There are many, many things I don’t know how to do around the house. And while some are quite common, there is no remedial “Basic Life Skills” class I can take that will cover them all. Luckily, there is Google!

When something isn’t working, or needs to be fixed or replaced, and I don’t know how to do it, my first response is to google it. Whether it’s a garbage disposal, a toilet or a garage door – it seems that for almost any common household problem, someone has already diagnosed it and posted a video online showing how to fix it.

My first Google how-to video experience came about by accident when my washing machine stopped working. There wasn’t smoke or any incident that had occurred. It just wouldn’t start. So I googled my model and the symptoms just to try and figure out what might have happened. Within a few seconds of scanning the results I found one that matched my situation exactly. It turns out a broken lid lock circuit will prevent a washing machine from starting. I compared a few more notes and toggled the results to videos. The first one I watched showed me exactly what I needed to do – how to take the housing off, where the circuit was located, which part I needed and even where I could get a new one. I drove to Lowe’s, picked up the part, and an hour later my washing machine was fixed.

Once I experienced how useful instruction videos could be, I started using Google to research problems when they came up. A year ago, I was rear-ended and had to get a rental car. Of course, when I returned the rental, I left my garage door opener in it, so I had to get a new one and pair it with my garage door. Finding the correct video took about 30 seconds. It’s worth noting that even if it turns out that you can’t fix the problem yourself, it’s highly likely that you will learn something just reading through the results.

There is an astounding variety of how-to videos and solutions I and other Waldron team members have found using Google:

Why did my garbage disposal mysteriously stop working? Click the red reset button on the bottom of the disposal casing.

How do you make Guinness beef stew? This recipe is amazing. It starts with bacon and ends with individual mashed potato serving bowls.

What’s the best way to wash your car? By employing the two-bucket system, you can save water and avoid scratching your car with the dirt and debris that you’ve washed off.

Why won’t my garage door close? The most likely cause is that the two sensors at the base of your garage entrance are not aligned. The good news is that it’s an easy fix.

How can I insert a photo inside of a custom frame in Photoshop? Click here to see the video.

Google is an amazing resource – or, more accurately, the people who have taken the time to share how-to videos you can easily find using Google are amazing. From changing a tire to keeping deer out of your garden – the amount of free solutions you can find is endless. Obviously, if you feel something is beyond you or in any way dangerous, hire a professional.  But I have found that for countless basic things that I don’t know how to do (yet), Google is a tremendous resource that has really simplified my life.

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