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The Off-Campus Student Toolbox

Now that you are living on your own, there are a few tools you might want to have around your apartment before something happens. Whether you’ve got a clogged toilet or need to tighten the hinge on a cupboard, these tools can help you in a pinch.


A plunger is used to clear a blockage in a drain. When you were living at home and the toilet got clogged, it may have been your responsibility to unclog it yourself, or a parent may have taken care of it for you. Now that you are living on your own though, you will need to be able to take care of these blockages. A plunger is a useful tool for the toilet, the shower drain, or the sink.

To use a plunger you should make sure the drain is covered with water. Then cover the drain with the plunger and create an airtight seal over it. Push the plumber up and down. After a minute of plunging lift the plunger and see if the water drains.


Screwdrivers are an important tool for any household. Screwdrivers can be used for a lot of different things, like tightening a hinge on a door or a cupboard or assembling a DIY project.

When you leave home, it is a good idea to make sure you have some of these. When it comes to screwdrivers, it might be difficult to figure out which ones you are most likely to need. The most common ones that are used are the Philips-head (this is designed for use on a screw where the slot looks like a plus sign) and the flathead (this is the one that is a straight line). You can buy these in kits that have different sizes to ensure when you do need them you will have the one that suits your needs.

Measuring Tape

Owning a measuring tape can make a huge difference. Are you moving a large object into your apartment or need to see if something will fit in your car? Measuring the object beforehand will help you to know if you can move it before you even try. It gives you the peace of mind you need.

A measuring tape is also great for decorating your apartment with framed artwork or pictures. You can measure the space on your walls to help give the aesthetic appeal that you want when placing your wall hangings.

Jumper Cables

If you own a car, you should definitely have a set of jumper cables. You never know when something might happen to your car battery, or a friend may accidentally leave the lights on in the car all night. Having jumper cables handy will allow you to get your car started again in a cinch.

Here’s a quick guide if you need it: How to Jump Start a Car

These are just a few tools that you should keep on hand as you venture out on your own for the first time. Keep them handy and make your own checklist to make sure you have what you need.

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