There are so many items around the house that get pitched in the trash every day that could be fixed and of course that would save us a few pennies along the way. To fix things though we need a personal toolbox. This toolbox could be nothing more than a shoebox, or some other small box that would otherwise get thrown out in the trash. Oh, and by the way, this personal toolbox doesn’t have to be left looking ugly either but we will get into that later.
Our personal toolbox should include a few necessities but can also be expanded to meet our own personal needs. Of course we can go buy a woman’s toolbox at our local hardware in a pretty pink case, filled with things we may not need but is ridiculously priced. Why spend that kind of money though when we can make our own toolbox and save a bunch of money doing it? Most importantly though, is the fact that we can specialize our toolbox to our individual needs or spread out the cost as finances allow. The items every woman needs to quickly repair things or do small jobs around the house are, a hammer, nail starter, pliers, hot glue gun, duct tape, small nails, a 25’ tape measure, a cloth tape measure, a small step stool, three or four screw drivers in various sizes, scissors in a couple of different sizes, wood glue or Gorilla glue, KRAZY glue or Super Glue , disposable latex household gloves (the ones that come in a package of 50 or 100), and a pair of work gloves.
Every woman should have her own hammer. Not one of those caveman type things that weigh a ton, but rather something lightweight that we can comfortably pick up and use. The best place to start for this is your local Ace Hardware store. I don’t normally suggest a specific store or company but in this case I will. Ace Hardware not only has hammers in every size imaginable, including the huge ones a lumberjack might use as well as light weight ones, but they also have very helpful employees that can answer any questions you may have. There are dozens of different hammers made for a dozen different uses. So ask questions and know what you are buying.
The screwdrivers every woman should have is a Philips screwdriver in small and medium sixes, slotted screwdriver in small and medium sizes, and of course a small and medium nail starter. These screwdrivers and nail starters can be bought in a set where there is a handle and the various heads are stores inside the handle. These are extremely convenient but just be careful not to buy the cheapest one on the market. If you do buy a really cheap quality one you may pay the price later when it breaks on you and you have to replace it. This is probably the one and only time I will suggest a specific brand of anything. In this case though, the Craftsman or Stanley screwdriver set is your best bet. Yes, it initially costs BUT if it ever breaks you get a new one FREE OF CHARGE, so at least consider this. (Just keep your receipt in your important papers and be sure to make a couple of copies of the receipt.) If you can’t afford a Craftsman or Stanley then get the best quality screwdrivers and nail starters your finances will allow. While at the store you can also ask about a pair of pliers that are sturdy enough but also light weight enough to work with around the house.
The nails might deserve a special mention here because nails and screws come in every size imaginable. The larger ones will probably not be of much use in the house so what you’ll be looking for are household nails. They each have their official name that every hardware employee will instantly recognize but you don’t really need to know all that. What you’ll need to remember is these smaller nails are also known as picture hanging nails and come in lengths starting at just less than 1” and going up to 2”. It’s a good idea to have a nice supply of at least two or three lengths on hand for those little jobs that can crop up at the drop of a hat.
Two pieces of information that I received some years ago and found to be particularly useful were to first know the basic weight each size nail can hold. Next, and to initially buy one of those prepackaged nail packs that hold five or six different sizes of nails. Then over a period of a few weeks or months I could see which size nails I used the most of. It might turn out to be one nail size or it might be up to three sizes I used for a variety of repair jobs. Either way, I could take those particular size nails to my handy dandy neighborhood hardware and buy a larger quantity of that size/s.
As I think I’ve shown there is really no need to buy a prepackaged toolbox unless that’s what you think you want. Simply find a box you think will accommodate your individualized supply of tools and then decorate the box. A small amount of wallpaper, along with some glue will do a nice job of decorating any toolbox. If a box isn’t available then maybe a cloth shopping bag with a small piece of plastic or other sturdy material in the bottom of the bag for extra stability. In some cases, even an old fishing tackle box or other such container can be reused as a toolbox. A few stickers and ribbons here and there and no one will know but what your new found toolbox wasn’t always supposed to be that way. Plus, including a few pink ribbons here and there might just keep that macho fix-it man in the house out of your toolbox.
The other supplies mentioned above are all pretty much self-explanatory. Just be careful with the glue, especially the KRAZY glue and Super Glue but that is why you need latex household gloves on hand. Let any extra glue stick to the disposable gloves and not your skin.
I briefly mentioned keeping the capable, or possibly not so capable, fix-it man of the house out of your toolbox once you have it all set up for your needs. I experienced ongoing issues of finding tools gone when I needed something. My requests to at least return an item to my toolbox fell on deaf ears, as did the later request to simply stay out of my toolbox. So out of necessity I bought two or three bottles of cheap nail polish in the brightest pink I could find. I also got a couple bottles of glitter nail polish and proceeded to mark all the handles of my tools with pink glitter. I went so far as to super glue a pink ribbon on my hammer and a couple of my screwdrivers. Use super glue for this, not hot glue, because hot glue could eventually come loose. The first time a neighbor caught Mr. Fix-It Man with a pink glitter hammer sporting a pink bow, the razing began and it took a long time for him to live that one down. It worked though because I never had to worry about missing tools again.