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4 Tools Every Homeowner Needs to Have And Know How To Use

4 Tools Every Homeowner Needs to Have And Know How To Use

Being a new homeowner can be one of the most intimidating things many people will do in their life. Suddenly you are the proud, but nervous, owner of an asset that is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. The property is likely a few decades old, and with that age, many issues have arisen.

Most people that purchase their first home don’t have a lot of experience fixing things, like garbage disposals, water heaters, sprinkler systems, clogged pipes, leaky pipes, and more. As a renter all of those issues simply required a phone call to a landlord or management company, and the problem was taken care of. As part of this, most new homeowners don’t have the basic tools that they will need to fix the never-ending supply of repairs that arise as a homeowner.

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Here are four tools that every homeowner will likely need to own, as they will be used frequently throughout the time the home is owned.

1. Stud finder

Many people do not even know what a stud finder is. Stud finders are used to find the studs behind the sheetrock in a home. Think of your home when it was first framed. A frame was created using a lot of 2×4 pieces of wood. These are the studs in a home. If you are putting up pictures, replacing toilet paper holders, installing mirrors, or doing anything else that involves screwing or nailing in walls, you will want a stud finder. When you nail into a wall you don’t want to just go into sheetrock, because sheetrock is weak and over time it will rip out. Use a stud finder to find the studs behind the sheetrock, and nail into those instead. Many places will have electric stud finders, but magnets are usually cheaper, and often work even better.

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2. Torque wrench

Unless you work out and have muscles as strong as machines, you will want a torque wrench. These are incredibly handy and usually cost less than $10 for a decent wrench. Torque wrenches are used to tighten bolts as tight as possible in an efficient manner. Your new home will likely have bolts in all kinds of crazy places that are hard to reach. Torque wrenches can get down into tiny spaces to tighten and loosen those bolts. As a homeowner you may find yourself using a torque wrench multiple times in your first year of owning a home. There are also quite a few kinds of torque wrenches with different bells and whistles. Here is a decent buyers guide for choosing the torque wrench that matches your needs as a new homeowner.

3. Ladder

This is typically a slightly more expensive purchase, but a ladder is typically almost essential for homeowners. Whether you are trying to get into your attic, put up Christmas lights, paint a ceiling, clean out your rain gutters, wash your windows, or do any other tasks that need to be done on the top half of your home, a ladder will be essential.

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Don’t be the homeowner that discovers too late that they need a ladder. You can start looking now on places like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace and get a good used ladder for significantly cheaper prices. If you wait until you need the ladder to start looking, you will not be able to wait until a good deal comes up.

4. Extension cord

If you don’t have an extension cord, get one in your first week. You will find yourself starting a new project and just when you think you are ready to dive in you will realize that you do not have electricity in the area you are planning on doing the project. Nothing is more frustrating than having to stop a project in the middle and go purchase something simple like an extension cord. There is almost no chance you do not need an extension cord at some point, so why not get one to start? Make sure to buy an outdoor one. You can use it indoors, but it is always good to have the option.

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More by this author

Spencer Mecham

Personal Finance Coach, Digital Marketer

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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