Why not use self-isolation to revive life skills?

life skills around the homeWhat would you do when your radiators weren’t performing well? Or you fancied a change of colour scheme in your home’s front room? Or your much-loved ‘lucky’ socks developed a hole?

You may not think these problems require much thought and, for most people, they aren’t really as much a problem as a call on our time. However, such problems do represent quite a dilemma for others – and can be somewhat unjustifiably costly to sort out.

A recent survey by Good Housekeeping reckoned that only half of millenials know how to bleed radiator – compared to 80% of over-35s! Darning a sock was also a problem, with only 24% of millenials willing or able to pick up a sewing needle to carry out a small repair, preferring to just chuck items away.

Basic cooking skills also seem to be dying out, with only 35% able to make the white sauce that forms the base of dishes, from pasta carbonara to fish pie to cauliflower cheese. Perhaps just as well, with only 49% able to clean the dishwasher filter!

Only half of millenials would tackle a wallpapering job but, as wall coverings are increasingly returning to popularity, even if only on a ‘feature’ wall, it is certainly a job that can be done by a DIY-er.

These skills are more likely to be found among homeowners rather than their child tenants but, when your adult offspring gets the chance to own his/her own home, having these skills will be invaluable.

In their defence, jobs that are being done by young adults included: emptying the cleaner, ironing a shirt and building flat-pack furniture.

With the demise of woodwork, metalwork, home economics and sewing classes at school, life skills are no longer being taught outside the home. A survey by training site Able Skills revealed a range of skills that people would like to have learned at school:

1. How to budget
2. The importance of insurance
3. How loans work
4. How to wire a plug
5. How to take out a pension
6. How to drive
7. How to buy a house
8. How to put up a shelf
9. How to open a bank account
10. How to plaster a wall
11. How to change a car tyre
12. How to turn off the water in the house
13. Things to look for when buying a second-hand car
14. How to change a tap
15. How to lay a carpet
16. How to tile a room
17. How to cook a Sunday roast
18. How to jump start a car
19. How to unblock a toilet
20. How to strip wallpaper without damaging the wall
21. How to assemble flat pack furniture
22. How to bring up a baby
23. How to unblock a plughole
24. How to grout
25. How to use a drill
26. How to read an electric or gas meter
27. How to fix a bike
28. How to put up a fence
29. How to build a wall
30. How to change a light bulb

So, if you or a family member is in self-isolation but otherwise well, why not take the opportunity to brush up on some basic life skills that can save you lots of money? There are lots of websites and YouTube videos to get you started on many of the tasks you might feel disinclined to tackle yourself.

And when our day-to-day lives get back to ‘normal’, why not sign up for a class at a local college? Most areas offer courses that range from one-off day classes to full-on trade level in a range of life skills.

Build up your confidence so that, when you next suffer a leaking tap in your kitchen or your Dyson goes up in smoke, you won’t need to call a plumber or go online shopping – find out how to Do It Yourself.

A Chartered Surveyor may not want to help you with the DIY, but they will be able to identify many of the jobs you will need to get done when you buy your new property. Ask a Property Surveying independent Chartered Surveyor for a building survey.

Back to March 2020 Newsletter

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