When I was a child, I spent time watching my
father make and repair items around the house. He had a talent for mending things
that had broken. He would fix window screens, replace screws, and sometimes
repurpose things that had lost their original intent.
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My name is Lori Blatzheim and I am your host.
After growing up and marrying, I was pleased
to realize my husband had many of the same skills. He seemed able to fix or
modify anything no longer working
I enjoyed watching him work. He seemed able to
think through a problem, come up with strategies for repair and fix whatever
problem it was.
About a year ago I had a conversation with a friend.
We were discussing husbands and whether they tried to repair items that broke. I
had just finished telling her that my husband had worked on a window in one of
“My husband won’t even try to fix anything at
home. We either throw it away or take it to a repair shop,” she replied.
The rest of our conversation was short lived
but I didn’t forget her comment.
I started thinking about what we, as a
society, do with broken items here in the States. Do we take the time to try to
fix them? Is it much easier to have someone else fix them? Is it better to get
I tend to think
that for various reasons, a lot of people decide to get a new one, have a repair
to the house or
take the item to a shop.
What’s new in the repair world?
Yesterday I was scrolling through the Minneapolis Star
Tribune, the major daily for our area. I came across an article about a “Fix It
This was described as an international movement that began
about four years ago in the Netherlands. A similar group called the Fixers
Collective started in the New Your borough of Brooklyn. Other areas of the country
including San Francisco, Seattle, and the New York area and, apparently, the
Minneapolis/St. Paul area are picking up on the idea.
How people are helping
Here is how the Fix-It-Clinics work.
A person brings in a small appliance, electronic item,
mobile devices, piece of clothing, or whatever is not usable to a selected
A volunteer meets with the guest, determines the problem, and
then discusses possible strategies that might help. If appropriate, the guest
is invited to participate or watch the repair taking place.
The guest has the opportunity to learn a lot more about the
item and how it is supposed to work.
Goals of the Fix-It-Clinic and advantages
of fixing something.
This is a volunteer effort with a three-pronged approach. That is, a repaired gadget is one less gadget
tossed in the trash. Visitors can learn more about troubleshooting and repairs.
Those from the area can meet smart and generous people
Benefits for the
person seeking help
They have an opportunity to:
think through the problem
discuss these with volunteer
successfully fix the problem
develop self esteem
encourage self-reliance and the desire to try to
fix things in the future
I hope you will consider learning more about repairs and how
to make them. There is satisfaction in fixing items that need help. Knowing
more will help you decide what to do about the item, repair it or replace it.
Lori Blatzheim is a
wife, mother, grandmother, writer, thrift advocate, and retired nurse. She
knows that use of Thrift can help people because she has experienced the
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