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Published on August 5th, 2014 | by Staff


Appliances and DIY repair: Wisdom from a thriving single mother

Do-it-yourselfer Dona Stone made an important decision when she found herself a single mother.


Blogger and successful DIYer Dona Stone with her children.

“I became determined to ensure my kids still had a great life, even though I was on my own as a single parent,” Stone said. “We weren’t going to just survive, we were going to thrive.”

Cost became a primary influence in decisions related to Stone’s Texas home and lifestyle.

When she needed a laundry folding table, Stone used a handsaw to make it and save money.

A do-it-yourself approach was born.

“Roadblocks were gone,” she said. “There was no one in our home to say I couldn’t do something. Little successes empowered me. I made myself a do-it-yourselfer before long.”

When writer Mary Hunt of the popular syndicated column Everyday Cheapskate recommended for major money savings on appliance and outdoor power equipment repair, Stone took note.

“The idea of having to buy new appliances was overwhelming,” she said. “I wanted to take my family on a vacation once a year so I couldn’t use money to buy things like new appliances. When I checked out, I was impressed with the free troubleshooting and repair-help information. I thought, ‘I may be able to fix something on my own with their help.’”

Stone visited RepairClinic right away when her refrigerator’s icemaker stopped working.

“My icemaker was the perfect problem for first-time DIY appliance repair,” she said. “I had nothing to lose. RepairClinic has a one-year return policy on all of their parts. And, if I couldn’t fix it, we could do without an icemaker.”

She fixed it.

“It felt amazing,” Stone said. “I felt so empowered. The intimidation related to taking something apart was gone. There was such a sense of relief in knowing I could fix appliances on my own. Since then, I’ve used RepairClinic’s repair help four times. I particularly appreciate the helpful diagnosis and part-testing videos.”

Stone was inspired to start her blog, Single Mom Thriving, because she hopes to build confidence and inspire other single mothers to grow their do-it-yourself skills.


Dona Stone shares about her DIY projects and living a good life with her family on her blog, Single Mom Thriving.

“It’s a different world today for homeowners and single parents,” Stone said. “The Internet is packed with how-to resources to repair just about anything. To the reluctant single mothers who question their abilities to successfully repair appliances, outdoor power equipment and heating and cooling equipment on their own, I say, ‘You can do it. Do not let intimidation be a roadblock. It’s far easier than you’d expect.’”

Stone advises do it yourselfers about what to look for in online how-to resources.

“Be careful,” she said. “Take time to study the source. Find resources published by credible brands. Be mindful that content shared on forums and other platforms may not be accurate. I studied RepairClinic and its competitors. I found that RepairClinic’s content is concise and consistent. Reviews by their millions of customers demonstrate that the how-to information is accurate and trustworthy.”

Stone has successfully repaired four major appliances and estimates that she’s saved more than $2,000 by fixing them on her own.  Most recently, she extended the life of her washing machine with RepairClinic repair help and a $36 replacement part.

Read about Dona’s most recent repairs on her blog:

It’s a wash
Appliances and the single mom


Most recently, Stone repaired her washing machine when its lid switch failed. She feared it would be an “all-day job” but had it fixed in under 15 minutes with $36 replacement switch assembly.


Stone’s repaired – and thoroughly cleaned – washing machine.

In addition to repair help, Stone sees great value in RepairClinic’s how-to maintenance information.

The more educated homeowners are about how their appliances, outdoor power equipment and heating and cooling equipment work, the better they’ll be at caring for them, Stone explained.

“Proper care will reduce energy consumed and keep stuff running well for longer,” she said.

Related info
Maintenance tips for appliances, outdoor power equipment and heating and cooling equipment

Stone believes in the importance of teaching young people to be DIYers.

“My son is 12 years old this year,” Stone said. “I sent him to RepairClinic to learn how to tune up our lawn mower. He watched the video and then replaced the air filter and spark plug and changed the oil. I want my kids to know how to use I want them to be empowered, too. I’m grateful for brands like RepairClinic.”

Related info
How to tune up a lawn mower

Thanks for sharing your inspiring story, Dona. Keep up the awesomeness!

Get inspired by Dona Stone’s amazing, money-saving DIY projects by frequently visiting her blog,

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About RepairClinic

Since 1999, three and a half million people have purchased replacements parts and accessories from RepairClinic and saved more than $260 million in repair costs by fixing appliances, lawn equipment, power tools, and heating & cooling equipment on their own. From the beginning, RepairClinic has provided free troubleshooting and how-to resources on its website.

The company’s 2,000+ free how-to repair and how-it-works videos on its YouTube channel have been viewed more than 41 million times.

RepairClinic’s free, advanced online repair help system empowers do-it-yourselfers to fix common problems associated with home appliances, lawn equipment, power tools and heating & cooling equipment. DIYers can enter a model number to choose from a list of common symptoms for that particular model, troubleshoot and watch award-winning, expertly-produced videos to learn the most likely causes and conditions and purchase the correct part. stocks more than one million parts and accessories for 160 brands of lawn mowers, small engines, snowblowers, string trimmers, furnaces, air conditioners, air handlers, heat pumps, washing machines, dryers, dishwashers, vacuum cleaners, power tools and many other products.

Since 1999, the company has served more than three million customers including homeowners, first-time and beginner DIYers, advanced DIYers, appliance repair professionals, small engine repair shops and landscaping and lawn care business owners. RepairClinic orders are backed by a 365 Days. Period.® return policy that enables customers to return any part. Of the more than one million parts available on the website, 95 percent of parts ordered are in stock and guaranteed to ship the same business day. RepairClinic ships within the United States, U.S. territories and military bases and Canada.

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About the Author staff members enjoy dozens of daily conversations with RepairClinic’s customer community every day. We're inspired by our customers' stories of successful DIY repairs, major money savings and empowerment to tackle many repair projects on their own. Every day, our 2,200+ free how-to videos are viewed 60,000 times. Visit and join us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

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