Apartment Tool Kit: Tools renters should own

by Jim
Tool Box

As a renter most of the ‘home maintenance’ tasks around your apartment will be taken care of by property maintenance or your land lord. But that does not mean that you do not need your own basic set of tools. It is good to have a basic tool kit, that way you can do things like assemble your new flat-pack bookshelf from Ikea, or take care of small issues that are not worth calling property management. With those kinds of tasks in mind, here are my top tools that every renter should have in their apartment tool kit.



When you have a hammer every problem is a nail, that is the saying anyway. Having a hammer and small assortment of nails will allow you to hang pictures and art work on your walls, bang together stubborn pieces of furniture.

Small Step Ladder


This one should be fairly obvious, but a step ladder will allow you to reach high places.  Useful for a whole host of tasks usually reserved for tall people, such as changing light bulbs, cleaning the top of your book shelves, etc…



Another obvious one.  Sure you could call maintenance every time your toilet or drain backs up, but having a plunger will allow you to have a functioning toilet faster.



Screwdrivers are great for tightening and assembling all kinds of things.  My recommendation here is for a screw driver that comes with an assortment of different bits to allow the same tool to use many different kinds and sizes of screws.  The alternative is a toolbox full of screwdrivers that you will occasionally need.

Super Glue


This is a great fast acting glue that is perfect for small repairs and fixes.  This glue will adhere to wood, plastic, metal and skin, so watch out if you get it on yourself haha.
Note: I like the small bottles, that way it is less likely to dry out in between uses.

Allen Keys


Allen keys are the cornerstone of cheap furniture assembly, so having a good set of Allen wrenches will allow you to keep furniture snug and wobble free.

Adjustable Wrenches


An adjustable wrench is a good multi-use tool that will allow you to tighten bolts and nuts without needing a full wrench set taking up the limited space in your toolbox.  A full wrench set is better, but if you are putting together a small apartment toolbox, a pair of adjustable wrenches will get you by.

Measuring Tape


A measuring tape will probably be one of your most used tools in the toolbox.  If you get one small enough to slip into a pocket or bag you can take it with you when shopping to know if a piece of furniture will fit into your space.

Utility Knife


Sometimes you just need a good blade to open or break down boxes, and trim loose threads

Pliers / Vice Grips


Pliers are great for holding onto things when you need more force / grip than you can get holding something by hand.  They are also good for grabbing small things and holding them in place.



And lastly, you will need a small toolbox to keep everything in (except the plunger and step ladder).  If you get one with a removable tray it will help you keep your tools organized so that you don’t need to sort through everything to find what you are looking for.

This is what I would consider essential for an apartment or condo tool kit.
Is there something I haven’t mentioned that you consider essential for an apartment took kit?  Let me know in the comments if you have any other ideas.

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