Taking Control with #DIYZ

Disclosure: This post is in collaboration with the DIYZ® app. All opinions of apps and companies that help me complete DIY projects are my own.

From the moment we become parents (and during the 9-months prior for the mamas), we start having things taken away – our body, our time, our energy, our freedom, our control, etc. It’s rare when we suddenly gain something back of importance. Relax, I’m not getting all existential on you. I’m a simple guy and I appreciate simple things – like freeing up a power outlet in my kitchen with a new outlet containing two USB connectors! That’s right. I can now charge three devices where I was once only able to charge one (let’s be realistic, the coffee maker is not going anywhere!)

I’ll be honest, I’m not afraid to roll up my sleeves and do things around the house, but electrical work has always intimidated me. Enter DIYZ, a free app that has a library of household DIY projects for all skill levels, including step-by-step instructions with video tutorials and an Amazon-integrated shopping list for all the necessary parts and tools for the selected project. It also has an especially cool feature for electrical novices like me – a free chat (video or audio) service, so a Pro Advisor can walk you through any complications or uncertainties.

I went into this “How to Install a USB Outlet” project with confidence. I had purchased the new outlet and voltage testing tool via the app’s partnership with Amazon, and was fairly certain I understood the instructions. So, I removed the faceplate, took out the old outlet, screwed in one of the necessary wires, and then froze. Of course this wasn’t going to be as easy as I originally thought (Mama is always right about my “projects”!) I stared at my existing outlets, puzzled that the wiring configuration I saw coming out of my wall didn’t match the DIYZ instructions. I was stuck. So I figured, what the heck, let me try this #DIYZ video-chat thing.

I was automatically (or maybe I tapped something) connected with Bob in about 15 seconds via video-chat. He was able to see my dilemma (pro tip: press the camera reverse button and you don’t have to awkwardly hold the front-facing camera to make sure your advisor can see your problem) and explain what was going on, and how to properly install my new outlet.

After a quick trip to the hardware store, a few wire clips, and some serious cramming-of-wires-into-a-small-hole, it was done. I tested all the outlets to make sure they worked and then took pride that the kitchen wasn’t in flames and I hadn’t electrocuted myself. Now, we can charge both our phones, whatever other device we can’t live without, and the coffee maker will never be unplugged again.

Next project – voice controlled dimmers, because you know, parents are too tired to get up and change the lights sometimes.

Don’t forget! The app is free to download for both Android and Apple iOS devices and the video-chat feature is free for a limited time.