comment by OrphanWilde ·
2013-03-08T18:53:30.193Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
A few random tips:
Reminded by the conversation about phone alarm clocks - if you have trouble getting up in the morning, schedule two alarms, one thirty minutes prior to when you want to get up, and the second when you actually want to get up. Set an energy drink or large cup of coffee next to your phone/alarm. When the first alarm goes off, drink the coffee/energy drink, and go back to sleep.
Invest in an automatic soap dispenser for dish soap. http://www.amazon.com/simplehuman-Sensor-Sanitizer-Brushed-13-Ounce/dp/B003JTCAHK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1362766673&sr=8-1&keywords=simplehuman+soap+dispenser is what I use; it's refillable, adjustable, and accepts just about anything. (I previously used one of those dispensers with proprietary refills; they were expensive, dispensed too much soap, and when I drilled a hole in the top to refill it, it refused to dispense soap, although that may have been some kind of error on my part.) Makes a small but noticeable difference in the pleasantness of doing dishes.
Invest in good tools, and keep them in good repair; if it's a one-off task, get it used, but get it good. Exceptions - tools which are more work to maintain than they save you (I'm looking at you, paintbrushes); tools which are expected to be destroyed by the work done with them (as the roto-rooter guy put it, in his line of business, all gloves are disposable); and tools you intend to misuse (flathead screwdrivers in my house are disposable tools that get destroyed frequently). If a job seems ridiculously hard - if it takes you two hours to drill a hole in a 2x4 - you're not using the right tools. Get the right tools, or borrow them. (On that note, it should be obvious, but treat borrowed tools with respect and return them promptly.)
Sometimes the right way to do things is the wrong way. I eventually gave up on the concrete saw while cutting out a new basement window and just started smashing things with a sledgehammer. It was easier to repair the excess damage with some new concrete than to do the job right to begin with.
If you have no idea what you're doing, hire somebody who is willing to work with you for a few hours. I'm 10x better at carpentry since I hired a carpenter. (And one of the important things I learned was one I never would have learned on my own - namely, that sometimes the correct solution is to just hammer things in until they fit.)
On a continuation of the previous two, everything really is a nail at some point. Be prepared to use the tools you have. It's not a bias to put the resources at your disposal to their fullest use; it's only a bias to fail to consider acquiring new resources when the situation demands it.
Don't spent $100 to save yourself $10. This should be obvious, but the number of times I've done something like spend an hour trying to save a $.10 plumbing part rather than just destroying it and replacing it...
When getting rid of things, don't consider how you feel about getting rid of it, consider how you feel about not having it anymore. If you don't expect to regret it, don't think so hard about it.
When cleaning house, prioritize getting rid of those things without practical utility first. Even duplicate tools serve a purpose.
If you're one of those people who buys things they intend to resell, first resell what you have. Otherwise you're not being a shrewd businessperson, you're just shopping.
Keep basic maintenance items on hand. Expand your definition of basic. If your kitchen drain falls apart after your hardware store closes, are you going to be able to cook dinner?
Buy a couple sealed 5 gallon jugs of water and store them. Even the least-disaster-prone city can still have broken water mains.
On a preparedness note, if you live anywhere prone to blizzards, keep a stock of medical supplies. Keep more gauze than you think you'd ever need; wound dressings need to be changed frequently. Keep a bottle of iodine on hand as well; a useful all-purpose disinfectant with a decent shelf life (5-10 years).
Invest in a good set of locking pliers/vise grip pliers. These are some of the most useful tools you can keep in your home, and a lot of people don't even know they exist.
Replies from: TheOtherDave, NancyLebovitz, simplicio
↑ comment by NancyLebovitz ·
2013-03-11T14:58:57.059Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
How is an automatic soap dispenser better for dish soap than a pump soap dispenser?
I agree that it's better to have soap in a container that you don't have to pick up and open every time you use it.
Replies from: OrphanWilde
↑ comment by OrphanWilde ·
2013-03-11T15:42:32.344Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
I'm not sure that it is, having never used a pump dispenser, but one-handed operation -could- be an advantage, depending on the dispenser in question