9 Things Every Newly-Single Person Should Know or Have
By Danielle C. Davis, Esq.
Life can be hard, and life after a break-up – or divorce – can be even harder. It’s difficult to feel confident, empowered, and simply excellent, when someone you love (and often rely on) is no longer around to help you tackle every day challenges. Here is a short list of things that every newly-single person should know or should have in their home:
- How to Enjoy Your Own Company (even if you don’t like to be alone) – Perhaps the most important thing for a newly-single person to learn is how to enjoy their own company. This can be a real struggle, but the rewards are high. By enjoying your own company, you learn to be “alone” without being “lonely.” This prevents the temptation to jump back into a poor relationship, or start a new relationship with someone you might not be truly interested in. Find ways to indulge yourself in solitude, whether it’s taking a bath with candles surrounding the tub, a glass of wine and a book, or going for a walk in the woods with your dog. It’s important to remember that YOU are your best friend, and you like that person and spending time with them.
- A Tool Box – Everyone should have a very basic toolbox for the everyday “handy” tasks around the house or yard. This includes, at a minimum: hammer, screwdriver (both flathead and Philips), measuring tape, level, pliers/wire cutters, wrench, box cutter, extension cord, electrical tape, assorted nails and screwed, stepstool, flashlight, WD-40, super glue, and duct tape. Other items that can be incredibly helpful are a power drill (which can be obtained for a very reasonable price at a pawn shop or garage sale), assorted zip ties, a voltage meter, ratchet set and a set of hex keys. Fortunately, most hardware stores sell “beginner” toolkits that include most of these items for around $25.00.
- How to Find the Fuse Box/Water Main – Know where the fuse box and water main for your residence are located, and know how to operate them. A fuse box is easy to use. If the power goes out in an area of your home, or if you lose all power but your neighbor’s house is still lit up, it’s likely that you’ve blown a fuse. Simply go to the fuse (sometimes called the “breaker”) box and flip and levers that are no longer in line with the others. If your fuse box isn’t already labeled, do yourself a favor and, with the lights turned on, test each lever and label which area of your home it controls. Similarly, in the case of a burst pipe or other water-related emergency, it’s always smart to know where your water main is and how to turn it off (sometimes this requires a special tool, so look into it early and buy the tool if necessary).
- How to Change a Tire – Everyone should know how to change a tire. Whether you’re driving on the highway or walk out of the house in the morning to find your tire is flat, knowing how to change your own tire will ensure that you are never stranded. There are many wonderful “how-to” videos on YouTube, or a simple Google search can give you instructions.
- How to Jump Your Car Battery – Similar to knowing how to change your tire, knowing how to jump your car battery is essential. Make sure to carry a set of jumper cables in your trunk, and make it simple by using some masking tape to label each end and the order they should be attached. Alternatively, a Jump Starter can be purchased at the hardware store for about $50.00, and it prevents the need for a second vehicle to get your car started.
- How to Do Your Laundry – Every newly-single person should know how to do their own laundry. Perhaps the most basic rule of caring for your clothes is to separate your wash loads into similarly colored categories, i.e., colors, darks and whites. Just as important is to pay attention to any clothes you own that are “dry clean only” or require special handling. Learn to read clothing tags, and the wash/care symbols printed on them (a quick Google search provides multiple resources for this). Finally, know what temperature you should use to dry various types of fabrics. Using the wrong heat can permanently warp or alter your clothes (for example, drying jeans on high heat will shrink the denim).
- How to Balance a Checkbook – Learn to balance your checkbook. In the modern era, with electronic banking and mobile apps, this may seem like a waste of time. However, every person should understand how to monitor their money and track their spending to avoid overdrawing their account.
- How to Say No – Saying “No” is hard. But as a newly-single person, it’s important to learn how to set boundaries, and stand up for yourself, and feel empowered to say “No” when the situation calls for it.
- Google It! – Finally, and perhaps the most important tool for the newly-single person is learning to be self-reliant and how to find answers. There are millions of tips and tricks available online to help with most any problem that could arise in everyday life. Dryer stop working? Google it! Don’t know how to make stir-fry? YouTube it! Thanks to the internet, no one is ever completely without resources, and anything is possible.
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