The 8 Essentials of a Home Tech Maintenance Toolkit

Keeping your home electronics and computer equipment in tip-top working order usually takes minimal maintenance. But every so often you'll need to do more than just a simple wipe down: new memory installation, cleaning out the whole keyboard inside out, or worst case scenario, something breaks within and you've got to open up and replace the non-working part. Below are 8 items we think every household should have right next to their regular home toolbox, all which will make you less reliant upon any Genius Bar or outside help for most moderately difficult projects.

Cyber Clean: We tried these out at CES and were amazed how well they worked at removing debris from the nooks and crannies of handheld electronics and also back at home, from our keyboard. It also happens to feel like slime, which makes it a great deal of fun to work with.

Belkin F8E060 10-Piece Computer Tool Kit: This 10 piece toolkit is serious business for all your removal or installation needs, thanks to the fully demagnetized selection of 2 Philips screwdrivers (No. 0 and No. 1), 2 nut drivers (1/4- and 3/16-inch), 2 flat screwdrivers (1/8- and 3/16-inch), a zipper case, an insulated chip (IC) insertion/extraction clipper, T15 torx screwdriver, 3-pronged parts retriever, and tweezers. A must for anyone who doesn't like to get ripped off for memory/hard drive replacement fees.

StarTech M3013 24x26 Desktop Anti-Static Mat: if you're going to be working on any electronic device, including hard drives and memory, make sure you take precautions with static electricity. Using a mat under your laptop or CPU will help dissipate any static.

Anti-Static Wrist Band with Adjustable Grounding: Another precautionary measure which grounds you to dissipate static electricity while working on smaller parts. Recommended especially for times when you're replacing memory or inserting a new drive.

Canned Air: Besides being an excellent naughty cat deterrent and budget hot day air conditioner, canned air used sparingly is fantastic not only for dust removal, but also for carefully blasting out small screws/parts that have fallen out of reach.

Computer Cleaning Wipes: as noted above, most everything you want for computer or electronics maintenance should combat static electricity. Using wipes specially formulated for electronics devices keep them smudge and static free.

Antistatic Cleaning Cloth: When you just need to wipe down clean any of your equipment after finishing up maintenance, a 100% micro synthetic chemical free fibers like this one created for photographic equipment works well.

IKEA MONTERA Kit: We're not sure if IKEA still sells these excellent all-in-one kits, but we highly recommend their wire and cable management solution in a box for both home office and home entertainment organization needs. There's just about every type of twist tie, velcro or wall guidance accessory within the box.