Good to Own: Small & Useful

After writing about tools that were good to have at home, it was clear we needed a list of small, useful things too.

Small things I rely on constantly:

1. Tweezers. I used to have the cheap kind, but they got bent out of shape when I aimed them at my husband. Now I have the Tweezermans that last forever!


2. Sharpee permanent markers in black and brown. The brown markers hide scratches in wood furniture. The black markers make the faded edges on black shirt cuffs and collars look new again.

3. Pens. My favorites are black gel pens. It’s what I use for drawing, including all the stick figures here and there on Small Notebook.


4. Scissors. In the bathroom, in the kitchen, in the sewing box, in the office…

5. Tape. Pretty much all of my home decorating projects involve using packaging tape on the back side.

6. Super glue. Lots of things break around here.

7. Safety pins. Keep your clothes in place.

8. Band-aids. Band-aids are essential, no matter if the boo-boos are real or not.


9. Spare keys. Umm, yes.

10. Cell phone. How did I leave the house without one when I was growing up? I have no idea.

What’s on your list?
About Rachel

I write about practical tips that will help you simplify at home. Connect with me on Pinterest and Twitter.


  1. Amen. nice list.

    Kristin´s last blog post..Hiking Club – Starting Out

  2. I know it doesn’t qualify as simple, but I have not 1 but 3 pairs of scissors in my kitchen. May sound cluttered, but ahhh the feeling of having them where you look for them. (I cut chickens, herbs, packages – you name it.) Between kids and husband, 3 pairs has cut down on a lot of stress and questioning.

    Not sure if this counts, but my reusable water bottle.

  3. this is a great list. reminds me that i need some more sharpees. i love a swiss army knife…can be scissors or screwdriver or knife…you name it.

    Nicole´s last blog post..64 Crayons…Redeemed

  4. Great list! I love the tweezerman.

  5. You know what else Super Glue is useful? Small little cuts on your hands. During the winter when my skin is really dry I will get those painful little cracks at the ends of my fingers — a little drop of Super Glue is the perfect seal.

    Great List!

    Allegra´s last blog post..Awesome Item of the Day

  6. Tweezerman “, packing tape ” (also great for repairing books!), Sharpies ” (I have all the rainbow colors). I also love my metallic paint pens. My other wonderful thing to have is a good old fashioned burr-style pencil sharpener. Nothing like a perfectly smooth tapered point on a pencil : )

    Juliet´s last blog post..You can’t go home again

    • Rachel says:

      That reminds me, I have a stack of children’s books waiting to be repaired with packaging tape!

  7. I’m with you on all of these items. I laughed at the super glue one. My husband calls me the Super Glue Queen because I’m always super gluing something back together around here. What can I say, super glue usually does the trick. :-)

    Amanda @ Mommy’s Idea Book´s last blog post..Who Says We’re Just Moms?

  8. Great List! I too have to have sissors in most rooms of the house, along with tissues, chapstick and scotch tape.

    Bonnie´s last blog post..Spring Cleaning Day One

  9. Slackerjo says:

    My stainless steel slotted spoon.

    Multi bit screwdriver. The bits are built in so they are never misplaced.

    Velcro. Holds all kinds of things to the wall.

    My collection of tape. Electrical tape, packing tape, duct tape, plumbers tape. All of it hangs on an old dog collar (some people bronze baby shoes, we kept our first dog’s puppy collar). The tape hangs on a hook in my work room.

    Magnets. Holds knives, scissors, spices, anything metal.

    Hooks. Hooks hold my work badges and bus pass for work, kitchen stuff, bathroom items, small tools.

    My dollar store grab it tool. Since I am always dropping things behind other things, I can grab stuff. Since I am not very tall, I can get things off top shelves. Technically it’s not small but the $1.15 price was small!

    I live in a small 1 bedroom apartment and I have 5 pairs of scissors located throughout the apartment.

  10. 1.The multiple scissors: yes! Including kitchen shears.
    2.Sharp, good kitchen knives.
    3.Stick blender (gift from my son: love it!).
    4.Millions of pencils & an electric pencil sharpener.
    5.Zip-lock bags: for oh-so-many uses.
    6.Microplane zester.
    7.Face wipes. Sometimes you are just too tired to wash your face.

    Now, maybe some wouldn’t consider these to be tools. But I say anything you use often is a tool!

    P.S. A black Sharpie is great for hiding scuff marks on black soles of shoes. Saved lots of $ with a black Sharpie!

  11. GLUE GUN! I have used my mini or “craft” sized glue gun in so many ways around the house! I used it exclusively for hanging decor on the cinder block walls of my college dorm rooms, too. ;)

    And oh my, do I love a great quality pen. That is one of my little luxuries that I don’t mind splurging on a bit. I’m not talking Mont Blanc or anything fancy – just a really great quality rolling ball or gel pen. My fave rolling ball of all time is the Pilot Precise V in black.

  12. I cant tell you how useful these items are, but here is my list.

    1. Mascara and lip balm or gloss – I dont wear other makeup 99.99% of the time (special occasions), but these are my staples.

    2. Tweezermans tweezers!

    3. Uni-ball Vision pens – all colors.

    4. BlackBerry – without it, I am totally disorganized with pieces of paper and note pads everywhere

    5. Oversize handbag – I need something to keep my wallet, folding cane, keys, BlackBerry, small notepad, can of water spray and other cooling devises (I have MS which makes me very heat intolerant), tissue or napkins, supplements and medications.

    Carla´s last blog post..Giveaway: Twist cleaning products

  13. I always keep a calculator and a tape measure in my purse. I use the calculator each and every time I grocery shop, without fail. (Mostly to figure out price per ounce, etc.) And the tape measure comes in handy quite often, too. I often use it when I’m at thrift stores, to figure out if I can fit something in my car.

    Jennifer´s last blog post..Happy Earth Day!

  14. Gotta say: selotape and masking tape… tape tape tape… what about dare I say a needle and thread… I am no seamstress but I am forever giving a beanie baby a stitch or whatever lands on my keyboard throughout the day.

  15. Great post! My Must Haves are:
    Miracle Cloth – cleans everything with only water
    Cooking tongs – for turning/flipping, grabbing, and touching that bug thing you don’t want to touch. Then I exile that pair from the kitchen forever.
    And I can’t live without white-out correction tape and sticky file labels (color-coded of course.)

    Abbie´s last blog post..Ever Procrastinate?

  16. Jeannine B. says:

    Ditto on your list! The only things I would add are 1) small stapler on each floor of my house (I even have one in the car), and 2) clothespins (we use them as bag clips for cereal, chips, etc. – and we use them to keep the blankets attached to the chairs when we make really cool forts!)

  17. I can get crazy with a glue gun! Everything in our house is held together with it! I also love that yellow plasti-tak stuff that sticks papers onto the wall. My kids are always wanting to decorate their room with their own art. So, after peeling off lots of tape (and paint) I finally picked up the plasti-tak. Awesome stuff. The kids can rotate art all the time and the walls still look great.

    Marci´s last blog post..Got a plan? (follow-up to Just do it!)

  18. I couldn’t live without a black sharpie either. I use mine to fill in edges around picture frames when they get a little worn. We also have a few magnet clips that are shaped like little people – they work great for the kids. The can use one to display a piece of their artwork (usually per day) because they are always creating a masterpiece.

  19. Those small sewing kits from hotels, and a jar where I keep random buttons. My kids think I’m miraculous, cause there’s so much you can do on rainy days with those things!

    Evenshine´s last blog post..ComplementEgality

  20. You guys need some testosterone….

    1. Dewalt 18V Drill
    2. 24″ level
    3. Hammer (various hammers)
    4. Small ladder
    5. Pocket knife that will handle cardboard
    6. Remote Control

    I love lists, but mine seem to be full of guy “gear”……and yes! those tweezermans count as gear!

  21. Debbie M says:

    Little tools I have in multiple rooms:
    writing implements

    plus I carry a pocket knife around, though the tool I most use is the scissors.

  22. Lori Schaff says:

    I don’t know if it’s been said already….. Duct tape is an essential for me. Also, sharpie markers are also great for black dress shoes that have been outside playing in dirt and now need to be washed off and worn to church.

  23. My #1 essential is my actual Small Notebook. It’s my one-stop-shop for the (endless) to-do list, the grocery list, my food diary (Weight Watchers), items that need to get transferred to the online calendar, notes from parent-care phone calls, etc., etc. etc. The pocket up front holds coupons, action-items, and envelopes that need to be mailed.

  24. swiss army knife and duct tape, too! think: macgyver! LOL

    nicola´s last blog post..color week: orange