Replacing the Garbage Disposal: Taking on New Skills


If you had told me during my 26-year marriage that I would one day be changing out a garbage disposal, I would have laughed.  But I also would have laughed at the notion I'd be a published author, I'd leave my marriage to live on my own, I'd be a stock trader, and work in the oil industry. 

 So here I am taking on a renovation of a house on my own. My only skills thus far were assembling a carpet cleaner, putting together and apartment full of Ikea furnishings, and building the biggest Bowflex they make. Not bad, but still, this one scared me.

There are some great videos on YouTube sharing how to go about it. I have some goofy advice that might be helpful:

Have some sturdy items that can shore up the new disposal while you mount it as it's a heavy son of a bitch. 

Have a towel handy.

Have a bucket. 

Put a pillow in a trash bag as something to lean against while you're under there.

I found out about the trap beneath the sink. After plunging and fighting to unclog the sink, I found out there was a trap where the "goo" gets  caught and you can just unscrew it and get it out. Small thing, but big help. 

I've taken on stripping wood, painting, cutting with a saw, assembling, disassembling, removing cabinets, putting handles on cabinets, and so much more. I'm only on the tip of the renovation iceberg. 

Probably the most important thing I've learned along the way is that I'm smart, I'm determined, I'm strong, and I can learn to use a tool, so long as I understand why something is done. I tend to ask a lot, "but why is it done this way?" I am naturally a person who needs to understand the whole situation, not just the part I'm working on.

There are some very determined women working on projects out there, but I must say that my ultimate idol is Rachel Metz on Living to DIY with Rachel Metz who takes on the work herself and even learns new skills like welding. She is so badass and readily admits when things go wrong or she has to redo a project. Her videos are positively intense. 

There is nothing as satisfying as learning new skills and being able to be independent. There will be some jobs I can't be qualified to do like electrical, but about 90% of the work around here is do-able myself.

Be sure to put on some kicking soundtracks while working. I am known to dance while working and Van Halen, Eddie Money, ZZ Top are just some of the fun ones to play.