Thursday, May 20, 2010

Tools Of The Trade

As an organizer, a realtor and a home stager I know the importance of having the right tool for the job.  But long before these labels attached themselves to me, I began a love affair with tools and gadgets.  And it all began with my first cordless drill.  Before that drill, my tool kit consisted of a nail file, a wooden platform shoe and my good looks.  It would be in my early thirties that I purchased my first real tool...a Black & Decker cordless drill.  A whole new world opened up for me on that day.

These days, I keep two tool kits, one in my car and one at home.  My "traveling" tool kit contains extra items I need to put together real estate signs and my home kit has a more traditional grouping of tools.  Even if your husband or significant other has a garage full of tools, I believe every woman needs her own.  Here's a list of what I consider the basics:

Ratcheting Screwdriver with exchangeable heads
Pliers (standard and needle nose)
Wrench (small one to handle bolts and small pipes)
Allen Wrench with assorted sizes
Tape Measure

Extra items I use a lot, so I keep them handy:

Hot Glue Gun
Zip Ties
Laser Level (you really shouldn't hang pictures without this)
Exacto Knife
Scissors (yes, keep a pair of scissors in your toolbox so you don't ruin your good sewing scissors opening hard plastic containers or cutting zip ties)
Yard Stick (I keep a yard stick at home and at the office...they are great for quick measurements and retrieving dog toys from under the sofa or socks from behind the dryer)

Tool manufacturers have recognized the rise of the "handywoman" and make tools designed just for ladies in pretty colors like pink or floral patterns...I have no problem with using a pink handled tool as long as it works.  And be creative with storage options for your tools.  You can certainly opt for a traditional tool box, but I found a great canvas handle bag designed to hold scrapbooking tools at the hobby store that I love.  Also, put your tool kit in a place that you can access easily like the pantry, or laundry room, or a linen closet.  Do not...I repeat, do not store your tool kit in the garage.  If you put your tools in the garage your husband might be tempted to borrow them, and besides, the garage is dirty and full of icky spiders...pretty soon you'll be back to tightening kitchen cabinet door hinges with a butter knife just so you don't have to go into the garage.

So the next time you feel the need for "retail therapy"...skip the shoe store and hit the tool department at Home Depot.  And if you think you're woman a cordless drill.

Happy Organizing

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