Assemble a Personal Care Bucket

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5-gallon bucket

Recycled mayonnaise bucket

Five gallon buckets that are commonly used for food storage can be used to organize and store other non food items.  They are very convenient and portable, and they stack well if you get the same types.  I have already made a health supplies bucket but this time I wanted to cover how to make the Personal Care bucket.

Pre-assembly Steps:

1. Obtain a five gallon bucket with a lid. See this article on how to get five gallon buckets for free.

2.  Wash the bucket well with soap and water, and dry thoroughly.

3.  You do not need oxygen absorbers for most personal care items.

4.  Buy your items with a coupon or on sale, for the biggest savings.

What goes into a Personal Care Bucket?

  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner (not essential but nice to have)
  • Soaps
  • Toothpaste and/or Baking Soda
  • Razors
  • Nail/toenail clippers, tweezers
  • Deodorant
  • Lotions
  • Tampons/Sanitary Napkins
  • Alcohol
  • Mouthwash
  • Cotton balls and Q-tips

If you are so inclined, stash your backup makeup bag in there as well.  Toilet paper rolls with the middle cardboard removed would make good space fillers.  You can take soap out of packaging if you live in a dry climate.  I left the soaps in boxes, as the humidity tends to make soap get soft and slimy, and I don’t want it to get into the other items.

personal care items in a bucketYou can tailor the contents of the bucket according to who would be using the contents-if you have a baby in the family, then pack baby supplies such as tear free baby shampoo, baby oil, lotion, cloth diapers (disposables may just be too bulky, but you can throw in a few as space fillers if you use them).  Pay attention to the weight and do not overstuff the bucket, as the handle may not hold up or the lid may not shut if you overfill it.

Type up a list of contents and tape it to the inside of the lid.  Label the bucket and date.  I usually note the date I packed the bucket, so I have an idea how long it’s been in storage.  As with other goods, rotate your items to avoid waste.

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11 thoughts on “Assemble a Personal Care Bucket

  1. This is a really great idea. Any specific needs that a certain family member may have can be quickly accessed and grabbed in a time of emergency. Great idea!

    • You can personalize each bucket for each family member’s preferences and needs. Thanks Lindsay!

  2. One addition I do not see on the list-at least one washcloth and bath towel (for the same reason as the gummi bears mentioned previously-either beats the heck out of a used t-shirt for use).

    Also-the bucket will make a nicer “bathtub” than the M1 helmet we had when I was in service for field bathing.


    • Hey Bob S, Good idea, keeping a washcloth and bath towel in the bucket. Hadn’t thought about using the bucket as a “bathtub” either-good one! Thanks Bob S.!

  3. I like to put in a box of bandaids, antibac ointment, cortizone, hair bands, rubbing alcohol, tissues, toothbrushes, tylenol, etc. I pretended we had to bug out to an unequipped locale and needed everything we usually use on a weekly basis and put one of each.

    great idea to add washcloth and reuse bucket!!

    • Hi dearmama7x, Now that you mention it, I need to add hair bands to mine! Good one. Thanks!

  4. This is a very good idea and one our household will be implementing. Thank you :-)

    Each member will make and maintain their own bucket according to their personal needs. There will also be a generalized bucket for things that everyone typically uses. Each will be placed in a special area of the house, ready to be thrown into the truck at a moments notice if need be.

    • Hi there Survival Topics, Great, I am glad you will be using this tip. Thank you!


    ADDENDUM To my last comment-

    This is just ONE industrial supplier, if you cannot find freebies. One idea would be to get a couple of cases (you would need to have an industrial account set up in advance, which is easy to do) and put together a “group buy” to total a few cases This would mean someone has to order, receive, repackage, ship, etc., but could be a way of making a few dollars on the side, IF you have the time and room in your apartment or home.

    I have no relationship with the listed company, of any sort. I have merely done this through my current business for some people concerned.

    With a fixed and firm price for all variables, as well as a fixed amount of profit (i know- a nasty word to some people) a group can save time and effort by having one person handle an item, with the load of several items being handled by multiple people, I.e one person specializes in one needed item for a group.

    Everyone wins.

    • Hi Bob S, This makes sense for the folks who can get a group together- maybe some family and friends who all pitch in and and split the cost. Thanks!

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