Becoming Handy: Where to Start

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To begin with, the fact that you’re remotely pursuing learning how to tackle problems around the house on your own speaks volumes. Most people stop at wishing, but not you! And I’m here to keep you moving, give you some guidance, and get you set up to be the handiest person you know! Be warned though, once you get sucked into this lifestyle it can be all consuming. You’ll find yourself excited for your next project, eager to take on new challenges, and once your friends find out how handy you are your phone might not stop ringing! Hell, you might even find yourself wanting to spend a little too much money on new tools and toys just because! That’s okay! But let’s just take it a little slow to start.

For starters, I’m going to assume you have next to nothing in the way of tools or “Fix It” knowledge. That’s cool, we can start from scratch! The easiest way I think to get started on becoming handy is trial by fire, meaning you’ve gotta just jump in on a project and learn your way through it. Now I’m not saying tackle something way over your head right off the top, but start small and find something in your house or apartment that’s bothering you or that maybe has just been broken since you moved in, and learn how to fix it. Stuff like fixing a loose hinge, a leaky faucet, or maybe a sticky door, little projects that don’t require a lot of tools.

Speaking of tools, let’s talk “Starter Pack”. It’s no secret that to be handy, you’ve gotta have some tools of the trade. Now you don’t have to have ALL THE TOOLS! (I have to keep telling myself this over and over) Most around the house tasks can be conquered with a very basic set of tools. Start small and add to your collection over time. Don’t try to buy every tool you can think of up front. You’ll end up with tools you don’t need and end up wasting money. A helpful tip I’d recommend is start by buying relatively inexpensive tools and seeing what projects you can tackle with them. Once you see the types of tools you’re using most often, THEN INVEST in a better quality tool.

I highly recommend you set yourself up with a set of tools that includes the following.

  • Hammer – Get yourself a decent one, not a little cheapy one. You’re gonna use this all the time so you want one that can do work!
  • Screwdriver Set – Nothing too fancy, just need various size flat heads and phillips heads. Could even get yourself an interchangeable bit screwdriver for starters.
  • Socket Set – Get a medium sized set. Somewhere in the 50-100 piece range
  • Tape Measure – Stanley makes a great one but there are many others out there. I’d recommend a 25ft
  • Razor blade – Lots of options out there. Make sure the blade can lock in place well and doesn’t come out easily.
  • A level – Try a 18″-24″ to start. Eventually you’ll want to add a 4ft to the collection but that’ll come later
  • Pliers – You can get a set or individual pieces. I recommend getting a larger pair of Channel Locks and then a smaller pair of needlenose at the least. You can find cheap sets at Home Depot all the time.
  • Drill/ Impact Driver Combo – Now this is a big OPTIONAL add to the list. I highly recommend getting a 18 or 20 volt kit to add to your collection but maybe wait a few months and save up some money before jumping in, unless you know you can afford it and are going to use it. Having it will greatly simplify your life once you get started, BUT it’s not essential for small projects right away.

To get you started, I put together a DIY/HANDYMAN STARTER KIT from Amazon that will set you up to start tackling projects around your house.

Once you have the tools, figure out which project you’re gonna start with and do your research. Go on YouTube and search for what it is that you’re going to be working on. Check out the MR. FIX IT CHANNEL and see if I have what you’re looking for. *hint hint* If not, I guarantee there are plenty of videos out there that can give you some guidance. Don’t be afraid to watch a bunch of different videos until you’re totally comfortable with the task. If you’ve still got questions, then reach out to me directly on Facebook and I will do my best to steer you in the right direction!

Good luck, and get to work!