If you live within four walls, whether it’s an apartment, a house, or a tiny home, you need a toolkit. This became crystal clear to me when this past month I moved apartments, and the handy work was endless.
So earlier this summer as I was starting to plan my move, I became very excited when Character, the home improvement company with an eye toward style, showed up in my Instagram feed. Their tool sets are comprehensive and seemed well made, and the sleek aesthetic make home improvement look chic. It looked like the perfect not-your-grandpa's-toolkit to get me moved.
Character The Essential Set
I put the entire toolkit to work while putting together my new apartment.
The Essentials Set arrived with 12 of the most-needed tools and a superior metal box for storing them. All of the staples are included: a hammer, a 25-foot tape measure, four kinds of pliers, two wrenches, a utility knife, screwdriver, level, and two sets of hex wrenches. For putting up pictures, mounting shelves evenly, hanging curtains, removing cabinet doors to change the height of the shelves, breaking down moving boxes, disassembling and then reassembling furniture — I put the entire toolkit to work while putting together my new apartment.
And after using these tools non-stop for about two weeks, I have to say that a lot of them worked better than my tools from the established, old-school home improvement brands.
It’s things that seem small but make all the difference. For example, when measuring for new curtains, it was the Character tape measure whose lock button actually kept the measure in place. It didn’t slip back in and pinch my fingers like my other tape measure did. The hammer is 16 ounces, which is twice as heavy as the Amazon Basics hammer and way easier to use when you're trying to put nails in the wall. Screwdriver bits usually come in a little rubber holder, but Character keeps the bits in the screwdriver handle so you don’t have to get down off the step stool or go back to the toolkit to change out the bits. (And in case you don't know what to do with everything in your kit, Character has experts available to chat about using your tools and offer advice on home projects.)
If you doubt that you actually need four different sized pairs of pliers — I had the same thought too. But to remove the more than 50 drywall anchors from the walls of my old one-bedroom apartment so I could spackle the holes and get my deposit back, I used all four pairs of pliers.
Chracter’s toolbox is my standout favorite of it all. A toolbox usually has a flip top with a removable compartment just under the lid so you can access everything stored below. I am a supremely organized person (I have seven different categories of scrap craft paper), but even I couldn’t keep my old flip-top toolbox organized. I always had to dig around under the removable compartment to find what I needed.
Character went a different direction for their toolbox. It has a flip top, but instead of a compartment you have to remove to access the items below, it has two drawers. When I need something, I flip the lid or pull open a drawer and grab what I need, no digging necessary.
It’s so sleek and beautiful, I’m leaving it out on display. My apartment shows my interests and personality, and I don’t see why my gorgeous toolbox shouldn’t be a part of that.
Home improvement can be intimidating — even I feel uncomfortable in a hardware store, like I don't fit in with all the contractors and serious renovators — and Character knows it, too. "In the home improvement space, there are a ton of unhelpful stereotypes about who is and isn't handy, which can be intimidating for everyone," Suzanna Schumacher, co-founder of Character, wrote to me in an email. With Character, people can find the non-judgmental space that was lacking in the world of home reno, one where "everyone feels welcome, regardless of skill level," she explained.
It’s so rewarding to make the changes you want to see to your home all by yourself. Getting a toolkit is the first step, and there isn't a better one to get and home reno community to join than Character's.