This week one of my dearest friends– a girl who has stuck by me on my crazy DIY journey since the day she helped me rip the stink-carpet out of my very first house a decade ago– became a homeowner herself, and joined the ranks of badass women who learn to fix up their own houses.
(That’s us, not ripping carpet out.)
I am so incredibly proud of her.
I also remember what it’s like to walk into your first house, look around at all the things you want to do, and realize that you are seriously ill-equipped. She is going to learn so many things and have so many adventures in her new place, so I figured the best thing I could do for her would be this…
New Homeowner Survival Kit (aka A Lot of Shit in a Bucket)
You know, all of the stuff you collect over the first year of homeownership, during all of those emergency trips to the hardware store because, oh hell, you don’t have the thing you need to do the thing you were trying to do. Again.
Here’s what it included:
- A five-gallon bucket- You can never have too many of them, and they get even handier with something like this.
- Shop towels- Stronger than paper towels, still disposable.
- Wiping cloths- These are perfect, t-shirt material scraps to use for staining and general things that require something tougher than a disposable towel.
- Throw-away chip brushes- I use these exclusively to test out paint swatches
- The best edging brush ever- I used to think this was just hype, but no… really is the best edging brush ever.
- A solid 25′ tape measure – Yeah, that cheap plastic 12′ tape in your junk drawer isn’t going to cut it anymore.
- Putty knife and spackle- You know the first thing you’re going to want to do is paint some walls, and then you’ll start finding old nail holes in the wall and you head will explode. (It was a huge miss that I didn’t also include some sanding sponges in this survival kit.)
- Wood glue- You never know when you’ll need it.
- JB Weld – Ditto.
- Drywall anchors – Sold drywall anchors for hanging anything from curtain rods, towel bars, pictures, etc.
- Wall hangers – Same as above, these are my favorite type of picture hanger.
- Folding utility knife – Every house, barn, and car needs at least one of these things in it. I’m tempted to keep one in every room and two in my pockets. Just because.
- Calk and caulk gun – Every girl needs a little caulk.
- Pry bar – Good for prying up trim, deck boards, removing nails, and generally demolishing stuff.
- Duct tape – I mean, it’s duct tape. Enough said.
There may have been some actual squeals of delight over the contents of this bucket, and that’s a sure sign that you’ve become a full-fledged homeowner–making happy noises at duct tape.
Then, as I was telling my dear friend about why I chose each item, we had this conversation:
Me: I assumed you have a hammer and screwdrivers and things, so I went with stuff that you could need at any given time, but aren’t necessarily toolbox staples.
Me: You don’t have a hammer and screwdrivers, do you?
Me: What do you have?
Her: Two rakes. (Points to vacuum cleaner) That.
Her: Oh, and this…
Then my brain short circuited.
I have one and a half rooms of my house purely dedicated to tools, plus a 20×20 workshop. She has… a tupperware. With a wrench in it.
We have so much tool-shopping to do.