Congratulations! You’re living out on your own. If you’re renting an apartment or bought a home of your own, there are going to be little things you need tools for. Whether it’s removing part of a light fixture to replace the lightbulb, or hanging your favorite pictures on the wall, a basic toolbox can come in handy. Here are the top eight tools that will be the most helpful.
1. A flashlight. This is crucial, even if you don’t buy anything else on the list. If the power goes out, or you can’t find the exact lid for your Tupperware container in the back of the cabinet, shedding some light makes life a lot easier.
2. A screwdriver. For maximum efficiency, and especially if you are going to be doing just little jobs, there are screwdrivers available now that have removable tips so you can buy just one tool for all screws and swap out the tips depending on what you need.
3. A tape measure. Ask anyone who has ever rented an apartment and then couldn’t fit the couch in any of the rooms, having a tape measure is a good thing to have. It will help you place furniture, decide how big an area rug to buy, or know how long a cable you will need for your TV.
4. Adjustable pliers. Maybe two pair, one large and one small. Maybe the previous owner or tenant left a nail in the wall that just won’t come out, or they used a stapler in the windowsill to hang their Christmas lights. Pliers will give you the grip you need to pull things out.
5. An adjustable wrench. This will help you tighten (or loosen) nuts and bolts. You can change your shower head, or loosen your dryer vent tubing to check for lint.
6. A hammer. Hang things on the wall, close up a paint can securely, or pound in stakes so your kids can camp out in the backyard.
7. An electric drill. You can keep it pretty basic, but a drill can save lots of time. Buy one that has a screwtip adapter also, and you can drive in screws much faster than with a manual screwdriver (and with less stress on your wrist).
8. A first aid kit. Don’t own a home without one. If you’re a first timer with any of the rest of the tools, you can put this to good use when you pinch yourself with pliers, or cut yourself on a fast retracting tape measure.