Label the parts of the electrical and plumbing systems that lurk in your basement. Identify each fuse or circuit breaker, hot and cold water shutoffs, heating system controls, gas and water meters, and drain clean-out access covers. Use adhesive stickers or tags on strings. For those items that don't lend themselves to labeling, sketch a rough map and post it on the back of the basement door.
If you can't locate any or all of the above (and if you don't have a male in your household to help you) next time you have an uncle, brother, friend, or father visit ask them to help you. And make sure you thank them. They'll love you for boosting their ego.
If you don't have a male in the household then get a book or a tradesperson to show you what's what - you don't 'need' a man - its not hard!
Sorry Joesgirl - great advice but I just couldn't resist!
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