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Toolbox Essentials for First-time Movers

Maybe you are moving into your first apartment or your first house; whatever your situation, one of the most essential items you’ll find yourself going to over and over again is a toolbox. Hanging pictures, assembling furniture, and putting up window curtains all require tools, so even if you don’t consider yourself handy, these basics will help you through most situations.

A general rule of thumb: Buy the best you can afford. Skimping on quality will only lead to additional replacement purchases in the future.

The Essentials:

  • A good claw hammer. One that is heavy enough to get the job done, but comfortable for you to handle. The “claw” will be a saving grace when you hit those nails sideways.
  • Several sizes of flat-head and Phillips screwdrivers.  A cordless screwdriver and set with a few interchangeable driver heads can save your wrist some anguish. Just remember to keep your cordless charged.
  • Needle-nose, slip-joint, vise-grip and wire cutting pliers.
  • A medium size adjustable wrench or combination wrench.
  • A ratchet set with assorted sockets.
  • A utility knife that has replaceable blades.
  • A level. It takes the guesswork out of hanging things straight and is compact to store easily.
  • A retractable metal tape measure, preferably one that locks.
  • A set of Allen wrenches. These unassuming looking tools do wonders when required.
  • An assortment of screws, nails, and wall anchors.
  • Electrical, masking, and duct tape.
  • Assorted wire ties to keep your electronic wiring at bay.
  • A toolbox! A standard sturdy one should do the trick. As tempted as you may be to throw everything in a drawer, organization really is the key and will take the frustration out of searching and digging for something when you need it immediately. Even better, if it has a removable tray.

If you already have the basics covered and are looking to expand your supplies a bit more, it’s also a good idea to have the following tools on hand:

  • A chisel.
  • A small handsaw.
  • A stud finder.
  • A cordless drill. You’ll be surprised how often you go to this simple and easy tool.
  • Safety googles — especially if you’re springing for that cordless drill.
  • A box of disposable latex gloves. These protect your hands when using any kind of glue or paste.
  • A flashlight. There should already be several in your home for emergencies, however it’s good to have a small one in your toolbox in case you are working on something in a poorly lighted area — it will be in arm’s reach.

Even if you don’t consider yourself a DIYer, having some basic tools stored in one location will help make settling into your new home a little less stressful.


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