Living in a not-so-big space for a family, we pride ourselves on trying to not accumulate too much stuff. But some things have a place in every home, big or small, and tools that help you to get jobs done properly on your own are worth the modest amount of storage space they take up. We think that no home should be without:
Hammer - simply indispensable.
Tape Measure - for seeing if that new table you are dreaming about will really fit...
Screwdrivers - both types, in just a few sizes. You don't need a gazillion of them.
Plunger - hopefully not needed often, but when you need it you need it NOW.
Metal Ruler and Exacto Knife/Razor - for measuring and cutting
Stud Finder and Level - for hanging artwork, bookshelves and maybe even your tv.
Pliers, Vise Grip and Wrench - Simple plumbing fixes, bike repair and maintenance, tightening nuts and bolts.
Hand Drill - for hanging things, making holes, screwing in things; good for bigger jobs.
Duct Tape - for when all else fails.
Hex Keys - especially handy if you have pieces from IKEA or other DIY assembly furniture
We keep our tool collection in an old cutlery organizer in a deep cabinet in the kitchen. Not glamorous, but easy to get to when we need them.
Which tools can you not live without? If we've forgotten any, please add them to the comments.