Most of us, post-moving out, have at least once been in a situation where we encounter a new household challenge we had never faced before, be it because it simply never happened (because, for example, your family didn’t have a pet but now you do), or because, realistically, your parents had dealt with it without your help.
They come in all kinds, shapes and forms. Let’s discuss the life and housekeeping hacks we have learnt and accumulated along the months and/or years of independent, parent-free life.
Learn about how drugs interact
Ibuprofen should not be mixed with Acetaminophen (Tylenol). Aspirin should not be taken if you’re trying to alleviate period cramps (will make you bleed more). You should really not drink alcohol if you’ve been prescribed antibiotics. Grapefruits and grapefruit juice lessens the effect of some medication.
There’s a lot of details like that – read up on meds you usually take, because you may always learn new things about them.
Do not mix bleach with other chemicals
Seriously, it usually results in toxic gases.
Bleach mixed with vinegar or most other cleaning products will create chlorine gas; bleach together with rubbing alcohol will produce chloroform; the list goes on.
Even as much as pouring bleach onto something that your dog peed on may create toxic gas.
Just don’t mix bleach with other stuff, period. Housekeeping can be done without it.
Stock up on dry foods
Pasta, rice and other grains, flour and spices will stay good for a very long time, and might save you at a time of hunger and an empty wallet. Frozen foods, especially vegetables (because meats still do expire relatively fast in comparison) are good for that, too.
By the way, don’t ever eat expired foods. Best case nothing happens, but worst case… oh boy. You don’t want that.
If something expires soon, then either prioritise eating it ASAP, or accept the fact that you’ll have to throw it out.
Soaking clothes will help
Another good housekeeping hack. If you got ink on your clothes, soak the stain in milk – it might not get the stain out completely, but it will definitely help lighten it.
If you got blood on your clothes or bedsheets – soak them in cold water with a tiny splash of detergent in it. Heat will bind the blood to fabric. Hydrogen peroxide may also help with blood stains. Acetone (nail polish remover) dissolves super glue.
Overall, there’s a lot of useful little things like that – Google will usually help.
Keep extra stuff in your car
If you have a car, that is.
Always have a spare tire, always have a flashlight, always try to have some coolant on you. Always have some spare clothes in your car. Try to always have jumper cables. Also a charger for your phone.
If you have some chronic illness like I do, try to keep the things that don’t need a fridge but would help, too – some sugar or glucose tablets for a diabetic, for example.
You never know what could happen.
Do try to splurge out on insurance
If you can, of course, then insure your car, get a medical insurance; leech off your parents for as long as you can with these. They can come in extremely helpful, especially if something bad were to happen, and they do offer a sense of security, even if they come in in a penny (hence the leeching advice, sadly).
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Overall, there’s, of course, a lot of other, more niche hacks – these are just the ones I and my friends have had to deal with.
That doesn’t mean that you might not encounter other issues, of course; be it with housekeeping, with cleaning, with documents or anything else. In these situations, it’s important to remember that it’s perfectly okay to ask for help.
Be it making a post on your social media or knocking on your neighbours’ doors – all of that can work. It’s especially helpful to have made a lot of connections, but it’s not actually necessary. A lot of people will help just out of the goodness of their hearts, whether you need salt, bleach, an extra chair or for them to call the ambulance.