19+ Life Protips Homeowners Should Keep In Their Toolboxes

As someone who has ventured into the wild world of home ownership, I can confirm that, as much as you want to prepare for every eventuality, for most of us it's just not possible. Problems will crop up that you just don't know about. You're going to need help from other, more experienced home owners.

So, here are some tips and tricks that home owners have learned along the way that might make life a little easier for you. I know I learned some things!

1. The infrared thermometer that's so handy in your kitchen can also find drafts around the house.

Imgur | zigbigidorlu

It can instantaneously find the little cracks around your windows and doors that need some extra weather stripping.

2. If you have a wood-burning fireplace, don't stack your wood up against your house.

Imgur | nickras

Lots of critters like to take up residence in wood piles that you don't want in your home: mice, spiders, and of course, termites.

3. When you spill something that will definitely stain your carpet, like coffee or cranberry juice, dab it with paper towel, and pour salt over the remaining stain.

The salt will pull up any remaining liquid, and you can just vacuum it up.

4. If you're setting up a guest bedroom in your house, spend a night in it yourself so you know it's in good shape.

You should know pretty quickly if anything is out of place, missing, or uncomfortable.

5. When you come back from a long trip, pay attention to how your home smells, because that's how it smells to guests.

We all get used to the smells of our homes, so it takes a break to resensitize to it.

6. If you can't decide whether to throw something away or not, wait three months.

For once, procrastination is useful. If you haven't used it in three months, you probably don't need it.

7. If you have a problem with long hairs getting tangled around the roller in your vacuum cleaner, try cutting it away with a seam ripper.

Reddit | Tripnine

When you think about it, this is exactly the job a seam ripper was meant for.

8. When you're done your laundry, leave your washing machine's door and detergent tray open.

If you let them dry out between laundry days, no mold will grow and stink up your machine.

9. When you're bringing a window air conditioner unit in at the end of the summer, check the outside first, if possible.

You don't want to bring it inside if some wasps have decided to build a nest on the unit.

10. If you have to replace a screw when you're screwing into wood, break off some toothpicks or wooden matches in the hole first. 

Reddit | harrythecat86

It'll give the screw a better chance of finding purchase as you drill in.

11. When you're cleaning your windows, clean one side with vertical strokes and the other with horizontal strokes.

If you see streaks later, you'll know which side of the window they're on.

12. When you're doing electrical work and nobody else is around to tell you if you've found the right breaker, plug a radio in where you need to work and turn the sound way up.

Imgur | thebilby

You'll know you've found the right breaker when the music stops.

13. When you're shopping for furniture, take a picture of the room you're intending to put it in to help match shapes and colors.

And take some measurements too — including doorways the furniture will have to pass through — just to be sure everything will fit.

14. If you break a glass on a hard floor, put a flashlight down on the floor to see any tiny pieces that might otherwise escape notice.

Reddit | crom8i3

To avoid bloodshed, pick those tiny shards up with a piece of bread or a damp paper towel.

15. To get tree sap off your hands, try olive oil.

Rub it over your hands for a minute, then wash with soap and water, and the sap should easily rinse off.

16. Before buying a house, get an insurance quote.

You'll get all kinds of important data about the neighborhood, like crime rates, flood and fire risks, and other types of claims made in the area.

17. If you buy a piece of furniture that requires assembly, when you're finally done, tape the tool included with it that you used to put it together underneath.

You'll know exactly where it is when you need to take that piece of furniture apart.

18. If you want less confusion when you're making your bed, buy yourself some striped sheets. 

Imgur | activenerdette

It's much easier to tell which way is horizontal and which is vertical with striped sheets, or with any kind of directional pattern.

19. When you lose power and aren't sure if it's just your house or the whole neighborhood, take out your phone and search for wifi networks.

Imgur | Mettalictruth

You can't have wifi without electricity!

20. When your fridge is getting empty, clean it out before going to buy groceries.

Imgur | icanneverfigureoutausername

It's a good time for it, and you'll have a better handle on the things you need.

21. An adjustable tension shower curtain rod makes an excellent rack to hang spray bottles on to create more room in your cleaning supply cupboard.

Reddit | DweadPiwateWoberts

Because you can never have too much room in your cupboards!

22. When you swat a fly, don't throw it in the garbage.

That fly could be carrying maggots, which will feed and multiply on your food waste, and things will get very gross very quickly.

23. If you suspect your toilet tank is leaking, add some food coloring to the water.

If the color shows up in the bowl before you flush, you know the water in the tank is leaking into the bowl.

24. To get permanent marker stains out of clothes and household objects, try rubbing alcohol.

Reddit | couragethebravestdog

It's not as permanent as the name suggests, and we're not going to ask how the permanent marker got there.