My dad is the best! He loved me like a daughter and son. Never did he shy away from teaching me what a father “normally” would teach his son. He let me be a little girl, with lip gloss and pink dresses, but he also taught me that I was capable of anything!
That brings me to why I’ve never been scared to tackle home improvement and DIY projects. He started me out with not only a “life tool box” filled with what is important to be successful in this world, but also a literal tool box.
My Red Tool Box
Ah yes, my coveted red tool box! This is what my dad lovingly filled for me as I moved into my first apartment, after graduating from college. I’ve been able to tackle just about any normal home improvement project that I could dream up and some that have blind-sided me.The acquisition of this tool box is one of my favorite life stories. When I was moving into my apartment, my dad said he had to make a quick run to Home Depot to get something. My mom and I stayed behind worrying about furniture placement and home decor. As my dad was checking out at Home Depot, he was beaming with pride and the person at the register said, “your son is going to love this!” and he smiled back “you mean my daughter?”
He came back and promptly starting SHOWING me how to use each tool. We tacked down cable wire, hung multiple pictures and put some furniture together. Thanks Dad, for making me believe I can tackle anything!
For new home owners young or old, newly divorced people, single mom’s having to take care of houses for the first time, I with the same beaming smile want to share what my dad did with me.
A Single Mom’s Guide: Basic DIY Tool Box
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Let’s talk through WHY you need these items. Does it seem like a lot? I promise you it isn’t. These basic tools have gotten me through 7 moves and setting up 4 newly constructed homes! From an apartment or condo to a single-family home, trust me you will need this variety of tools. Plus, if you have kids many of these items come in handy as well.
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 (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!
Why the furniture manufacturers send an Allen wrench with the furniture I’ll never know. The hex bits will turn furniture assembly into a 15 to 30-minute project and the components will be secure!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
Single Mom’s Guide to a Basic Tool Box
My dad did a great job setting me up, right? Whatever your level of experience, this tool box is great for anyone who needs to do home repair and decorating. Also, it’s a pretty fantastic gift for a first-time homeowner, newly divorced friend, or child living in their first apartment.
Good luck and I hope you enjoy your tool box as much as I do! Now you can tackle one of these projects: Create and Organize a Hanging File Drawer! or Create a Gallery Wall That Looks Like a Designer Did It!
This post was recently featured on Hometalk, where there is a TON of DIY projects to get your ideas flowing click here to view this post on Hometalk.