Apartment-dwellers are often low on space. Ain't nobody got room to store a whole garage worth of tools! Here, we're paring it down to just the top 9 essential tools every renter should have.
OK, sure. Renters don’t have to deal with quite as much maintenance as homeowners, but there are still plenty of times when apartment-dwellers are going to want to have tools on hand — whether it’s some simple decorating or a complex DIY project. Here are some of the most critical tools to add to your apartment toolkit.
The Tools Every Renter Needs
We’re starting with a banger. (¯\_(ツ)_/¯) The days of using your heaviest shoe to pound a nail (usually sideways) into the wall are gone. You’re an adult now.
Hammers are essential tools for little tasks, like hanging art, all the way up to labor intensive work — like…building a space-saving bookshelf desk? When shopping for a hammer, look for an option that is comfortable to use. We suggest focusing on ones with ergonomic handles for extra comfort and control. This mini hammer from Amazon is an excellent option for apartment dwellers who don’t plan to make a habit of big projects.
A good screwdriver is essential for assembling furniture (because who in the actual heck doesn’t want to tear their hair out trying to use those tiny IKEA tools), so you’ll always want to have one on hand in your apartment. While you probably won’t need some wildly comprehensive array of screwdrivers, it’s always helpful to have a few size options, so look for sets that come with multiple sizes in one kit, or one screwdriver with multiple heads.
Cordless Power Drill
We think the cordless power drill is another must-have item in your apartment toolkit. Let’s be real: turning screws manually is a drag — regardless of context – and cords are just plain annoying.
A cordless power drill is your solution to these problems. It can be used for a wide variety of tasks, it’s compact and easy to store, and the cordless feature allows for peak mobility.
Leaky faucets are a common problem in many apartments. While your landlord is typically required to fix plumbing issues for you, there are instances where you might prefer to do things yourself – like small, quick, and noninvasive fixes. An adjustable wrench is perfect for tightening nuts and bolts — so you’ll be able to use it to fix some basic plumbing issues. Adjustable wrenches can also come in handy for some furniture assembly projects.
When hanging art or decor on the walls, you’ll want to make sure that everything is straight. (Um, duh. Because, A E S T H E T I C S.) A level will help you keep things well-aligned without turning your walls into a pointillism painting of holes. (But if you do happen to amass a host of holes…)
Before moving into a new apartment, make sure to invest in a utility knife. Utility knives are particularly handy for opening boxes, but there are plenty of other applications as well. You can even find utility knife multi-tools, which have other helpful features like corkscrews and screwdriver heads. So you can always be prepared — for THINGS.
When purchasing furniture for your new apartment, you’ll need to figure out whether or not items will fit. This is where a tape measure comes in handy. With a tape measure, you’ll be able to quickly figure out whether that desk you’ve had your eye on can actually fit in your office, or how many frames can fit on your gallery wall.
What’s more, you’ll probably be surprised at the number of times you reach for your trusty tape measure after you’re all moved in. Tape measures are among the most-used tools in our house!
Some screws require an allen wrench rather than a screwdriver, so it’s always helpful to have a few in your tool kit. We suggest you look for one of those handy multi-allen wrench tools. Some self-assembled furniture comes with small allen wrenches for assembly, but they’re often flimsy and not ergonomically designed.
Having a flashlight on hand can keep you safe in the event of a power outage or other dark emergency. It can also be very helpful if you need to make repairs in dark areas, such as plumbing under a sink. Pro tip: Store your flashlight somewhere you can easily reach it in the event of a power outage. Pro tip #2: It’s also important to make sure you always have replacement batteries on hand.
Tool Storage Solutions
Real Talk Time™️: Space is always an issue with apartments, so you may need to get creative with how you store your tools. We suggest you consolidate them to one space, and look for toolboxes that can easily fit on shelves or under furniture. (Need some inspo for tiny-space storage? We got you.)
With these tools in your arsenal, you’ll be able to tackle most simple apartment projects or repairs.
Need tools for an upcoming project, but aren’t ready to take the plunge and buy them just yet? Sparetoolz can help! Our peer-to-peer app helps you rent the tools you need from others in your community, at a fraction of the big box price.