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5 Home Improvement Items Every College Student Should Own

5 Home Improvement Items Every College Student Should Own

By Kevin Stevens, Networx

I just returned home from a 3000 mile road trip. Part of the preparation for this trip included clearing many tools out of the back of my truck to allow us to use the space for camping gear or sleeping.  Not having all my tools close at hand left me feeling a bit naked and vulnerable.  But since we were “on vacation” and I wasn’t doing my usual Denver-area carpentry duties, I did not really have a need for them.  Heading off to college is a bit like a road trip, but once you’re there you may actually need some tools.

The Bare Minimum

Moving into an apartment is a first step for many that often includes buying new dishes, silverware, pots and pans and other things for the kitchen.  These items are what first come to mind for many.  What doesn’t come to mind are tools.  Since many first time apartments or student housing units are often on the lower economic range, the condition of these spaces is often on the “fixer upper” scale.  Having a minimal arsenal of tools to get by is common sense.  For me, this list would include five minimum items:

  • Screw driver set: This will be the most-often needed item. Loose screws are found everywhere, from bathroom door hinges to cabinet hinges in the kitchen. A little tightening here can prevent total failure or longer-term damage.
  • A hammer: Not needed so much for building things… but for hanging things. Most picture hangers use a small nail in a special bracket. While you can use the bottom of a beer bottle to tap in these small nails, a real hammer works much better.
  • Adjustable wrenches: Just like loose screws, loose bolts can also be found in the home (toilet seat covers are one common problem area). Another great use is for the assembly of furniture, as some desks and tables use bolts to hold the parts together. “Thumb tight” is a good place to start… but long-term durability comes from “wrench tight.”
  • Tape measure: This can be for measuring windows for new curtains or centering pictures on a wall.
  • Utility knife: This one may not be so obvious, but it sure comes in handy for taped-up moving boxes and cutting shelf paper and drawer liners.

The More Advanced List

A level is a handy item for hanging pictures and a must when installing wall shelving. A stud finder is also very helpful here as well. This can be a fancy electronic version or a simple magnet style. Box wrenches can supplement your adjustable wrenches and a cordless drill and some drill bits can really help with hanging new curtains. A putty knife and small paint brush can assist with minor drywall repairs (for those that may have misplaced the shelf hanging instructions or were unclear of the operation of the stud finder — I know that hiring a drywall company to repair your wall is beyond your budget).

If you have these tools already, you’re in great shape. If not, many basic “tool kits” are available in a nifty plastic case.  Not only does the case hold everything together, it is much harder to misplace. Looking for one lost screwdriver in a desk or kitchen drawer or digging in the recycle bin for a “beer bottle hammer” are time wasters… after all, you should be studying… right?


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Read more: College Life, Crafts & Design, Crafts & Hobbies, Family, Feng Shui & Organizing, Home, Household Hints, Life, Materials & Architecture, Teens, ,

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2:41AM PDT on May 20, 2015

Amazing work dude! I have been great fan of your site. I love it!!!

3:05AM PDT on Jun 18, 2013

I’m definitely coming again to see these articles and blogs.
garage door repair houston

7:14PM PDT on Sep 4, 2012

good basic list...

11:57PM PDT on Sep 3, 2012


4:10PM PDT on Sep 1, 2012

Yes indeed, be Prepared!

2:21AM PDT on Sep 1, 2012

indeed, a toolbox is a necessity. Now, if only I were allowed to do anything to my house, like screw in hooks or holes in the wall for shelves, and do any minor repairs myself rather than calling the housing agency, I'd actually have a use for them

4:46AM PDT on Aug 30, 2012

Good info, thank you...

4:43AM PDT on Aug 30, 2012

this should also be for any woman living alone...

8:33AM PDT on Aug 29, 2012

Sensible enough.

6:45AM PDT on Aug 28, 2012

Great list, staple tools for common use

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