USPS with a great idea

I got a little post card from the post office in the mail yesterday. In fact, unbelievably, it was the only thing in the mail box. No catalogs, no bills, no circulars. Two days ago, we had only catalogs – about 4, I think.

Anyway, the post card contained news that makes me very happy: the post office will pick up packages from your house!!! They have two flat rate boxes which should be the right size for most of the little care packages I intended to send to family – one size is 8 1/2″ x 11″ x 5 1/2″. So, I have to pay for the box instead of using the ones I’ve been saving and storing in my garage, and the flat rate of $8.10 (Priority Mail) might be a little more than what it would cost if I trudged down to the post office and waited in line for a half hour with 5 kids including a tantruming toddler and bi-polar preschooler. But one has to seriously consider how much it would be worth it to avoid waiting in line for a half hour with a tantruming toddler and a bi-polar preschooler. I often ask myself: if there were a 16 year old seeking employment who lived next door to me, would I be willing to pay him/her $10 to run this errand for me? If the answer is yes, then the extra shipping or service charge or whatever is worth it.

Hmmm…I’ll have to remember this idea when my son gets to driving age. I don’t know if we’ll still be homeschooling him for high school, but I think an errand service could be an excellent way to make money: grocery store, post office, pharmacy, dry cleaners. Market his service to stay-at-home moms with little ones, and he’d have a steady stream of customers.

I’ve already resolved, when my daughters are old enough, to start a house cleaning business with them. If they spent a few years under my tutelage doing that, they could do it themselves and make some serious dollars. Why work retail or fast food for minimum wage when you can earn $30 an hour (under the table) vacuuming rugs? I really wish I had thought of this when I was in college. It would have been nice to have some extra drinking money.

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