3 Things Every 20-Something Should Know How to Do Around the House

3 Things Every 20-Something Should Know How to Do Around the House

No one expects you to become a handyman overnight, but knowing how to unclog a toilet, replace a sink stopper or hang a picture will make your life easier.

Whether you're renting an apartment or just bought your first home (lucky you), it's important to know how to do at least a few things around the house. No one expects you to become a handyman (or woman) overnight, but knowing how to unclog a toilet, replace a sink stopper or hang a picture will make your life easier.

Here are three simple home maintenance tasks that everyone should master.

1. Unclog a Drain

Drain clogs are common and pretty easy to fix. No, you don't necessarily need to go out and buy chemical drain cleaners. You can usually take care of the problem yourself using a few common household items.

First, remove the stopper by loosening the horizontal rod under the sink that connects to the drain. Use an old toothbrush, wire hanger or wire bent into a hook to remove the clog.

Clogs are usually caused by soap scum or hair.

If that doesn't do the trick, you can try your trusty plunger. First, replace the stopper and tighten the nut that holds the rod in place. Place a plunger over the drain, add just enough water to cover the rubber, and place a wet sponge over the sink's overflow hole. Plunge up and down (put some elbow into it) at least a dozen times.

If you're successful, you should hear a "whoosh" sound.

The same steps can be taken to clear a clogged tub drain. Usually, it's just hair clogging the drain (gross).

When to Call in a Professional

If you've tried all the tricks in the book and your drains are still clogged, it may be time to call in a professional. There may be a bigger problem at hand.

As VA Plumbing explains, "There are many different reasons that cause clogged drains. It usually happens when dirt, skin flakes, and hair binds to the soap-scum-covered walls of your drain pipes. These gradually accumulate and reduce water flow over time. Other reasons include:

  • Roots from shrubs and trees
  • Misaligned pipes
  • Frozen pipes
  • Foreign objects / build-up"

If any of these things are causing your clog, it's time to call in the pros.

2. Replace a Sink Stopper

If your sink stopper is in serious need of replacement or its missing altogether, you can replace it yourself with just a few simple, inexpensive parts. This repair can cost you $10 or less, so there's no sense in calling a plumber to get the job done.

First, you'll need to locate the horizontal rod under the sink that connects to the drain. Mark the spot where the rod threads through the vertical plate. You may need to use a flashlight to see everything clearly.

There should be a screw and nut on the vertical plate. Loosen both just enough so that you can pull out the rod and slip a new stopper in place. Wiggle things around a bit until everything is properly aligned. Next, tighten the nut just enough to keep the stopper from sliding down. Then, tighten the screw.

3. Hang Art and Mirrors

Art can make your home and walls a little more interesting. But if you want to avoid having crooked pictures and giant holes in the wall, you need to take your time and do it the right way.

Picture hangers are ideal because they can hold a lot of weight and won't do much damage to the wall.

The best way to hang a picture is to first create a paper template. Measure the frame or canvas, and create your paper template. Mark where the picture hanger will go.

Now, you can move your template around the wall to find the spot you like. Mark the spot where the hanger should go, and tap the nail in that spot. Hang your picture and enjoy.

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10 Abnormally Normal Things About College

Some stuff just doesn't fly in the real world.

College is a weird, weird place. For whatever reason, the young adults who are supposed to be cultivating their minds with all of the worldly knowledge available to them, seem to get away with quite a bit using the justification "it's college." Even the best students live abnormally while on the alien planet that is a university. So, while to us college students it may just seem like another day, here are ten things that are only normal in college.

1. Straight up theft.

In the future, if I walk into my forty-something-year-old neighbor's home and see a collection of stolen signs, stuff from the local restaurant, and property from the construction site down the road, I would definitely be concerned about the character of my neighbor. However, in college, people proudly display campus signs, traffic cones, or dining hall napkin dispensers that they have impressively commandeered - it's a cheap decoration and a great conversation starter.

2. All-nighters.

Maybe with the exception of parents of little babies, very few people willingly stay up for close to 24 hours on end. In the real world, if a friend came to you and said that they literally did not sleep the previous night, it's completely logical to be worried. On the other hand, when a friend in college says that he was up all night you laugh a little, give him an understanding pat on the back, and walk with him to the coffee line.

3. Atrocious eating habits.

Sometimes you don't have time to eat. Sometimes you order pizza at 2 in the morning. Sometimes you eat three dinners. Sometimes you diet. All I can say, is thank goodness that our metabolisms are decently high at this age.

4. Breaking and entering.

In high school, you hopefully knew everyone who entered your home. After college, hopefully, that's still the case. However, when you live in the middle of thousands of bored college students, people knock at your door, walk into parties, cut through your yard, and stop by without invitation or hesitation. It keeps life fun, but still not normal.

5. Calling mom when stuff goes down.

I really doubt a time will ever come that I don't need to call my mom for guidance on how to do something. But, hopefully the frequency of those calls with go down a little bit post-graduation. Maybe after four years of doing it on my own, I'll know how to fill out government forms, cook real dinners, and get stains out. But for now, I'm going to keep calling while I still can without seeming totally pathetic.

6. Being intoxicated at weird times.

Drunk at noon on a Friday is the quintessence of an alcoholic at any time - unless it's college. Not that this is necessarily a good thing, and it certainly doesn't apply to everyone, but there aren't many other places where people would instantly assume someone is intoxicated if they're acting even a little weird. I've even seen people drink in the library....

7. The messed up dating scene.

There are people who meet the love of their life at college and live happily ever after. They are people who meet the supposed love of their life at college and never talk to them again after Sunday. There are people who use Tinder. Hormones are high, freedom is bountiful, and football players are cute - what else needs to be said?

8. A warped sense of time.

The career I'm pursuing will require me to be at work by 7 am, five days a week. I am fully aware of this. Now, will I enroll in an 8 am next semester? Absolutely not - I'm not a demon. In college, nights often start at 10 p.m., dinners are eaten at 4, and mornings can begin anywhere from 8 to 2. We don't get that whole 9-5 idea.

9. Costumes... for no apparent reason.

High schoolers have a dress code. Adults have dignity. College students have fun. Here, people will wear a corn costume to get on ESPN, a fanny pack to get into a fraternity, or a tutu to match a theme party. Is it actually a weird thing, though? No one even blinks an eye.

10. Insanely close friends.

Name another point in your life when you live with your friends, study with your friends, drive with your friends, eat with your friends, go out with your friends, and even grocery shop with your friends. I'll wait. At college, it's easy for friends to seem like family because you're with them constantly. Love it or hate it, it's weird about college.

So, enjoy this weirdness while you can - it won't last forever!


Uncensored Roommate Confessions!

Cover Image Credit: Matthew Kupfer

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The Top 3 Lifestyle Changes I Made In College

The mistakes I corrected which stood between me and satisfaction.


2019 has been a year of unparalleled growth for me. In 2018 I could have said the same. I spent extended periods of time analyzing the factors of my life which left me, in some ways, feeling unfulfilled. Here are the top 3 lifestyle changes that I made in college which left me feeling happier than ever.

1. Cut out the toxic people. 

A house is worthless without a solid foundation. The people which you call your friends are largely the foundation for your confidence and social life. Sometimes, we recognize that these people are overall anchors on our psyche; condescending narcissists whose confidence rests on making others feel inadequate. The first step to building self-confidence is to get these people out of your life immediately. Once you solidify this foundation, you will soon realize how pitiful these people are, and growth you had been capable of without them.

2. Do you even lift?

Not only has my physical condition improved from going to the gym, so has my mental strength. As my physical form has improved, my confidence has risen. We have spent millions of years evolving to physically exert ourselves. Our modern lifestyle has left many of us without this crucial key to endorphins and proper brain chemistry; a factor which has promoted never before seen rates of depression and anxiety. Lifting weights have left me feeling better than I can remember, with endorphins and testosterone at an all-time high.

For years, I either avoided the gym or found excuses to stop. The reason I never committed to fitness was largely a lack of interest in self-betterment, but also a feeling of cluelessness in the subject. I recommend utilizing the "Beginner's Health and Fitness Guide" linked here. This guide breaks down fitness in an incredibly easy to understand way. This information is not published by someone trying to sell you something. It was written by input from numerous online fitness enthusiasts and refined for accuracy as well as simplicity. This guide has helped me and many others in online communities start down the road to improved physical and mental health through fitness.

3. Do as much as possible, even when you don't feel like it. 

I squandered years of my short life secluding myself to a comfort bubble. While in college, I have realized that happiness largely rests on occupying yourself with new and real experiences as frequently as possible. Time which would have previously been wasted on my phone, the television, or playing online games was shifted to trying new things. As often as possible, I have pushed myself to undertake activities such as learning to snowboard, grabbing food with people from college whom I had just met, going hiking with strangers and our mutual friend, traveling solo, etc. Pushing myself further from my comfort bubble every day has been exceptionally conducive to not only living life to a greater degree but also decreasing the anxieties which we all experience.

What can you fix in your current life to build the lifestyle you dream of?

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