Quick Fix: 10 Things You Can Repair in Under 10 Minutes

From broken zippers to damaged USB cables, embrace your inner fixer with these quick DIY repairs.

woman's hands sewing denim

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We live in a culture where disposability reigns – and the landfills are groaning with the strain of keeping up with the non-stop supply of stuff we keep sending their way. Bad us. Fortunately, the three tenets of sustainability – reduce, reuse, recycle – are becoming increasingly employed in our daily lives. Along with those we should really strive to embrace the fourth R-word: repair. As it turns out, many items are surprisingly simple to fix. So in an effort to encourage repairing rather than replacing, here's a round-up of easy overhauls that illustrate just how easy it is to extend the life of your things.

1. Mend Torn Jeans, Without a Machine

Jo from Jo's StitchNgo shows us that even the sewing-machineless amongst us can repair our damaged denim.

2. Repair Broken Eyeglasses

Behold the wonders of heat-shrink tubing!

3. Make Your Headphones Work Again

Wiring mishaps that plague headphones happen to the best of us; and for the non-wiring-inclined, fixing them seems a foreign concept. But with a soldering gun, wire stripper, and a hot glue gun – and the video above – you can be back in the groove in no time.

4. Get a Broken Zipper Back on Track

Just ... amen.

5. Fix Broken Christmas Tree Lights

It may be that sad strands of Christmas lights are one of the most overlooked stresses of the holidays. OK, maybe that's a stretch, but you get the point. It's maddening. But no more! In the entertaining tutorial above, Mehdi Sadaghdar stumbles upon the quick and simple cure for broken lights.

6. Make Scratches in Wood Furniture Disappear

In which the magic of rubbing walnuts on furniture is proven to be a handy trick for making scratches vanish.

7. Seal a Leaky Pipe

Tony is very professional and cheerful, and Tony will show you how to fix a leaky pipe. That’s a good Tony.

8. Fix a Failing Flip-Flop

Flip-flops may be the most disposable of shoes, but that doesn't mean you should dispose of them once they give up their flip-flop power. Instead, fix them in about five seconds flat.

9. Keep a Running Toilet From Running

A running toilet is as annoying as it is reckless. Some of us may take off the top of the tank and jangle things around for temporary solutions, but by following along with the toilet troubleshooting in this video by Home Repair Tutor, you will likely be able to fix the problem once and for all.

10. Fix a Compromised USB Cable

No soldering, just scissors, 3M Scotchloks (or electrical tape), and five minutes of your time.