Independence is a funny thing. You can't wait to get out of your parents' house and start college already, but at the same time, you still want your mom or dad to help you with all menial tasks associated with having your own dorm or apartment like hanging photos, hooking up the cable, and fixing the annoying leak in your kitchen that your landlord failed to get to (even though you've been bugging him about it for over month).
So, in an effort to prove that you DON'T need a parental unit to be the ultimate Miss Fix-It, we've compiled a list of some much-needed essentials you SHOULD be shopping for as part of your back-to-school arsenal:
Real Tools (Duh): Every girl should have her own tool kit complete with the basics like a hammer, wrench, screw driver, nails, stud finder (no, not that kind), and wall brackets. Ideally, you can save yourself a lot of headaches if you go for something a lot less back-breaking (as in the the electronic versions of the the screw driver and stud finder since they do all the work for you), but you can still save money if you buy the rest packaged together. Most stores like Home Depot or Lowes sell tool kits designed for women (skip the pretty pink and purple ones and go with something made for someone with smaller hands) like the Barbara K! line that's specifically made with women in mind. The tools are slimmer, they weigh less, AND they come in a streamlined compact carrying case that's easy to slide under your bed or stack in your closet.
Directions That Don't Suck: Every try to put anything for Ikea together? You basically have to be a rocket scientist to figure out which screw goes where and how many brackets you need to ensure whatever you bought doesn't fall apart five seconds after you assemble it. Why not save yourself the stress and pick up a fix-it manual designed with girls in mind? Discovery Channel's Tool-Belt Diva star Norma Valley has this great book, Chix Can Fix, that details over a hundred home projects including everything from how to install a ceiling fan to taking care of annoying leaks. Loaded with tons of tutorials, two hundred illustrations ('cuz us girls are totally visual), and expert commentary, this is the kind of book that could prove to be a helpful bible for college and beyond.
Handy Online References: Need help in a pinch? You don't necessarily need a book or a manual to make it happen. Sites like YouTube and DIYNetwork.com have THOUSANDS of how-to videos and articles readily available that can direct you through the process of fixing something step-by-step.
Bottom line: If you want to be independent than you need to ACT like it. Running to your boyfriend, brother, neighbor, mom and dad, or landlord every time something falls apart sorta kinda suggests you're not ready to take on the real world solo (but we're pretty sure they make a tool for that too…).