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The Practical Single Mothers' Kit

(38 Posts)
GenevievePettigrew Fri 07-Nov-14 10:21:34

Hello; am about to become a single mother (4yo DD). H is taking his tools with him; I have a set of screwdrivers and he's leaving the lawnmower (although to be honest I'll probably get someone in once a month to do that part of the gardening). Anyway it got me thinking - what should a practical single mother's kit contain? I probably need a hammer, nails, and things like a torch, spare light bulbs etc - but thought I'd see what else people might recommend. Thanks in advance!

WrappedInABlankie Fri 07-Nov-14 10:24:27

I don't have a hammer I have a meat tenderiser wink does the same job haha I have; screw drivers, screws picture hooks, tape, matches, candles, Allen keys

meglet Fri 07-Nov-14 10:29:13

-Gaffer / duct / elephant tape. Amazing what it can hold together.
-yy, to an occasional gardener. I used to love doing the lawn when the dc's had naps but I rarely get time to blitz it anymore (I work p/t).
-Good local tradesmen. I use the county council trading standards page. Check-a-trade isn't reliable because they have to pay to be registered hmm.
-Sunday newspaper delivery.

skolastica Fri 07-Nov-14 10:34:21

Tape measure

OddFodd Fri 07-Nov-14 10:37:28

I wouldn't be without a drill personally but you may not be that sort of person. Stepladder is also useful.

Also if you don't know where they are or your way around them, get familiar with where your stop cock, gas, water and electricity meters are. Also know which circuits are which on your circuit board (usually labelled but good to have a vague idea before the lights go out!).

I have the Collins DIY book which I highly recommend.

littlewoollypervert Fri 07-Nov-14 10:38:45

Stepladder or decent stepstool (I've both).
Proper toolbox to keep everything in - you are far more likely to do the little jobs quickly if you can lay your hand on the equipment easily.
Filler (if you change the position of a picture, use it to fill the original hole). Also handy for drafts coming in under windowsills - just fixed that in DD's room after 14 years!
If you paint a room, keep any paint leftovers in a jamjar with the name of the paint and the room it's for written on the jar in Sharpie pen.
Sharpie pens...
Paintbrushes (I buy cheap ones, use once and throw out rather than try and clean oil based paint off them)
Adjustable wrench/set of spanners
Allen keys (you probably have some already if you have any flat pack furniture)
Screws and those plastic wall plugs (Ikea do a good cheap set - the screws are galvanised which means they don't rust in a damp place like the bathroom).
If you are going to do any more serious work you might want to look at drills, a saw, sander etc.
God I sound like McGyver!

TensionWheelsCoolHeels Fri 07-Nov-14 10:39:04

An electric screwdriver & a drill - both cordless. A 'trundle trolley' - brilliant for shifting heavy furniture you'd normally break your back on or need a 2nd person. Good step ladder. Spirit level.

I'll be back later if I think of more. smile

IsabellaPong Fri 07-Nov-14 11:00:00

Spare batteries for smoke alarms. Ours always seem to go when I can't get out (night time) so I don't have to put up with beeping all night because I have a stash now!

OwlCapone Fri 07-Nov-14 11:03:51

Absolutely get a power screwdriver.

TBH, I don't think there is a lot of tools you need to have available. Most can be bought as and when you require them. A pair of pliers are useful, as is an adjustable wrench.

Spare fuses, bulbs and batteries are good to have.
Know where your main fuse box and water stop cock are.

OwlCapone Fri 07-Nov-14 11:06:01

A step ladder is good.

My personal thought is that most of the things mentioned on this thread are things you can buy if you find you need them. eg if you want to put shelves up yourself, you'll need a drill, rawl plugs, screws, spirit level... if you aren't going to put shelves up those things are unnecessary.

Romeyroo Fri 07-Nov-14 11:12:55

YY to the duct tape! My washing machine waste pipe is currently held together with that.
Agree re spare batteries and screw drivers (flat and crosshead) but most things you can get when you need them.
Hammer and some kind of wrench are useful though. Key to bleed radiators if necessary.
Also, the numbers of decent tradespeople (electrician, plumber) preferably by recommendation.

Romeyroo Fri 07-Nov-14 11:15:57

But on reflection, are the tools his or bought in the lifetime of the marriage? It is a bit unfair of him to take the lot unless it was all previously his, surely.

MisForMumNotMaid Fri 07-Nov-14 11:16:13

A [[ junior hacksaw]] and a universal saw. a set of screwdrivers with philips, flat and pozi heads. A large mixed box of stainless screws something like this which seams expensive but should last you years and its so helpful to have the right screw when you need one. A collection of rawl plugs, fuses for plugs and for your domestic electric mains if you're still on fuses. A small selection of sandpaper (keep it inside or in a sealed box because it'll go soggy and be no use if ledt in a damp shed/ garage). A radiator bleed key (if relevant). A pair of pliers and two adjustable spanners. (In plumbing there always seam to be two things that need holding when tightening/ loosening)

A decent powerful torch thats easily accessible. You can get ones which are rechargeable and sit on the plug recharger so if the power goes off you know its always going to be charged and in its place.

Silicon sealer and a sealing gun.

No more nails or cheap equivalent.

General purpose adhesive and superglue (for emergency toy repairs).

A basic DIY guide to show you through the steps of simple repairs and DIY jobs.

brittanyfairies Fri 07-Nov-14 11:23:42

I've got most of the tools listed above (and have used them all regularly). My cordless drill/screwdriver broke recently and I'm lost without it. I need to replace it. My smoke alarm broke and without it I can't get the old casing down and put the new alarm up, so it's flashing at me from the dresser. So I'd say a cordless drill/screwdriver.

I do pay a handyman to do odd jobs for me. So if they can wait I save them up and then pay for half a day's work putting up shelves and curtain poles etc. Sometimes I just need a hand lifting big things.

Smilesandpiles Fri 07-Nov-14 17:30:40

You will need:

A set of ladders that fold down to nothing, but are fully extendable. These are worth their weight in gold.

A decent drill, please spend some serious money on these as the cheap ones are just not worth it. Get an SDS drill AND all the drill bits. The SDS will cut through concrete, brick and supporting walls like butter.

Get a decent cordless drill for smaller jobs, all the drill bits.

Screw drivers, wrenches, adjustable wrench, spanners - all sizes, allen keys, all sizes.


My drill

my baby

A decent stanley knife and blades
Silicone gun
Sander and paper
Paint brushes, rollers, spares and tray
Masking tape, duct tape
no more nails
screws, nails, hooks

That'll do for now I think.

Smilesandpiles Fri 07-Nov-14 17:32:32

Decent tools are not cheap, but they are worth every single penny.

meglet Fri 07-Nov-14 17:35:25

Sat Nav. I can read maps, I just can't read maps and drive and negotiate arguments on the back seat at the same time.

Smilesandpiles Fri 07-Nov-14 17:43:30

Spare fuses
Batteries that the kids don't know about
Bulbs for every single type of light in the house
Washers, all sizes.
Wire coat hanger - sounds daft but you will need something that can be bent and manipulated. Mine has saved me a fortune when it comes to un blocking things.
Magnet. When you drop a screw, they become the same colour as the bloody floor, wave a magnet around and it'll pick it up.
SPIRIT LEVEL Big and small

Agree with the Collins DIY book. That's a must have.

starlight1234 Fri 07-Nov-14 20:55:52

Think it depends upon what things you are going to do. When I moved in with DS put up all sorts of things, laid carpet, filled holes, decorated. Now I would have to say most common used objects are screwdrivers and batteries.

If you are planning to build furniture A electric screwdriver is vital

HonoraryOctonaut Fri 07-Nov-14 20:58:27

Electric screwdriver - I love mine.

HonoraryOctonaut Fri 07-Nov-14 20:59:41

Not took related but lots and lots of Calpol as when the DC are poorly in the night there's no one there to go and get you any.

Smilesandpiles Fri 07-Nov-14 21:00:23

Ditto toilet rolls.

ALWAYS have milk and bread in the freezer.

Lampy Fri 07-Nov-14 21:00:59

Veering away from the tools...I always make sure I have a stock of calpol in because there isn't anyone to send out to the 24 hour supermarket if dd has a fever in the night.

starlight1234 Fri 07-Nov-14 21:59:02

is it wrong when ever DS is ill I make sure I have Calpol for him and wine for me ???

Smilesandpiles Fri 07-Nov-14 21:59:51

Not wrong at all no. Common sense if you ask me.

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