Home & Garden

DIY Like a Pro: A Parent’s Guide to Repairing Stuff Around the House

When you have kids in your house, it seems like things are always breaking. This parent’s guide to repairing stuff around the house will save you a ton of cash.

The average American home has around 9 repairs that are waiting to be completed. Since many home repairs can seem intimidating at first, it’s not hard to see why.

However, a surprising amount of home repairs can be tackled quickly if you’re willing to put your handyman skills to the test. Read on for our top DIY solutions for repairing stuff around the house.

Prep and Paint Your Walls

When you’re living in a house with kids, marks on the walls are practically inevitable. However, there’s no need to call in the professionals for repairing stuff like that.

Even if you’re dealing with significant marks and damage to your walls, you can handle the entire job yourself. The key is to take your time and use the right tools.

  1. First, remove any blockages from the wall, such as light switch plates and outlet covers. If you skip this step, you’ll only leave yourself vulnerable to mess-ups and taking more time than necessary.
  2. Clean the walls with a damp cloth or sponge to clear away any dust, grime, and other residues.
  3. Use spackle to smooth out any nail holes, dents, and rough patches in the wall. If you’re dealing with dark marks, you’ll want to cover those too in order to have a clean slate.
  4. Once the spackle dries, sand it away until you have a smooth surface.
  5. Using painter’s tape, tape up the edges of the wall and other areas that you want to avoid getting paint on.
  6. Cover walls with paint using thin, straight, strokes.
  7. Use 2-3 coats of paint, depending on the coverage you’re trying to achieve.

Even if you don’t have the steadiest hand, you can still achieve a professional-looking paint job all on your own. All it takes is the patience to do it right.

Unclog a Drain

If you’re looking to start repairing stuff around the house, a clogged drain is usually an easy fix. In fact, there are more than a couple of home remedies to unclog a drain.

Cola Products

You’ve heard of draino and other chemically-based, drain solutions, but did you know that you can get a similar result from pouring Coke or Pepsi down the drain? This is because these soft drinks contain a ton of phosphoric acid, which can really help with dissolving buildup.

Here’s the step-by-step for using cola to unclog a drain:

  1. Take a 2-liter of cola and let it sit out until it reaches room temperature.
  2. Pour the cola down the clogged drain.
  3. Allow it to sit for 1-2 hours.
  4. Follow up with a hot water rinse.

This method will work for a lot of minor clogs. If it doesn’t seem to be doing the trick, then there’s a couple of other methods to try.

Baking Soda and Vinegar

You might remember the combination of these two ingredients causing a “volcanic” eruption when you were in grade school. Well, the foaming chemical reaction can actually help you when you’re repairing stuff around the house, too!

Here’s how to unclog a drain with vinegar and baking soda:

  1. Pour a pot’s worth of boiling water down the clogged drain.
  2. Dump about 1/2 a cup of baking soda down the drain.
  3. Then, pour a solution of 1 cup vinegar and 1 cup hot water.
  4. Plug up the drain and let the reaction do its job for about 10 minutes.
  5. Follow up with one more pot of boiling water down the drain.

The combination of vinegar and baking soda creates a powerful reaction that can cut through a wide variety of clogs. If this doesn’t work, you may want to try a plunger.


If chemicals aren’t doing the trick, you can also use a plunger on a clogged sink or bathtub.

Here’s how to clear a clog using a plunger:

  1. Fill the sink up with a few inches of water (if it’s a bathtub, fill about halfway).
  2. Cover the drain with the plunger completely
  3. Press up and down rapidly with the plunger for about 35 seconds.

If you notice that the water starts draining slowly, you’re on the right track. Add more water and repeat the plunging process. If it starts draining quickly, then you should be unclogged and ready to go.

Repair or Replace a Broken Toilet Lever

When you’ve got a family running around, you’re likely going to face a broken toilet lever here and there. Luckily, if you’re into repairing stuff yourself, it’s a pretty easy fix.

First, lift up the lid to the tank. If you find that the chain has become loose, just reattach it and you should be good to go.

If you find the chain broken or worn out, you’ll need to buy a replacement lever kit from the hardware store. Follow the enclosed instructions and you should be able to handle the whole repair yourself.

Clear a Blocked Toilet

Pretty much every homeowner has to deal with a clogged toilet at some point in their life. If you’ve got a big family, then you’ll likely be faced with this more than once. However, you can usually fix your own toilet when you’re repairing stuff around the house.

Here’s what to do if your toilet backs up:

  1. First, check for foreign objects that could be causing the clog. If something is down there, such as a toy or a toothbrush, you should be able to fish it out with your hand.
  2. If there are no apparent blockages, wait for the water to drain and then add more water to the bowl. In some cases, the pressure can clear the clog.
  3. Use a flanged (suction cup-shaped) plunger on the clog. Be sure the suction cup is fully submerged. Add water if you need to.

If these steps don’t work, you may have a more serious problem on your hands. Don’t push it too far, just call the plumber.

Repairing Stuff: Final Thoughts

If you’re looking to start saving money by repairing stuff around your house, here’s some good news: a lot of it is very simple. Now that you know how to handle some common home repairs, start DIY-ing like a pro!

Did you enjoy this article? Then check out our other posts for more home improvement advice!


Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.


Welcome to the Night Helper Blog. The Night Helper Blog was created in 2008. Since then we have been blessed to partner with many well-known Brands like Best Buy, Fisher Price, Toys "R" US., Hasbro, Disney, Teleflora, ClearCorrect, Radio Shack, VTech, KIA Motor, MAZDA and many other great brands. We have three awesome children, plus four adorable very active grandkids. From time to time they too are contributors to the Night Helper Blog. We enjoy reading, listening to music, entertaining, travel, movies, and of course blogging.

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