Organizing Garden Tools: Bucket Jockey® Goes “Green”

Bucket Jockey® where have you been all my life!?

In all my years of gardening, I’ve simply “made do” with my tool storage.  For the past several years I’ve used a small plastic caddy intended for cleaning supplies.  Not bad for a two dollar investment.

So I can’t tell you how excited I am with my upgrade: an all-in-one tool storage caddy from Husky® and Home Depot.  I’m not sure why I assumed this would be a costly investment. I grew up in an all-female household, so I never really learned my way around a hardware store.  For just ten dollars I was able to create this system, below.

For starters, I wanted to personalize my new tool organizer.  I have nothing against Husky who made this fabulous system, but you must admit they have a grouchy-looking logo.  Since I’m organized at heart, I used a jewelry finding full of hearts.  I blacked out the logo with a permanent marker, then attached the hearts with a safety-pin.  Now I can change out the bucket jewelry when the mood strikes.

Husky Bucket Jockey

I hid the logo with a jewelry finding (with apologies to Husky®)

I used the inner pockets to store my freshly cleaned and sharpened hand tools, including spades, pruners, saws and weeders. My garden fork hangs from an outer pocket, originally intended for a drill. I cut an unused garden glove to cover the prongs so I don’t scrape my leg on the rough edges as I carry it from place to place.

Bucket Interior

Bucket Interior houses tools

Gloved garden fork

Gloved garden fork

Drill holder doubles for tools and gloves

This would typically hold a drill. It works well for gloves and a garden fork.

The Bucket Jockey includes a strap attached to the exterior. I don’t know its intended use, but I’ve re-purposed it for twine. One of the tricks I learned on a garden tour was to cut several lengths of twine ahead of time so you have them at the ready when you need them. I threaded several pre-cut lengths of twine through a couple of binder rings.  They’re attached near the ball of twine.

Strap and Hook
Strap and hook attachment
Garden Twine and binder ring

Garden Twine

strap holds garden twine

Strap holds garden twine

"Bucket Jockey ®" for garden tools

“Bucket Jockey ®” transformed

What a joy to have all the tools sharpened, cleaned and stored in one easy to access, portable system.

On the subject of organizing, I recently launched my new and improved organizing website and blog, Organized at Heart. If you’re interested, please take a look.  If you would like to follow along, you can subscribe to receive regular updates.

Garden Tool Clean-up: Farewell to the Dirty Dozen

Like many tedious chores, cleaning garden tools is easy to put off.  Though it’s hard to get started, it’s ultimately satisfying when you’re done. The electrostatic charge in the air yesterday spurred me into action. With my head held high, I’m happy to report that the dirty dozen of gardening tools is now the tidy twelve.

garden tools in need of some TLC

The Dirty Dozen

Last month I put my tools to soak in a bucket of soapy Melaleuca cleaner, then got busy with other things. It’s one of those jobs that nags at you till you get it done, but I knew I needed a good block of time to act. Yesterday was the day.

Newspapers spread and gloves donned, I tackled years of rust, faded paint and grime. Using steel wool and elbow grease, I scoured away layers of garden history. If those tools could talk!  Some of them have been around for over twenty years.

I sanded the sharp end of the garden tools first, removing rust and sharpening edges. Moving on to the tools with wooden handles, I sanded those as well before finishing with a soft rub of wax and oil. Everything looks great. The newer tools have vinyl or rubber handles which stand up to the elements better than wood. The wooden handles remain sturdy, however, and relished the coat of wax and oil.

Clean Tools

The Tidy Twelve

Last up: the garden saw.  I saved the worst for last. The once-blue handle had completely chipped away.  The blade was stained and covered in rust. Was I worried?  No!  I had big plans for this little baby.

Thank you, Martha Stewart.

It took three coats, but our refurbished folding saw now sports a handle in Martha Stewart’s Pomegranate Red. Who says tools have to be boring?

Garden saw painted red

Glitter Garden Saw


Painted folding saw


Perseverance 1, procrastination 0.

What’s on your “nag” list?

Getting the Job Done


Garden Tools: The Dirty Dozen

garden tools in need of some TLC

The Dirty Dozen

I made some progress towards the garden clean-up today, though not as much as I would have liked. I gathered the “dirty dozen” of garden tools and made a mental assessment of the work ahead. My husband, handyman extraordinaire, gave me some quick tips on removing rust using steel wool.  If you’re wondering the difference between #000 and #0000, just ask!

I pounded the cushions together to loosen the dust, and brought them indoors for a quick wipe-down.  I had to run outside to tether the inflatable spider before it broke loose from the yard and put the fear of arachnids in someone down the street.  Then I was out the door for appointments for the rest of the day.

Costume Update

I’ve enjoyed dusting off the old sewing machine this week and putting it to use. This year I’m dressing up for a few Halloween parties as a Bella Pilar greeting card. Her designs are fun and whimsical.

I pieced together a crinoline using two “maternity panels” from a fabric store and adding tulle from an old costume.  Today I finished sewing the skirt and made headway on the top.  I’m making a pattern as I go along, so fitting it has been a challenge. I’ve been dreaming of my own dressmaker’s form, but it’s hard to justify that expense given the minimal use it would get.

Just a few finishing touches and the costume will be ready to wear.

cat ears

leopard skirt


Halloween Countdown

Princess Pumpkin

Princess Pumpkin