Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Works For Me Wednesday: Tool Kit

In the past three days I have painted a room, hung pictures, dug a garden, and fixed a dishwasher (sortof).

I have needed to use a hammer, a Phillips head screw driver, a flat head screwdriver, pliers, needle nose pliers, a shovel, numerous nails, a scraper, and a ladder.

And all of these things I have done without the hands on help of my husband or his toolbox.


Because I have my own and I know how to use them, that's why.

What works for me this Wednesday is having my very own toolkit and having a basic knowledge of how things work. No woman should be without her own set of tools, completely separate from her husbands. I'm so adamant about this because there is nothing more frustrating than wanting to do something and having to wait until your husband gets home because you can't find the screwdriver and even if you could you aren't really sure how to use it (Is it "righty tighty, lefty loosey"? Or "lefty tighty, righty loosey?"). Even worse is needing to do something and not knowing where the tools are and not knowing what to do with them when you find them.

One of the downsides to being at home, is that when things break, you are usually the only grown up around. For example, this morning I turned on the dishwasher and all of a sudden water started to POUR out from under the kitchen sink. As it turns out, when Dave had fixed the garbage disposal the other day, there was a tube that didn't get reconnected. Unfortunately, that was the tube that water comes out of.

I turned off the dishwasher to stop the water, cleaned up the mess, and called Dave. He quickly walked me through how to reconnect it (not very hard), and I was finished. Crisis averted, and the dishwasher is now running smoothly.

Had I not been able to quickly locate my pliers, and have a basic understanding of how the parts worked (and I'm talking very basic here), I would have had to wait until Dave got home for him to do this tiny little thing, and I would have felt like a moron.

That, girls, is why you need your own tools.

Go to Home Depot. Go to their tool section and pick out a tool kit. If you need help, ask some one for a basic tool kit that has most things needed for easy home repairs, not a lot of specialty tools.

Once you have your tools, label them "MY TOOLS" and let the household know that they are not for general use, they are YOUR tools. Keep them in an easy to get to place. I keep mine in my hall closet, along with a small tackle box that contains a variety of nails, screws and other hooks.

Next (and this one is the biggie), when your husband (or whoever) does repairs, WATCH HIM. Ask him to walk you through some of the basic steps, and ask if you can help him. You will learn a ton just by watching. Make a point to learn how to do things like:

Turn off water sources.
Flip circuit breakers (and knowing when to do it, and what each switch is for).
Troubleshooting A/C problems, heating problems, and other major appliance problems (so you know when to call a professional, and when the problem is minor).
Fix a leaky faucet.

Nothing here is very hard, and all of it you can learn to do with very minimal fuss. It will make you feel proud of yourself, and independent because you didn't rely on someone else to do something that you were perfectly capable of doing. You're a smart kid!

Anyways, that's what works for me this Wednesday, my very own tool kit.


Anonymous said...

I am proud to say that I have two sets of tools! I got my own little Craftsman toolbox as a present to myself for my birthday a few years ago and last Christmas my cousin in law got me a very nice ladies toolset. The latter may be purple, but some of the things are actually better than the lie!

I had to get my own tools because my husband never puts his away and so I can never find a hammer when I need one!

You can get a really nice set at Sears or Lowe's for $20 that has the basics and for $40 -- you'd be set for all the minor-medium repairs....maybe even some major ones!

Anne-Marie said...

This is a great idea! Also for handy dc who want to do projects (work on their fort, for example).
Dh is very particular about his tools, and gets very frustrated when they are used and misplaced. Or not put back at all.

Ewokgirl said...

Good advice that I should take! I actually have 2 toolboxes of my own. However, my husband has taken over everything, and my toolboxes are missing some vital pieces. Just this week I've been out in the garage rummaging through his messes to try to find basic things, like a hammer. I think I may be going through all his stuff soon to take back what's mine! :-)

Kyla said...

I need to invest in a tool box. I do have a pink hammer that dissapears often. I think that secretly brian is jealous of the pink hammer

Tiffany said...

Strong post! This is great advice!

I recevied a tool kit from my aunt in college -- it's hot pink (as is everything inside) and the side of the box is stamped with "Do-It-Herself Kit."

While I think this was supposed to make me feel empowered, my husband just finds this hilarious. However, it had come in very handy, having lived under my desk for a number of years now and enabling me to do many things all by herself.