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The house-proud home owner needs more than one toolkit to keep up with odd jobs around the house and yard. These are the basics you will need to have handy in tool kits ready for jobs in the home, workshop and garden.

Household Toolkit

Your household toolkit should be kept in an easily accessible spot in the kitchen or den. It’s handy for making quick repairs around the home, hanging curtains, fixing loose doors and so on.

    • Retractable tape measure: You will use this a lot, so get a strong, well made tape measure about 25 ft in length. Retractable makes it easy to wind up and store.
    • Screwdrivers: You will need both flathead (straight edge) and Phillips (cross head). You will have both types of screws in your home. Get them in the most common sizes around your home and an assortment of replacement screws as well.
    • Utility knife: A good strong metal one with a retractable blade.

  • Duct and masking tape: One large roll of each.
  • Hammer: Get a good quality claw hammer, you don’t want the head flying off while you are working and causing damage or injury. Add an assortment of nails.
  • Pliers: Handy for a number of small jobs, including holding nails in place while you hammer (saves your thumbs!) Get a blunt nosed pair and a needle nosed pair. One pair should have a cutter.
  • Optional extras: A cordless electric drill, all purpose glue and small saw or hacksaw. A stud finder is a handy thing to have if you are putting up shelves.
Workshop Toolkit

Your workshop toolkit will be better equipped than your household toolkit, so you can get started on projects to improve your home and garden. Consider hiring extra tools that you may not use on a regular basis to help you finish a job. Also consider the nature of your projects – if you work mainly with wood, a welder may be an occasional hire item. If you work mainly with metal, a welder will be a necessity.

  • Variable speed corded drill: Able to cope with bigger jobs than your household cordless, also used for sanding and grinding.
  • Saw: What type of saw you have depends on what you will be doing with it. If it’s just for odd jobs, a hand saw will do. If you cut timber or fire wood on a regular basis, consider a circular saw.
  • Spirit level: Let’s get this straight – you will need this! You can get a spirit level built into a T square, combining two handy items.
  • Adjustable wrenches: For removing and tightening bolts and gripping anything that needs to stay still.
  • Assorted screwdrivers – Phillips and flathead: These you will tend to gather as you go along, in a variety of sizes.
  • Nails and screws in assorted sizes.
  • Wire cutter: Scissors do not do a good job. Have the right tool.
  • A good quality claw hammer: Always keep one in your workshop because it’s guaranteed you won’t be able to find the one you keep in the house.
  • Metal files: For coarse and fine work.
  • Ladder or stepladder: Make sure it is sturdy and firm. Safety first!
  • Goggles and masks: Again, safety first.
  • Optional or hire extras: Electric sander, welder, generator for stand by power.

Gardening Toolkit

There are a few standard items that are essential for good gardening. You gardening toolkit need never be any bigger than this.

  • Shovel or spade: Usually the first thing to buy and use. `Test drive’ a shovel before you buy. Make sure you are comfortable with its weight and height. Buy a good quality shovel with a good metal scoop. Anything else just won’t last.
  • Hoe: Again, test it to make sure the handle isn’t too long, or that it isn’t too heavy to be comfortable.
  • Rake: Metal lasts longer although cheap plastic rakes do the job. Bamboo or wooden rakes generally fall apart quickly.
  • Small garden set: A hand trowel, fork and weeder for planting out, removing weeds and aerating the soil around a plant.
  • Garden snippers: For pruning small branches, rose bushes and dead heading spent flowers.
  • Watering can: For spot watering and when water use is restricted.

by Gail Kavanagh

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Three Tips for Marketing in the Rural US

Marketing in the rural areas of the US presents a unique challenge for marketing teams. Residents of wooded country areas are often less than impressed with modern “gadgets” and are nearly 20% less likely to have access to the Internet in their own homes. So how can you market your necessary products to people in these areas? Since mobile marketing is a relatively ineffective option and social media marketing is a laughable idea, using the three following ideas will help keep your marketing efforts reasonable and down-to-earth – like most of the people you are likely to be targeting.

Keep It Simple

While there are plenty of people who appreciate wild graphics and incendiary special effects, a seasoned tobacco farmer is probably not one of them. Too much unnecessary animation can be overpowering when it comes to a tractor commercial. As a marketer, you have an advantage in this area because simpler marketing strategies are simpler to carry out, not to mention cheaper. Market your product rather than an abstract idea behind it, and you are sure to get a positive response.

Keep It Practical

Rural consumers are often more patient and have longer attention spans than their urban counterparts. You can take advantage of this by making a practical ad that explains your product rather than shows it off. Consumers in agricultural areas tend to find more credibility in information that is useful rather than gripping and fascinating; and this credibility will earn your product and your brand the customer loyalty that will make your business a successful one.

Keep It Local

Much of the influence in close communities, such as those found in rural areas, is through word-of-mouth. Using local media such as the local newspaper, radio, or television station will earn your business more attention than some of the more modern marketing tactics. Also consider that having a local presence as the owner, founder, or leader of your company will lead your targeted consumers to trust you, and therefore your product, more than if you were just a face on a billboard.

While every consumer base is different, these simple tips will get you on your way to building brand value among rural consumers. Keeping it simple, practical, and local will help ensure a positive response. That being said, don’t be afraid to be creative; like every marketing campaign, you want to grab your target group’s attention and hold it. While marketing to rural areas is a challenge, you can still create effective advertising that can earn your costumers’ loyalty and trust.

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