Fix it

Jun 25, 2013 by

I fix stuff.  I can’t help it.

I can’t throw a broken item away without first trying to repair it, and I’d rather buy a used or broken item and fix it than buy a new one.  It just makes all the sense in the world to me to re-use an existing item than to buy a new one and relinquish an older one to the landfill.

I’ve talked about fixing stuff quite a lot on this blog, and I encourage the ideology.  This is why I loved this awesome article on Wired, that talks about not just needing a maker movement (which I also love), but a fixer movement.  Our society is becoming so consumed with convenience and throw away utility that the things we buy today are often built to be thrown away and are often difficult or near impossible to repair or fix.

That just pisses me off.

I hate the idea of planned obsolescence.  That is just evil to me.  Some of my most favorite tools are the ones I got from my grandpa.  They are solid.  They have a weight in your hand, which isn’t always the easiest thing when working with them, but they last.  They aren’t made of cheap plastic that breaks after you use it 3 times.  They can be fixed if they do ever fail.  They are awesome.

So all this talk on fixing is to say, fix you stuff.  Stop throwing away your broken items and fix them, or at least try.  If you are not handy or have no idea how something works in order to fix it, just try.  If its already broken, whats the worst that can happen?

Take it apart and see how it works.  You may just find its a simple loose screw or broken part inside that you can easily replace for 35 cents and save you the cost of the replacing the entire item.

So that is your Truly Simple Action for this week.  Fix something.  Beyond saving yourself some cash and saving that item from landfill you will feel awesome and every time you look at that broken item you repaired you’ll get a great sense of “I am awesome” sweeping over you.

And with that, here is my last fix.

I’ve had a cooler with broken hinges on the lid sitting in my garage for way too long.  I finally got around to fixing it up,and here is the result.


Here is the cooler stand that became of my broken cooler.


I took an old pallet and bought some 2×3 for the legs.


Added a hose bib and connected it to the cooler drain.

Also added a Dr. Pepper bottle cap opener as my wife loves Dr. Pepper.


And a nice little bottle cap catch to go under it.

Sorry I didn’t take any pictures of the construction of this project.  This was just one I’ve been wanting to fix up for a while and finally got around to it.  I love how it came out and it saved an old broken cooler to now be re-purposed as an awesome cooler on our patio.

So there’s my latest fix.  Show me yours.  What have you fixed lately?


Truly Simple Actions The goal of the TSA project is to improve your life and help make this world a better place, one simple action at a time. Take time this week to do this one simple thing. Previous TSA’s:

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Fix it…

Mar 28, 2011 by

I’m a big fixer.   I fix things.  All sorts of things.   Cars, computers, camping gear, I always try to fix something before getting rid of it.  I recently found the Fixers Collective and I’m in love with the idea and wish it was in my area.

From their site:

Fixers’ Collective is a social experiment in improvisational fixing and mending

They get together each week and teach/help others fix their items.  How great is that?  I love the idea of teaching others the lost art of fixing.  Today everyone throws away their stuff just to replace it when they could be saving a lot of $$$ to simply fix the item.   This keeps these items out of the landfills and money in your pocket.  Brilliant.  If you are in the NY area, do check them out.


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Jun 2, 2010 by

I’m currently mid way through remodeling my office.  Its the last room in my house that I have not yet remodeled.   I might have to move after this.

This is not a big remodel project.   Only removing the popcorn on the ceiling (who ever thought that was a good idea?), replacing the old window, paint, carpet and a new desk.  This is the lightest of all my remodels thus far.

I’m a big DIY guy.  I love to work with my hands and create.  I love to build.  I love to fix.  I love to restore.   And I think a lot of others are catching on to this way of thinking.

Our throw away culture is unsustainable and people are starting to recognize this.  Recently I found a book by Mark Frauenfelder the editor of MAKE Magazine, entitled Made by Hand: Searching for Meaning in a Throwaway World. (affiliate links)  This book explores the deeper meaning and connection you have with the things you make vs consume.

I’ve been building as long as I can remember.  From Lego’s as a child, to forts, to cars, I’m a consummate maker.   I’ve really come to understand this connection deeper with my garden project.  It truly changes your views of food and sustainability when you can just walk into your yard to grab lettuce for your salad, or garlic for your dinner.

Our culture is slowly understanding that our current model doesn’t work.  Its broken.  We’ve been sold a bill of goods that won’t work, won’t last, won’t make us happy and is done so at the expense of others.  But there is hope.

There are people challenging the model.  There are people creating vs buying.  There are new ideas out there that need to be discussed, worked out, experimented with.

I hope to write about some of those ideas and I hope you’ll join in on the discussion.

“There’s a way to do it better – find it.”
—  Thomas Edison

Lets find that better way.


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