Should I hire out or complete myself?

I am needing to finish my laundry room. There is dry wall to be done, painting, flooring, adding shelves, and adding some electrical. I do not want to pay a few thousand dollars for a project that I could do myself for a few hundred dollars. However, I have young kids in the house and I do not have the time I used to. How should I handle this situation?

When to rake leaves?

I grew up in a mid-west town, and raking leaves was a big part of our autumn chores. Not only would my parents make me and my brothers rake the leaves in our own yard, but many of the neighbor’s as well. So, I just grew up thinking this was normal, and the right thing to do. I was told you have to remove them both to make things look nice and to keep them from killing the grass.
Fast-forward to me owning my own house. Now I am reading websites that say the leaves are actually good for lawns, that they provide nutrients, allow bug eggs/larvae to grow, and protect the soil from erosion and freezing. Plus, it means less work and less money spent on chemical fertilizers.
I still do not know what my HOA will say, but what is your opinion on this. . .should I rake the leaves now or wait till spring to do it?

Refinancing My Home

I have heard a lot recently about refinancing a home. I bought my first home four years about with a fixed rate of 4.875%. Today, the percentage is around 3%. What should I do? Should I refinance and save money over time or stay put? I would be happy to hear someone explain the pros and cons.

Will black furniture work with brown floors?

I am going back and forth on what furniture to get in my living room. I have been eyeing some black furniture, but my floors are brown. Do you think this will be a problem? My wife and I have different tastes, but I am looking for some outside thoughts.

Could you live off the grid?

I have often said that I would love to live off the grid one day. Society has just become a bit too much. This family of 7 has figured out how to make it work, which gives me hope that it's definitely possible. Living off the grid is appealing to me because it seems to be a much more simple life. Little to no tech, being in nature, providing your own food...I just love everything about it. If I have my way, I'd buy a tiny island in the middle of nowhere just to get away from it all. Would you be interested in living off the grid?

Are you 'prepping' for a third wave?

Last March when the COVID lock-downs began many of the supermarket shelves were bare. This left some of the most vulnerable among us without the items they needed for themselves and their children. Many have learned from this event, and realized that our supply chains are not as robust as we once thought. In order to reduce the risk of such problems in the future and protect their families, many Americans are stocking up on food and supplies. It is expected that if those who have the resources to do so stocked up a lot over the last 8 months, then if supply chains are again comprised the effect to society would be lessened.
So, have you been stocking up on items such as food, medicine, and essentials?

Would you want to build an Earthship?

Earthship is a system of home building/living that has arisen in the Southwest United States which uses primarily waste products to build homes. The homes have proven to be not only comfortable, but also incorporate many passive heating and cooling as well as indoor gardens to make them mostly off grid and food/water/energy independent. Would you live in a house made from trash as the Earthships are?

Best way to create a community group

I want to get my neighbors involved in some sort of community group, nothing to official, but just something informal to help each other out. Kinda like a real social support network. That way, if someone gets sick we can all bring them food, if someone car breaks down we can provide rides, if someone needs babysitter for a few nights due to an emergency we can all chip in.Just little things like that. I think it would be a very valuable thing for my area. But I am not a huge extrovert, and don't know many people around here (just moved 2 years ago). If you were going to start something like this in your neighborhood, how would you initiate it?

Is recycling even worth it?

I heard that because of COVID and the tariffs on China that 97% of US recycling is not being recycled. Are you still sorting your trash?

Is it ok to throw it back?

They are doing construction next door to me, and it is a mess. A few days I have come home to find plastic bags and other trash blowing into my yard. So far I have just picked it up and not said anything, but I am getting fed up. I don't think going over and yelling at the workers will do anything, and it wouldn't be the best way to meet my new neighbors. I was also thinking I would just collect it all and then dump it back on their area, but its a bit passive-aggressive. What should I do?