Don't Toss It, Fix It—with Pop-Up Repair Shop

Photo: Ikonoklast Fotografie/Shutterstock.

When I spotted the "itinerant repair service for household goods of all types," Pop-Up Repair, I cheered.

I grew up fixing stuff, and I still do so. I credit my grandma, who, being old-school, was a fixer herself. You learn from your parents, and mine taught me that lamps, cassette players, and yes, even our aged lawnmower could be repaired with a little time and attention. (I became quite talented in small engine repair by the time I was 12.)

I didn't realize that people threw perfectly good things away for lack of a switch or need of a new plug (or sometimes just a spray of WD-40) until I was in college, and saw perfectly good stuff trashed because it was "broken."

Now I understand that being a fixer makes me a minority in today's American population.

But the recession — and consciousness about the incredible volume of stuff than Americans throw away — has brought attention back to the old-fashioned idea of fixing things. Enter Pop-Up Repair, which takes the pop-up concept (usually seen in association with disposable fashion brands) and extends it to repair. For the bulk of March, the duo behind the idea will be in Brooklyn, but for the rest of the spring, they'll be traveling to Washington, D.C., Baltimore, and Philadelphia.

They asked the question: "How many people would fix something if they could?" It turns out, plenty. See video below:

According to the website, "Pop-Up Repair began in June 2013 with a month-long storefront residency in Inwood, Manhattan. In four short weeks, we fixed over a ton of broken stuff! Our next pop-up could be in your neighborhood: Break the cycle of use and discard!"

Not only does repair keep stuff out of landfills and save us money, it makes repairers and repairees feel good; there's such a feeling of accomplishment in taking something from "broken" to "fixed." Do you have a neighborhood repair shop? If not, do you wish you did?