You know how sometimes you’ll make a discovery or a decision and you’ll wonder why you didn’t make this life-changing move earlier in your life? That happened to me recently when I decided to remove buckets from my refrigerator freezer.

As you might have expected, this started with Christmas presents I purchased for my mom. Since I never know what to buy her, I give her, in part, frozen food for Christmas. Between the time I purchase said food and the time I present her with the presents, which I do not wrap, I store the food in my freezer.

In normal times, that’s never been a problem. But in 2020, I hoarded additional meats, vegetables, and other assorted frozen foods of my own, so I didn’t have as much space in the freezer. So, I removed the bucket – at least that’s what I call it – attached to the ice machine. After all, I have never used the ice machine and am unsure if it even works.

Although I removed the ice machine’s bucket, I still needed space. Thus, I removed the bigger bucket located at the bottom of the freezer. Honestly, it’s been a pain in my expletive for years. If you so much as whisper in its direction, it becomes dislodged and then rocks back and forth on the attached rails (at least that’s what I call them). It then takes hours to properly align the bucket on the rails.

Anyway, after I removed the frozen food aka presents, I made a move to return the buckets to their homes in the freezer. But when I opened the door to do so, I said to myself, “Self, look how uncluttered this freezer looks without those bulky buckets.”

But that left me with a new decision to make – what to do with the buckets. Throwing them out was never an option. In fact, last year I replaced my aged mop bucket. No, I did not win the lottery. But the mop bucket had grown stained and, frankly, no matter how much disinfectant I used, I couldn’t rid it of that mop bucket smell.

When I replaced it, I did not toss it in the trash. I tossed it in the garage, where it remains atop an old trash can. I considered relegating the freezer buckets to a new home in the garage, but ultimately decided to place them atop the cabinets in the laundry section of my home. After all, one never knows when one might need a bucket or three.

But not in a freezer. They’re not needed in there.

This post originally appeared in the Appalachian News-Express.