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Thrive, Homeowners! Master these 10 Survival Skills!

Thrive, Homeowners! Master these 10 Survival Skills!

If you talk to anyone who owns a home, they may tell you that the most important survival skill you can have as a homeowner is simply a sense of humor. After all, what else can you do after your dog manages to nudge a door lock, denying you access to your own bedroom; your toddler drops and flushes a favorite toy down the toilet; or, you actually have to put out a small kitchen fire after you burn dinner, because you were trying to put out a figurative fire somewhere else in the house?

In case you find yourself in one of these situations or another aspect of homeownership attempts to wreak havoc on your household, here are 10 skills every homeowner should have to survive any situation around the house:

1. Pick a Lock

No, we’re not encouraging you to become a cat burglar in your spare time; but, you may need to know how to break into a room in your own home on more than one occasion. Inevitably, a toddler or teen will lock themselves in their bedroom. Then, what? Grab a narrow, flathead screwdriver and with a little wiggling, there will be nothing between you and your toddler or teen again!

2. Unclog… Anything!

Whether it is hair, too much toilet paper or a child’s toy that may be clogging your shower, sink or toilet, as a homeowner, you’ve got to have the know-how to unclog a drain, so that you don’t have to keep the plumber on speed dial. There are several methods to employ here before you pick up that phone. Invest in a plunger or try boiling water, baking soda and vinegar first. As a final attempt, learn how to snake a drain! Yes, if all else fails, call the plumber.

3. Clear a Garbage Disposal

Because, inevitably, you’re going to send those freshly-peeled potato scraps down by accident. Unfortunately, your plunger can’t help you here. First and foremost, turn the electrical power switch that’s located under the cabinet off and do not stick your hands in the disposal! Instead, try using a pair of pliers to dislodge whatever may be stuck down there. Then, safely restart your disposal once the motor has had time to cool.

4. Fix a Leak

Since you were already considering calling the plumber… if a leaky faucet has you wanting to call in a professional, hold that thought! Most leaks can be remedied by simply switching out a washer or two. This relatively easy household task is completed by unscrewing the decorative hardware and employing the help of a wrench to remove and replace worn washers.

5. Extinguish Fire

Of course, they all come with instructions, but in the heat of the moment (no pun intended) would you know what to do with your fire extinguisher? Commit the process of pulling the pin, aiming, squeezing and sweeping side-to-side to memory – before you actually need to!

6. Dispose of Ashes

One way to eliminate the potential need for your fire extinguisher is to properly dispose of fireplace ashes. First and foremost, let them cool for at least 24 hours and wear gloves when you’re handling them – just as an extra precaution. You can dump a little water on dry ashes and let them sit for a couple of days. Then, either bag them up and put them in the trash or spread them across your yard to add nutrients to the soil.

7. Navigate a Breaker Box

This is a place that every homeowner should become familiar with upon move-in. Label each breaker in your circuit breaker box, so that if you need to shut power off to a specific area, you know right where to go to do so. It is also common for circuits to trip and they easily can be reset by the correct flip of a switch inside your breaker box.

8. Locate a Stud

Want to hang a picture or mount a TV in your home? You’re going to need to support that heavy décor with a stud. Studs are typically sixteen inches apart, making them easy to find… once you locate the first one, that is! Outlets and trim are usually mounted on studs, so that is a great place to start looking. Once you think you’ve spotted a stud, check it vertically to ensure it runs the entire length of the wall.

9. Banish Ants

They’re creepy, crawly and they love to eat! While you may initially be thinking of your favorite toddler, we’re talking about ants. Once, they’ve found a favorite food source in your home, those persistent pests are pretty unwilling to leave. To effectively get rid of ants, thoroughly clean and disinfect the affected area and seal any open containers. Further send ants packing by spraying lemon water, dish soap or vinegar around their favorite passageways.

10. Befriend a Neighbor

By now, you should know how to “walk the walk” when it comes to some necessary homeowner survival skills. Now, let’s make sure you can “talk the talk” when it comes to living in close quarters with your neighbors. When new neighbors move in, introduce yourself, bake cookies or bring over a bottle of wine. Don’t be afraid to do this on occasion for your long-time neighbors either. This simple communication truly is a necessary survival skill for a peaceful, neighborly existence!