ShoesNot long ago a trip to the local cobbler was a routine errand. Although it may seem anachronistic, there are actually quite a few shoe repair shops still in business. A friend of mine recently took his beloved sneakers to one in New York City. For $10 he walked out with brand new soles and refurnished inners, so his kicks seem practically new! Sure beats dropping $100+ for comparable replacements.Favorite hiking, cowboy or snow boots are prime suspects for resoling. And ladies' heels often get broken, while the rest of the shoe remains undamaged. Sometimes sandals just need a bit of sewing or gluing, and many pairs of shoes can be refreshed with new laces or a bit of polish.ClothesOne entrepreneurial woman in Pennsylvania is happy to take in your worn dress and "recycle it" into something fresh and stylish. Nicole Kulp's Recycle My Dress is a fun concept, and it inspires us to look back through our own wardrobes. It's not too difficult to sew on a missing button, iron on a patch, change a hemline or repair a ripped seam. Friends and family may be able to help you, if you offer to give them a hand in return at, say, cleaning their garage, raking their leaves or whatever else you can barter.It's also inexpensive to commission repairs at your local tailor or dry cleaner. In New York City it costs around $1.50 to get a button fixed. Replacing a zipper costs around $10, more if the shop provides the zipper. Such minor fees are certainly better than picking out all new duds, perhaps even by thrift store standards.AccessoriesRemember that it isn't just apparel that can be repaired. Accessories are ripe for refurbishment. Got a belt that doesn't fit you quite right anymore? Borrow an awl or industrial hole punch and make a quick adjustment. Buckle broken or worn out? Get a replacement from a thrift store and swap it out. Similarly, you can buy a new watch band for just a few dollars, extending the life of your timepiece.Other jewelry can be repaired with new chains or clasps, or take your items to a jeweler for refitting and new settings. Hats, gloves and scarves can be easy to mend with a bit of darning. Even umbrellas, which frequently break due to their moving parts, can sometimes be fixed with a bit of string.FurnitureUpholstery shops are still around, and offer you the chance to refurbish a family heirloom or simply a garage sale find precisely to your taste. You pick out the fabric and amount of cushioning, redoing a piece that is unlikely to be found in any other home. Many people enjoy reupholstering as a hobby, and for some basic chairs and other items the task can be a straightforward DIY project.Similarly, broken furniture can often be fixed up with some nails, glue and patience. If your table is rickety, you may be able to get by with a small board under one leg. Need a temporary table? Place a bit of plywood between two saw horses or stacks of bricks and cover with a pretty cloth. Furniture can be expensive, is often made of virgin wood and takes a lot of storage space if you're not using it all the time.CarsIt may sound obvious that cars need maintenance and repair from time to time, but sometimes we forget this in the hustle and bustle of our busy lives. As with our bodies, good preventative maintenance can go a long ways to staving off pricey problems. Instead of buying a new car every few years, which can really drain your bank accounts, consider keeping cars longer.If you're handy you may be able to change batteries, oil, fan belts, spark plugs and more by yourself, saving a bundle. If someone in the family is good with cars offer to barter something you're good at in exchange for help. It's also a good idea to find a mechanic you can trust, and who doesn't over charge.AppliancesKeeping appliances in good clean working order will help avoid problems. Many times all that's needed to return to proper functioning is replacing a filter or removing clogs. I've fixed a stalled vacuum cleaner by slipping a belt back on the drive. Sometimes you can replace a broken door latch or do some resealing.Sometimes a fresh paint job is all that's needed to transform a worn workhorse into a shiny new appliance. Even if your appliance needs major work, it is often cheaper to call in a service technician for a repair than to buy new (call your manufacturer or look up "appliance repair" in the yellow pages). Do note that older refrigerators, washers and other major appliances may be ripe for replacement, however, if they are very inefficient. You may save more money in the long term by upgrading to energy-efficient models for major use items.woman holding suitcaseElectronicsOftentimes there is a simple fix even to complicated things. Maybe you just need a new remote or power cord. Maybe you need to take apart the computer mouse and clean it out, then (hopefully) put it back together.Back in the days when VCRs cost $700, there was a healthy business of repair shops. These days the economics often don't make sense, and we're essentially exporting our electronics labor overseas when we constantly buy new. We should try to give more thought to repair: there may be instances in which minor repairs may not be too expensive (again, bartering can be a great way to get the job done). Call your manufacturer or try looking up "electronics repair" in the yellow pages.LuggageLuggage sure takes a beating, what with busy airport handlers, clanking conveyor belts and jostling in public transportation or loading in and out of cars. But luggage is also expensive, and minor damage can be repaired.You can patch over rips in luggage, even with heavy tape if you are in a pinch. Replace broken straps or handles with new ones (you can often buy generic ones cheaply at discount stores, or take them off free promotional bags). Glue or tape worn corners. You might even be able to swap out broken wheels. If not call your manufacturer and ask if they have a refurbishment plan. Many designer luggage makers have good programs.Your Relationship with Your ParentsRemember that it's not just physical goods that can use repairing! Since you're now in the fix-it spirit, why not give some thought to the important relationships in your life? In fact, you can work on fixing things together with your loved ones, and do both at the same time.
Original article: Repair Things – Fix Stuff - Repairs - thedailygreen.com