Mantra: Don’t Despair, Repair!

An experienced volunteer at my local Repair Cafe is helping this DIY repair newbie to fix my DVD player.    Photo by: MaryEllen Etienne

An experienced volunteer at my local Repair Cafe is helping this DIY repair newbie to fix my DVD player.  

Photo by: MaryEllen Etienne


My New Mantra: Don’t Despair, Repair!

While some do-it-yourselfers have been doing repairs most of their lives, a good portion of folks (like me) have only recently begun attempting repair. For the experts, newbies and everyone in between, here are some motivating reasons to love DIY repair and a few resources that will help you along this path. 

Ramp Up Your Green Game

Even though more and more people are “going green,” tons of broken, yet flxable, goods are still thrown out each year. What better way to move towards zero waste than by working to extend the life of your goods by practicing regular maintenance and by repairing them yourself when something breaks. 

Get Empowered

Nothing is more empowering than doing something you didn’t think you could do. Trying (and hopefully succeeding) to fix something yourself can be a major confidence booster. Online resources, such as, offer free DIY guides that provide step-by-step instructions to repair your goods and build your skills and confidence. With your newfound repair acumen, you may soon start looking around your home for other things you can repair. While I’m not at that point yet, I do have friends that scour the web searching for broken equipment just to see if they can fix it. Now that’s dedication!

Save Time

When you try to schedule an appointment with a service technician, have you ever been told it will be 7-10 days before someone can come just to check it out (not necessarily to fix it)? When your refrigerator or washing machine isn’t working, do you have a week to wait? I know I don’t. Many repair supply stores can ship out a part the same day you order it – so once you get the part, you can do the repair on your schedule (not on someone else’s). 

Save Money

This is one of the more obvious reasons people maintain and fix their stuff. From easy maintenance jobs (cleaning the metal mesh filters on your range hood bi-annually) to more complicated repair projects (replacing a broken exhaust hose on your clothes dryer), you can save money on self-repair. Especially, when your items have passed their warranty periods. For example, according to, their customers save an average of $100 to $300 per repair when they do appliance repair themselves.

Build Community

Something magical that happens when you start fixing things yourself. Friends and family see you as the resident DIY expert and will begin to ask you for guidance when their stuff breaks. But, instead of just fixing the items for them, why not go with the “teach a man to fish” method? Seek out, or start, a local Repair Cafe or Fixit Clinic – which are free community events where volunteers offer tools and guidance so you can repair your broken items. As a volunteer, you can feel great about passing on your DIY repair know-how. There are about 2,000 of these “repair communities” around the globe. By connecting in this way, your friends, family, and neighbors will soon discover their own reasons to love DIY repair!

Other Reasons?

What are your favorite reasons to engage in maintenance and repair? Please feel free to share your top tips in the comments section below.