The Shed
Sunday, March 7, 2010 at 6:21PM
John Strain

Check out the shed photos here: Shed Renovation

I have a detached shed next to my house. It became the receptacle for clutter Barbara would not permit in the house. I had everything in there from tools to toys, sporting goods to air mattresses, paint, lawn chairs, lawn equipment, and most items found at Home Depot.

Everything has a limit. We learned that around here, when our area code filled up and 504 became 985. Zip codes and even Internet address have limits. My shed was no exception. On second thought, maybe it was. When I began taking things out of it for the "Great Shed Renovation" I think the pile of shit stuff was greater than the maximum. Science fiction movies have envisioned space ships that have a larger inside than their outside, why not my shed. I will leave my previous shed capacity to forensic archaeologists for further study.

Well, not only was my shed full of unorganized stuff, it was becoming unseemly. Every window on the thing had been broken years ago, unable to survive John and friends journeys through adolescence. The right front side of the roof was damaged in Katrina when a tree fell on it. I just never got around to fixing it.

I can let things go for a time, but I eventually reach my fill. Now then, me and the shed had reached a capacity of sorts and something had to change. It was annoying when I had to buy something from the hardware store, I knew I already had, but just could not find. To illustrate my point, when I removed and sorted everything, I had three toilet tank repair kits.

One of the problems I had to address to fix the shed was: What will I do with the stuff that is in it when it is getting fixed? Solution: Order a POD. You have probably seen a POD or one of its cousins. They resemble a box car sitting on one's driveway. One pays a monthly fee and you have yourself another room. It is interesting the POD people felt it necessary to include the admonition that human habitation in the POD was not allowed. I imagined the guy who made this rule possible. Maybe it was a hunting camp or shelter for an ice fisherman. Maybe it was a guest room at a trailer park.

So with the POD firmly anchored on my driveway, I could begin. I spent two weekends taking things out of the shed and putting in the POD or kicking them to the curb. In the process, I moved my shed to the POD and though it may have looked like chaos to anyone but me, I could go right to anything I needed. This was a useful necessity, because in the forthcoming renovation, I needed to know where my tools and other items were.

Now with the shed empty, I took out all of the shelves and did not stop until I had the pristine 15' x 12' slab and structure down to the walls.

I will spare you the blow by blow details on what I did, but with a little help from some friends, the shed went from an ugly duckling to the beautiful swan. I coordinated the renovation with having my house painted.

It is not a storage shed anymore. Now it is a workshop. I found ways to organize my stuff, I built a closet next to my house to hold a few things, and ended up with something I am really proud of.

The shed is just the beginning. I plan to do some renovations inside. Working on my shed was a chance to work on my skills. It is a good feeling to make something or to fix something. Although I worked my tail off for a long time, November to February, the finished product makes it well worth it.

So if you have wondered where I have been and why my writing had stopped altogether, the shed must share some of the blame.

So here's to the do-it-yourselfers. We may not be the fastest and we may not be able to do it as good as the pros, but a level of satisfaction cannot be any higher than when you can say, "I did it myself."

Until the next time.

Article originally appeared on John's Online Journal (http://www.johnstrain.net/).
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