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Must Have Tools for a New Homeowner

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When we bought our first (and so far only) house, we were struck with how many tools we seemed to need, tools that we either rarely or never used before. Many trips were made to local hardware stores (or Amazon), but after about six months we felt like we had finally gotten to a good place.

Everything listed below are items we personally own and I’ve only included items that I like and regularly use. The lists are by no means comprehensive, but hopefully you can find something of use.

Outdoor Tools

First up is outdoor tools. This group was the one we owned the least of at the onset and thus needed to buy the most of.

  • Shovel
    A shovel has a tapered pointed end and is primarily used for digging holes. It is useful for many other things such as shoveling mulch, gravel and so on. I’ve found that this is one of my most used outdoor tools.
    What you want is one with a heavy duty head and has the ability to replace the handle, as these can break. I bought mine at our local co-op and it has a fiberglass handle which has held up very well.
  • Spade
    A spade has a straight edge and is slightly better suited for shoveling loose items versus the shovel. It also lets you square off holes you have dug. I don’t use this tool nearly as frequently as the shovel, so if you had to choose between the two, go with a quality shovel.
  • Metal Rake
    Contrary to what you may think, I find that this type of rake isn’t useful for raking leaves. It is great at raking heavier things such as mulch, gravel, dirt, hay/straw and other similar things. It is a pretty good tool all around.
    Similar to the shovel, you want a heavy duty head and preferably a replaceable handle. I also bought this at our local co-op with a fiberglass handle.
  • Garden Wagon or Wheelbarrow
    Sometimes you just need to move things and one of these two items is great for that. We ended up buying a dump capable garden wagon at Tractor Supply and so far we have really liked it.

Hand Tools

Many of these tools I already owned when we moved, but it is possible that a lot of new homeowners do not.

  • Hammer
    You need a decent hammer. While you could get by with a simple, cheap one for hanging pictures and such, a quality hammer will last a lifetime and be useful for a broader range of tasks.
    I had a simple hammer when we moved, but opted to get a Estwing Hammer when I started building our chicken coop. It is a very nice, all purpose hammer and I use it quite frequently.
  • Stud Finder
    I’m sure that most people have discovered the annoyance that is stud finding. Sometimes you just need to anchor in a stud and they can frequently be a pain to find. I’ve tried several battery powered ones and never liked them. On a whim I bought a Magnetic Stud Finder and it’s pretty much amazing. It works by being magnetically drawn to the nails/screws used to put up the drywall. So far I’ve yet to run into a situation where it didn’t find a stud.
  • Caulk Gun
    One of the first tasks I had to do when we moved in was to buy some silicone kitchen caulk and apply it around the kitchen sink. Whoever installed it apparently forgot to do so. I ended up buying a Tarvol one as it sounded like a robust tool. Brittany and I have used it for several dozen tubes of caulk with no complaints.
  • Snaking Tool
    Lets face it, no one likes unclogging a drain; it’s gross and it always needs to be done at the worst time. A few years back I bought a set of small plastic clog removers and for most clogs they will do the job. It is the first tool I try on a clog and only after failure will I consider getting the auger out.

Powered Tools (battery, AC or air)

  • Cordless Drill
    You never know when you will need to drill a hole or drive a screw and that makes a cordless drill invaluable. When we moved I had a Bosch cordless drill, but as I was frequently working in both the house and the pole barn, I decided to buy the Bosch Cordless Drill Set. It’s a great set because you get the regular drill, plus an impact drill (great for driving lag bolts) and two batteries.
  • Multimeter
    Some may consider this non-essential, but even a simple outlet or switch change is best done with a multimeter to assist. If wiring such things is too scary, I don’t blame you. Electricity can be dicey, but this tool has been essential in both installation and troubleshooting.
  • Electric Bug Zapper
    We moved to a bit of land and as such we find flies and wasps more frequently than we would like. I randomly ran across this bug zapper one day and bought it on a whim. It is amazing! Flies and wasps get taken out with minimal fuss and no smears on the walls.
  • 3 Outlet Heavy Duty Extension Cord
    This is not a power tool per se, but needed to power tools. A heavy duty extension cord is a must and one with three outlets on the end (and a LED light indicating current) is really great.
  • Angle Finish Nailer
    I have several nail guns (all acquired after we moved), but if I had to name one as the most useful and my favorite, it would be my Hitachi 15 Gauge Angled Finish Nailer. I like it because it is quite versatile. I’ve used it to put up molding, nail boards together for furniture, put up plywood sheets on the wall, attach soffit boards and fascia and many other things.
    Since I bought it, it appears that Hitachi’s tool division was bought and is now Metabo. The comparable nailer appears to be the Metabo HPT Pneumatic Angled Finish Nailer,
  • Compound Miter Saw (aka chop saw)
    An absolutely essential saw if you do any work around the home. It’s perfect for quick cuts, or angled cuts, or mitered cuts. If you get the sliding version, it’ll even be useful for cutting shelving wood. I ended up buying a Kobalt (Lowes) 12″ sliding compound miter saw and while not the most accurate, it has been a workhorse.
  • Circular Saw
    Eleven years ago I bought a Milwaukee Circular Saw and it is still going strong now. If you don’t have a table saw, or need to make long cuts on site, a circular saw is a great tool. I’ve used it quite extensively in the last few years and it is a tool that can replace many other saws, in a pinch.
  • Electric Earmuff
    I’ll admit to having owned a pair or two of these for quite a while. And the reason? Not only do they protect your hearing, they can also amplify sound. This is great when you are working with someone else and want to be able to communicate while still protecting your hearing. They have a 3.5mm audio jack, allowing you to hook up to a phone (or MP3 player) and play tunes while you are working.

Miscellaneous

This list is a bunch of nifty things I’ve run across in the last few years that I have really liked.

  • Anti Tip Kit
    Whether or not you have kids, this kit can prove invaluable for the safety conscious. Some furniture is just tippy and needs something like this.
  • Hand Made Broom
    I can’t stand the lame plastic brooms that all the stores seem to have. I just don’t think they do a good job. This broom on the other hand, is super and has held up to frequent use quite well.
  • LED String Lights
    These lights are pretty fun and quite durable and energy efficient. We have them strung up in my daughter’s room and also around our fireplace mantle (a non-working fireplace). For pictures of the lights in action scroll to the end of our contractor post.
  • Dimmable LED Light Switch
    After moving into our house, we started the long and arduous process of replacing nearly every light fixture. The ones the previous owner had put in were the bland off-the-shelf Lowes special. As part of this process I would put dimmable LEDs in and in a few rooms of our house, I added this light switch.
  • Dimmable LED Candle Light Bulbs
    And.. After trying quit a few different candle bulbs, I ended up deciding to get these. They are very consistent (as in, they all work regardless of the fixture) and put off excellent light.
  • Programmable Light Switch
    Living out in the country, it gets dark at night given the lack of street lights. While we don’t frequently stay out past dark, it does happen and it was very frustrating to come home and have to fumble with your keys in the dark. After some research, I ran across this light switch and decided to buy it. It was an excellent purchase! I have it set up to turn the outside lights on at dusk and off at 11PM, meaning we have never come home to a lightless porch since.

In Closing

There are many other items I could list, but I don’t want this post to be endless so I will stop here. Hopefully this list will help you to select some useful tools for your home.

DIY Gift Guide

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Who is a last minute shopper? This girl! I’m trying to get ahead of the game this year. I know I say this every year…but, truthfully I want to be on top of it. Last year our exchange student Noemi told us that her Mother always did this each year for her and her siblings and how much she loved it. So I decided to do the same for her and Pepper last Christmas and now I will continue with the tradition since she loved it so much. How does it work? You wrap and give 24 little tiny gifts to open, one gift every single day from December 1st all the way until December 24th. It’s like a daily advent calendar of gifts.

I haven’t quite planned out Pepper’s daily presents just yet. But I try to keep the costs down. I never give her candy, and instead small little things, what kids don’t love opening a little present every single day? I’ll definitely be sharing more on this year’s gift advent calendar in a future blog post as soon as I figure out all the presents.

I LOVE making DIY (do it yourself) gifts. All of my friends and family are familiar with them because every year this is mostly what they receive. I also love giving small gifts to our mailman, our close neighbors, and our piano teacher as well as the teachers at church. it’s a gesture of thank you for all you do…if your kids go to school, don’t forget to thank the teacher with a little something something. They sure do appreciate it.

When you have a long list of people who you want to give gifts to it can add up fast. So I like create little presents that are very unique and also affordable. One year I knitted everyone I knew a scarf! Over the years my family and friends have gotten all essential oil wellness gifts. Lately though I like to mix the “crafty” gifts with the DIY wellness gifts.

I will say no one complains about a homemade gift! I mean who doesn’t want homemade body butter, a linen sleep spray with a warm fuzzy blanket or a bar of homemade goat soap. People love homemade gifts and I love it too because it helps me not break the bank while still being able to bless everyone with a little something something!

DIY Gift Guide 2019

Some homemade gifts your friends & family will LOVE!

  1. DIY Lip Balm, these make easy affordable gifts or stocking stuffers.
  2. DIY Sleepy Time pillow spray in 2 oz glass bottle or roller bottle & a warm fuzzy blanket like this one makes a great gift. Sleepy Time pillow spray recipe: 10 drops cedar wood, 10 drops lavender, 4 drops orange, 10 drops Valerian essential oils, add 1 tbs witch hazel (fragrance free) and fill rest of bottle with filtered pure water. Roller bottle recipe: Same drops of oils as the spray bottle, but add fractionated coconut oil to the top of the roller bottle.
  3. DIY Body Butter with your favorite essential oils (I personally love a combo of cedar wood, rosemary and lavender)
  4. Make some homemade soup and gift it in a jar with a small loaf of fresh bread (this is a perfect gift for a neighbor friend or elderly friend) Here is a yummy soup recipe. Make a large batch, it’s cheap and it will make a lot of gifts! Make sure to keep your soup stored properly and gift it to your friend/family right away so they know to use it/put it in fridge or freeze it. Be sure to freeze it in a freezer zip lock and not in the glass container or it will explode and make a giant sad mess.
  5. DIY essential oil perfume & DIY knitted scarf, or this one is cute too! Perfume recipe: Add 15 drops Stress Away, 10 drops bergamot, 5 drops patchouli essential oils added to a super cute perfume bottle, fill rest of the bottle with 100% pure vodka. This is a yummy alternative to modern lab made fragrance perfumes. Perfumes are extremely toxic and they greatly damage the endocrine system, which controls all of our hormones. In the US, infertility is currently 1 in 8 couples. Gifting with healthy alternatives & educating our young adolescents on these toxins is extremely important.
  6. Gentle Babies book & a child Immune roller bottle {10 drops frankincense & 8 drops Thieves essential oil + fill 10 ml roller bottle with carrier oil like fractionated coconut oil} Immune rollers are great to roll down the spine and bottoms of your child’s feet (then socks over) a few times a day in order to support their immune system. Gentle Babies is a great book for any Mom with young kiddos or a baby on the way. If they are wanting to go the “natural” route in helping their children stay well by using essential oils then this is a must have!

Some gifts of Wellness…because you care about the health of your family & friends!

  1. DIY Elderberry Syrup would make a great gift for a friend or family member. Be sure to include some instruction on the when and how to take it.
  2. Homemade Sauerkraut is a great affordable gift. It’s easy to make, it’s cheap and it’s super good for you! Read all about the amazing health benefits here at Mama Wellness’s blog.
  3. Tea mug & some echinacea plus tea packets with lavender or thieves essential oil.
  4. Wellness Basket full of must have seasonal wellness goodies {Echinacea Tincture for immune support, Cherry Bark Tincture for respiratory health, Vitamin C to support the immune system, Throat Coat Tea, Young Living Inner Defense, & Thieves Essential Oil}
  5. Herbal Epsom Salt bath with a relaxing essential oil blend like Release, Stress Away or White Angelica…place the Epsom salts in a linen sachet (1 cup or fill the bag as desired) and add 5 drops of Essential oil to each sachet. Be sure to buy Epsom salts that are just 100% Epsom salts with no added fragrance. Lab made fragrances are toxic.
  6. Young Living FeatherOwl Diffuser & with some Sleepygize Essential oil
  1. Wool Dryer balls & some Purification essential Oil. Did you know that dryer sheets are one of the most toxic products that people use in their homes with runner ups being candles, laundry detergent & perfume?? Help a family member ditch the toxins and make the switch to using a natural alternative like wool dryer balls and some 100% pure essential oil. Just add a few drops of oil to one wool dryer ball and throw all the balls into the dryer.
  2. Homemade DIY Essential Oil Gingerbread Ornaments, we made these two years ago and they make great gifts or you can also use them to decorate the outside of a present…bonus: they smell amazing!
  3. Lavender Essential Oil & a sachet of fresh lavender to hang in the closet or a linen drawer. Fill your sachets with fresh lavender and some drops of oil. These little sachets make perfect little gifts.
  4. Some local spice mixes (we love going to our local spice shop to grab locally “made in Tennessee spices”…order up some cooking essential oil like oregano, thyme or rosemary and some kitchen spoons. This makes a great gift for the person who loves to cook.
  5. A lov-ey chew toy for the baby and some Gentle Baby or Seedlings blend Essential oil
  6. Some empty roller bottles and your favorite Essential oils to make many perfume blends as stocking stuffers {in a 10 ml roller bottle). Recipe 1: 10 drops bergamot, 7 drops ylang ylang, 4 drops lavender, 4 drops orange // Recipe 2: 10 drops Stress Away, 8 drops bergamot, 5 drops patchoili}

I hope this helps give you some fun ideas for this holiday season. Be sure to grab your Young Living essential oils by logging into your YL account (FYI: oils sold on AMAZON are not Young Living Oils but counterfeit, so please do not purchase these).

If you are not currently a member check out my post about essential oils or check out this post here. I’m excited to help you get started with your Young Living Journey.

Remember, no matter what your budget is, it’s truly the thought that counts. If all you can afford is a hand written note of “Thank You & Merry Christmas” that’s just perfect and it will truly warm someone’s heart!

Are you ready to get started with Young Living Essential Oils? Go here…I’ll be happy to help you get started. Not all oils are created equal, be sure you get the good stuff!