There are 7 basic tools that can make your life so much easier. Anybody can use them. These tools will save you time and money. Every single mom needs these basic tools for home maintenance.
Have you ever had something around the house that’s been broken forever, and you just don’t know how to deal with it?
So, you finally call up a repair person, and some guy comes in and fixes it in just a few minutes. He kind of makes fun of you, and makes you feel silly for not being able to fix it yourself. And then you pay him a lot of money.
You’re left thinking, “Seriously? That’s all it took?! I should have been able to do that myself.”
First of all, don’t beat yourself up. You’re already doing plenty.
Secondly, it’s not your fault that no one ever taught you how to be handy. But that doesn’t mean you can’t learn. And I would love to help you get started.
If a can of soup also serves as a hammer in your house, and you use a knife to tighten loose screws, these basic tools are about to make your life so much easier!
7 Basic Tools Every Single Mom Should Own
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With just a few tools, you will be armed to take on most tasks around the house. From hanging a picture to fixing a loose towel bar, to fishing a toy car out of the toilet and more, here’s what you need to get started.
Who doesn’t need to pound on stuff once in a while? Hang a picture, fix a loose porch board, kill a spider. (Just kidding. Don’t do that with a hammer.)
Go to the store and try out a few hammers. I suggest getting something that has some heft to it but isn’t too heavy for you to use. Also feel how comfortable the handle is in your hand.
I like a 16oz. claw hammer for most of my projects. You can also use the back of the hammer to remove nails or pry things apart.
2. Ratcheting multi-bit screwdriver
A ratcheting multi-bit screwdriver is a bunch of different types of screwdrivers in one. It comes with changeable tips, so you don’t have to buy a lot of different tools. You will always have the right screwdriver handy. (And by handy, of course, I mean on the complete opposite side of the house from where you actually need it.)
The ratcheting function means it acts like a normal screwdriver when you turn it in one direction, but it spins freely when you turn it the other way. That allows you to tighten or loosen a screw much more quickly because you don’t have to keep repositioning your tool.
3. Bubble level
A bubble level is just about the most basic tool there is. It’s an air bubble trapped inside a liquid, stuck into a piece of plastic.
By lining up the bubble between two guidelines, you can tell if something is straight (or level). Never hang a crooked picture again!
4. Tape measure
A tape measure will be your best investment if you’re ever shopping for furniture. Before you shop, measure your room (and the doorway!) to know what size furniture will fit. That way you’ll never buy the wrong thing and have to return it.
A tape measure also comes in handy when you start DIY building projects! Just sayin’. Because you’re gonna be so confident pretty soon, there will be no stopping you. And it all starts with having your very own tape measure.
5. Pliers / Cutters
Pliers are very versatile tools. You may want to get a few different styles, such as long nose pliers, and channellock pliers. Long nose pliers are handy for making jewelry, or gripping things in small spaces like that toy car stuck in the toilet mentioned previously. Channellocks allow you to adjust the size of the opening, so you can grip variously sized objects.
You should also get some cutting pliers, for cutting things like wire, twine, tangle kite string, whatever… (Also great for jewelry or other crafts.)
6. Adjustable crescent wrench
I love adjustable wrenches. No guessing about what size you need. And you only need to buy one, instead of a whole set.
You may need a crescent wrench for plumbing projects. For example, if the water line to your washing machine springs a leak, and you can’t get the valve to turn off, grab your wrench. Or your channellocks.
Or, if a piece of assemble-it-yourself furniture has some loose bolts and is getting rickety, use a wrench to tighten them up again. (Ooh, and use your bubble level to make sure everything is aligned as you tighten it! Look at you, DIY-ing stuff!)
7. Hand saw
Start with something really basic, such as a hack saw. You’d have to try really hard to hurt yourself with something like this, but it will serve your basic cutting needs.
Here are a couple cutting tips:
- You don’t have to push down hard while you’re cutting. Just focus on making steady back and forth motions, and let the blade do the work.
- As you get deeper into the cut, the blade may start to bind (get stuck). Try supporting both ends of the item you’re cutting, to take the pressure off the blade.
You Can Do This!
With just these few basic tools, you should be able to tackle most simple home maintenance projects.