What happens when you need a repair in your apartment?  The maintenance crew will fix any issues with the apartment itself, but there are many things you’ll want or need to do on your own. Having a small tool kit put together will come in very handy. Your local hardware store is full of options. But, what do you really need in your apartment tool kit?


If you’re hanging pictures or need to repair your coffee table, you will need a hammer and nails. If you’re putting together a bookshelf or entertainment center, this is also a necessity. (Fact of life: lots of inexpensive furniture requires assembly). Your hammer has many other uses too, according to family handy man.

Hot Tip: When it comes to hanging pictures, be sure to double-check your lease. If there’s a clause that states you can’t put holes in the wall, there are alternatives, such as adhesive strips and adhesive hooks.

Measuring Tape

You want to make sure furniture will fit through the door. You’ll need a measuring tape to measure the door frame and your furniture. You don’t want to damage your apartment before you make your first rent payment. A measuring tape also comes in handy for hanging pictures or measuring for rugs.


A level will help you hang your pictures straight, and assemble your furniture properly.


An old adage says, “Measure twice, cut once.” You’ll want to have a pencil with you to know where to cut your boards if you’re making shelves or where to put your hardware for hanging anything. A hardware store sells carpenters pencils which are flat and easy to use.

Related: Where to find cheap wall art you like

Socket wrench set and wrench

Anything with nuts and bolts will need a wrench. This is handy when you need to reassemble your kitchen table after moving. If you’re moving your own washer and dryer, then this is a must. A socket wrench is useful if you use your bicycle frequently.


There are many different types of pliers to choose from. However, needle-nose and locking pliers are great for a first apartment, especially when it comes to the appliance and furniture assembly.


Whether you’re assembling furniture, fixing a computer or tightening a door hinge, a screwdriver is a necessity for your apartment tool kit.   There are some things that maintenance may require you do by yourself, such as changing light bulbs and filters. The screwdriver can be important for those tasks. Make sure you have both a flat head and Phillips head screwdriver: they are the most common.


If your landlord is OK with it, a drill is very good for hanging shelving and building garden structures.

Building a small tool kit for your apartment is essential. It will make living on your own so much easier.  Your local hardware store will have nearly everything you need to get your kit set up.

Related: What to do when your landlord won’t make repairs