When you are a newly single mother recently divorced, and you're still sorting through all that needs to be handled, and when you don't have the money to pay someone else, this is a great time to learn to do home repairs yourself. You, too, can become Josephine the Plumber - for those of you who remember those commercials for Comet Cleanser. 1. One of the best ways to learn about home maintenance is to volunteer for Habitat for Humanity projects. You'll be taught how to swing a hammer, use a saw or use power tools. And you'll be with others who are also learning how, so any discomfort you might feel spreads around among the bunch of you. 2. There is a great site for teaching women how to do home projects (they have over 200 projects currently posted) at www.BeJane.com. 3. Make friends with your local Do-It Center or Home Depot employees. Tell them what you want to do and see if the store might be holding a how-to class. If not, ask the department personnel to explain what you need to do, and what you need to purchase to get that job done. 4. The next part happens when you arrive on your home front with everything you purchased and a feeling of overwhelm about how to begin. A tip that's gotten me to the end of a project is to ask myself at the beginning: "Can you see ONE step to take? Can you take that one?" The next one always shows up. It takes willingness, perseverance and bit of courage to begin, persevere through all the steps and then enjoy your handicraft. 5. Go to used book stores and purchase How-To books. In this day of the internet, all of those old How-To Encyclopedias can be had for a song, and then as the projects show up, you'll be at the ready to dig in there and do it. 6. Be creative. I knew a lady who wanted to replace a garbage disposal. It's kind of tough to hold it up underneath the sink and tighten it down from above, so this very creative lady got the jack from her car (you do know how to use a jack, right?) and jacked the disposal in place while she worked on it from above. Clever girl! 7. Keep all your tools together in an easy to carry container. Plastic cat liter containers are great and if you're handy sewing, you can make an apron with pockets for it to hold tools on the inside and on the outside. 8. Watch the television shows about Home Improvement. You can learn a lot from watching designers re-do homes with the help of their talented handymen on HGTV. Those fellows have great tips for making the jobs easier. 9. There are toolkits designed for women. Frankly, I cannot for the life of me see the difference except for color. Functionality is the most important benefit in a tool. Color does not improve functionality. When you get a divorce, it's often a call to unfold more of yourself, and for single mothers, home repair is just one area. Do research on the internet. The internet is today's library and contains up the minute advice on how to accomplish any project. You can if you think you can!
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