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Why Everyone Needs a Bucket

The bucket of many uses!

The bucket of many uses!



Everyone is in for a real treat today as I’m going to talk about my favorite household helper. No, it isn’t a fancy vacuum, food processor, or oven that I can turn on remotely from my driveway. It isn’t an item that I had to save money for months to purchase. It’s my trusty two gallon bucket. How can you write a whole post about a bucket? Sit back, and I’ll tell you how useful an old plastic bucket can be. You might wonder why I didn’t write about it sooner.

History of the Bucket

I honestly can’t remember when or where my bucket came from. I suspect it was one of those items we purchased after buying our first home thirteen years ago. However, it could have made the transition from tenant to homeowner with me. You can get buckets in a wide variety of price ranges, like this one for $741, but I’m sure mine was less than $5.

How My Bucket Helps Me

I use my bucket almost daily. It helps me around the house with everything from mopping the floor to cleaning off toys to soaking dirty clothes. The bucket was with me every day when we were trying to bring some life back into our investment property and get it ready for renters. I was not kind to the bucket with all the gunk and dirt I had to rinse off during that project, but it never complained. It  helped me load up all my cleaning supplies in the morning and carry them home in the evening. It stayed overnight to catch a slow leak that we found when fixing the sink. It even held some very nasty cabinet hinges and handles for days while soaking off years of bacon grease and nicotine. It’s safe to say we would have never gotten that rental ready without my bucket.

Catching Rodents

Although my bucket can’t take credit for ridding my mother’s house of pests, I’m sure it was a distant cousin bucket who was able to help me out there. I was in college but home for a weekend. My Mom and Dad were out, and my sister and I were home. I was doing something in the basement when she came running down, yelling  in terror, “Kim, there’s something in the house!!!”

Like the good big sister that I am, I did not once consider my own safety before going in search of whatever monster was after my sister. Hoping not to be those girls in the horror movies for whom everyone screams “Don’t go in there!,” we went in search of the creature. We saw a flash of brown as something ran into the laundry room. Since my sister got the better look at it, I asked if it was a mouse. No, too big. Could it be a cat? No too small. “I think it’s a rat with a big tail! You haaavvve to get it!” 

OK, I went in for a closer look. There it sat, on the laundry basket. Just like in Chrismas Vacation,


I grabbed a bucket, and trapped the life threatening squirrel right there in the laundry room before he could reak any more havoc on my poor sister. Not that I was afraid or anything, but I stacked a few encyclopedias on top so my Dad get rid of it could see it when he got home. I’m sure he wouldn’t have wanted to miss out on the visitor.

Saving Resources and Money

For those of you who don’t keep up with global whether, Colorado is in a huge drought right now. We have irrigation water at our house that came with our land purchase. Having irrigation water means you pay when you buy the land, and then are allowed a quantity of water for outdoor purposes .  Since we don’t farm or grow hay, we use ours mainly for watering the lawn and plants. There is no monthly bill, but when it’s gone, it’s gone. This year we expect it will be turned off in mid July, leaving us with only our regular water to keep the plants alive. For our household water (drinking, showering, etc.) we pay by how much we use. It’s really cheap right now, but would go up considerably if we had to water outdoor plants.

I’ve started putting my trusty bucket in the shower. It usually fills up a couple of times a day after we’ve cleaned up, and I’ve been using this water for our plants outdoors. We still have irrigation water now, but I thought it would be good to get into the habit. Honestly, I’m not sure why I don’t always do this. You can’t water everything all at once, but if you take out each bucket and water something, you can cycle through all the trees and plants. It actually feels really good to recycle the water, and I think this habit will stay, even when and if it does start to rain. Having my bucket in the shower also reminds me not to stand under the water when I’m done. I have been know to take very long showers, but if I see how much water I’m using, it helps me to speed it up.

Well, that was over 900 words about my bucket/cleaning implement/ soaking tub/varmint catcher/water conservation tool. All this for under $5 a decade! My bucket might be the best purchase ever, and this proves that I can write a post about anything.

What is your favorite household tool? Any more creative uses for a bucket?

About Kim Parr

Kim Parr is a private practice optometrist, freelance writer, and personal financial blogger. You can follow her journey to 20/20 financial vision at Eyes on the Dollar.


  1. I just bought three five gallon buckets from Home Depot to help me accomplish tasks in our yard. One thing I plan on using it for is to dump used charcoal in after it has cooled down. Buckets have so many uses! It also can help with storage of smaller tools as well.

  2. I love the idea of putting the bucket in the shower, Kim! So simple, yet brilliant! So sorry to hear it’s drought-ridden out there still. We, on the other hand, are having too much rain. Go figure. Have a great weekend, Kim!

  3. 700+ for a bucket? Do they walk, talk and cook? I’ll take the 5$ version as well. Never thought about putting the bucket in the shower to water plants but this is a good idea. I don’t really have favorite household item but I have used the bucket to pot new seeds to grow plants.

  4. I think we have a very similar bucket and use that thing all the time. I can’t remember when we bought it – though it was before all our kids, so it’s at least 6 years old. I think for $700, it better make meals for us though. 😉 Other than the bucket, I also like our little hand vac in the kitchen. With three little ones, we’re always needing to pick up something and it takes care of it so quickly.

  5. My vice grip (adjustable) wrench is probably my most important tool.

  6. My favorite household tool is my steam mop. It cleans all of my tile floors without chemicals and nothing has ever made them look as good!

  7. Haha I can imagine you running after the squirrel with the bucket! Who knew a plastic container would give you a full post worth of stories. BF has a small Swiss army knife and with all the works going around the house it has saved us from buying a lot of tools, the pliers have got rid of splinters, and even the needle has been used to saw a curtain.

  8. Funny story! I just used a bucket to catch a leak in the kitchen. Invaluable!

  9. You’re braver than me. I’m not sure if I would’ve gotten close enough to put a bucket over a squirrel! Our cats likes our bucket. We dangle one of his toys (on the fishing pole) in the bucket and shake it and he comes running.

  10. Wow, cool idea using shower water to water the plants. Definitely something to remember for when we finally have a yard.

  11. I don’t even think I have a bucket! Although it doesn’t serve that many purposes, I’d say I couldn’t live without my broom.

  12. I have a long hand saw that folds up like a switchblade and can fit in my back pocket while I am on a ladder. It is absolutely the best tool that I have ever purchased.

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