Toolbox Thursday? Yep, this week’s regularly scheduled Toolbox Tuesday was preempted by our nine year house-iversary before & after gallery post, so I figured we should just move the post off to Thursday, you know, for continuity of alliteration purposes. And in honor of our nine year house-iversary I’m going to talk a little bit about a “tool” I’ve had since our very first day in the house.

Just prior to closing on our house in January, we had the great opportunity to ask for many different tools and accessories for our new home purchase from Santa Claus. I was able to put together a list of necessities that various relatives and friends used when selecting our Christmas gifts. It made for a very fun and manly Christmas, that's for sure. But one of the items was something I asked for specifically from Wendy, and she came through. :-)

We’ve all heard of a toolbox, but what about a tool bucket? Yeah, you read that correctly, a tool bucket. I first learned of the concept of a tool bucket when I was working for my general contractor boss/friend in college. I always hated digging around in a tool box and its multiple layers for what I needed. To me it always just felt like a toolbox was never organized and I could never quickly find what I really needed if it wasn't sitting right on the top. One day, a guy on the crew showed up with this five gallon bucket that had this special sleeve over it. As soon as I saw it I was 100% sold.

What an ingenious idea! This great sleeve drapes over the inside and outside of any standard five gallon bucket (I swear that almost ever DIYer has these buckets all over the place) and effectively turns a simply bucket into an efficient and organized storage container for your tools. Various sized pockets, pouches, flaps, and holders can be stocked however your heart desires with all of your various hand tools. And best of all, the larger items or loose items can sit in the middle in the open bucket area.

Since Wendy bought me this amazing Bucket Boss bucket sleeve for Christmas just before we bought our house, I actually had to go out and buy a five gallon bucket to use with it since I hadn't amassed a collection yet. (I know, how lame?) But all of the various tools we owned or received for Christmas easily fit into the bucket with many pockets to spare. 

Now nine years later I’m still using the exact same bucket and sleeve on all of our projects. I’m able to change out tools based on what I need for the project or day, and I’m not forced to endlessly dig around in the toolbox looking for that one tool or device that eludes me. Instead I have time to wander around the house looking for the random tool that I sat down on a shelf or table and don’t remember where it could possibly be. I consider that progress.

Though I have the Bucket Boss brand, I know there are several other brands with similar styled container sleeves with different features and prices. Regardless of the style or brand you choose, it's a great way of turning a bit of a mess into something wonderfully organized.

Do you use a tool bucket? If not, what’s your preferred method for storing and organizing your on the job hand tools? If you've never seen this creation, or have been curious about it, it might be worth giving it a shot. At the very least it could be a secondary storage option for your tools. I've actually been thinking about putting together a plumbing and electrical specific tool bucket so my tools are all mixed up. What do you think?

Did you enjoy reading this post? Want to learn more about our first-hand experiences with other tools, devices or items used throughout our renovation? If so, check out our complete list of product reviews in our Toolbox Tuesday section.

Note: We weren't compensated for this review. We simply want to share good products when we see them, and hope that learning from our mistakes can help save you time, money and frustration.

Comments 9


1/19/2012 at 11:21 AM
I have my own tool box because I have two hobby boxes with all my small items sorted out so I can find them, and of course, my hammer, screw drivers and pliers and other assorted items that are small. I do have my own tool/nail pouch that I have used, especially when we replaced the siding on our house. It was well worth the $.25 I paid for it at a yard sale.

This bucket would be perfect for my husband, who is not organized at all and makes multiple trips back and forth from the house or yard to his workshop to fetch the right tool(s). It drives me crazy. Great idea for a gift for him.
I could see a smaller bucket sleeve being very useful as well, for the hobby type things.

Well, I can tell you that this does make a great gift idea.
1/19/2012 at 2:53 PM
Buckets come in handy for lots of things. I've done this many times and it works great, especially for things too long to fit into a standard tool box.

One other item I like to use to carry tools is a horse feed bag. These work great for pulling tools up to do work in high places. They are much easier to pull up with a rope than a five gallon bucket and maintain their balance better as they go up.
It's amazing how many buckets I have for various things. Lot's of the wood that is filling the basement is currently sitting in spent 5 gallon buckets.

The feed bag is a great idea, probably a bit easier for when I head onto the roof. I'll have to look into getting one. Thanks.
1/19/2012 at 2:56 PM
I have one of those but don't like it anymore. I really want one of these (or something similar) - - to help organize my tools. The bucket is too big for many of the projects that we are doing, and the tote would be much smaller. Now, doing outside work, I prefer my bucket cause it does double duty (carrying tools and transporting rubbish).

Ooooh, that leather one is so pretty (but a little pricey).
1/19/2012 at 6:19 PM
I have the bucket boss extreme. It is very handy as a general tool holder. I would like to get one for each trade (electrical, plumbing, carpentry, etc). Right now I use mine to hold the necessities (hammer, screw gun, pliers, multimeter, tape measure, light, etc...) and I have a typical tool box for each trade's supplies.
I also have a couple of typical toolboxes, but I find myself only putting the stuff in there that I really don't intend to use very often.
1/20/2012 at 5:49 PM
You can never have too many toolboxes/buckets/whatever! My husband is very accomplished at losing or misplacing tools but he has achieved some degree of organization by setting up separate toolboxes and storage areas for plumbing, electical, woodworking, tile, drywall, etc. tools. Occasionally he goes through and puts things back where they're supposed to go. For some items, like lots of miscellaneous hose fittings and sprinkler parts, toolboxes work better than an open bucket with pockets.
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