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10 Things People Don’t Know How to Do Around the House Anymore

Some say it's because people are too focused on their phones to take the time to learn how to do everyday tasks. Others blame schools for not teaching basic life skills. Whatever the reason, it's true that there are some basic skills that many people no longer know how to do. Here are 10 examples.

Bee-NewspaperPaul S Mann/Shutterstock

Kill a Bug with a Newspaper

This is a special situation because part of the problem is that very few people have a newspaper in their home on a daily basis. It used to be quite handy to simply grab a section of the paper, roll it up and swat the fly or wasp that was bothering you. So, as long as there's a fly swatter around, and it can be found when needed, most people will still be able to kill the bothersome bug.

If you're one of those people who finds bugs truly disgusting, check out these 15 essential products for people who really hate bugs.

IronBobkov Evgeniy/Shutterstock

Use a Clothes Iron

There are a number of reasons why many people don't know how to use (or don't even own) an iron any more. A lot of clothes are made from "easy-care" fabrics that don't get terribly wrinkled if they are laundered and dried properly. And, many people who have to wear business suits and ties have those clothes professionally cleaned. Another factor is a rise in the use of handheld steamers to remove wrinkles from clothes and curtains. Yet another alternative to ironing out wrinkles is a fresh-scent wrinkle-release spray.

And, of course, athleisure. Those clothes originally intended for exercise that are now worn everywhere, like yoga pants and breathable tees, and do not need ironing.

But, don't get rid of that clothes iron just yet. You can still use it when applying edge banding to hide the raw edges of plywood!

Here's how to use an iron to remove dents in wood.

Buy a handheld steamer now on Amazon.

Buy wrinkle release spray now on Amazon.

Coffee Maker AmazonAmazon

Make a Pot of Coffee

When was the last time you saw someone younger than 30 make a straight-up pot of coffee? Many people get their morning cup from a coffee shop or fast-food drive-through and many of those who DO make their own coffee use a machine that uses coffee pods instead of actual ground coffee.

Here's how you can make a DIY pour-over coffee maker.

Check out the best way to clean and care for a standard coffee maker.

Got a Keurig? Here's why you should be cleaning it.

Buy a coffee maker now on Amazon.


Sew on a Button or Mend a Tear

There are many avid quilters and craft sewers out there, but the number of people who can replace a button or stitch up a small tear has seriously dwindled. Tailor shops will happily do these things for you, but you'll have to schlep the items to the shop and pay. With just a needle and a few spools of thread, you can do these simple sewing tasks yourself. Here's a helpful tutorial on how to sew on a button.

Take a look at this incredible IKEA hack—a portable craft room worktable and storage station.

car wash car detailerWathanyuSowong/Shutterstock

Wash a Car

It may seem like washing a car doesn't require any particular knowledge or skill, however, it is possible to do it wrong. And, many people take their car to a car wash instead of dragging out the garden hose, soapy bucket and scrubbing mitt. Sometimes that's because they see it as easier and less time-consuming, and for people living in apartments, there may be no place for a DIY car wash.

Before you try a DIY car wash, to be sure you have the right products, check out these top-notch car wash kits.

Here's DIY Car Detailing Tips That Will Save You Money:

Get your vehicle looking like new with these simple interior and exterior car detailing tips that you can do yourself.


Grow Tomatoes

You can grow tomatoes almost anywhere—in a garden, on a balcony—as long as there is sun. Many people are all about knowing where their food comes from and that it is organic, but they're not interested in actually growing it themselves. Planting and caring for the plants seems like too much work for something that can be easily purchased.

Here are five different ways you can grow tomatoes.

These are our all-time best tips for growing tomatoes.

knife sharpeningFamily Handyman

Sharpen a Knife

Many people have grown up learning to fear anything that has the potential to be dangerous. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but in the case of a task like knife sharpening, the trepidation may be unfounded. With the proper equipment and technique, DIY sharpening of regular kitchen knives can be quite safe. The alternative is to have knives professionally sharpened or to replace them when they're dull. If you'd like to learn how to sharpen knives, here's is an excellent tutorial from a pro.

Here's how to make an awesome magnetic knife strip that gets your knives off the counter, but keeps them within easy reach.

Top-sheet-bedDawid K Photography/Shutterstock

Make a Bed With a Top Sheet

Slowly but surely the top sheet is becoming obsolete. Due to the proliferation of the duvet, with its removable cover, people are opting out of the seemingly unnecessary top sheet. There's really nothing at all wrong with this trend—we'll all probably get along fine without knowing how to make 'hospital corners' on our bed sheets!

Check out these seven ways to freshen bed linens without chemicals.

Want more on the top sheet, no top sheet debate? Here you go.

Here's our ultimate bedding buyer's guide.

unclog kitchen sinkFamily Handyman

Fix a Clogged Sink

When a kitchen or bathroom sink is draining very slowly, or not a all, many people opt for pouring liquid or solid chemicals down the drain in hopes of a miracle. Sometimes this works, but it always causes a dangerous situation if those chemicals spray back out of the drain at someone not wearing eye protection. It's especially problematic if the chemicals don't work and then someone has to plunge, snake or open up the drain which is now full of toxic sludge. So, rather than pouring and hoping, there are effective methods for unclogging sinks and they don't require much equipment or skill.

Here's how to unclog a sink with a plunger and a drain snake.

These are the specifics for clearing a bathroom sink without using chemicals.

Kitchen sink clogged? Here's what to do.


Fix a Clogged Toilet

As with sinks, many people aren't comfortable working on anything plumbing related because they're afraid they will make the situation worse. The truth is, it's pretty hard to ruin your toilet with a plunger. These are the basic instructions for how to unclog a toilet with a plunger and toilet snake, if necessary.

If you have a clogged toilet and can't find a plunger, here are five methods for unclogging a toilet without a plunger.

Toilet won't stop running? Here's how to fix it!