College Tool Kit

What You'll Need
Tool box to hold everything
Set of screwdrivers (Philips, square head (Robertson) and blade (or straight).
Set of pliers - slip joint, cutting and needle nose
A measuring tape
A small level (torpedo level)
And don't forget, the handyman (or handy woman's) best friend - duct tape

Going to college is a big step in everyone's life and lots of things change. For example, when you move into your first apartment, shared accommodation or even a dorm room, you're pretty much on your own. You're responsible for hanging pictures and putting up curtains or blinds, and if anything breaks, guess who needs to fix it. Dad and his tools are miles away and who knows who lives next door. Here's a simple tool kit you can put together for your first home away from home. It doesn't cost much but it will come in handy many times over the next year and you'll be really happy you spent a little time putting it together.

Here's why you're going to need those tools

  • Electronics, computers and home appliances commonly use Phillips (cross-shaped) screws to connect components and even to cover battery compartments. Telephone and cable connections usually require blade (straight) or Square headed squares. Putting your stereo together or connecting your Internet or cable TV will be a lot easier if you have the right tool. You can usually get a set of various sized and shaped screwdrivers at home or hardware stores for less than $10, on sale and definitely less than $20 on regular price. You could also get a screwdriver with interchangeable heads that store in the handle to handle all the jobs.
  • Going to be hanging curtains blinds or even some pictures? You'll need a tape measure to and mark the location where you want to position things. You'll also need a hammer (or a screwdriver) to install the hanger and finally, you'll want to have a level to make sure everything is plumb and level. Here again, inexpensive "starter" tools are available and you could get all these for less than $20 as well.
  • Different types of pliers are both adaptable and handy. Besides using them for the jobs they were built for, like gripping nuts or cutting wires, pliers have lots of other uses. For example, you can use slip joint pliers to help you open difficult twist off bottle tops. Cutting pliers can be used to open that impossible plastic packaging around so many things we buy while needle nose pliers can reach down into the bathtub drain and grab onto that 'yucky' hair mass just at the top of the hole.
  • Don't forget the handyman's best friend, duct tape - the tape with a thousand uses. You can use it for everything from quick fixing a dripping pipe, to sealing boxes to holding a broken lamp together. You'll be amazed at the number of ways it can come in handy and you'll never be sorry you included an inexpensive roll of duct tape in your tool kit.
  • Finally, get yourself an inexpensive toolbox to hold all your tools (and be sure you put the tools in it every time you use one of them). You want to know where your tools are when you need them, and there is nothing more frustrating than trying to figure out what you did with the pliers last month after opening the packaging on that new DVD.

Murray Anderson is an experienced freelance writer over 500 articles published on the web as well as in print magazines and newspapers in both the United States and Canada. He writes on a wide range of topics and is a regular contributor to He can be contacted at [email protected]