There are so many life skills we spend time and effort acquiring. Whether we study foreign languages, learn how to cook gourmet meals, become expert landscapers or train for hours in the gym, we are improving ourselves and expanding our breadth of knowledge, which is always a good thing.
Unfortunately, with our attention homed in on harder-to-accomplish tasks and goals, some basics fall to the wayside. Perhaps you’ve attempted to hang a picture frame, only to end up with a crooked piece of art on the wall. Or maybe you’ve hopped into an ice-cold shower with no clue how to get the water running hot again. You may have no idea how to parallel-park, either.
And yet, these are some of the basics that everyone should know. Read on to learn why these and others are some of the most important things to add to your repertoire ASAP:
1. Hanging Frames
Hammering a nail into the wall and dangling a wired frame from it doesn’t automatically equal an even, centered picture. Instead, you’ll have to whip out a measuring tape to figure out exactly where your centered picture should go, and a level to figure out if the frame you hang is, indeed, even.
This is the type of job you should learn to do on your own because it’s not worth paying a professional to help you — and, chances are, you’ll need to hang art for years to come as you move from apartments to homes to forever homes.
2. Heating Water for a Hot Shower
One of the worst feelings is stepping into a shower, expecting a nice, steamy rinse and getting an ice-cold soaking instead. Your hot water could be gone due to overuse — did someone else just take a long, hot shower? — or because you have a small hot water heater, among other reasons.
Learning why you run out of hot water and how to fix the problem are surefire ways to avoid that freezing feeling. Once you pinpoint the source, you can try using less water, washing your clothes on cold or investing in a larger water heater to solve the problem. You should have nice, warm showers from then on out.
3. Parallel Parking
You’re driving instructor might’ve skipped this step if you learned how to drive in the suburbs, but parallel parking is, indeed, a life skill. Hop into the car with a friend or family member who knows how it’s done, or study a step-by-step guide to getting it done. Then, find a curb — with plenty of space for a nice margin of error — and get to practicing. The next time you drive into a city, you won’t have to circle round and round to find a pull-in space because, now, you can parallel park.
4. Storing Documents Properly
Where’s your birth certificate? Your apartment lease? The drawing of your family you did in kindergarten? These qualify as important documents, and you may not be storing them in a way that’s representative of just how important they are.
If so, it’s time to learn how to store papers so that they’re protected and easy to locate. Start by purging what you don’t need and then starting to organize. You can also digitize some of your papers to reduce the number of physical files you have, if space is tight.
5. Sewing Holes, Buttons, and Patches
For some, a torn pair of jeans might mean that those pants automatically go in the trash. If you learn how to sew, though, you can revive a lot of your torn or otherwise worn wardrobe pieces. Start by learning a few basic stitches to close these holes or tears. Then, move onto the more intricate skill of sewing a button back onto your shirts or pants.
6. Sorting and Doing Laundry
Hopefully, you learned this one before you shipped off to college or life on your own as an adult. However, if you somehow managed to survive years by just throwing everything in the washing machine and hoping for the best, it’s time to improve upon your skills. Specific garments require specific treatments, so study up and start washing the right way. You just might find your clothes last longer and look better because you are treating them properly.
7. Unclogging Toilets and Drains
Chances are, you’ve had to use a plunger at some point in your life. Every home should have one on-hand, and learning to use it is simple: in most cases, you’ll just push the plunger’s handle up and down with the plastic part centered over the drain of the toilet.
A clogged drain can be a bit tougher to handle. Perhaps there’s hair stuck in there after a shower, or you’ve washed a little bit too much food down the kitchen sink. Either way, your best bet is to try unclogging it — you can even do it with an all-natural solution — before calling in the plumber to fix it.
These are just seven of the many basics you should know. So, study up, perfect them and get ready to feel a little bit more adult: from parallel parking, to freezing showers, to clogged toilets, to laundry, you can handle it all.
Kacey is a lifestyle blogger for The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations and cultures, all while portraying her love for the world around her through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts.