9 Tiny Time Savers You Should Always Have on Hand at Home

published Nov 26, 2019
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Running out the the hardware store every time some little problem comes up—say, a wobbly table or a scuffed wall—is almost more annoying than the problem itself. Instead of turning every fix into its own massive chore, spend a little time prepping your home repair kit so it’s well stocked to deal with small things as they come up. Here are the items you should always have on hand.

Credit: 3M

Spackling compound and a putty knife

Spackling compound is ideal for repairing small holes, cracks, and damaged surfaces. Use it for situations like accidentally ripping your drywall if you get too aggressive in peeling a Command strip off, or for filling in nail holes as you finalize your gallery wall. Get one with primer already in it to make touch ups even quicker—and don’t forget the putty knife.

Credit: Air Images/Shutterstock

Paint samples

Speaking of touch-ups, keep a small sample size of your wall paints to quickly cover spackle. Paint samples usually come in stackable containers with easy-open screw tops so you don’t have to worry about lids rusting while in storage. Pro tip: Keep a digital list of your paint colors and finishes so when you’re trying to get a sample match, you’re not left deciphering an old paint label that’s been caked over.

Credit: FrogTape

Painter’s tape

Painter’s tape can be used in plenty of ways outside of painting. Use it to map out your gallery wall before creating holes, mark level drill holes without ever drawing on your walls, and lay out furniture dimensions before committing to any new pieces or trying to rearrange your room.

Credit: Katzco

Wood marker

Scuff that wood dresser dragging a nightstand into the guest room? Two words: Wood marker. Wood markers or wax sticks are specifically formulated to match different kinds of wood and seamlessly hide any bumps, scratches, dings, or marks.

Credit: DEWALT

Ratcheting screwdriver

We’ve talked about our love for ratcheting screwdrivers before and continue to sing its praises. What makes it different from the standard screwdriver is that its head only exerts force in one direction; i.e. it either only turns to the right to tighten or it turns to the left to loosen. That means you’ll never have to reposition your hand as you’re screwing; instead, you can fasten a screw all the way in fluid back-and-forth motions. Get one with a bunch of different heads to suit all projects.

Credit: Fiskars

Utility knife

A utility knife is an indispensable staple for more than opening up all those holiday packages. Remove the blade from the handle to scrape off any hardened residue like dried glue or paint or use traditionally for light- to medium-duty cutting and trimming.

Credit: Husky


Ah, wrenches. This tool is one of those you don’t need frequently, but when you do, it’s an emergency (think: leaky pipes). Be prepared and stock your repair kit with an adjustable wrench that will work for most home repair situations.

Credit: Goo Gone

Goo Gone

No one likes being caught in a sticky situation. Goo Gone is known for removing adhesives, but did you know it works on a ton of other messes? The official Goo Gone site actually has an entire “Will this work on that?” guide to break down everything it can tackle and the surfaces it’s safe to use on.

Credit: Gorilla Glue

Super glue

You already know to keep duct tape around, but do you have super glue? This adhesive is stronger than craft or school glue and can be used with more materials. It’s great for fixing peeling cabinet laminate, securing a loose tile in a pinch, or puzzle-piecing broken lamps.