The fix-anything kit
You don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on top-of-the-line tools to stash in your closet in the event that you might need to fix something someday, but a few middle-of-the-road pieces will make your life much easier — especially if your parents are hundreds of miles away. My suggestions?
- A light-weight, large-enough toolbox to keep everything together in one place.
- Hammers, screwdrivers, pliers and an Allen Wrench set will save you a lot of stress.
- You’ll want to stuff your box with the often-forgotten essentials like duct tape, super glue, measuring tape, an extension cord and push pins.
While it’s probably more cost effective to make your own, you can purchase a toolkit with everything packed inside already. There are cute pink tool sets and college-logo storage boxes if that’s your thing.
The “I don’t feel very good” kit
Living away from home is difficult, especially when you get sick for the very first time. Having a few medical supplies on hand is key when you’re cramming for finals. MomsWhoThink.com put together a list of essential items in their post “Don’t Forget First Aid – Send Your Child to College Prepared.”
- Rubbing alcohol
- Adhesive bandages
- Antibiotic ointment
- Packs that can be heated or cooled
- Acetaminophen — for general aches and pains
- Ibuprofen — for pains caused by swelling and inflammation
- Antacids — for indigestion (aka: too much pizza)
- Benadryl for seasonal allergies — I suggest the non-drowsy kind
- Cough drops and hot tea for sore throats
- Tweezers and a thermometer can always come in handy, too.
The “oh &*^%, what do I do now?” kit
For those moments when your toilet is overflowing or your shower is suddenly clogged as if you were taking a bath, here are a few essentials that I’ve learned to keep in the house in case of emergency.
- Two plungers (with holders so gross water doesn’t end up on your floors) — a small one for a sink and a larger one for the toilet. Trust me, you don’t want to be using the same plunger for both issues.
- Drano or something similar to unclog drains — you may want to check with your landlord on what they suggest you use as some chemicals are much more harsh than the rest.
- White vinegar and baking soda. When combined, these two can clean or un-clog just about anything. Here’s a tip my own mother gave to me when I moved out for the first time. She said, “If you ever need to get rid of smells in carpet pour some white vinegar on the spot and pat dry. It will remove just about any smell.”
Now that you have a few items to hopefully remedy any sticky situation, what other items do you suggest college students keep on hand in case of emergency? Leave us your comments below! We’d love to hear from you.