When building your toolbox from scratch it is important that you start with one of the most basic of tools in the universe, the hammer! You won’t need a large hammer for the types of jobs you’ll be doing inside your apartment. So, let’s leave the big sledgehammer and mallets on the shelf, and go for something a bit more manageable like a “Ball Peen” or “Claw” hammer. These types of hammers are simple and can be used for a multitude of projects and repairs that you’ll be doing inside your apartment.
Now, let’s get something straight! (Sorry, that came out a bit too strong). If you’d like to get something straight inside your apartment, (i.e. a picture, or some shelving), you’re going to need a “Level”. And like anything else there are various types of levels you can purchase. For apartment renters, a small version of “Carpenter’s” level will do just fine. This type of level will have a “bubble” or “spirit” positioned at 90 and/or 45 degrees. This makes it perfect for all types of uses. Carpenter’s levels often come in 2, 4, 6 or even 8 feet in length! Don’t overdo it though, just purchase one that fits inside your toolkit.
Any apartment renter’s toolbox should always include a set of good screwdrivers. For use on the inside of your apartment you’ll only need a few. A “Slotted” screwdriver also known as a “flat” or “straight” head will serve many purposes around your apartment. There’s also the “Cross Head”, more popularly known as the “Phillips” head screwdriver. Just about everything uses Phillips head screws these days from furniture, to appliances. Lastly, you’ll always find a use for a “Hex” screwdriver. A Hex screwdriver is just another version of the “Allen” key. Allen keys are those L-shaped thingy’s you’ll often find in the box when you buy a piece of furniture or small appliance.
Picture Hangers and Anchors
These items are not really considered tools per se, but every apartment renters’ toolkit should have a package or two of good quality picture hangers, wall anchors in their arsenal. Look for “Sawtooth”, “Keyhole” or “D-Ring” hangers. A very popular way of hanging pictures and other items in your apartment is the “Command” line of products. Command hooks are great for renters who don’t want to put holes in the walls and often these types of products can be removed with ease at the end of your lease.
Wrenches and Pliers
Everyone has a pair of pliers somewhere in their toolbox, why not, it is one of the most useful tools there is! When loading up your toolbox make sure to grab a pair of “Needle Nose” pliers, “Diagonal” pliers, or the very popular “Tongue and Groove” pliers, these are great because the jaws of this wrench are adjustable, and lock in place. And while you’re at it, why not throw in a pair of “Chain Nose” pliers. Chain Nose pliers are one of the many tools used for wire shaping and can also be used for jewelry making. Don’t forget the “Adjustable” wrench (more commonly known as the Crescent wrench) and lastly, you can grab a small set of “Socket” (or) “Ratchet” wrenches to round out your toolkit.
No apartment toolbox would be complete without a tape measure. Want to measure a wall for a piece of furniture? You’re covered! Need to hang some curtains, or a shelf? Just reach for your tape measure! Tape measures often come in 2, 5, all the way up to 25 feet! Just make sure you choose the right one for your toolbox. Also, make sure the end of the tape has a “hook” for holding onto the edge of a wall or table. A “belt clip” is always a good feature to look for in a tape measure, as well as a “thumb lock”.
Again, this isn’t truly classified as a tool, but let me tell you this will probably be the most used tool in your kit! A flashlight is always handy for everything from walking your pup at night, taking a trip to the recycle bin, or looking under the couch for a child’s toy. A great flashlight can also come in very handy during blackouts, looking under the hood of your car, or finding your keys at night. Not to mention scary storytelling during sleepovers. Make sure you choose the best flashlight for your needs and be sure to buy some extra batteries!
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