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Skip The Handyman: 5 Simple DIY Repairs

Skip The Handyman: 5 Simple DIY Repairs

As a homeowner, household repairs can become increasingly costly, especially if you neglect to fix them in a timely manner. Learning how to make common repairs, and only calling the handyman for major crises, can save hundreds of dollars.

Skip the handyman by learning how to fix these five common household issues.

Clean Your Refrigerator Coils

Refrigerator Coils

    If your fridge isn’t cooling as well as you think it should, check the temperature dial and cooling coils before hollering for the professionals. Sometimes the dial gets bumped or otherwise accidentally changed, so you just have to move the temperature dial to a cooler setting. If that doesn’t do it, pull the unit out, grab a flashlight, and check out the cooling coils on the bottom or back of the unit.

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    The coils could easily be covered in pet hair and dust, which could cause the unit to act sluggish. To prevent this from happening in the future, make a conscious effort to clean this part of the refrigerator each month as part of a cleaning routine.

    Repair Drywall Holes

    Drywall Holes

      As sturdy as it is, drywall can only withstand so much abuse. Doors flung open with too much verve can easily leave a doorknob-shaped hole, for instance. Heavy artwork or mirrors can fall off the wall, taking a chunk of the wall with it, not to mention quite the sharp mess to carefully sweep up.

      The easiest way to tackle repairing these mishaps is to pick up a drywall repair kit at your local hardware store. If one of these isn’t available, all you’ll need is a scrap of drywall, a leftover piece of window screening, a container of joint compound, and a putty knife, and you’re in business. If you see issues like this while you’re looking into home buying, don’t let it deter you from the property; you’ll easily fix that in no time. On the other hand, of course, you could still use it for leverage in the negotiation process.

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      Fix a Faulty Faucet

      aerator on the faucet

        Before calling the handyman for this one, check the aerator on the faucet in question. The aerator is the round attachment at the end of the faucet that has a mesh filter. Over time, these things can get clogged with minerals and other gunk from the water, as well as debris that can break loose inside the piping.

        Remove the aerator by turning it counter-clockwise, using a set of pliers to grip it. Now you can clean it and any other parts of the faucet that could be causing a backup. Sometimes it’s better to simply replace it. Take it to the hardware store to make sure you choose the correct size, and screw the new one in place.

        Check the Pilot Light on a Water Heater

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        water heater

          If you’re noticing that your hot water isn’t so hot, don’t call the plumber just yet. Take off the metal cover on the water heater unit and check to see if the pilot light has gone out. If the flame isn’t there, follow the instructions on the user manual to re-light it.

          If you have a high-efficiency water heater, the pilot light won’t be lit all the time. If that’s the case, thoroughly read through the owner’s manual for FAQs or troubleshooting guidance before reaching for the phone and calling your resident handyman.

          Clean the Power Source on a Gas Stove

          gas stove

            Every now and then, gas stoves require certain maintenance measures, but it’s something you could potentially handle yourself. Before calling in reinforcements that can cost you a pretty penny, take a good look at the problem.

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            Can you hear or smell gas coming out of the burner when you turn it on? If so, it’s likely an issue with the lighter. Check to see if there’s been a power interruption (even gas stoves need electricity). Lastly, if you can tell that gas is coming out and the unit has power, clean the ignition near the burner and the ignition hole with a dry toothbrush.

            If you don’t hear or smell any gas coming out, check the gas supply to make sure there hasn’t been an interruption there.

            According to the home insurance map, some states can pay up to $1,500 for home insurance. This is great to protect your home if anything were to go wrong, however there will inevitably always be other expenses you’ll need to cover top keep your home safe. Knowing how to identify which ones are easily fixed and which ones need a professional’s touch will save you a lot of money. No matter your financial situation, knowing these basic tips will come in handy, whether you’re trying to avoid paying a handyman, or if it’s a holiday or weekend and they aren’t available. Next time you run into repair issues around your home, remember these simple tips.

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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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