Essential Tools Everyone Needs to Have

Even if you don't own your place, these are the tools you should keep handy.

I moved around a lot for a long time, first moving out at 17 couch-surfing, renting rooms, or even tent camping wherever I could, before finally securing an apartment of my own. It was somewhere during this time that my parents were also finally divorcing after years of toxic instability. I remember the first Christmas that my parents would do the holiday separately, I had been emancipated by that point, but my younger brother still shared the house with both of my parents. On Christmas Eve, my mom gifted us each a toolbox with some basic tools to which we rolled our eyes. Having a box of tools seemed like an annoying nuisance, I thought about having to lug this chest of tools every time I moved, which already seemed to be frequent enough by that point. Needless to say, I did not appreciate the gift. Funny enough, Christmas Eve turned out to be the height of gifting that year. When we went to celebrate Christmas Day with my dad, he did even better, we got nothing, not even a card LOL. That is what I like to call a compound lesson. Be grateful for whatever gifts you are given and don't get your hopes up expecting anything from anyone else.

The point is you should prioritize keeping these few tools around to save yourself time and money in the long run, here are my favorite basics that I now use weekly for various projects.

Pliers, if you can find a variety pack of different sizes/types then those can sometimes be a good deal for your first set. I ended up using my smaller needle nose pliers for hobby crafting, but I have also used them to replace the screen of an iPhone and a host of other small electronics repairs. If I can repair it myself, then it saves a ton of money so I try my best to salvage and repair things before giving up and trashing them. Pliers can really help make repairing small parts capable.

Tape Measure, it serves many purposes, but one that comes in handy frequently is using it to hang pictures levelly. I either measure up from the floor or down from the ceiling to ensure a level hang. I have a level now, but I often still use this method because I am too lazy to go back out to the garage and get a level. I keep my tape measure in the kitchen alongside my pliers, screwdrivers, and hammer.

Hammer, I'm a creative and hang art wherever I can, but hammers can do a lot more than just hang pictures. You may find yourself needing a hammer to assemble furniture and with a rubberband and a rag, you can turn your basic hammer into a mallet for a soft, firm assembly. Whether you are working around your home, have a mechanical issue with a vehicle, or aspire to build or repair furniture... hammers are going to be one of your go-to tools.

Philips Screwdrivers, I say plural because it is good to have a few sizes. You can get by with two one being really small working on watches, jewelry, and electronics. A standard philips will be fine for most projects. 

Flathead Screwdriver, you run across the need from time to time. In case you're wondering why some projects you run across fit a flathead screwdriver, flat drive screws allow more torque but, the screwdriver has a tendency to slip out the sides. Philips drive screws are self-centering and are designed to skip if high torque is applied. Personally, I hate using flathead screws, but I come across them often when refinishing old furniture.

Better yet, if you can afford a cordless electric power drill, do it. I use my drill for nearly every project around here and have been far more productive with it. The drill allows me to quickly do things like assemble furniture and playground equipment or tackle a simple DIY project. If you have kids in your future, you're already going to spend a lot more so go for the drill and crank out that nursery furniture in no time! 

I am already working with my kids on the importance of tools and how we use them. Getting them started young!