A childhood and marriage spent watching talented people build and fix things. - Thrifty Living Today
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A childhood and marriage spent watching talented people build and fix things.


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.


Welcome to Thrifty Living Today, a special way of life for the Twenty-first Century.

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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 our cars.


“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 replacements?   


I tend to think that for various reasons, a lot of people decide to get a new one, have a repair man come

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 Clinic.”

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 people

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 site.

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

·        consider strategies

·        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 benefits.

Are you a Senior? Do you have a friend or relative who is considering retirement or has already retired? Check out this web site: Retire and Renew:






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About Lori Blatzheim

Created Retire and Renew, dedicated to those who are planing to or facing retirement or are living a Senior life: http:retireandrenew.com
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