Closed September 2017

Clutter Video Tip: Home Repair: If You Can Do It Yourself, Why Don’t You Fix It?

Why do birds suddenly appear
Every time you are near?
Could it be you need to see
A handyman about your roof?

Home repair, home improvements, renovation- these are all projects that require you to do it yourself or to hire a handy man. If you are wondering how to fix it before the “stars fall down from the sky”, into your living room, watch this video to create and complete your honey-do list.

And soon you’ll see your carpentry
Projects are reduced.

(Click here to watch on YouTube if you can’t see the embedded player. Or watch the video at


Hi, I’m Lorie Marrero, creator of the Clutter Diet book and on-line program, and today we’re going to talk about organizing yourself to get your home repairs done. In other words, why haven’t you fixed it already? Every home is the same. We have all of these home repairs that linger on for months or even years. My home’s no different. I’m standing here by my garage door, because that’s what inspired me to do this video today. It has been inconsistently working, and I’ve been living with that for a while, and then it got bad enough to where now I’m going to call somebody and get it fixed. But that leads me to the first of four reasons that I want to share with you why these things are lingering and some of the solutions for getting them done.

First, it’s not bad enough. So if you can live with it, you probably will. So one thing you can try is to figure out a way to make it artificially worse for yourself to prompt you to go ahead and get that finished. One of the things we did once was that we had a crooked cabinet door in our kitchen. And there was a broken hinge. So we were living with that. And, it was crooked, and we were just opening it and closing it, and I thought, “You know, if I just take the door off, we’re probably going to get it done”, because it created a gaping hole of, you know, no cabinet door there. It looked like a missing tooth in our kitchen. And sure enough, the very next weekend my husband went to the hardware store and he got the latch to replace it, and it was all done. So that is one way to try to, you know, prompt yourself to action here.

The second reason it might not be getting done is a lack of ownership. This is very common. Whomever you’re living with, if it’s your spouse, your roommate, your partner, they are probably thinking that you’re going to fix it, and you’re probably thinking that they’re going to fix it. So, what needs to happen is a list needs to get made and you need to have a conversation about it, because otherwise it’s just going to keep on being ambiguous.

The third reason it might not be getting done is that you are just one step away from finishing it, but you don’t know what that step is. So we live with these things, we walk right by them every day, but we haven’t consciously asked ourselves, “What is the next step?” Often it’s a phone call. Or maybe you just don’t have enough information that you need to take the next step. So get the information. Make the phone call. If it’s a carpet problem, call a carpet company. Ask them what to do. So get that next step in your mind and take it.

And the last reason that it might not be getting done is that it costs too much. So, I’d like to encourage you to look at bartering. If there’s a handy person or a friend that you know who can fix that, or work with you to fix it, maybe you can do their taxes for them, or you can provide some childcare for them, or another kind of favor. This is a really good idea to leverage your strengths and really get something done without having to spend all the money. You also might want to check with your city or county to see if there are rebates for, for example, energy saving appliances, things like that. You might be surprised at what could be covered in your situation.

To organize yourself for your home repairs, we recommend that you use the family binder that we often talk about. You can have a running handy person list going in this binder that everybody can refer to. Or, if you want it more visible, which is what we do in our home, you can hang up a piece of paper with your handy person list on it in your communication station, which we have another video about. This is the one we have hanging up on our bulletin board. And this way it’s visible, everyone’s aware of it, and people can cross it off when it’s done and keep these projects more in mind.

If you’d like to have even more help thinking through all of this, we have Your Household Systems and Routines Workbook available in our Member Area, and it’s a really painstaking workbook that I put together of everything you need to do to maintain a home. So it’s a great exercise to go through. You can establish ownership for each of these tasks and how often you want to have them done, and it’s part of your membership, it comes with it for free when you join our program. You can find out more about that at

See you next time, and may you always be happy and grateful for having more than enough.

You may have been searching for tips for finishing household projects or how to finish something that has been put on hold long term.

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