The more things you are able to do on your own, the more independent you will be. This is especially true in terms of financial independence. Although tackling some jobs on your own will definitely be out of the question, it is quite possible to educate yourself on a variety of services that you are currently paying for.
Today, we are inundated with vast amounts of information. From the comfort of the neighborhood library or personal computer, it is easy to access detailed instructions on everything from how to become an accomplished auto mechanic, home chef, landscaper, painter and practically anything else you can imagine. OK… DIY neurosurgery and rocket science aren’t recommended; however, there are some amazing videos and guidebooks on a plethora of DIY projects to be found online.
Here’s a short list and a few links on services that you may be paying hundreds for each month. Learning to do a few of these things on your own will be rewarding in more ways than one! And, as the old saying goes, “If you want something done right – do it yourself.”
House cleaning and cleaning products
Keeping a home clean and well-maintained is a learned skill. Although it is true that busy work schedules can make it difficult to make time for house cleaning, it is likely that few people have ever attempted to actually learn how! Although there are plenty of online resources to help you with this skill, here are a few books on the subject:
- Speed Cleaning by Jeff Campbell
- Super Simple Home Cleaning by Judith Turnbridge
- Clean House, Clean Planet by Karen Logan
Next, making most of your own cleaning products is a very rewarding DIY activity. Not only will you save money, but also what you make is free of harmful chemicals! Using ordinary ingredients life baking soda, vinegar, Borax, lemon juice, orange oil, and salt allows you to create a variety of cleaning solutions that will make your home smell great and sparkle from top to bottom. One precaution – never use vinegar on natural stone, because the acid can harm the finish. For ideas about which natural cleaners are the most effective for which job, check out DIY Natural Household Cleaners by Matt and Betsy Jabs.
Clothing upkeep and repair
Taking the time to maintain your wardrobe your self is a worthwhile DIY endeavor. Money aside, think of all the time saved by cutting out trips to the tailor and dry cleaner. Did you know that most garments labeled “dry clean only” can be washed on the delicate cycle and then hung up or dried flat on a folding clothes dryer? In addition to ironing, sewing on a button or putting in a hem are simple tasks that you can take on while watching the TV news or running a bath. Don’t know a needle from a steam iron? Check out these helpful videos:
How to wash a wool sweater from Esquire magazine’s Virtual Valet
How to hem a pair of pants
How to iron a dress shirt
Along with books and videos, there are likely a number of workshops in your community that can get you started on a variety of projects, such as home improvement, furniture refinishing, dog grooming and more! The best advice is to take it slowly and delve into those tasks that you feel comfortable with. It is very possible that in time, you will be quite accomplished in several new skills.