“The aftermath was devastating to my ego!”

My name is David and I am 50 years old. I am a white collar business professional, a lawyer but I am also a big believer in being able to build things myself or as many would say, a “Do It Yourself” type of individual. As many of those people who are like me would tell you, we believe that we can build almost anything as long as we have the instructions and the willpower.

I have an abundance of willpower and my partner will readily attest that I probably have too much energy at the end of a workweek. Recently, I decided that I had heard enough complaints from my partner about our messy closet in the bedroom because we did not have a closet organizer so I went online, identified a quality home organizer system, printed it out and decided that I was going to build one. This is where the fun began, at least for my family against me. I looked at the home organizer and from my view it did not look like it would be difficult to design and build one that would fit our 8 x 10 closet. I have a reasonable amount of suits but I believe that the large amount of shoes and clothes my wife has can easily outfit an additional ten to fifteen women and there still would be clothes to spare.

I started planning …

I sat down in my home office and started making some sample sketches based on the closet organization structure I found on the Internet. I will not name the company from which I based my home organizer system for fear of backlash by the company. Once I had my sketches I went to the local hardware store and started implementing my plan. The hardware store knows me well and they helped me fine tune my sketch and acquire the necessary materials such as the wood and other materials I would need. During this process my wife was questioning my mindset which she knows would just make me more determined. My own children started taking side bets about whether Dad would destroy the closet in the manner of Tim Allen of Home Improvement.

Unbeknownst to my wife I took off the week of work so I could get my project done. Yes, I like to work with my hands and despite me making my livelihood as an office worker I enjoy getting my hands dirty. I easily removed the doors of the closet and the clothing rod. I then cleaned the walls and started the process of installing the drawers and the respective areas where my suits would be and those of my wives. Prior to starting I had already measured the closet so I had a very good idea of how much could fit into the closet space. The process was going very well as I easily was able to fit my clothes and shoes into the space I allocated.

Attention: “Hurt in progress…”

However, during my creation of the ledges for all my wives clothes and shoes I happened to drill a little further into the wall then I should have with the power drill and water started to spill out. Fearful of possible water damage which might leak down to the bottom I quickly ran downstairs, grabbed my handy sledgehammer and attempted to break through the wall so I could hopefully stop the leak.


I did not mention this earlier but in my younger years I played football, an occupation that stopped because my left shoulder kept slipping out of its joint due to a shoulder dislocation in high school. When I initially swung the sledgehammer at the wall I did so with such force that I broke through the wall and I remember the hammer hitting something very hard. I continued trying to create a bigger opening with the sledgehammer and as I continued my shoulder slipped out of its joint while at the same time creating another hole which caused more water to spill out.

The aftermath was devastating to my ego.

My wife comes in from work only to see the floor of her bedroom and closet soaked with water and she then has to take me to the hospital to get my shoulder reset. My Do It Yourself Job resulted in a small physical injury to me as the doctors were able to easily deal with my dislocated shoulder by slipping it back into place. My wife however as a result of my home improvement mishap was able to not only get a new closet but a bedroom set because of my desire to do things myself.

What i have learned

I am still a believer in doing things myself but I must submit that I have learned that there are some things that are better left to the professionals. Don’t destroy your home to prove a point to your family. Respect the professionals who make their living performing home improvements. Your body and your ego will thank you for that decision.

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Thank you David for sharing your story! I have to strongly disagree with you though. In my mind, we have entered a time in which we are so dissasociated from risks, that we easily complain if something does go wrong. I’m not here to belittle your accident. I’m just saying that DIY work comes with risks which are higher that regular office work. At least from a physical perspective. I would hate to see ou give up on your passion just because of a smaller mishap. This happens to all of us. On toolerant, you can find several accounts of brave toolerantians, who failed but REFUSED to give up. I wish you all the best, all the strength you need to show you wife, that you’re capable to achieving your DIY goals.

Ryan Wilford[clear]