Handy Household Helpers

The right tools make all the difference when working on home improvements. Check out our picks.

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Peter Ardito

Trendy Toolbox

Make room in the junk drawer by stashing tools in Alice Supply Co.'s striped metal caddy. The removable plastic tray is the perfect place to store small screws and nails. $82; alicesupplyco.com

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Peter Ardito

Lightweight Lift

The Kikkerland EZ Fold step stool stores flat so you can keep it in the closet or cabinet until you need a lift to change the lightbulb or dust the ceiling. $15.50; amazon.com

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Home Organization: Kid's Clothing Storage

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Peter Ardito

Flexible Light

Attach the GorillaTorch Flare to any work surface with its magnetic, malleable tripod legs to shine white or red LEDs on the project at hand. $35; joby.com

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Peter Ardito

Multi Mallet

The stainless steel Sheffield 14-in-1 Hammer can handle banging in nails -- and then some. It has a built-in pair of pliers, metal file, can opener, and more. $15; amazon.com

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Peter Ardito

Savvy Scissors

A built-in bottle opener, awl tip, tape cutter, and blade sharpener, make Fiskars' Cuts+More scissors the pair to keep in the kitchen. $20; fiskars.com

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Peter Ardito

Safe Fire Starter

Zippo's refillable Candle Lighter has an ergonomic design and a child-safety button so you keep it within reach -- without the worry. $20; zippo.com

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Peter Ardito

Garden Guru

The rust-resistant Planter's Pal digs; weeds; cuts sod, twine, and soil bags; tamps down stakes; and has measurements on the side so you don't have to switch tools. $10; homedepot.com

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Peter Ardito

Pretty Plug

Save time searching the garage for an extension cord by choosing a standout style, like this Coleman 25-foot, weather-resistant punchy purple one. $24; cableorganizer.com

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Peter Ardito

Battery Buddy

Juice up your kids' toys using Oxo Tot's 4-inch Battery Screwdriver. A nonslip handle and four different heads will get the job done fast. $5; onestepahead.com

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Peter Ardito

Measuring Mate

This Molecule soft tape measure can determine the width of a bookshelf or the size of your child's waist. $8.50; pylones-usa.com

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Peter Ardito

Hands-Off Hammer

No room to swing a hammer? Pull the trigger of the Craftsman NEXTEC 12-Volt Lithium-Ion Hammerhead Auto Hammer to drive a nail into the wall or surface instead. $90; ACE Hardware

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Peter Ardito

Good Wrench

Tighten loose nuts and bolts on the swing set or raise the seat on your child's two-wheeler using Kobalt's socket-style Mulit Drive Wrench. $25; lowes.com

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Peter Ardito

Clever Cutters

It's easy to cut through even the toughest plastic toy packaging and superstrong zip ties with the Open It. $20; buyopenit.com

Originally published in the April 2011 issue of Parents magazine.

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