It’s exciting to move into a brand-new apartment and one of the benefits is that you don’t have to worry about maintenance. All you have to do is go online and submit a work order. However, what if you’re trying to hang a print on the wall or assemble furniture? Those types of tasks are not covered by the apartment complex’s maintenance crew. Also, there are some simple DIY tasks that most tenants can take care of on their own, like clearing a drain or changing the batteries in their smoke/CO detector. That’s why it’s smart to assemble a basic toolkit before you move in. You can create a wish list and your family and friends can choose items as housewarming gifts. Win and WIN!
Here are some of the basics:
- Cordless screwdriver. The price points of cordless screwdrivers are very reasonable. Of course, you can choose manual versions, but the torque you get from the cordless model is very helpful when it comes to installing screws into a wall, putting together stubborn furnishings, etc. One end of the screwdriver is a standard head and the other is a Phillips head.
- Allen wrench. Speaking of furniture … A lot of self-assemble furniture comes with an Allen wrench. Those are those Z-shaped tools that have either square or hexagonal ends that come in the bag of hardware. Do yourself a favor and invest in a set of Allen wrenches. You can find a set of good-quality Allen wrenches of different sizes at any hardware or big box store or online. They will be more durable than those that come with furniture kits and you’ll always have some on hand when you need them.
- Hammer and rubber mallet. There are many uses for a hammer, so you want one that’s sturdy and has a comfortable handle. Hammers aren’t very expensive but spend the money on one that’s going to last. Cheap hammers that come in toolkits tend to be flimsy and fall apart after a few uses. A rubber mallet comes in handy when you need a lighter touch or don’t want to leave marks on whatever you’re trying to hammer.
- Step stool. No brainer. You need a step stool to change lightbulbs (even LED ones, eventually) and batteries. You can also use a step stool in the kitchen to reach high shelves in your cabinets.
- Plunger. Self-explanatory. You can use a plunger to unstop a clogged sink or toilet. However, don’t fall too far down the DIY plumbing rabbit hole. Do the best you can and if the problem still persists, it’s time to contact your apartment’s maintenance staff.
- Utility knife (aka box cutter). These come in very handy when opening boxes (think online shopping!) You can also use the utility knife to break down your boxes for recycling. It will spare your kitchen knives and scissors.
- Miscellaneous. Here are some more items that aren’t really tools but are the things you wish you had on hand when you discover you need them.
- Good-quality retractable tape measure
- Hot-glue gun
- Super Glue/Gorilla Glue
- Batteries in several sizes (Most smoke/CO detectors run on AA batteries)
- Extension cords/Power Strips
You can always expand on this list to include items like an adjustable wrench or set of pliers. Once you have the basics, you can feel confident that you can tackle most move-in tasks, decorating projects, and simple maintenance on your own. Not only will you feel a sense of accomplishment, but your apartment management company will thank you for not submitting superfluous work orders that detract their maintenance staff from bigger, more pressing jobs.
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