Even though we don't always learn all of the basics while growing up, there are some things that everyone is just expected to know once we've hit adulthood. Until it was time to move out of my last apartment, I had no idea how to spackle a wall, for example. While it felt like a big accomplishment for me to learn how and do it right, it's just one of many things that really should be in everyone's wheelhouse. But, just because they're staple skills, it doesn't mean you have them down pat. It's never too late to figure them out and we're here to help...
When it comes to your life at home, here are some of the skills everyone should have—along with handy how-to guides...
Patch a Hole
Whether you're moving in to a fixer-upper or moving out and want to ensure you get your security deposit back, you'll definitely need to know how to patch a hole in the wall. To help, here's a guide to fixing small holes with spackle (and for bigger challenges, here's how to patch a hole in plaster or drywall).
Unclog a Drain
If you've never dealt with a clogged (and inevitably slow-draining) sink before, consider yourself lucky. You still need to know how to deal in case the situation arises, and this all-natural guide—which uses baking soda, vinegar and lemon juice—along with some super helpful reader comments can teach you everything you need to know.
Plunge a Toilet
Along with knowing how to unclog a drain, you should definitely know how to properly unclog a toilet. To double check that you've got the correct plunging method down, go to this guide—and go here learn how to unclog your toilet without a plunger, just in case.
Store Important Documents
Got boxes of documents lying around that you know (or think) are important but don't really know what to do with them? From the must keep, like birth certificates, to the not-so-much (think product manuals) this guide can help you decide what to get rid of, what to back up digitally, and where to keep physical copies.
Dispose of Anything Toxic
Items like batteries, old medications and certain light bulbs are not the kinds of things that you should just toss in the garbage—anything that might contain toxic or hazardous materials should be disposed of properly (in some cases this means taking them to specific recycling centers). If you're not sure if you're trashing things correctly, here are some important how-tos.
Sew Loose Buttons
You don't need to know how to sew a whole new wardrobe, but learning how to fix loose buttons—or replace lost ones—is a skill that will definitely come in handy at some point. This guide to sewing on buttons will help you make sure your favorite blouse never falls victim to loose threads again.
More goes into hanging posters and photos than just banging a nail into the wall or sticking on some adhesive strips. Different pieces of art require different hanging solutions, plus there's placement, scale and color scheme to consider. Make sure you're doing it right by checking out these common artwork mistakes to avoid.
Pack a Suitcase
Even if you only travel once or twice a year, knowing how to efficiently pack a suitcase is a helpful skill to have. A well-packed suitcase means giving yourself a little more room (think souvenirs or that extra sweater)—and potentially less damage to your stuff—and this video tutorial can help you get it right.
Do Laundry Properly
Speaking of extra sweaters, doing laundry correctly is also important. Knowing how to do your laundry properly means that you never shrink your favorite blouse, your clothes always come out clean and fresh, and your washer/dryer doesn't fall victim to overloading. Need help? Here's everything you need to know.