I Make Thousands on Taskrabbit Organizing Peoples’ Homes

  • Vanessa Garcia works as a Taskrabbit in Los Angeles charging $75 an hour. 
  • She helps people going through breakups organize their homes and they frequently open up to her. 
  • Garcia says that clients often want to know its okay to let things go. 

This as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with Vanessa Garcia, a 29-year-old who works as a Taskrabbit in Los Angeles, California. It has been edited for length and clarity.

I’ve worked as a Taskrabbit for five years and in that time, I’ve helped people with a thousand little jobs – from personal assistant work to running errands to decorating – and can make anywhere from $4,000 to $9,000 per month. I normally charge $75 an hour.

One thing I didn’t expect was how many times I’d help people through a breakup. When people hire me after a breakup or even a divorce, they don’t usually tell me up front what the situation is.

But going into someone’s home and helping them with organizational tasks is a really intimate thing and I try to be really friendly and open. That can lead to them telling me about the catalyst to my arrival. I’ve had people say, oh, I just got broken up with, or I’m ending a years-long marriage.

You can kind of tell how much the breakup has affected them by the state of their house

A home is a reflection of your mental and emotional state and if someone has been totally rocked by a break-up, their space tends to be really messy and sometimes even dirty. 

Sometimes there’s trash everywhere and the person will say something like ‘I’ve really been going through it and I haven’t been able to bring myself to lift a finger around here.’ I really do my best to stay as nonjudgmental as possible. Everyone is going through their own struggles and I’m there to help, not to judge.

Once I’m done with my work and everything is organized and put away, it can feel like a clean slate. 

Clients tend to hang around while I organize

They often talk about the relationship and what went wrong. Once or twice they’ve even cried. I’ve had clients tell me I should charge more because they got a therapy session out of the organization too — which is sweet. I like to think I’m helping people. 

Going through something like a breakup is hard enough emotionally without a stranger coming into your space. I want them to feel as comfortable as possible and to feel that I’ve really provided a service for them. Sometimes it goes too well — like the client who asked me out on a date after I helped her organize post-breakup.

Sometimes I go through their ex-boyfriend or girlfriend’s belongings for them although most of the time that just entails grabbing a box or bag and throwing most of it away. 

One time, both of the people involved in the breakup were around when I was organizing but it was pretty amicable. I don’t know if they were just acting polite because I was there or if that’s how they really were with each other. 

People want a clean slate 

This is what I’ve learned as I’ve helped people through life changes, break-ups, and divorces: people just want to get rid of things and start over. I try to create an organizational flow where it’s simple enough that they can keep it up once I leave.

It doesn’t get more personal than going into someone’s home and going through their stuff. I think that sometimes what they need more than my organizational skills is the permission I give them to throw things away. 

One client told me “I needed someone to tell me it was okay to let this go” and that’s where I come in.

If you’re a gig worker and would like to share your story, email Jenna Gyimesi at jgyimesi@insider.com.

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