Having owned houses for more than 30 years, let me assure you that I've made all kinds of home improvement mistakes. I've put things on backwards, cut them too short, broken them before I even got them home. (Be careful what you tie to the roof of the car.)

Having owned houses for more than 30 years, let me assure you that I've made all kinds of home improvement mistakes. I've put things on backwards, cut them too short, broken them before I even got them home. (Be careful what you tie to the roof of the car.) I say this to establish my klutz credentials. And that's why I'm qualified to tell you what's not so hard when it comes to projects around the house. If it's easy for me, it should be a breeze for you. The thing about houses is that they are expensive, which makes anything beyond changing a furnace filter seem like a daunting task because you are essentially tinkering with your financial well-being. Let me uncomplicate the matter with this list of things that sound difficult but aren't: Composting I don't know why people make such a big deal out of this. Vegetable matter decays. The smaller the bits, the faster it decays. If you wet it, that helps, too. It's a natural process that's been going on for millions of years, long before gardening books came along to make it sound like the Manhattan Project. You want complicated? Try to stop compost from happening. Now that would be a challenge. Hanging cabinets Building cabinets is difficult. I would never try it. Hanging them? Not so hard. Do a lot of measuring. Use a level to make sure they're going up straight. Line up an extra pair of hands to help hold them in place. Use a drill powerful enough to drive long screws. That's about it. Replacing doorknobs If it's a standard door, if the holes are already in it and if you follow the directions, it's hard to go wrong. The locksets you buy at home-improvement centers come with all manner of helpful templates and instructions. But do use the templates. Winging it is a sure-fire way to complicate an uncomplicated task. Removing stuff It's surprisingly easy to take things apart in a house. No wonder they stand up so poorly to tornadoes. Windows? The trim hides all. Pull it off (carefully, if you want to reuse it) and you'll quickly see there's not that much holding a window in place. A toilet? Unhook the water supply, drain it, unscrew two bolts and you can yank it right out of there. Granted, you don't want to start taking your house apart without some plans as to how you will put it back together. But removing stuff is an empowering sort of thing that I recommend. If all this sounds great, just remember: There's also a corresponding list of tasks that look simple but aren't: caulking, cutting trim at a 45-degree angle, hanging wallpaper. On any given project, half the tasks might be deceptively easy and the other half deceptively difficult. I guess that's why I tend to leave things half done. --Joe Blundo's column So to Speak appears in the Life section of The Columbus Dispatch. Visit his blog at Dispatch.com