During my decade as a homeowner, I’ve noticed that there are a handful of tools I turn to on the regular for little jobs that need doing around the house. Instead of having to go out to my garage — particularly annoying because it’s downstairs — to get these tools and then having to go back out to the garage to return them, I bought duplicates of these workaday tools and keep them in the junk drawer in my kitchen.
I call it my “junk drawer toolbox.” It’s a household “toolbox” of the things I like to have right at hand, and it’s saved me a lot of time and hassle.
Even if you don’t own a home and live in an apartment, I recommend starting your own junk drawer toolbox. You’ll use these tools regularly enough to make it worth it.
Without further ado, here are my recommendations for a junk drawer toolbox:
1. Allen Wrench Set. All hail the Allen wrench! You’ll use this tool to put together flat-pack furniture and some of your kids’ toys.
2. Flashlight. Ever at the ready for when the lights go out or you’re searching for a lost item under the couch. Read our full guide to choosing a flashlight here.
3. #1 Phillips-Head Screwdriver. #1 is the screwdriver tip that will fit the most common Phillips-head screw sizes. This screwdriver gets a lot of use in opening/closing the doors on the battery compartments on my kids’ toys.
4. Duct Tape. For sealing a crack in a storage bin, patching a hole in a vacuum hose, covering a heating vent next to your Christmas tree, and the myriad of other ways duct tape can come in handy.
5. 6” Adjustable Crescent Wrench. Used to put together, tighten loose nuts on, and disassemble flat-pack furniture.
6. Tape Measure. Will that new crib fit in your spare room? How big of an area carpet should you buy? How tall is your eight-year-old? A tape measure will answer all of these questions (and does a whole lot of other neat things to boot).