Every Home Needs One!!
Have you ever been in the middle of something like hanging a picture, putting together something from Ikea, replacing your kitchen faucet, or updating the hardware on your kitchen cabinet when all of sudden, “Damn it, I don’t have the right tool for this”. Suddenly your project comes to a grinding halt and you're left with your old kitchen faucet on the floor, the new one out of the packaging ready to go, and a table full of dirty dishes from dinner (opps), but no plumbers tape to finish the job. So naturally, you stop for the day and make a trip to the hardware store…only it’s 8 o’clock and the store is closed. Now we’re in a pickle and a twenty-minute task turned into a 24-hour task. This is why every home NEEDS a toolbox. Now I don’t mean your toolbox that you keep in the garage next to the garden gloves and car jacks. Every home needs an indoor toolbox with the essentials.
When I started taking on home projects, I’d find myself running back and forth to the garage on the hunt for the perfect tool for the job I was working on. Most times I’d make do with what I could find on hand, but finally I said F it, and got my own toolbox for inside the house!! I am a big fan of keeping things where they belong, and where they’ll be most useful. So, is the plumbers tape going to be in the most convenient place outside in the garage? No! Are the picture framing nails going to be easy to find underneath your gardening gloves? Nope. Do yourself a favor and build yourself and your home an indoor tool box.
Here’s what's in mine and why!
The Tool Box:
It doesn’t have to be this huge eye sore that lives on your dining room table! Mine is tiny and fits on the bottom shelf of my kitchen cabinet.
I found this toolbox on sale at Home Goods: 13 inches long, 5 inches wide, and 3 inches deep. This is the equivalent of your home's first aid kit.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been online shopping, looking at my living room, looking at my computer and thinking, “Will this fit?”. Don’t guess, just keep one of these guys in the house! I do a lot of my project planning after dinner in the evenings, and out of convenience it’s nice having what you need on hand while you're in your jammies and slippers.
Lufkin 12’ Tape Measure/ Pocket Sized
Teflon Tape (Plumbers Tape)
You’d like to assume that when you purchase a new shower head or faucet it will just come with some Teflon tape (some do!), but many do not. Not only is plumbers tape a smart product to keep on hand for projects, it will also come in handy if you ever notice a small leak or water drip. It’s not a cure all, but it’s come in handy a few times. Teflon tape is also known as “thread seal tape” because that is exactly what it does. Before attaching your new fixture, you’ll take this white tape and wrap it around the thread, then attach your fixture as normal. By doing so, it stops the flow of water through those tiny threads thus preventing leaks! It can wear over time, meaning you may be the one replacing it. Save yourself a $175 plumber visit, and keep this in the tool box (it’s about the size of a roll of scotch tape).
Tip: This can also be used on air tools for those of my friends with an air compressor!
Like I said, the toolbox is your home’s first aid kit so we covered water, now what about electrical? Electrical tape works by stopping the electrical current from exposed wiring from reaching other wires and helping to prevent shortages/fires. If you are someone who knows a thing or two about electrical, then you’ll want to have this. It can be used in projects such as replacing light switches, installing dimmers, and giving a quick fix to exposed wires. Now I’m not saying everyone needs to be their own electrician but hey if you can give your phone charger with an exposed wire some extra life, why not! I’m a lucky gal and my fiancé has schooling in electrical work and has taught me a thing or two, if you are going to attempt electrical work DO YOUR RESEARCH! But this simple household item can be a lifesaver, even if it’s as simple as securing wire nuts to cover exposed wires in your new dimmer!
Thinking about electrical work in your home? Invest in a voltmeter to safely check for live wires.
For indoor use I have a slightly smaller than standard hammer for things like hanging photos on the wall, pinning up my Christmas decorations and gently tapping my trim back on the wall when the dog knocks it loose. This hammer is a lighter weight one that is really meant for smaller DIY projects– you probably won’t need a giant framing hammer for your indoor toolbox!
Remember the days of saying, “Ok, now stand over there and tell me if it’s level”, and then the person standing six feet away would go, “Move the left side down a smidge, no wait, back up a teensy bit, ok back, PERFECT!”. Then you’d proceed to hang it, step back and it’s crooked as sh*t. Not anymore! You need a level! It doesn’t have to be a large one, mine is about 5 inches long and is exactly what is needed for things like hanging pictures, mounting TV’s, putting your new mirror in the bathroom, the list goes on.
These can be used anywhere from tightening the screw on your dining room chair, to assembling your new computer desk. A lot of us are quick to grab the drill each and every time we see a screw loose in our home, but sometimes the ol’ fashioned way is best! Especially in today’s world where the craftsmanship on prefab furnishings is ehhh, it’s SO easy to over tighten and strip screws.
You’ll need both a Phillips head (#2 is the most common) and flat head screwdriver to be well equipped!
Why do you need this exactly? In a pinch (get it, pinch), instead of guessing exactly what size wrench you need and flipping through each size until you find the perfect one, these will get the job done every time and can be adjusted to fit the exact bolt/nut. This one is perfect for in-home use and DIY projects.
Needle Nose Pliers:
Need nose pliers are able to grip those teeny tiny things in hard-to-reach places. Maybe you’re installing that brand new dimmer in your kitchen but you just can’t reach the wires behind the light switch plate, boom, now you can!
You don’t always know you need these until the exact moment you’re glad you have them!
Set of Hex Keys:
These days anything and everything you buy comes with hex keys to assist in building, whether it’s an end table or bed frame, you’ll need hex keys. Now in a perfect world I’d build all my own furniture, and to be honest it’s not out of the question but sometimes in a pinch Ikea gets the job done, kinda. Sometimes (and this really happened) they don’t include the hex keys you need to assemble their product. So, again, here we are at 9pm ready to assemble and I didn’t have the right tools—UNTIL—I remembered my toolbox was in the kitchen. If you don’t know what a hex key is, it is a tool used to fasten screws and bolts, similar to a screwdriver only instead of a flat head or Phillips head, it is a hexagon.
I use these all the time, if not every day. Get yourself a good sturdy one that you can refill with new sharp blades as needed so you can get the most bang for your buck. The days of ruining your nails each time you peel the tape off a box are over! But seriously, this is a handy tool with endless uses.
*Tip: Having one of these on hands and using them regularly will save you from dulling your favorite pocket knife.
We all know what super glue is, but it is a must have in the tool box!
A few random things I like to keep on hand:
Handful of extra screws & nails (you never know when you’re going to need one)
Double sided tape
I’ve built up my screwdriver collection and have added an array of sizes
Pencil & Eraser
Wood Markers (quick and easy way to fill scratches)
Personalize this for what you need and what you know you will use! Every home is different and has different needs but for me, these are the basics! Now, when it comes to what we keep on the property in the garage of course extends past the basics, but this keeps my home from looking like a construction site every time I’m doing a small project or quick fix.
Get to building your toolbox! Already have one in your house? What are your MUST haves? Comment below!