10 Simple Five Gallon Bucket Uses

five gallon bucket recycling bin

Back when I was in Boy Scouts, each year we would set out on a one week long canoeing trip which involved paddling down the rivers of Maine and setting up camp in a different location each night. I didn’t think much of it at the time but there was one particular type of gear we brought that proved indispensable in it’s utility value – the simple 5 gallon bucket.

For camping purposes, particularly when canoeing, the 5 gallon buckets served as water proof storage when paddling, and then used in many different ways around the campsite, such as a table, chair, step stool, etc. However, when you think about it, the 5 gallon bucket is not just a piece of camping gear, but a cheap practical product that can be used around your house for all sorts of purposes.

Five Gallon Bucket ideas for use around the house:

1. Trash or Recycling Bin

Rather than go out and spend $10-$20 for a specific purpose trash/recycling bin, just use a cheap plastic bucket to toss your trash in. You can even find five gallon sized trash bags at many grocery stores.

2. End Table or Nightstand

It isn’t pretty but it does the job as a decent end table or nightstand. Heck if you wanted to pretty it up there are plenty of things you could do to decorate it, or even just throw a nice piece of cloth over it.

3. Step Stool

Why pay extra for a dedicated step stool, just flip your bucket over for that extra little reach to the top shelf.

4. Seat

When you’re having friends over to watch the game and you end up a few chairs short, just break out your bucket for a quick easy seat. It’s not the most comfortable thing to sit on but it’ll make due in a jam and is better than standing the whole time.

5. Wash Bucket

Use it to hand wash your delicate clothes or pre-soak them before throwing them into a washing machine.

6. Ottoman

Maybe you have plenty of comfy sitting spots, but nowhere to kick your feat up? No problem, just rest those weary dogs on your ottoman bucket.

7. Puke Bucket

Had too much to drink and worried about hurling all over your bedroom floor? No problem, just saddle up your trusty 5 gallon bucket to the side of your bed for a little extra insurance for when there’s no time to dash to the bathroom toilet.

8. Mop Bucket

Are kids tracking mud across the kitchen floor? Time to break out old mop and bucket and get to work.

9. Waterproof Storage Container

Five gallon buckets with a LeakTite lid are perfect for storing things in damp or moist environments like an unfinished basement for example, or a leaky shed.

10. Yard Work Bucket

Need to haul compost or other yard materials around your outdoor living space? Your handy bucket with handle should make that a breeze.

There’s countless other uses for a cheap five gallon bucket. The sky is the limit. Not only are they durable and just the right shape but you can usually get them for pretty cheap; anywhere from a couple bucks to 5-6 dollars at your local hardware store, and sometimes you can even find them for free. Talk about a product with great utility value!

What do you use 5 gallon buckets for?