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Editorial: Just Do the Best You Can with the Resources you Have

Do you know what really burns my britches? 

This idea that every homeowner has unlimited time, money, knowledge, and energy to dedicate to home improvement and repair.

There’s an expectation of perfection in the construction world, especially online. If a homeowner can’t improve or repair their home exactly like the master carpenter with years of experience, then they are utter failures and must hire a professional.

When are we going to start being easier on each other? It’s OK to do the best you can with the resources you have.

There are 13 million Americans working 2 or more jobs just to survive. Who wants to make repairs on their day off? I struggle just getting out of bed some days, I’m not going to be climbing a ladder or crawling under a house. I’ll get to it tomorrow, though, I promise. 

For every one person that does repair their homes ‘the right way,’ there are thousands of us that just need to get through one more day. We have to make do with whatever we have.

And that’s OK. 

The Right Way Isn’t the Only Way

I’m upset by the idea that so many believe there’s only one way to do home repairs and improvements.

Home improvements and repairs are like math. There’s more than one way to reach the correct result. However, so many think that if something is done a little differently than their formula it’s automatically wrong.

I’d like to have a dollar every time I’ve heard a professional bad mouth another over the silliest things. As long as it’s safe and can pass inspections who cares?

Just Do What You Want

The same bad-mouthing happens all the time online.

We all need to keep in mind that it’s OK to do the best you can with the resources you have.

Some of us aren’t knowledgeable of tools or trades and that’s OK. If you don’t have a straight screwdriver use a butter knife. Don’t have a screw to hang a picture? A thumbtack works just fine in most cases.

Just make do with the knowledge, time, money, and energy you have.

A very smart person once said:

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”

– Probably Not Theodore Roosevelt

Footnote: I’ve always credited Theodore Roosevelt for the quote above but come to find out he probably didn’t even say it. See? I can’t even get a quote right! Apparently, it’s from an biography about Roosevelt. I’ll figure it out tomorrow, though, I promise.

As always, thank you for reading Mobile Home Living®!

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  1. i need some ideas for curb appeal that doesn’t cost over $70.00, on one income (SSI) it gets tricky. this is our first and its 35 years old and to be honest we don’t know whats between the inside walls and exterior of the house, we are 70+ and currently can’t afford to hire outside help. Nevertheless we will smile and do the best we can. Thanks for the article.

  2. Elizabeth A Berry

    Oh! It’s so nice to know I’m not the only one! I’ll have to remember that ” managing my crew” snark. Lol. But hey, don’t feel bad
    Took me close to 4 months to finish mine. The manager was on me, but I did the best I could! It’s not perfect, but I sure have seen worse.

  3. By earring hangers I meant jewelry hangers off the side of my wire stacking cube storage unit, not that I used them as earring backings…lol…In case anyone might wonder about the safety of that suggestion…

  4. I’ve learned that cheap $1 store paperclips can become things like earring hangers, shower curtain extenders and more. Getting creative with what I have saves my hard earned income for more important jobs than buying more expensive versions of something simply to impress others.

  5. Hi Victor,

    Me, Crystal Adkins. The Byline is hidden under the top image and not easy to find.

  6. As a 70 year old single gal with a 1974 single wide on SS I try to do it myself. I recently completed my skirting and it took a month. The weather, finances and my old sore body limited my daily particpattion on the project. It’s not perfect, but it’s also going to look just fine when painted.

    Everyone who walked by while I hammered, drilled and sawed had a comment: Why don’t you use….? Why are you doing this yourself? You should not use a ….. On and on it went even so far as those who wanted to chat. As I lay under the house – picture the witch in the Wizard of Oz – feet sticking out and folks ask me what I’m doing. My response was….”Give me just a minute please, I’m managing my crew.”

    But, I did my best and I’m onto my next project after I save some $$$$…..replace the deck.

  7. “Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”
    “Know the difference between a want and a need”.
    “How does that help your bottom line ?” {Courtesy of my Dad}
    “It’s not outdated if it still serves it’s original purpose”. {ME}.
    I get it Crystal, having only been able to achieve car mechanical skills of the remove and replace variety.
    These decorating shows put the idea into people’s heads that unless something has been re-habbed to their specific expectations it’s an unrealistic ask.
    Is everything clean and neat and functioning ? That’s really all that should matter.

  8. How about decorating too. All I see is WHITE, WHITE, WHITE. If you love it great. But if you live in an area I live in, it would not be white long. All I can see when I see all the White is how do they keep it clean. Besides I like color. So wish they would show different decorating themes besides the same white ones.

  9. Hi Dreama!
    Love to hear from you! I hope your tax return arrives soon. They sure don’t wait for their money but we have to wait for ours…lol

    My hubby is a master plumber and I swear I’ve been waiting on him to clean out the drain in the yard for months. Our driveway is gonna flood away if he doesn’t hurry!

    Hope to hear from you again soon with good news on that return. Best of luck!

  10. How about a carpenters home is never finished? That’s my house!! My honey waits until it’s almost unrepairable before he finally does something about it, LOL. Such is life. Just getting by, day after day. Hoping this Covid will end soon. Hoping my tax refund will finally get here, seriously been waiting since February!! Had big plans for that “extra” money. Now going to have to play catch up with it. And hope there’s a little left for Christmas. So just keep on keeping on girl!! I’ll keep coming back to see what’s new. Hope everything is good your way. Take care, Dreama

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Crystal Adkins

Crystal Adkins

Crystal Adkins created Mobile Home Living in 2011 after buying a 1978 single wide and searching online for mobile home remodeling ideas but finding very little. Today, it's the most popular resource in America for mobile home information and inspiration and has been visited over 40 million times.