Renting an apartment for the first time can be a challenging and overwhelming process. There are plenty of details to keep track of—from signing your lease to moving all your belongings. But one aspect of moving that many first-time renters forget is having the right tools before move-in day. Whether you’re renting a studio or a three-bedroom apartment, tools can make the difference between getting settled quickly and comfortably into your new place and having the process take longer and be more challenging.

From basic items like screwdrivers and hammers to levels and a good flashlight, having these items handy will prevent unnecessary issues that could delay settling into your new home. However, with so many varieties of tools available, it can be difficult to know which tools are must-haves and which ones you can leave off your list.

To help make the process easier for those renting an apartment in York, PA, for the first time, we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of essential tools everyone should have when renting an apartment.

1. A Set of Screwdrivers

A woman using a screwdriver on the table as man and baby sit in the background

Having your own set of screwdrivers is essential when you are renting an apartment in York, PA. Whether it’s assembling furniture, tightening doorknobs, or hanging curtain rods, having the right screwdriver for the job can save you time and money. A good set of screwdrivers makes life in your new place much easier rather than borrowing tools from landlords or neighbors.

No matter the task, selecting the correct screwdriver for optimal results is essential. Flathead and Phillip’s head are two popular options if you’re looking for a go-to screwdriver for everyday jobs like tightening furniture screws or assembling new pieces.

Having high-quality screwdrivers in your toolbox is essential, so investing in a quality set that won’t break apart during use is important. Although buying a premium kit may require more initial investment than cheaper alternatives, high-end models’ superior results and durability make them well worth the cost over time, as they will not wear down after frequent usage.

2. A Hammer

Having a hammer is an absolute must-have for your first-time renting an apartment near York, PA. From hanging art on the walls to putting furniture together or even making repairs, having a trusty hammer in your tool set can make settling into your rental space significantly easier and faster. Ensure you get permission from your property owner before you put nails in the wall to be sure it doesn’t go against your lease agreement. You should also plan to patch the holes before you leave the apartment to help get your deposit back.

A hammer can even hang shelves and pictures throughout your rental, but it can also help you rearrange your space. Grab your hammer for a little extra leverage if you need an extra hand when shifting heavy furniture around the house. Just be careful not to scratch the furniture with the hammer. Investing in a quality version that is robust enough to deal with all these tasks will save you time and money.

In addition to providing practical uses, hammers can help you feel empowered in your own space by allowing you to fix common issues around the house, such as a loose nail on your deck, without calling on an outside professional, your property management company, or your landlords to assist. Having a hammer and other common tools gives you, as a first-time renter, independence and freedom over how you want your living space to feel and function.

3. A Tape Measure

Having a tape measure on hand when you first start renting an apartment in and around York, PA, is incredibly important. Not only does it allow you to accurately measure the dimensions of the room and any furniture you need to move, but it can also help you determine if you need to break down furniture before move-in day so that it fits through the door. With a tape measure, you can easily check for window size, doorframe widths, ceiling heights, and other necessary measurements that will help make sure your rental space is suitable for your needs.

In addition, having a tape measure at the ready lets you plan in terms of how much furniture or storage units can fit without overcrowding the room. You can even use the measurements to shop ahead of time for items like curtains and rugs that fit within the right dimensions. This tool help you before you move into your new apartment because it helps ensure that this space meets all your needs, in terms of size and layout, before signing a lease with your new property owners.

4. An Easy-to-Use Utility Knife

A utility knife is one of the most important items to pack when moving into your first apartment, and having a comfortable one that is easy to use is even better. These knives are incredibly versatile, can handle nearly any task encountered while moving into a new space, and should have a spot in your renter’s tool belt.

Utility knives can open boxes, break down cardboard for recycling, slice through packing tape, remove tags from furniture, or cut rope. These tasks require precision, so having an ergonomic knife with a good grip goes a long way to make these tasks easier. A comfortable handle also allows you to use it for longer periods without your hand feeling strained or uncomfortable. It also helps to shrink the margin of error where accidents can happen.

Safety should always come first when using any tool or knife. An easy-to-use utility knife that has secure locking mechanisms to keep it closed when not in use will help ensure everyone’s safety. Finding one with a lightweight design can help you work quickly without feeling weighed down by bulky or clunky knives that could easily slip out of your hands and cause injury.

5. A Bright Flashlight

Having a bright flashlight on hand when moving into your first apartment may seem optional, but it is an item you cannot ignore when prepping your renter’s toolbox. It can help you find your way around in the dark as you become familiar with your new space, and it can also be a crucial safety tool. Additionally, it can help you evaluate whether certain features that are harder to see in your new apartment are working properly or if any other issues need to be addressed before move-in.

A good quality flashlight should be durable and have a bright beam so you can see what you are working on. Today’s flashlights are rechargeable, which is especially convenient since you won’t need to buy new batteries every few months. Some flashlights come with built-in features like LED lighting or adjustable brightness settings to use for multiple tasks. Not only does a dependable flashlight ensure that any job around the house gets done quickly, safely, and efficiently, but it also helps make your life much easier as a renter.

6. A Level

For several reasons, having a level in your toolbox should be essential for first-time renters. One of the most important reasons is that it is important to check that surfaces and fixtures in the home are level before you move anything into your new space. A level surface can help prevent items from wobbling or toppling over if placed on uneven surfaces.

Once you’re moved in, checking the level of furniture pieces like tables and dressers ensures they are properly supported, so they don’t become uneven over time due to wear and tear. The furniture’s legs and other parts can become loose or damaged during the moving process, so it’s important to check their stability, even if you used them at a previous home.

Checking the level of these pieces once you move in specifically helps with tight spaces and rooms that are not traditionally shaped. Keeping pieces level can not only help to preserve the quality of your belongings for many years, but it also helps to keep those who live in the apartment safe, too.

Additionally, a level can help ensure everything is perfectly straight if you need to do any wall-mounting. It also helps ensure accuracy when installing shelves or hanging decor in your rental home. Having your level handy when you move into your first apartment can be beneficial when hanging pictures or decorations, and it is much easier to create a symmetrical display with the use of one.

7. A Set of Wrenches

Another one of the most important tools you can have as a first-time renter is a wrench. Wrenches come in various shapes and sizes and are used to tighten or loosen bolts, nuts, screws, pipes, clamps, and other fasteners. They provide the leverage needed for these tasks that often require more force than a human hand can provide.

Investing in a set of wrenches for your toolbox will not only help you become less reliant on your landlords or property management company for fixing basic issues, but it also brings peace of mind knowing that if something needs to be fixed around your house or apartment, the right tools are readily available.

As a reminder: it’s always important to use the right wrench for the job at hand. Using a wrench too large or too small for the project can cause damage to your equipment and yourself. Ensure you know how each type of wrench works before attempting any projects around your rental.

Ready to Rent an Apartment in the Greater York, PA Area? Let Us Help You at Burkentine Rentals!

If you and your family are ready to start your next adventure but are not quite ready to put down roots, we’re here for you at Burkentine Properties. With our numerous homes for rent, you get comfort knowing you have our reliable property management company on your side and all the right tools for your new home. Let us help  with renting an apartment near York, PA! Contact us today!