By now everyone has heard of Fix-It Clinics. It is a great idea. Take something broken and learn how to fix it. Or, at least, know you tried before tossing it. It’s perfect for kids, too. Kid’s love to explore and take things apart and see how they work. You might as well make that tendency useful.
What to Bring to Fix-It Clinics
You need to be able to carry anything you bring to a Fix-It Clinic – Sorry no appliances or cars. Bring your own tools if you have them so you can learn on your own equipment, but the experts will have tools on hand, also. The following is a non-exhaustive list of things that Ramsey County suggests bringing in instead of tossing:
- Antique radio.
- Camping lantern.
- Clothing and other soft goods to mend or alter.
- Dremel tool.
- DVD player.
- Electric hot water kettle.
- Hair dryer.
- Paper shredder.
- Remote control.
- Sewing machine.
- Steam mop.
- Telephone headset.
- Toaster oven.
What Happens if You Can’t Fix the Item?
Not everything will be repairable. Know that you are responsible for disposing of any items that can’t be fixed – of course you were responsible for that before you tried. Sometimes you find really cool things inside non-repairable items. We once took apart an old television. It was amazing how many toys we made out of the parts, plus I got a mirror out of the deal. I find that its easier to dispose of something once its taken apart.
Some Good Insider Advice for Attending
In 2014, I had a chance to chat on Facebook with Nancy Lo, the coordinator of the Hennepin Fix-It Clinic program and she let me in on a little secret: Don’t get to the Fix-It Clinic’s early. Sleep in, eat breakfast, go grocery shopping. Show up to the Fix-It Clinic about midway through its drop in hours. The second half is much less crowded than the first. If you show up at the midway point, you’ll still have time to work with an expert, but you won’t have to wait in line as long.