14 Things You Need for College if You Rent an Old House or Apartment
If you rent an off-campus house or apartment that isn’t shiny and new, be prepared to take on some occasional repairs and fixes. Always check with your landlord prior to doing anything like drilling into walls, hanging extra shelves or working on the plumbing because you could lose your damage deposit if you don’t get their OK. However, if you’re willing to do some of the small fixes yourself, your landlord might even be appreciative!
Exactly what your tool kit contains is up to you, but no matter what, you’ll need something better than a drawer to store your tools. And it should be large enough to hold all of your tools but small enough that it isn’t unwieldy.
A sturdy hammer is essential. But not sure what hammer to choose from the huge selection available to you? We can help narrow down the choices.
Screwdrivers are even more useful than hammers. And a huge kit of screwdrivers isn’t necessary, though. You just need a No. 1 and a No. 2 Phillips, plus short, medium, and large flat-blade screwdrivers. Magnetic tips are awesome, but make sure you have a couple with non-magnetic tips if you plan to use them when working on electronics.
An Assortment of Hardware
Get yourself a box of assorted hardware, available at hardware stores and home centers. And the collection should include two or three sizes of wood/drywall and sheet metal screws as well as an assortment of small brackets and eye hooks. Drywall and cement anchors are also usually included in these kits.
Photo: Courtesy of Harbor Freight
You Might Need to Paint
If previous tenants painted the walls of your house or apartment garish colors or if no one has painted since cranberry red was popular, your landlord might agree to let you paint. And if they won’t let you paint common areas, perhaps they’ll at least agree to let you paint your bedroom walls. Also, if your landlord won’t supply the painting equipment you can pick up what you need, and if you take care of it, you’ll won’t have that expense the next time you need to paint.
Smooth Rough Edges with Sandpaper
First Aid Kit
Always keep a first aid kit on hand for emergencies. Aspirin, ibuprofen, bandages, antiseptic wipes, gauze, tweezers, scissors and tape are bare minimums. A couple chemical heating pads and ice packs are also highly recommended.
Duct Tape and Rubber Bands
If you live in an older building, duct tape and rubber bands are essential. And these two fixer-upper mainstays can help hold together almost anything that’s cracked, split or broken.
Whenever you need to tap or pound something that you really don’t want to damage, use a rubber mallet instead of a hammer. And in a pinch, you can take a rubber foot (used on chair legs to protect the floor) and slip it on a hammer and use it as a mallet.