27 Home Improvement Essentials You Should Always Keep Stocked

Wax sticks, Command strips and bulbs — oh my!

You know that frustrating moment when something in your home needs a little TLC, just a little quick fix and you don’t have anything on-hand to deal with it? Then you scramble to Google what exactly it is you need to buy and then you have to wait for it to arrive. Well, we want you to wave goodbye to those days... for good. We put together this list of home improvement essentials you should always keep stocked, so the next time something goes wrong or you’re just in dire need of a Command strip, you have it on-hand and raring to go. You’ll thank us later.

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A fast-drying grout pen
So your tiles always have a bright and clean backdrop to gleam against.

Promising review: "These things are awesome! I cleaned my bathroom tile grout first because the lady who lived there before me really let it go. A few places stayed stained and I was worried it wouldn't cover them, but all grout areas are bright white and look new now!" —Donna K Cook

Get it from Amazon for $8.99+ (available in two sizes).
A bottle of Feed-N-Wax wood polish
It'll not only enhance the shine of your floors and furniture, but also layer them with a protective coating of carnauba wax and beeswax so there's less polishing for you to do in the future.

Promising review: "I LOVED using this in my kitchen. It made my cabinets look like they were recently redone. I didn't do anything extra; I just wiped my cabinets with my normal cleaner and then used this and like magic my kitchen was brand-new. I also used it on some shelving, banisters, and my hutch and they all looked amazing. And the hutch wasn't as annoying to dust for a while." —tiffany b

Get it from Amazon for $8.98.
A pack of Gorilla Grip rug grippers
Their adhesive pads will keep your rugs from wandering across the floor. They'll also help prevent the corners of your rug from staying permanently curled upwards.

Promising review: "These rug grippers are EXCELLENT!!! We recently bought two new rugs for our kitchen and needed something to keep them from sliding. These work great!! So easy to apply. We flipped our rug over. The grippers are marked; one side says rug, the other says floor. So we placed two in each corner. On our larger rug we placed one in the middle of each side. We stuck them to the rug. Flipped it back over. Got it positioned where we wanted it. Started with a corner and just went along sticking them to the floor making sure there were no bumps in the rug. Then we walked over each gripper to press it down to the floor. I promise you these rugs are not going anywhere! Great idea!" —Stacey A. Morriset

Get a pack of eight from Amazon for $7.29.
A 25-foot measuring tape
Perfect for if you keep eyeing how much space you have in your home, which leads to buying things that absolutely do not fit. Keep one in the house, one in the garage and one in the garden shed!

Promising review: “This tape measure ROCKS!!! The white tape measure is easier on the eyes/easier to read, and the lock feature actually works!!! I was doing a construction remodel at my house and my contractor misplaced his and was eyeballing my tape measure afterwards. I made sure that he knew it was mine and that if it came up missing, I would know who took it (lol). Hopefully he ordered several for himself!” —Arizona Native

Get it from Amazon for $11.55.
A four-pack of Command Strips
Because you'll inevitably want to hang things on your walls. And if you're anything like us, you're not gonna want a hammer and nails involved.

Promising review: "I ordered these to finish up a gallery wall I have been working on. These were much larger than the ones I bought in the store, so I cut them in half, and one was able to hand two 5x7 frames! Every photo in my home is hung with Command strips because, if removed properly, they won't ruin the wall. Just make sure the wall is not freshly painted. If it is, this will take your paint right off. I have never had an issue with a photo frame falling off the wall. If it is a larger photo or picture, I use two. They really are so easy to use and make gallery walls a breeze!" —Joy de Leyer

Get it from Amazon for $3.68.
And a pack of clear Command hooks
You can use them to hang towels in the bathroom, your keys in the entryway or for any other storage problem that arises.

Promising review: “I was worried about buying these at first because we are currently living in a rental with cheap paint on the walls. I was worried it would chip the paint or something. Still, we used these to hang our Christmas stockings on the wall since we didn’t have another place for them. They held on the wall fantastically and after Christmas they came down with ease. No issues at all with the paint or anything! We packed them away with our Christmas stuff and will be using them again!” —holtmommyto3

Get a pack of seven from Amazon for $11.99.
A two-pack of heavy-duty construction glue
It'll work on tile, wood, laminate, brick and more! In just 30 seconds, you'll be able to restore broken, chipped and cracked pieces.

Promising review: “This stuff is amazing! We had a full basin under-mount kitchen sink that was falling away from the countertop. We are not handy whatsoever and were about to hire a handyman to fix it for us. We had a repairman out at our home for something else, and he happened to mention that all we needed to do was acquire some Gorilla construction glue. Well, this stuff WORKED!” —JW

Get it from Amazon for $12.99.
A drywall repair kit
You'll always be prepared to patch up that wall where you attempted to hang a 50-pound gold mirror you found for free on Craigslist.

Promising review: "This spackle is so handy! Much easier and faster than opening a regular container of spackle, then finding a putty knife to use and sand paper. Everything you need is right there. I filled probably close to 50 small holes and nicks from kids throwing toys, etc. in less than 15 minutes. Would definitely recommend this." —Michelle Smith

Get it from Amazon for $5.98.
A 10-piece paint roller set
This set includes: a tray, a 9" roller frame, two 9" x 1/2" roller covers, a 4" mini roller frame, two 4" x 1/2" mini roller covers, a flat sash brush and two angle sash brushes.

Promising review: “I was skeptical about purchasing this product at first because of how cheap it was. However, it worked great for my quarantine home projects. I had no issues with it, and would definitely use it again!” —Brittany Pierce

Get it from Amazon for $14.99.
A set of wood-repairing markers and wax sticks
These are great if your furniture or floors are prone to annoyingly huge scratches. Just take one of these markers and color over any imperfections!

Promising review: "For $10 you can cover up so many scratches that you couldn't buy a house big enough to run out of ink. I've had this for just four hours, but I fixed a table that was scratched when I moved it, kitchen cabinets, chairs, a wine rack, and some hardwood flooring. It does a good job at covering the scratches to a point where you have to stare at a spot to notice it, but don't expect it to make your furniture to look brand new again. But for $10 you can make your furniture look reasonable! Would highly recommend to anyone who has pets who scratch the !@#$ out of their wood furniture." —Phaedrus

Get it from Amazon for $9.99.
A pack of two retractable razors
You can stop ruining the foil cutter on your wine opener by using it to open boxes -- or is that just us? You'll also get a pouch full of replacement razors. Boxes, stubborn plastics and thick ropes or twine don't stand a chance!

Promising review: "These are EXCELLENT utility knives for the price. You definitely get two sturdy knives, each wrapped in plastic, AND a box of spare blades. The ergonomic grip is excellent; the knives aren’t too thick or thin and the lever slides forward and backward smoothly, exposing the blade cleanly. They’re very sharp knives and replaced old metal handle utility knives we’ve had for many years. Best of all, you get extra blades contained in a plastic box.The blade itself has no wobble tolerances as the handle holds it solid. This is extremely important as you cut into objects and boxes because you don’t want any wiggle or unstableness in the blade itself. I give 5 stars." —Peter

Get a pack of two from Amazon for $13.98 (available in two colors).
A nontoxic leather conditioner
It'll restore your leather to its former glory. Just spread a thin and even layer of conditioner to reveal rejuvenated (and newly water-repellent) furniture.

Promising review: "I use this for my everyday boots, as well as my dress shoes. I'm not always gentle with my boots and I thought I had ruined them the other day (worn out color, scuffs all over), but I cleaned the muck off, gave them a brushing, then applied this leather honey and after letting it sit, my boots look almost like the day I bought them! It keeps the leather supple and restores color. You only need to use a small amount per use!" —David Horning

Get it from Amazon for $19.99+ (available in three sizes).
A box of latex-free gloves
These are good for protection against harmful chemicals you need for your home projects, like paint stripper.

Promising review: “I buy a lot of these gloves and use them for painting miniatures, when airbrushing, and when I'm working with my resin 3D printer. I like the texture on them as the gloves do get slick when working with a print and it helps keep your grip. And they don't tear often.” —Brian

Get a pack of 100 from Amazon for $24.99.
A gallon of self-priming paint
It's free of toxic solvents so you can upgrade your home knowing you haven't compromised your air quality. Not sure if you can commit to a gallon? Get a color swatch for just $2. Clare is a Black woman-owned business that makes paint-shopping easier than ever. These designer-curated palettes are sure to take your home to the next level!

And if you're not sure what colors to go with, take Clare's Color Genius Quiz!

Get a gallon from Clare for $54+ (available with or without the 5-piece paint kit).
A reusable canvas drop cloth
Protect your floors while you paint.

Promising review: “I’m a painter and value a quality drop cloth. I’ve paid twice this price for half the quality. Great thick high quality cloth.” —Ben

Get it from Amazon for $12.99.
A drywall tool kit
It includes taping knives and scrapers that are useful for painting, drywall, removing chipped paint, pulling nails and so much more. This set comes with a multi-purpose painter's tool, a 6-inch flex joint knife, a 4-inch flex joint knife, an 8-inch taping knife, a 12-inch taping knife and a 12-inch mud pan.

Promising review: “Awesome little set for drywall work! I’ve used Goldblatt masonry tools for a few years, so when I saw that they made drywall tools, I didn’t hesitate to buy this set. I’ve done a few small patches with it, as well as underneath and around a water heater that leaked all over.” —Thomas

Get it from Amazon for $49.99.
A set of nickel cabinet drawer pulls and knobs
They'll bring your cabinets and drawers into the 21st century with their contemporary details. (No offense to the rusting knobs you have now that were installed back when sliced bread was invented.) Best Hardware Store is a small business based in China that creates unique knobs, pulls and handles to help you upgrade your furniture.

Get it from Best Hardware Store on Etsy for $4.16+ (available in three styles).
Or, a set of solid brass cabinet drawer pulls and knobs
Their knurled texture adds a unique touch of elegance. Plank Hardware is a small business based in London crafting sleek and modern hardware for anyone living between 2021 and 3021.

Promising review: "They look amazing and are of such great quality. I was super impressed with the sturdy weight of the pulls. They look so smart, and I am glad I was able to dress up my IKEA dresser!" —Gabriella Marine

Get it from Plank Hardware on Etsy for $10.02+ (available in 10 sizes/styles).
A sleek cable box
It'll keep your cords safe, organized and out of sight. No more worrying about tripping on your tangled charging cables! Might as well keep an extra two or so on hand because the likelihood of you buying more things with cords and plugs is fairly high.

Promising review: "This product really streamlined and cleaned up the full size power strip and six chargers required for our AV set up. The cut-outs accommodated all the power, coax and network cables. This will also make dusting a single smooth surface, easier to keep clean." —Amy S Douglass

Get it from Amazon for $16.49+ (available in two colors and two sizes).
A pack of touch-up paint pens
So you're always ready to address any splotches you find after removing painter's tape from your latest accent wall project. Just fill one of these pens up with your latex paint and brush away!

Promising review: "I love this. They're absolutely perfect for touchin' up the little spots that need touchin' up. I have several sets filled with different paints and so far they've stayed 'usable' without the paint drying out. I rinse the brush really well after each use (latex paints) and recap it." —Hooked on Amazon!

Get a pack of two from Amazon for $9.99.
An 8-foot extension cord
It's got surge protection for charning your wireless drill or plugging in a box fan to help your new paint dry.

Promising review: “An extension cord with surge protection, what a terrific idea! No longer do you need to buy a huge surge protector, you can just get this and it gives you three convenient outlets. The low-profile prong is great when you want this plugged flat against the wall, and the braided cord is good at keeping this tangle-free.” —benjamin bannister

Get it from Amazon for $10.85 (available in three colors).
A wallpaper smoothing kit
Because air bubbles are not a part of the design you've been mapping out in your head and all your walls. This kit comes with a red squeegee, a felt-tipped blue squeegee, a razor and extra blades.

Promising review: “I used this kit my first time using 'peel and stick' wallpaper. The velvet end of the small tool was superb for getting the edges perfect, and I used the larger tool to smooth things out as I was peeling the back from the wallpaper. It worked great. The knife cut really well for a large wall, and I only had to replace one blade so I have several unused.” —KLF

Get it from Amazon for $6.32.
Disposable coveralls
In case you never thought to invest in "paint clothes" and would rather not have your wardrobe covered in flecks and splotches.

Promising review: “This suit is very durable. A plus is that the hood that is attached. It was perfect for my crawl space work in which I removed old insulation and did mold remediation. In performing the mold remediation, I often got the solution on me which did not go through the suit which was great.” —Evangeline Chrisette

Get it from Amazon for $4.50.
A dozen cans of fade-proof spray paint
These are perfect for upgrading smaller pieces of furniture without the hassle of buying a dozen small brushes to fit in all those hard-to-reach spaces. Evolve Colors is an Etsy store owned by a graffiti artist who makes premium paints for all your creative needs.

Promising review: “These are great paints! They're so even and smooth.” —Lisa W

Get it from Evolve Colors for $62.
A 200-piece portable first aid kit
It's filled with everything you need to take care of any renovation-induced boo-boos.

Promising review: "I have really loved this first aid kit! I shopped around a long time before a finally decided on this one, and I chose it because of the metal tweezers and scissors, the emergency supplies, and the red bag. This kit was the most complete, best priced, and well-loved kit I could find." —Taylor

Get it from Amazon for $25.95.
Two packs of streak-free stainless steel wipes
So your appliances can get some lovin' too. These will remove residue, water marks and grease while leaving behind a protective barrier to prevent smudges that'll keep your stainless stain-free!

Promising review: "Wow! I call these my 'miracle in a can/ wipes. These things are awesome. Buy them and cut down your cleaning time to just minutes. I used two and was able to clean my stove, refrigerator and microwave. What a great product. No buyer's remorse here." —Richard J. Jackson

Get a pack of two from Amazon for $14.28.
A pack of Alexa-compatible color-changing lightbulbs
Perfect for when your reading light conks out at the climax of your romance novel. Easily replace it with one of these bulbs, with color and brightness you can control with an app or your voice.

Promising review: “I’ve now got a great Echo 4th Generation Dot, so I decided to add these Alexa-compatible bulbs to my living room lighting. I really appreciate the tunable white and color lighting these produce. I can download an app to my phone for control, or use my Alexa app for easy setup. The instructions are clear and the setup is simple.” —David Rocks

Get it from Amazon for $29.99.

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