Single Mom’s Guide to a Basic DIY Tool Box

Porch Daydreamer
by Porch Daydreamer
1 Hour

Are you a new home owner or living on your own for the first time, but don't have the proper tools to tackle your basic house and DIY projects? Not sure what you need? I'm here to help!

My Dad empowered me to take care of myself and my home. When I moved into my first apartment, he set me up with and showed me how to use all of these tools and I have been using them ever since that time.

Now I can show you how to organize a toolbox!

Start with a basic tool box. I also have a smaller canvas tool bag, so I can transport only the tools I am using on my project.

Power Drill: By FAR my favorite tool! I’ve used it to assemble things, drill holes in cabinets, and install a wide variety of home products. 

Think installing cabinet hardware, assembling furniture, hanging curtain rods, installing towel bars, attaching picture hangers, etc.

To make that drill truly effective you need some accessories.

Drill Bit Set: Drill bits attach into the “chuck” of your power drill and are what creates various sized holes. 

When you read installation instructions and you need to drill a hole (ex. drapery hardware bracket) they will reference the size of the drill bit to use. Now you will have every size you need.

Screw Bit Set: The screw bits also attach into the “chuck” and are the pieces that help you have the right tool for a variety of screws and bolts. 

You must get a set with the hex bits and the basic Philips and flat head driver attachments.

Hex bits will save your life when you are assembling furniture!

Screw Driver Set: Some days you need to open the battery compartment of the remote control or slightly tighten a knob. 

A power drill would be overkill and won't fit in small spaces, so it’s important to have a basic screwdriver set.

Pliers: These I use the most when I am hanging pictures or re-covering furniture. The needle nose pliers is great to pull out staples, the wire cutter is perfect for picture hanging wire or cutting faux flower stems, and the slip joint adjustable pliers is good for pulling and twisting anything.

Ever plan on installing a light switch or dimmer switch? The needle nose pliers are necessary to wrap the copper wires around the fixture screws.

Hammer: Well, this one is obvious and will stop you from using random things around your house to hang pictures.

I’ve used a hammer to pound nails back into boards on my fence and pound wire nails into the wall for picture hangers.

Level and Ruler with a Level: Use these for hanging pictures and keeping them straight! I like the ruler with a level for when you have a larger picture and need to draw between two lines. 

Especially when you are attaching two wall hangers for a heavier piece like a mirror.

Socket Set: Sockets are for use with nuts and bolts. Rarely do I use this, but it is one of those tool sets that wows men!

I’ve used this for putting together my son’s bikes and for taking the legs off of furniture. The other main use is to attached bolts to a bed frame. 

See – you didn’t know you need this, but everyone has a bed!

Adjustable Wrench: Good for a mini-version of the socket set and used on nuts and bolts or things with 90° angles. 

Also good if you need to tighten plumbing fixtures or tighten a bike seat.

Multi-Tool Wire Cutter/Stripper: This is a tool I LOVE and one you don’t realize you need. Great for installing speaker wires, light and dimmer switches, and thermostat wires. 

Yes, I have done all of the above. It has a guide so you can insert the covered wire and stripe it to expose the wire and a cutter to trim the wire or covered wire. Very cool!

Utility Knife: If you are an Amazon Prime junkie like me, then you know why you need something to open boxes!

I’ve used this to cut tubing, boxes, and the back cover of a framed picture. Lots of household uses.

Rubber Mallet: If you open a paint can, you must have one of these! Use a paper towel, cover the paint can lid, and pound around the edges. I’ve used this when I need a soft flat surface to pound in something and a hammer would damage the surface.

There are all the basic tools you need to get started!

Now you can visit my web site for some new DIY projects, where you can put your tool box to good use icon

Porch Daydreamer
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
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