This post is the fourth in a series called “500 Words To Save The World.” Each day I will use exactly 500 words to address a problem that has been bugging you or me. If you want to get in on the conversation, tell me the problem you’d like discussed in the comments section of this post, or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may start counting words… now!
Okay, it is time to roll up your sleeves, get a bit dirty, and bask in the glow of true mechanical accomplishment. In every case here, turn to YouTube and Google whenever you have a question. The Internet will provide you with all the information you need to safely and effectively get the job done.
I lumped these together because they are so easy. You should change the wiper blades on your car once a year, and to have a mechanic do it is both expensive and, to be honest, embarrassing. Go to the store, get new blades and follow the directions. Headlights and other bulbs on your car are a little trickier but usually require only a screwdriver and a little patience. Don’t be a chicken.
Appliances are either super-easy, or impossible to fix yourself, but you really should try. If your dryer is making a funny noise, or your dishwasher won’t drain, spend fifteen minutes at a place like repairclinic.com and you’ll be amazed at what you can tackle on your own. Not only will you save money, you’ll fix things faster.
You can go to a “quickie-lube” place and get an oil change for something like $30, but for around than half that, you can do it yourself. Why would you want to lie down on your back and get filthy just to save fourteen bucks? Knowledge. Not only will you learn how to change your oil, you will get familiar with the greasy underside of your car, and perhaps you’ll spot a problem before it leaves you stranded by the side of the road. If you’re afraid of your car, you can build confidence on a lawnmower or snow blower.
Electricity is like magic, but unlike magic, it is real and as such it’s inherently understandable. Some people are comfortable changing switches and outlets in their homes, but many are not. I’m here to tell you it is safe, easy and inexpensive to do. A 10-pack of standard wall outlets at the Home Depot is only $3.90. Yes, new outlets are $0.39 each, and there is 9 minute installation video right on the page. So, when you paint a room, don’t tolerate those nasty old outlets and switches, treat yourself to new ones.
Dogs, kids, and yes even clumsy adults poke holes in doors and window screens, all the time. Simply Google, “how to fix screens” and you’ll find instructions and videos specific to your situation. It is one of the easiest home-fix projects and the results are instant. I recommend buying a roll of screen so the next time (and there will be a next time) you have everything you need on hand.
Will fixing things yourself save the world? Maybe not immediately, but it will save you money, give you a tremendous sense of satisfaction, and make you a bad-assed hero in the eyes of all those around you. And who doesn’t want that?
Copyright © 2016 – Stephen S. Nazarian – All rights reserved.(Five Things You Can Fix Yourself!)