Renting comes with many advantages, not the least of which that you don’t have to worry about any major maintenance issues in your home. Most of the time, you can simply submit a maintenance request and your landlord or property manager will take care of the issue.
But, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have a toolbox equipped with some of the basics in case you need to take care of minor repairs or choose to take on some DIY projects. And, to be prepared for every situation, there are certain tools that every renter should have on hand. So, get started with a plastic, wooden or metal toolbox and add the following items:
A small hammer can come in handy in many situations. Whether you’re adjusting furniture or securing it in place, or putting together a gallery, this tool is super helpful. Note that you don’t need a large and heavy hammer that is difficult to carry (and that you probably won’t use to its full potential, anyway). Instead, select a small one that will fit in your toolbox.
The same reasons listed above apply to this item, as well, but instead of nails, it’s about screws. Because screws tend to loosen over time, a set of screwdrivers will be very useful around your apartment so you can easily tighten screws into place. Whether it’s a loose screw on a door handle, kitchen cabinet handle or furniture you assembled a while ago, you can easily take care of these issues with screwdrivers. In particular, make sure you have at least one flat head and one Phillips — or cross head — screwdriver and perhaps even a torx or star-shaped screwdriver for more specific needs.
Nails, Screws & Anchors
A small collection of nails, screws and anchors will come in handy when you least expect it. Perhaps you’ve ordered some furniture and the set is missing a few screws. Or, maybe you dropped some nails and can’t find them. Perhaps you drilled too large of a hole and need a larger screw. When situations like these happen, you’ll be glad that you were prepared. Likewise, if you’re hanging pictures or artwork on the walls or adding shelves, you’ll be thankful for this small collection that you put together when creating your toolbox.
Everyone struggles with hanging something straight on the wall. So, instead of arguing about it or having to keep going to the other side of the room and back again and again, try using a level. Best of all, these handy tools come in so many sizes that you can even get a keychain-sized level that won’t weigh down your toolbox, as even the smallest level will do just as good a job as any.
You never know when the power will go out. And, when it does, a flashlight is safer and more efficient than having to search for candles in the dark. Plus, if you need to see something down the drain or behind the fridge, you’ll be grateful to have this item in your toolbox. Of course, you can use your phone’s flashlight, but you can’t always rely on having it around — or even charged — during these situations, especially in the event of a blackout.
A utility knife is a must-have in any apartment — and especially during your move — because it’s easy to use and effective. Having one on hand is also convenient when you receive a package, are struggling with packaging that just won’t open or need a precise cut for a project you’re working on.
Another must-have in any home or apartment is a tape measure. In fact, you may be surprised how often you’ll end up using this tool. Maybe you want to move your furniture and need to see if it fits in the new layout before you start to carry it around. Or, perhaps you want to buy a new bookshelf and need the right measurements before heading out to the store. Whenever you need something measured, this flexible version of a ruler will come to the rescue.
Finally, if you often work on other projects around the home, you might have more tools in your toolbox than just these. For instance, a battery-powered drill is often a favorite of DIYers, and it can also be quite useful in many situations. An Allen wrench set might also come in handy if you assemble your own furniture, but you’ll probably create one anyway, since all of these items come with this sort of tools. In any case, if you have the tools listed above, you’ll be all set for most basic situations. Did we miss anything that is an essential in your toolbox? What is the one tool you couldn’t live without as a renter?