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7 handy little items every first apartment needs

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Everyone thinks of the big necessities when moving into a new apartment: repainting, buying furniture, getting along with roommates. These are all important, of course, but then there are the little things that really matter in a pinch — tools that you should keep handy in your kitchen drawer for when the need strikes.

You may not be grateful for this list today or tomorrow, but you will be someday. So, be prepared like a good scout. Your local hardware store should carry everything, except the last item.

Screwdriver, hammer and wrench

Realistically, every home should have a small toolbox, but at bare minimum you need this trio of
tools. Just think: How will you hang up your framed pictures without a hammer? How will you
assemble your IKEA furniture without a screwdriver? How will you adjust your bicycle seat
without a wrench? (Warning: Just because you own a wrench doesn’t make you equipped to
handle plumbing repairs!)

Tape measure

If you are shopping for furniture, you’ll want to know exactly how much space you have to fit in a
bed, couch or dining table. And when you’re hanging pictures, you’ll want to make sure you’re
centering them. What miraculous item will allow you to accomplish all of this? Why, a
tape measure, of course.

Scissors

Scissors are highly underrated. You can use them to cut open boxes that are shipped to you, cut
tags off your new clothes, cut open that irritating plastic vacuum-packed container on the new
headphones you bought — in other words, scissors come in handy quite often. Therefore, get a
sturdy pair, rather than a flimsy one. They might cost a little more, but they will last you literally decades.

Light bulbs

Say the light burns out in your windowless bathroom. If you have light bulbs in a drawer, you can
solve the problem in about 3 seconds. If not, you’ll have to shower in the dark until you can
run out and get some bulbs. So get some now, before it becomes an issue.

Calculator

Maybe you can use an app on your phone or your computer, but whatever it is you need
some way other than using your head and your rusty grade-school algebra to do math. For
example, it’s unlikely you want to do your taxes without a calculator. And will your roommates
trust your long division when you split the common expenses with just paper and pencil? Not
likely, unless you’re a certified public accountant.

Flashlight

If the power goes out, you’ll be glad you have one. Enough said.

Sewing kit

Let’s say you have a big date, and just before you leave, you pop a critical button. Without a
sewing kit, you’ll have to change your entire outfit, or frantically run around looking for a dry
cleaner with a tailor. With the proper kit, you can simply sew the button right back on — in about
2 minutes. Which one will it be?

And one final thought: Keep these items in a place where you can find them when the
emergency strikes. This is especially true about the flashlight! Don’t let the zombies catch you
unprepared.

> Find Rentals on Zillow

Related:

MyFirstApartment.com helps novice renters successfully navigate the first year of living on their own. The blog shares proven tips and tricks for everything from finding the perfect rental or roommate, to furnishing on a small budget or no budget, to dealing with landlords or roommate’s girlfriends.

Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of Zillow.

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