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Put Together a Basic Household Tool Kit

Have All the Tools You Need in One Place

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Homeowners and apartment dwellers alike need a basic household tool kit.

You may have lots of tools for particular projects that you use infrequently, and they can be kept in a garage or workroom. But having basic tools handy in your living area makes it much more convenient to do simple home repairs.

You might keep these basic tools in a hall closet, a kitchen drawer, or in a handy tool box or plastic box on a shelf in the entry or mudroom.

It doesn't really matter where you keep them, as long as they're easy to get at for quick home repairs. You'll save lots of inconvenient trips out to the garage or down to the basement.

Your in-home basic tool kit should include these basic do-it-yourself items.

Tape Measure
You may not think you need one, but a 25-foot measuring tape will work for most jobs. Whether you measure for a tablecloth or window treatment, or a whole room for new flooring, choose one large enough to easily measure your home's spaces. A second smaller tape of 6 to 12 feet can be put in a pocket or purse for shopping trips or for hanging pictures.

Screwdrivers
Two basic screwdrivers are a necessity. Choose both a good quality flat head screwdriver and a Phillips head screwdriver in a medium size. A set of tiny screwdrivers will come in handy when you need to tighten a pair of eyeglasses or fix audio or computer equipment.

Pliers
One pliers will not do. Get a small assortment in various sizes and shapes. You'll use a needle-nose pliars most frequently, but have a heavy grooved pliers for removing nails or large staples. Wire cutting pliers are good for wiring and craft jobs.

Level
You get what you pay for here. It's important to get an accurate level for accurate positioning. A good sturdy level will last a lifetime. (These are also called "torpedo levels" due to shapes of the tapered ends.) A level is a must for straightening up pictures, drilling holes in a level line, checking tabletop alignment, or mounting towel bars perfectly.

Hammer
Whether you're hanging pictures or putting shelf supports up, a medium weight hammer will cover most household jobs. Consider other sizes if you'll be doing either delicate projects or construction.

Vice Grip
This tool resembles a pliers, but has a locking mechanism that grips and holds things tightly. Use it to grip a screw you want to remove or use two to twist sticky things apart. They provide a slip-free hold when you need it.

Assortment of Nails and Screws
You might find prepackaged sets of basic sizes at a home center or get a small divided box and put together a custom assortment that will come in handy when you hang pictures or make minor repairs.

Wire Cutters
Save your scissors with this essential tool. A wire cutter makes it easy to snip wire for crafts, electrical repairs, and other household projects.

Pencils
You'll probably need to mark a drill hole or record a measurement. Have pencils handy and write on post it notes or bits of blue painter's tape if you don't want to write on the wall.

Blue Painter's Tape
Even professional painters use this tape to mask off areas they don't want to paint. It's available in several widths and looks like plain masking tape. But this special tape is blue and can be removed from most surfaces without damage. You can use it for other household jobs besides painting. Mark stud locations with a small square when hanging a picture or installing molding. Tape off the edges of a door frame when painting a wall, or tape down runners of heavy kraft paper to protect floors from dirt and scratches when moving.

Go on to read about Drills and Dots

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Supplies for a Basic Household Tool Kit

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