When it comes to running a house, "a little ingenuity and a lot of common sense go a long way." So says Barbara Pagano of East Providence, R.I., who teaches seminars on home management that are particularly aimed at single women who for the first time are in charge of maintaining a house.
Pagano, who calls her seminar series "Surviving Single," offers these Top Ten Things That No Home Should Be Without:
A library card. "There are hundreds of how-to books on every subject imaginable. You will be amazed at how much you can learn about how your house works."
Tools. "A basic set should include screwdrivers [flat-heads and Phillips-heads in different sizes], a hammer, pliers of several types and a staple gun [once you get the hang of using it, you'll wonder how you ever managed without it]. Read books to learn how to use tools safely and efficiently."
WD-40. "This multipurpose lubricant does many things. One of my little joys in life is finding another use for this marvelous stuff."
Duct tape. "Countless uses for this old reliable."
Plumbers' putty. "A temporary fix for small leaks in pipes. It has many other uses also."
Carpenters' glue. "Learn how to fix your own furniture. Read the books!"
Volt tester. "Never fool around with electricity until you understand exactly what you are dealing with. Again, it's all explained in books. Don't fear it, respect it!"
Plunger and snake. "Many plumbing problems can be fixed by the do-it-yourselfer who understands the basic drain-waste-vent system. It's in the books."
Smoke detectors and fire extinguishers. "A must for every home. Change the batteries when you change your clocks twice yearly, whether you think you need to or not. Make sure your fire extinguisher is fully charged and that every person in the house knows how to use it. An emergency is not the time for learning."
Escape plan. "Be sure that everyone in your home knows how to get out in case of a fire. Practice with a drill once in a while. Set up a place to meet outside so you will know that everyone is safe."
Pub Date: 4/20/97