How to Do It Yourself

Sure, you could buy something ready-made. You could hire somebody. You could do without. If you want to learn something, have some fun, get something done, and quite possibly save some money, you could do it yourself. You'll need a bit of know-how, a bit of courage, and perhaps a bit of practice, but you can do it.


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    Decide what you want to do. Do you want to try simple home repair or a major remodeling project? Do you want to cook your own dinner, sew your own clothes, or put yourself through school? Do you want to make a hobby of this activity, or simply get something done?
    • It helps to be interested. Your interest can come from enjoying activities of this sort or motivations such as accomplishing a needed task or creating something of your own.
    • Make sure you are able to do what you are trying to do. That doesn't mean that you shouldn't try something new. It does mean that if you think your chosen activity is truly beyond your means or ability, you should set your sights lower, or at least work up to it.
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    Learn about your chosen project and plan how you'll go about it. You could read up about it on wikiHow or elsewhere, talk to somebody who has tried similar activities, or draw on your own experience.
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    Gather your tools and learn how to use them safely and correctly. Whether your tools consist of a fishing rod, a shovel, a stock pot, or a sewing machine, obtain at least the basics you will need and learn to use them well.
    • Don't go overboard on obtaining tools. Especially if you're just starting in a certain area, all the gear money can buy won't be as useful as a few solid basics and some good practice.
    • Don't be afraid of your tools. Do learn good habits and how to use them safely.
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    Gather your supplies. Do your best to figure out at the beginning of a project what you will need and how much. Then, have it on hand so that you can avoid hurried trips out to get forgotten items midway.
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    Get started. Sometimes the hardest part is having the courage to begin. Practice if you need to. Then give it a shot.
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    Keep at it. Don't give up just because you get stuck along the way. Instead, if you encounter problems, work to solve them or surmount them.
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    Pace yourself. It may be possible to go out and dig your entire garden in a day, but you might not feel very good afterwards. Part of keeping the project manageable might be finding an easier method, such as a no-dig garden.
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    Start small. If you think you'd like to tile your entire downstairs floor, start with one room, or learn how to do tile on a sample piece of wood or a tabletop mosaic. Install a towel rack before you install a toilet, or sew a pillow case before you try to sew a shirt.
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    Practice. Let one success give you the courage to attempt something more involved.


  • Consult an online how-to site for instructions on whatever it is you wish to do.
  • Doing something yourself may or may not save money. Saving money, of course, isn't the only purpose of doing it yourself, but if it is one of the reasons you want to do something yourself, make sure that you really are saving money. In some cases, such as sewing your own clothing, it's cheaper to buy a ready-made item than to buy the materials to do it yourself, even before you add your time to the project. Sewing your own clothing does make sense if you do it because you enjoy sewing as a hobby, or because you like designing fashions that can't be purchased in a store.
  • Get help. Can you exchange assistance with another do-it-yourselfer with similar interests? If you have help, you can exchange ideas, experience, and plain, old assistance with one another.

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Categories: Goal Realization & Problem Solving