Though I don’t particularly love the process, fixing things is one of my favorite ways to save money. Repairing what you already own is almost always cheaper than buying something new, and it extends the life of something that might have otherwise been at the end of its useful life.
The other day, I took a load of laundry out and found that the binding around the edge of my black fleece had come loose from about half of the collar.
I snagged this on clearance at Old Navy years ago, so I think I only paid something like $2 for it. But it still has plenty of life in it, so I used my sewing machine to fix the binding.
It was a little tricky due to the stretchy nature of the binding, so my mending job wouldn’t withstand super close inspection. I really only wear this at home when I’m chilly, though, so it’s good enough for me.
In the same load of laundry, I discovered that a pair of jeans was coming apart at the waistband.
I got these jeans at Goodwill last year, so again, it’s not like I sunk a lot of money into them. But I knew I could stitch ’em up pretty easily.
I didn’t have any orange-ish thread, so I just sewed right over the loose threads, using a dark thread. This way, from a distance you can’t really see that I used non-matching thread.
Plus, I always wear a belt with these, and I pretty much never tuck my shirt in, so it’s not like this is a visible area of the jeans anyway.
Know why I was especially pleased with myself about these two fixes?
I took care of them as soon as I found the issues, instead of leaving them in the to-be-mended pile for an embarrassingly long time.
The other thing I fixed was a fiber-optic Christmas tree, which the girls like to have in their room. When we plugged it in this year, it seemed awfully dim, and if you shook the base, it sounded like something was rattling around.
Even though this is certainly not an heirloom quality tree, it did have screws on the bottom, so I took it apart.
It turned out that a screw which holds the lightbulb upright had gone missing. The lightbulb was all cockeyed, which meant it wasn’t shining in the right direction.
I didn’t have any teeny screws, so I borrowed on from the bottom of the base and secured the light bulb.
And now the tree is shining brightly.
The last thing I have to share is really an improvement, not a fix-it job, and it’s been waiting for a ridiculously long time.
(9 years, actually.)
We bought this corner unit when I was pregnant with Zoe, and ever since the day we got it, something bugged me. Do you see it?
The underside of the top piece is not black.
And since this is a fairly tall item, the not-black-ness is visible almost all the time.
Apparently this didn’t bug me to an incredible degree because it has sat there in its not-black state for 9 years.
But when we got a warm day recently, it occurred to me that it was perfect weather for spray painting.
(I am sure that this is what you all think of on warm days as well. “Hmm. What could I spray paint??”)
So I took the top off, brought it to the back yard, and used the last of a can of black paint to fix it up.
I feel much better about this now.
Unfortunately, I now realized that the bottoms of all the small shelves are also not black.
However, this is mostly just visible when you’re viewing the shelf from a low angle.
Still, next time I have the black spray paint out, I might take care of at least the top few shelves.
And I will try not to wait another 9 years.
P.S. I know some of you will be thinking, “What in the world do they have CDs and DVDs for??”
We’ve now pretty much switched over to MP3s for music and streaming for movies, but because we aren’t the youngest of spring chickens, we already had a pretty good stack of CDs by the time MP3s came along.
(Hey, at least we don’t have a huge cassette tape collection!)
We transferred the music from the CDs onto MP3 players or our iPhones, but I haven’t quite figured out what to do with the CDs. It’s not really legal to give them away while still keeping the music on our digital devices and I sort of hate to just chuck them all in the trash. So they’re just sitting in the corner for now.