When my older sister moved out on her own, my parents made sure she took a toolkit with her. It was ready-made, but it had most of the basics and got plenty of use. Eventually, when it was my turn to move, she handed it down to me. It was handy, but it wasn’t complete. Luckily my roommates brought toolkits of their own, and with our tools combined, we were able to tackle most projects.

There is nothing more frustrating than when you are missing the right tool for the right job. While the following list won’t cover every tool you’ll ever need, it is a great start:

1. Utility Knife. Save steak knives for cutting steak. Also known as a box cutter, a utility knife with replaceable blades will come in handy.

2. Screwdriver set. Marshall Hickox of Homeworks Construction suggested getting a screwdriver with reversible flat and Phillips-head attachments in various sizes to accommodate different screw head sizes.

3. Drill. I opt for a corded version over cordless. It costs less, weighs less and doesn’t require charging.

4. Hammer. Some people say you need a hammer and a rubber mallet, but when space is tight like it is at my house, you’ve got to be creative. If I need a rubber mallet, I simply cut a slit in a tennis ball, slide the hammer in, cover the head with a sock, and secure it with a rubber band.

5. Scissors. Instead of using kitchen scissors for house repairs, designate a special set for those jobs. Nobody wants to cut chicken or herbs with the same scissors that were used for cutting grime and hair out of a clogged drain.

Other handy essentials include measuring tape, an extension cord, needle-nose pliers, adjustable wrenches, screws and nails and a variety pack of batteries.

As Hickox suggested, go for quality products. “Always avoid cheaply made tools,” he said. “Some break on the first use or are so poorly made they will damage what you are working on.”