Published On January 14, 2020 | Last Updated January 23, 2020
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In this post: With the tips in this women’s guide to home improvement stores, you’ll have the confidence to get the products and help you need for all your DIY projects.

womens guide to home improvement stores

Does going to the home improvement store intimidate you?

It can be scary to ask for help when you don’t even know what to ask. You don’t want to come off sounding like an idiot.

Maybe you feel vulnerable, incompetent, and nervous. Who are you to think you can take on a DIY project that you know nothing about? They might laugh you out of the store.

First, they’re not going to laugh at you. Second, you are a courageous, confident woman, who is brave enough to face new challenges and learn new things. Hardware stores are dying for more customers like you.

Here’s all you have to do to walk into the home improvement store with confidence.


This is part of a series of articles to help you Build Your DIY Confidence. Follow the link to find all the posts in the series. And then let’s go to the hardware store…

1. Do Your Prep Work

Have at least some idea of what you want or need before you head off to the store.

Do some online research. Take pictures of your project. Even pack up your examples or props to bring along to show the staff at the store. They’ll be able to give you more specific guidance if they have a good understanding of what you’re trying to accomplish.

When the soap dish in my shower fell off the wall, I cleaned off the soap scum, stuck it in a plastic bag, and took it to the store with me. This made it really easy for the guy in the store to tell me exactly what kind of adhesive to buy.

I went home and was able to secure it back on the wall. (It wasn’t his suggestion to hold it in place with duct tape and a plunger while the glue dried. I came up with that brilliant solution on my own.)

DIY bathroom update
I couldn’t afford to replace this ugly bathtub surround right away, so I had to fix the soap dish when it fell off the wall. Check out this post to see the updates that came later.

2. Timing is Everything

If you go to the home improvement store in the middle of the day on a sunny summer weekend, you’ll be lucky to get any help at all. If you do find someone to talk to you, they will likely be frazzled and pulled in a million directions by other shoppers wanting their attention.

Instead, try to go first thing in the morning, or later in the evening when it’s not so busy. Going during the week is better than the weekend, if you can.

By planning your visit during off-peak hours, you’ll be more likely to find an employee with the time and focus to truly help you. Find the right help, and you’ll be more likely to get good answers and advice for your project.

3. Find the Right Help

Try to make your way to the approximate part of the store where you think you need to be before asking for help.

If you have a question about plumbing, don’t start by asking the staff in the paint area, just because you pass them first. You’ll find yourself trying to explain your project multiple times to multiple people before you find someone who knows what you’re talking about.

This is not just a frustrating waste of time. When enough people look at you with a confused, “What are you talking about, lady?” look on their face, you may lose confidence and leave the store without a solution.

What are you talking about, lady?

But it’s not you, it’s them!

Find an employee who actually works in the relevant area of the store, and they’ll be much better able to help you. Show them your pictures or props, and you’re on your way to getting what you need to tackle your DIY project.

4. Take Pride in Your Courage to Learn New Things

It can be intimidating to ask for help. Just remember that you are not ignorant or incompetent.

Maybe you don’t know how to do something, buy why should you know how to do a thing that you were never given the opportunity to learn?

You are brave enough to try new things. And you are confident in your ability to learn, and achieve success.

Walk into the store with that attitude, and you’ll have all the courage you need to figure out how to get your project started.

For other mindset shifts like this one, check out:


Build DIY confidence

Home Improvement Takeover

Stores want you to visit and have a good experience. After all, women control most of the spending in the U.S. If they’re not earning your business, go somewhere else.

And go with confidence. Remember,

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

Eleanor Roosevelt – Strong, confident, empowered woman who took on staggering challenges and achieved amazing things.

Buying power tools on your shopping trip, but feeling a little frightened to use them? Check out this helpful article on Power Tool Basics for Women.

In the meantime, please share your best tips for navigating the home improvement store like a pro in the comments below. And don’t forget to sign up for our free DIY guide – You Can Do This: Five DIY Tasks Every Single Girl Should Know How to Do.

Women's Guide to Home Improvement StoresWomen's Guide to Home Improvement Stores

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2 Comments on Women’s Guide to Home Improvement Stores

  1. I needed to replace some deck boards so I took a short piece of the wood with me to the store. I held up my 12 inch piece of deck board and asked the salesman in the lumber department: “Do you have any of this?”

    He tried not to smile as he said: “Yes, but it only comes in longer pieces.”

    We both had a good laugh and he took me where I needed to go and helped me pick out nice, straight boards.

    It’s OK not to know what to call something you need as long as you can give a good description of it or its use. Be gracious and thankful and the sales help will usually respond in kind. Everyone likes to feel like an expert sometimes.

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