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Life Skills Everyone Should Know

We’ve compiled a list of life skills everyone should know. How many of these do you already have? Are some of these still difficult for you?

Consider learning these and teaching them to your children. Your entire family benefits from having important life skills.

The COVID-19 pandemic created a startling wake-up call for many of us. Perhaps this year more than our recent past, we see the need for essential skills–life skills everyone should know.

The truth is, the pandemic just jarred us into a realization that our grandparents grew up knowing: It’s important to be prepared for those curve-balls and roadblocks that life often throws at us. 2020 struck some people quite hard as they realized how unprepared they truly were.

Life offers challenges at any time. 2020 might seem like an anomaly. But really, job changes happen other years. So do health worries. Of course, this year has shown itself to be much more intense, especially with business and school closures and people out of work. We need to always be as ready as possible for those hurdles that life chucks our way.


And that’s where life skills everyone should know come in.

But first, what is a life skill?

Dictionary.com defines a life skill as a noun:

“Usually life skills. a skill that helps a person to function well in adult life, especially in social or emotional situations

So, if the “Family Scouts” (just an imaginary organization, of course) dealt out merit badges for life skills, could you collect most or all?

I’ve compiled a list of some of the life skills everyone should know. You might have others to add, too. Which of these do you find essential? Are others useful, too?

Housekeeping Life Skills Everyone Should Know

1. Housekeeping and Cleaning Skills

Everyone, men and women, children, teens, everyone needs to know basic housekeeping skills. Keeping your home or apartment neat and clean helps ensure good health, keeps you organized, and makes for a happier home life.

What if you never learned this from your parents? One of my favorite resources, Don Aslett, was actually found by one of my sons at a homeschool convention many years ago. My son was so excited by the techniques he learned during that 30-minute session that he bought his books!

Don Aslett owns a company called The Cleaning Company. He explains that he learned important cleaning skills from people who hired him to clean their homes for them. Yes, he and some friends earned money cleaning homes to help with college expenses. In the end, this resource became his life enterprise.

Now, it’s not that my kids love cleaning. Instead, the enthusiasm came from finding better ways to clean with less frustration. Yes, they could reduce the time they spent cleaning. That promise boosted the excitement.

Check out Aslett’s books on cleaning, He has good products on Amazon, too.

I’ve provided affiliate links to 4 of my favorites. You’ll find many more on Amazon!


life skills everyone should know | housekeeping

2. Culinary Skills – How to Cook

Some of us love cooking and create stunning meals. Others may need a little nudge.

But everyone should be able to prepare basic meals for their family. I have coached married people who had no idea how to prepare a meal without a box and a microwave. Yes, slide that microwave dish out of the box, microwave for 3 minutes on high, and serve. Many of them rely quite heavily on take-out and restaurant meals.

All of these options cost considerably more than preparing meals at home. And most are much less healthy than you can prepare yourself. An added bonus of home-cooked meals is that you custom-tailor them to your own preferences.

Now, not all of us strive to become gourmet chefs. But with a little inspiration and some basic culinary skills, you might find you enjoy those moments in the kitchen. And your family’s health and savings benefits might inspire you even more.

An extra bonus: During times such as the pandemic, you need not worry about finding available take-out and extra trips to the store.

life skills everyone should know | cooking

3. Basic Sewing

In times gone by, most people could mend clothing, hem those seams, and even darn their socks. Our quick-paced lifestyle and easy access to ready-made clothing prevent most of us from learning even basic skills.

But maybe you should. In the time it takes to drop off your pants for hemming at the tailor, you can finish the project at home. Missing buttons also fall into this type of project.

You don’t need to be a seamstress, but learning to manage basic sewing skills will save you time and money. You might even choose to try a few fun sewing or handcraft projects!

life skills everyone should know | sewing

4. Essential Home Repairs 

Anyone who has tried to hire a plumber or electrician for simple home repairs can attest to the cost of such skilled labor. And certainly, some projects require a professional.

But if the home repair is a minor issue, such as fixing a leaky faucet or replacing a ceiling fan, you might consider saving those hefty costs and do it yourself. Some of the home improvement stores even offer classes and workshops to help you learn the basics.

Even some more involved repairs can be accomplished with some basic skills. Not sure what you can manage? Try searching online. Often, YouTube videos will show you the step-by-step process.

And, when you are tackling those home improvements, remember to have your kids watching and helping. It’s good training for the entire family.

life skills everyone should know | home repairs

5. How to Unclog a Toilet or Sink

Yes, it’s the “life skill” no one wants to need, but might save you a lot of money and time in hiring a plumber and probably a lot of embarrassment, too. YouTube offers plenty of videos on creative methods to unclog a toilet. However, that old standby-the plunger- might be your first go-to. And often the best.

So, when your toddler throws a dog bone in the toilet and laughs as the bone goes down and the water comes up, you can laugh a little and fix the problem. With simple skills, your life becomes more manageable.

life skills everyone should know | unclog sinks

6. How to Use Kitchen Appliances

This fits neatly with the culinary skills, but I’m listing it separately because it really does stand on its own.

You might not think about giving that refrigerator a deep cleaning, but you will save money by doing so. It helps maintain the efficiency (see also, uses less electricity) and may actually keep your food fresh longer, too. Double savings!

Likewise, keep your freezer clear of built-up ice and save money, too. Yes, even the frost-free models needs some maintenance.

Cleaning the oven might not be fun, but it extends the life of the unit and keeps it smelling fresh, too.

Most kitchens host a few small appliances, too. Knowing how to use them properly brings them to their full benefit. For instance, knowing to use the slicing blade when you want shredded lettuce. Use the shredding blade and you end up with a slushy, gooey mess!


life skills everyone should know | appliance care

Read More:  Teaching Kids Life Skills

++Watch for more articles on Life Skills — Parts 2 through 7 coming soon!

teaching kids life skills


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