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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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Spencer Mecham

Personal Finance Coach, Digital Marketer

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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