When you’re renting an apartment, space is at a premium, so it’s important to know how to downsize.
One overlooked location to downsize your home and reclaim some much-needed space is that corner of your hallway or living room closet with a myriad of unnecessary tools.
Whether you’ve inherited a cache of tools from your family or collected a bunch of random gizmos and gadgets over the years, it’s time for the purge.
Of the long list of advantages of renting over buying a house or condo, one of the most beneficial is that you’re not the one responsible to fix stuff. That’s what your landlord is for. Fridge breaks, call the landlord. The door doesn’t lock, call the landlord. Toilet backed up, call the landlord.
One of the primary responsibilities of your property owner is to take care of all the minor (and even major) repairs, inside and out. That’s why you write that big check every month. So there’s no reason to keep all those tools lying around the house.
In downsizing the family home, there is no reason you need any tool bigger than a hammer. Outside of the occasional faucet tightening or some-assembly-required bookcase, there’s no need for sledgehammers, jigsaws and power drills. As in life, the basics are mostly all you need.
So what tools do you need in your newly-downsized family home? Here are the most basic essentials:
• Hammer: You know, for hammering. Get a lightweight one with a claw head.
• Screwdriver: Make sure you have a wide flat head, a narrow flat head and a Phillips' head. Or even better, a handy-dandy single convertible unit.
• Wrench: You won’t need a giant wrench set, a single adjustable wrench will meet your needs.
• Allen wrench: Because most of your furniture is coming from IKEA.
• Pliers: The two-setting adjustable type should be just fine. A pair of needle-nose pliers is a good investment as well.
• Utility knife: Almost as many uses as a roll of duct tape, which brings us to…
• Duct tape: All the jokes are true. You can fix anything with duct tape.
• Level: To make sure all your pictures are hung just perfectly.
• Tape measure: Be sure to purchase the version that locks the tape in place when extended.
• Yardstick: This, along with your level and your tape measure, will make hanging anything on your wall a breeze.
• Collapsible step-ladder: Stop changing your lightbulbs while standing on a chair.
• Plunger: Get a quality one, because reasons.
• Flashlight: It’s for more than finding your phone when the lights go out. Find one with a strong magnet to stick up above your workspace and free up a hand.
• Miscellaneous: A good assortment of nails, screws, nuts, fasteners, hooks, tacks and clean-remove Command Strips will come in handy when you need them.
Your experience may vary, but this is a pretty good basic list. And to save even more space in your downsizing, keep your collection in a soft-sided toolbox bag that fits easier in a small space than a hard case.
Now that you’ve downsized your home, don’t forget to take all those tools that you won’t use and will just be in your way and find them a new home. You can sell them on eBay or Craigslist, or better yet, donate them to your local non-profit thrift store or Habitat for Humanity chapter. Your downsizing can be someone else’s immediate need.
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