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a home + living guide for the post-college, pre-parenthood, quasi-adult generation


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things you can learn from your maintenance man by Beth Lovern | 1
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Plumbing issues, part III: In case of clogged drains, you can also use the plunger method after taking off the drain cover (such as to your bathtub). Do not pour chemicals down the drain, as it as is as bad for the pipes as trans fats are for your heart.

Heating/cooling: If your apartment is equipped with a thermostat, here's some news for you. Cranking it up to 88 degrees in the winter or blasting it down to 55 degrees in the summer will not make it work any faster. After all, you are not trying to boil or freeze something. If you want a pleasant room temperature, keep it consistently at 78 degrees in the summer and 68 or so in the winter, even while you are at work. You will be more comfortable and save money on electricity. Thermostats, once set, work on a feedback mechanism that regulates the temperature for you.

Power tools: Yes, you could envy a man his power tools. Better yet, you can get some of your own! No quasi-adult home should be without a basic toolkit -- and that goes for women as well as men. Every twenty-first century gal should own a cordless drill, screwdrivers (flat and Philips head), hammer, adjustable wrench, pliers, and, of course, a snazzy toolbox in which to keep them. There's nobody to stop you from decorating them with rhinestones, crystals, or monograms, either.

When to call your maintenance man: Most maintenance issues should actually be reported to your apartment office, so they can keep tabs on safety issues and prevention measures. Don't ever tinker with electrical equipment or outlets.

o o o

Treating your maintenance man with respect, gratitude, and the occasional plate of oven-baked cookies can be a means of establishing bonds of goodwill and helpfulness. Or in a few cases, like mine, a marriage proposal.


Beth Lovern, after living the single life in DC for many years, has returned to her down-home Southern roots in Georgia. A PhD candidate in cultural anthropology, she is now married and is expecting her first child. She delights in reading, cooking, and planning parties.


check out these related articles: 
plumb trouble | handy household tools


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