Simple Household Skills – Written by Tom Phillips
So you’re living away from home for the first time, and you think you’re ready for your first independent living experience, right? Well take it from us, there are bound to be situations ahead when you’re at a complete loss as to what to do. So the kind souls at the SPG have put together a guide to those basic household skills that you’ve never thought to learn, and may be too embarrassed to ask about!
First, separate your colours, whites, and delicates (such as silks) into individual loads. Items like towels that could leave fluff over your clothes should also be separated. Go through your pockets and remove anything if not you’ll be picking out bits of tissue for the next few months. Turn jeans inside out to retain the colour and pay attention to care labels. Make sure you wash items at the right temperature – too hot and they might shrink, too cold and it won’t get clean! Finally, always follow the directions on your washing powder/liquid and you should be fine!
Switch off the light that you’ll be changing, and allow the existing bulb to cool before touching it. Twist the bulb anticlockwise until it is free – if it is a bayonet bulb it will only take one twist; a screw bulb will take slightly longer. Fetch your replacement bulb, making sure it’s the same wattage as the original. Don’t touch the new bulb with your bare hands, as you could damage the filament inside. Screw the bulb back in clockwise and voila! It’s done!
Should be simple, but even the best chefs get it wrong! Firstly, never use a refrigerated egg; you’ll get much better results from those at room temperature. Set a small pan to boil on the stove, with just enough water to cover the egg. Prick the fat end of the egg with a pin to stop it cracking, and drop it carefully into the boiling water. Now, for the important part! For a soft boiled egg with a runny yolk and lightly cooked white, boil for no longer than 3 minutes. For a hard boiled egg with solid white and yolk, boil for 8 minutes. When your time is up serve in an egg cup with some buttered soldiers, and enjoy!
Your first task should be emptying the freezer, meaning you have to either find another freezer with room for your food or – the more fun option – inviting your friends over for a Freezer Dinner Party, with a menu of crispy pancakes, frozen peas, and ice cream. Once your freezer is empty (remove the drawers/ice tray also), unplug and leave the door open, putting some old towels around the bottom to soak up the inevitable deluge of water. Boil the kettle and fill a bowl with the water. Place the bowl in the centre of the freezer and use a cloth to spread the warmth around. Remove any large chunks of ice by hand, and then refill the bowl with boiling water and let the steam go to work. Repeat until all the ice is gone, dry off with a towel and you’re good to go.
Please take care… Dealing with electrical appliances and problems can be dangerous! As simple as these tips sound, whenever in doubt contact an expert.