Basic Tool Kit for Home Owners

Although many homes have toolboxes and basic tools, it seems that most of our house-sits had no such thing?!

We like to cross our t’s and dot our i’s so we don’t take anything for granted anymore. In addition to asking if the homeowners have a coffee maker (since we are major coffee drinkers), we now ask them if they have a tool kit or some basic tools and where they are kept.

Why a Basic Tool Kit is Important

My husband is not really a handyman but if there is some little thing that needs fixing and is bugging him, then he takes the time. We have had several owners comment in a very pleased and surprised way on how ‘things’ were repaired while they were gone.

During one particular house sit, the pet dog got excited at a flock of geese sitting in the pool and charged the screen door. Thankfully, there were tools to make minor repairs until we could reach the owners and ask them what they would like us to do.

Even if you don’t expect the house sitter to fix minor repairs, it is still a good idea for you, the homeowner, to have a small tool kit on hand. Bicycle needs adjustments? You need a tool. A nail is sticking out somewhere in a dangerous spot? You need a tool. A hinge is loose on a cupboard door? You need a tool – just the basics.

We are not talking about breaking the bank here. Just a few necessary tools in case something needs to be fixed.


Let’s start with the toolbox. It doesn’t have to be elaborate or large. It can be metal or plastic. You just want to be able to keep your tools in one place so you aren’t constantly searching for them. You could keep tools in a drawer or on a shelf but make sure it is a dedicated place for them and nothing else.

There are plenty of places where you can pick up a reasonably priced toolbox such as Walmart, Canadian Tire, Home Depot, Lowe’s, (even the local dollar store), and of course, Amazon.

The 14-inch sturdy plastic toolbox has a removable tool tray and detachable took kit for craft storage, household tools for emergency repairs, a non-slip handle, a 2-lid organizer for small parts, and a pad eye lock.

Affordable at $18.99 and with over 1800 reviews, this toolbox is big enough to hold your essential tools.

Available at Amazon

What to Include in a Toolkit


You can buy screwdrivers individually or in a set. Three of the most popular ones you should have are the Phillips (the head has pointed edges in the shape of a cross), the Robertson (the head is square-shaped), and a flat one (standard screwdriver used for many different size screws).

There are a couple of others but you will likely use these the most often.

This basic screwdriver has over 17,000 positive reviews! It has 11-in-1 uses – Nut Driver Set, 8 Bits (Phillips, Slotted, Torx, Square), 3 Nut Driver Sizes, Cushion Grip Handle.

Available at Amazon


A hammer is definitely a handy tool.  The popular 16-ounce claw hammer is versatile and yet strong enough to handle most simple jobs.

At just $9.99 and 3800+ reviews, the Irwin general purpose hammer is made of durable fibreglass, has a maximum comfort grip, absorbs vibration and reduces fatigue, and has a curved base handle to prevent slippage.

Available at Amazon


Duct tape is amazing and used for so many things.  It is adhesive with a mesh or yarn of fibres that act as reinforcement.  Easy to cut by hand, yet strong enough to fix any minor repairs such as rips, joining tubes together, temporarily fixing pipes, etc.

This could actually be a lifesaver for your house sitter who could be faced with an unexpected broken pipe.

This Duck tape is maximum strength for heavy-duty jobs, has a waterproof backing, rubber-based adhesive, and is easy to use. At $4.97 and with over 5000 favourable reviews, this duct tape provides great value.

Available at Amazon



This tool has two handles for holding something firmly in place or pulling small things like nails. They come in many different sizes and shapes but the one used most is the needle-nose pliers.

The Irwin vice-grip 6 inches Long Nose Pliers features durable nickel chromium steel construction, comfort and ease with the ProTouch grips, and excellent long reach design for those small work areas.

With over 7,500 positive reviews and priced at $11.99 the needle-nose pliers will get the job done.

Available at Amazon


The adjustable wrench (or spanner) has a movable jaw that adjusts to different size fastener heads such as nuts, bolts, etc. They can be used to tighten plumbing fixtures or tighten a loose bolt.

Priced at $26.99 and with over 2,000 reviews, this set of 3 wrenches features a full-polish chrome finish, large size markings for easy identification, and wide opening jaws.

Available at Amazon

Other Items to Have on Hand

The next few items, while not considered tools, can come in handy and will fit nicely in the toolbox.


This is definitely a must. You don’t want your house sitter fumbling around in the dark in a strange home. Flashlights are available anywhere, in all shapes and sizes but it might be a good idea to invest in a good one. You can also opt for rechargeable.

In fact, it is a good idea to have more than one – in the bedroom or kitchen as well as one in the toolbox.

Available in a pack of two, the durable GearLight Led Flashlight features high lumens and 5 modes for emergency and outdoor use. Other features include Bright -easily lights up an entire room; made from military-grade aluminum; water-resistant; and compact. Includes user manual. Excellent value at $21.99 for two.

Available at Amazon

FUSES (if you don’t have a circuit breaker)

While fuses are not a tool, they are a necessity and keeping them in the toolbox is a good place to store them.

Some older homes still use fuses so the last thing you want is for your house sitter to suddenly be inconvenienced. Since fuses can’t be reused, it is best to have several on hand in case of an overload.

Fuses should be the proper rating otherwise using a higher one could cause overheating which then could cause a fire. For example, if your appliance calls for a 30 amp, then don’t want to put in a 15 or 20 thinking it is ok.

You can order a 2-pack of 15, 20, or 30 amp. Designed for washers, dryers, furnaces, and air conditioners, there is a time delay feature and a 90-day limited warranty. Priced at $7 for a pack of 2

Available at Amazon


I actually carry a small cloth tape measure in my purse.  You never know when you are buying something and you wish you could measure it.

Tape measures come in plastic, soft cloth or hard case. Again, you can pick them up almost anywhere.

Chances are your house sitter won’t be doing any DIY projects in your home so we recommend a versatile fabric that they can take with them for personal shopping.

This package contains a 60-inch soft pink and a retractable black measuring tape. Small, light and pocket-size; easy to read measurements. The black tape is retractable with a retract button in the centre and is easy to carry around. This perfect multipurpose measuring tape set is one of Amazon’s most popular items at just $5.99.

Available at Amazon


You can buy these individually but sometimes you can get them assorted in packages or small plastic containers that will fit nicely in your toolbox. These can come in handy if a sitter needs to make a minor repair.

This 256 pc set contains an assortment of nails and wood screws in a transparent organizer box. Features rustproof coating, perfect for daily or unexpected repairing, practical design and easily organized. Free one-month replacement and refund service. Priced at just $11.99, this is a great item to add to your toolbox.

Available at Amazon

Final Thoughts

A toolbox with a few basic tools will make a house sitter happy. Even if they never have cause to use them, there is peace of mind knowing tools are available for an unexpected repair job.

From our experience, I can tell you that the homeowner will be doing a house sitter a big favour. It is now one of the questions we have on our list for new house sits.

Some homeowners might expect a sitter to have experience in fixing minor repairs (usually mentioned in the listing), especially if it is a long sit. In that case, the homeowner should have all the tools they think a house sitter might require.

NOTE: Prices can vary and may not be as quoted.


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I love to travel and my biggest regret is that I waited so long to do it, thinking I just couldn’t afford it. I have had some crazy fun, met some amazing people, and had some scary moments such as getting locked in a shower at a campsite. For our trip to Mexico, we were able to save money by house sitting, which was something completely new to us. If this is something that interests you, then check out TrustedHousesitters or HouseSitMexico We hope you visit often.

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