In the movie “The Bucket List,” terminally ill Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman hit the road and attempt to do as much as possible from their “bucket list” before they kick the bucket. That’s all well and good, except for the part where you have to die at the end. Here’s a bucketful of products to help you get organized, give you a comfy work perch, and even help with that middle-of-nowhere call of nature. And best of all, you get to LIVE!
Most households have a random assortment of buckets, left over from that warehouse club detergent purchase, an old painting or drywall project, or maybe a diaper service. If you seem to be bucketless, as a last resort, you can even buy a bucket for a couple of dollars (after which you will undoubtedly stumble across 2 or 3 in your basement the following day). So now it’s time to sit back in your bucket seat, grab a chilled beverage from the ice bucket, and compile YOUR bucket list!
Remain Comfortably Seated—Custom LeatherCraft 1140 Plastic Seat
Even the most hard-working among us needs to sit down occasionally. Who wants to eat their lunchtime PBJ sandwich standing up? And many jobs (wiring electrical outlets, for example) are much easier to accomplish from a low perch, especially for those of us with disintegrating knees. For $8, the Custom LeatherCraft 1140 EasySeat turns a standard 3 1/2—5 gallon bucket into a comfortable seat. The LeatherCraft is made of durable, lightweight…plastic, has a textured, non-slip top, and its grooved design channels away moisture (might not want to think too much about that feature). According to the many reviews on Amazon, it’s pretty comfortable, goes on and off the bucket easily, and it will even fit atop most bucket-mounted tool carriers.
If You Build It…The HANDy Bucket Builder
Got LOTS of buckets strewn about? Put ‘em to work with the new HANDy Bucket Builder. According to the product description on Amazon: The HANDy Bucket Builder is a shatter-proof copolymer plastic cap that snaps onto the top or bottom of a standard 5-gallon bucket, which can then be securely connected to other buckets with HANDy Bucket Builders attached to build a customized surface of any height or configuration.
Two-by-fours slide or snap conveniently into specially designed slots on the disc and can be screwed or nailed into place for added stability. At least two of the discs can make for a simple yet sturdy bench, while eight or more help to create a work table that’s as basic or elaborate as necessary. The HANDY Bucket Builder’s small size and roughly one-pound weight make it easily transportable and convenient for temporary indoor or outdoor workspace assembly.
The simplest items often prove to be the handiest, and the HANDy Bucket Builder’s unassuming usefulness provides a multitude of practical applications, from benches to sawhorses to work tables to storage shelves. At the end of the workday, you could even throw together a pretty snazzy bar to enjoy your post-work Dom Perignon!
The HANDy 9500-CT HANDy Bucket Builder is made in the U.S.A. for about $10.
It’s The Little Things…The Bucket Boss Brand 15054 Super-Stacker System
Got stuff? I mean a LOT of stuff? I know I do; over the years I’ve accumulated about 400,000 screws, nails, bolts, nuts, washers, clips, electrical connectors, and on and on. All this stuff sits in jars and boxes and cans on various shelves in my workshop, and when I go out to do a job, I grab what I’m likely to need. Mostly, it’s the same type of thing: two or three lengths of construction-grade screws, some drywall screws, some finish nails, some 16p. nails, some TapCon screws, and so forth. With the Super-Stacker, there’s a way to keep my most-used stuff sorted and ready to go.
The Super-Stacker has four compartments, is 4 ¼” deep and 10 ½” wide. As the name would indicate, they can be stacked on one another, so you can carry LOTS of what you might need. Just be advised that if you load it up, you’re gonna have a heavy bucket. (If you do load it up, you may want to invest five bucks for the Bucket Boss 08010 Bucket Grip, a big rubber-cushioned handle that clips on to your carrying handle). I plan to get several Super Stackers, and load them up with the various screws, nails, plumbing connectors, and so forth that I use the most. When I’m ready to go do a job, I can just grab the two or three units that have what I need, throw ‘em in a bucket, and I’m on my way.
The Super-Stacker also includes a drill bit sizer, pencil holder, and measuring rule, which may or may not come in handy. Most reviewers say it’s a sturdy, useful product, and it’s made in the U.S. The Bucket Boss Brand 15054-CS04 4-Piece Super Stacker Kit is about $30 on Amazon.
Pickpocket’s Nightmare—LeatherCraft 61-Pocket In And Out Organizer
Some of the earliest bucket organizer products were designed to be inserted into the bucket, with pockets around the outside to store smaller tools and supplies, leaving room for bigger stuff inside the bucket. Those are still available in a wide variety of configurations, from various makers, and with versions aimed at gardeners, electricians, and people selling knockoff Rolexes on street corners.
One nice version of this setup is the Custom LeatherCraft 4122 61-Pocket unit. Being made by LeatherCraft, naturally it’s made of genuine, durable, rugged, er, 600D Ripstop fabric. There are 36 pockets of various sizes around the outside, and 25 inside, so you should be able to stash a nice assortment of small tools and whatnot. There is also a large pocket, with a restraining strap, to accommodate a cordless drill.
This organinzer received almost all four and five-star reviews, with users saying it’s sturdy, well-made and useful. Get Custom LeatherCraft 4122 – The 61 Pocket Bucket Organizer for a very reasonable $20.
Got An Ugly Mug? Get A Mug Boss!
For those with smaller-scale needs, like cleaning up a messy desk-top or storing really tiny tools, the Bucket Boss Mug Boss provides a way to get organized. As a bonus, you get to finally get some use out of the World’s Best Golfer or Geritol promo mugs that have been cluttering up your cupboard.
It’s made from the same sturdy Bucket Boss high-denier nylon as the big rigs use, so you can really jam those pens and highlighters in, and pretend you’re holstering your Estwing 20-oz. framing hammer. A word of warning—the mug might be tough to drink from after loading it up, and may result in a tangle of pens and other miscellaneous crap decorating your chest. For under five bucks, the Mug Boss offers a novel way to get de-cluttered; I’m getting a couple for myself, and some extras to give to organizationally-challenged friends and family members. The Bucket Boss Brand 99981 Mug Boss is just around $5 on Amazon.
Hello, Dolly…Keep That Bucket Rollin’
If the job you’re doing requires you to lug a five-gallon bucket around all day, you need some wheels, baby! A big bucket full of drywall compound, tile mastic, paint, driveway sealer, or even car-wash water is heavy, and schlepping it around all day will leave you with a sore back, creaky knees, and a generally bad attitude. Save all that wear and tear and crankiness with the Original Bucket Dolly.
The Bucket Dolly is made of polypropylene copolymers, whatever they are. Supposedly they make it very strong like bull. The unit has five castors with rubber non-mar wheels to keep it from tipping over, and includes three thumbscrews to secure the bucket. The reviewers all liked it, and at $35, it’s cheaper than back surgery. Yeah, that’s right, you can find the Original Bucket Dolly on Amazon too.
The Nitty Gritty On Car Washing – The Grit Guard
If you’re like me, you take a great deal of pride in your ride. When I drag out the car wash paraphernalia once a year or so, I want my truck to look its best, and I don’t want to worry about scratching the fine finish on my 13-year-old paint. With a year’s accumulation of salt, bird crap, and general filth, the wash water pretty quickly turns into a cloudy, gritty mess. Dipping your sponge into the ooze results in a lot of the grit and crap coming right back out and being re-deposited on said beautiful paint job, where it can end up causing scratches.
If you’re equally proud of your Ferrari or Yugo, and want to protect YOUR finish, the inventors at StateofNine have just the ticket. The Grit Guard Wash Bucket Insert fits into a standard bucket, and traps grit and sediment beneath the screen, keeping it from coming back to attack that lustrous finish. Reviewers said it’s sturdy and well-made, although a few complained it didn’t fit in their 5-gallon buckets; the diameter is 10 ½”, so check your bucket. The Grit Guard Wash Bucket Insert will set you back a measly $11 on Amazon.
Got Critters? Keep ‘Em Out With A Gamma Seal Lid
When we bought our property in the country, we were shocked to discover that mice ALSO live in the country. Who would have guessed! Trying to keep food safe from the little rodents is an ongoing battle, but the Gamma Seal Lid from, appropriately, Gamma, promises to offer some relief.
The lid is actually two parts. Place the unit on top of your bucket, and hammer it into place with a rubber mallet. There is a rubber gasket around the rim, which provides an air-and-water tight seal. The lid then screws on, and voila! The Old Roy and other comestibles are safely out of reach of mice, ants, moths, and mildew.
With almost 90 reviews, most purchasers were very happy with the units, saying they perform as advertised. The disgruntled buyers said to check the unit when it arrives, as some showed up with missing or broken gaskets, which pretty well shoots your air and water seal. I’ll be ordering several, to keep the day-to-day stuff protected, as well as to store some disaster-prep items. You’ll never believe it, but they have the Gamma Seal Lid on Amazon in several colors, for about $10-12.
For Those Always On The Go—The Luggable Loo Portable 5 Gallon Toilet!
Ever hear the expression “We’re so poor, we don’t have a pot to piss in?” We can’t help with the poor part, but the good folks at Reliance Products have a solution for your sanitation issues. For $23, you can be the proud owner of a Luggable Loo! They recommend it for hunting, fishing, camping, and disaster preparedness. It would also be useful at a job site with no bathroom, and with no suitable bushes or trees (the new guy, of course, gets the honor of disposing of the day’s accumulation at quitting time). I think with a little bunting draped around it, it would also be a welcome and stylish addition to wedding receptions, baby showers, and the like, although you may want to verify this with your significant other before ordering a large shipment.
According to most of the 96 reviews on Amazon, the unit is comfortable and very sturdy. Reliant also offers Double Doodie waste bags to use in the unit, but they’re a bit pricey, and many users say they just use good kitchen-size trash bags, and put a little cat litter or RV chemical treatment in to keep the stench at bay.
After using this one, you may want to quit using it to mix your Gatorade or storing your surgical tools…Like everything else in the world, the Luggable Loo Portable 5 Gallon Toilet is available for around $25 on Amazon. And gift wrapping is available!
And that wraps up our foray into Bucketville. This is by no means a comprehensive list; actually, it’s just a drop in the bucket, but hopefully it has demonstrated the incredible potential of the lowly round piece of plastic. So settle in with a bucket of hot wings on your left and a bucket of your favorite frosty beverages on your right, and get going on your OWN bucket list—before it’s too late.