Handy Tools

Handy Tools

When a repair is required, nothing is more frustrating than searching in vain for the proper screwdriver or wrench. Giving tools a proper place in the home can be a real timesaver when a problem arises. Most of us hide our tools in the garage or basement, but I recommend keeping an everyday toolkit in a drawer in your kitchen or laundry room for issues that occur on a regular basis.

What you’ll need:
❏  A drawer in the kitchen or laundry room
❏  An assortment of essential tools
❏  Labels and a permanent marker

Get organized
Make a list of tools and tidbits you use frequently (each of us has our own needs, but many items are universal), and then divide the drawer into segments accordingly. If you don’t want to spend money on organizers, just look around the house. An old plastic silverware tray can find new life as a tool holder, and a discarded plastic egg tray makes the perfect nut and screw sorter. Select a square cookie tin or large margarine tub for bottles of glue and other liquids.

Round up!
Set aside the items you already have from the list you made, and then go shopping for the remainder. See the “in your kit” list.

Mark it
Be sure to label everything with a permanent marker or label that says “Kitchen Tool Drawer” (or other location) to help each item find its way back after use. Another idea is to paint the household tools a bright color such as fire engine red, and be sure that everyone in the household knows that the red tools always go back into the kitchen drawer (or whatever the location).

Yet another idea is to label the inside of the drawer itself or trace around each tool’s location with a permanent marker so it is obvious when it has been left out of the drawer. It becomes a crime scene and you can then track down the culprit!

—Excerpt from If I Had a Hammer, now available from Collins

In Your Kit

➤    Small, 7- to 10-ounce hammer
➤    Multi-tip screwdriver
➤    Cordless screwdriver or mini cordless drill
➤    Mini screwdriver set
➤    16-foot measuring tape
➤    Assorted pliers
➤    Adjustable wrench
➤    “Grip” type wrench
➤    Odds and ends
➤    Ruler
➤    Small flashlight
➤    Light-duty extension cord
➤    Assorted spring clamps and spring clothespins
➤    Velcro strips and/or other items used frequently
➤    Picture hangers and cup hooks
➤    Various nails and screws
➤    Adhesives and removers
➤    Superglue
➤    White glue
➤    Glue gun and glue sticks
➤    Goo Gone or other adhesive remover
➤    Duct tape
➤    Carpenter’s pencil or marker
➤    Bubble level and small laser level
➤    Heavy, good-quality scissors
➤    Safety glasses

Quick Tip

Keep a few all-in-one, multi-tools in strategic locations around the house for quick fixes. A multi-tool usually consists of a screwdriver, a knife, a corkscrew and other tools in a handy gadget that often looks like a large pocketknife.

Helpful Sites

➤    www.askandrea.com
➤    www.harpercollins.com
➤    www.homeimprovementmag.com

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