The truth is that many older women are now living alone. After raising a family for years, the couple splits, for whatever reason. Men tend to need to immediately find someone else. I don’t know if it’s because they have been spoiled for years by a woman taking care of everything, or if they just can’t handle being by themselves. I’m speaking generally here, because there are some men who do remain by themselves, I guess. All I know is that I seldom meet or hear of a man living alone. But I personally know many women who do.
Women tend to be better at the homemaking thing, especially older women like myself. We grew up imagining our lives as homemakers. That is not to say we didn’t also work outside the home. Between a job and raising the kids, it didn’t leave time for learning about home repair. I had a husband to do that stuff, and he lucked out because we bought our home brand new! There was little to do but typical grass cutting.
The point is that no one ever taught me anything about taking care of a home. And my home was in Florida. When I bought my own house, I was living in New Hampshire. It’s a whole different ball game in the northeast. Wood stoves, furnaces and basements were new to me. I had a lot to learn.
Once I was alone, and in charge of my own home, I had to begin doing little fixes on my own. I did not have family to rely on. The buck stops here, as they say. Luckily, I have access to the internet! Almost every type of “how to” help can be found online and most things also have a decent You Tube video in case you want to watch someone do the job. So my first bit of advice is to LOOK IT UP and find a reputable site or video to rely on for advice. Look for videos that have had a lot of views. They are probably the best. People put out some really awful videos and unless you want to slog through a bunch, just pick one that seems to be popular. Like the one below.
Here is an excellent video to help with hanging artwork, mirrors, or anything on the wall! I love this video because it’s something I dread doing, but she makes it look …not so bad.
My next bit of advice is to consider hiring someone to do it for you. Do NOT take on too much. Even a job that looks manageable can be much more time consuming once you begin doing it. And don’t try to do anything that could be dangerous. If the thought of climbing up on the roof to clean the gutters gives you the creeps… don’t clean the gutters yourself!
Now, I was lacking financially, so hiring people had to be done in small increments. That can be a problem too. Most contractors and carpenters want a big job to do. One that will be worth their while. Simply replacing a rotted step is not worth their time. Perhaps find a reputable “Handy Man” for jobs like that. Ask around to find someone you can trust, don’t just pull a name out of the newspaper. In my case, I had a LOT wrong with my house. I found a good contractor who could give me advice. He repaired sections of my house one at a time… when I could afford it and when he wasn’t busy.
So here goes. Spring is right around the corner, and wherever you live, it’s a good idea to get things in order with the house so you can enjoy the summer.
Read PART 2 , especially if you would like to learn how to replace a screen.