South and Hickory Facade

Apartment Toolbox Essentials

Man using a tape measure. Photo credit Ono Kosuki

February 2021

While our mighty South and Hickory Place maintenance staff will take care of any repairs to apartment needs, there are some basic hand tools you should keep in your apartment.

Compact Hammer

For jobs like assembling furniture and hanging pictures, a quality hammer is a must. Compact hammers have a full-size head but a shorter handle. That makes them easier to store in a drawer or toolbox. Sizes are based on weight, and an 8-ounce hammer should be perfect for your needs.

Tape Measure

If you’ve ever tried to measure something really long with a ruler, you know why having a tape measure is so important. It makes measuring for things like window treatments and area rugs a breeze. When shopping for furniture, take it along with you to make sure you don’t purchase something too big or small for your space. A 25-foot tape measure is a good size for most apartment projects

Screwdriver Set

Screws tend to loosen over time, so having a screwdriver to tighten that loose cabinet knob or table leg saves a lot of frustration. And if you plan to buy anything that requires assembly, they’re must. While you could buy individual screwdrivers, getting one multi-purpose screwdriver will take up less space and serve your needs well. It’s like having a single screwdriver with multiple tips (flat, phillips, torx, etc).

Allen Wrench Set

If you’ve ever purchased anything from Ikea, you’ve probably used an Allen wrench. They’re great for assembling furniture and tightening up the hex bolts on everything from towel holders to bicycles.


Even if your power never goes out, having a flashlight can a big help for when looking for lost objects or seeing into small dark spaces. And while you’re probably thinking you can use your smartphone’s light, a quality flashlight will provide a brighter and more concentrated beam of light.

Utility Knife

If you’re like most people, you buy a lot of things online and end up opening a lot of packages. A utility knife is perfect for opening boxes or cutting anything that would be too big of a job for a pair of scissors.