Living on your own for the first time can be difficult. There’s a lot to remember about home-ownership and new problems can crop up that you haven’t had to deal with before.

These 10 basic things will help you get one step closer to being a home ownership master.

1. Fix a Leaky Faucet

Start by turning off the water to the faucet and covering the drain, so you don’t lose anything. Then pop the screw cover and remove the screw. Make sure you line everything up on the counter so you know exactly which order to put things back in. Use a wrench to take the system apart and then take the broken piece to a hardware store for an exact match.

2. Remove a Striped Screw

Put a rubber band on the tip of an appropriate screwdriver, this will give you the needed traction to remove it. You can also use a hammer to tap the screwdriver into the screw. Go slowly, this will take some effort.

3. Use a Fire Extinguisher

Having a fire extinguisher in your home is a smart move, but knowing how to work it is an even smarter move. With extinguishers remember P.A.S.S., which stands for Pull the pin, Aim at the base of the flames, Squeeze the trigger, Sweep from side to side.

4. Find Your Shut Off Valves

In an emergency, you might need to turn off your electricity or water. Know where each of these shut off points are and how to use them. Each plumbing fixture will have its own shut off valve, as well as a main shut off for your whole house.

5. Know your Breaker Box

It’s important to know which breakers turn off which rooms before you have a problem. Have someone plug in a lamp or noise-making device in different plugs in each room as you turn the switches on and off. Then label each switch to indicate which rooms and plugs they turn off.

6. Fix a Running Toilet

If the water in your toilet continues to run, long after you’ve flushed, you could be wasting hundreds of dollars on your water bill each year. Keep your bill low by making sure the rubber flapper is properly closing each time. If something else is causing the problem, watch carefully to see what adjustments you can make to stop the problem.

7. Change Your Air Filter

Air filters should be changed every 1-3 months, depending on the kind and other factors, such as pets, allergies, etc. Replacing your air filter regularly can save you money and reduce wear and tear on your heating and cooling units.

8. Hang Frames Straight the First Time

Trying to hang frames is difficult when you have to eyeball where you want everything to go and guess and check your measurements. To make things a lot easier, trace your frames onto butcher paper or newspaper and cut out the shape. Then tape the cutouts on your wall and place your nails where you need them.

9. Remove a Broken Light Blub

If a light bulb breaks in the socket, there is a way to remove it safely. Turn off the power supply to the blub and then cut a potato in half. Press the potato onto the broken light and then twist safely.

 10. Keep Touch-up Paint

When you paint your walls, it can be hard to find the exact color and finish you need to touch up your walls. Keep a small amount in a baby food jar to use for touch ups or matching. Then dispose of the rest of your paint properly by visiting OrangeDrop to find places to donate your extra paint.
Once you master these basics, you can move onto more advanced projects and problems. And of course, from Toronto to Mississauga, plumbers, electricians, and other professionals will be happy to help you deal with household problems if things go wrong. Congrats on living on your own!

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Barbara Johnson works in real estate and enjoys finding her clients the perfect homes. In addition, she shares her home improvement and gardening tips with others through blogging. For more information about simple home repairs, like plumbing, visit Plumb Perfect.

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