more satisfied you will both be. For example, if you need your dog to walk three times a day for an hour each time. Say that in your quote – don’t just advertise for a ‘general dog walker’.

Pay a Fair Price

If you are looking to hire an errand runner, then you have already decided the cost is worth it to get some help. Be sensitive to the fact that errand runners are working hard, often doing unpleasant tasks under immense time pressure. Think through what is a fair price before you hire an errand runner – and consider looking up fair work rates or standardized hourly rates before accepting a bid that seems too good to be true. 

Take the Time to Review

Errand runners rely on review to get more work. Make sure that after they have completed the tasks for you that you take the time to give an honest and comprehensive review. This helps both the errand runner get more work and helps other people choose the right person for their errand list! CitizenShipper provides you with all the tools to easily make an honest review that other users can quickly review when they use the service. The review system is designed to be fair to both parties and helps everyone make good decisions about who to work for. 

Enjoy Your Errands!

While errand lists may seem like a pain, thinking about them as steps towards a reward will help you to be more grateful for your everyday tasks. No matter whether you do them yourselves or get some help, an errand list is a privilege to have!