Winter Prep Shed Fix-Up

It’s all about keeping things organized.

My Little Shed
My shed in its original location. The bench was inside when I bought it. I subsequently painted the bench and set it up at Lookout Point.

About two years ago, not long after buying my property and moving my RV to it as temporary lodging while I built my new home, I bought a small, 6 x 8 shed. The shed was used but in excellent condition and remarkably cheap. I had it delivered to a spot on one side of my driveway and subsequently had it moved to a spot on the other side of my driveway. Months later, I brought electricity out to the shed and wired it with 20 amp and 30 amp (for an RV) power. There was a standard 110v outlet outside and another one inside, along with a light. That came in handy later that year when I put a heater in the shed for my new barn cats and had to plug in a heated water dish for my chickens.

At first, the shed was for convenience. I planned to spend that first winter in my RV on my property and simply didn’t have enough space in the RV to store the things I might need. The rest of my belongings were stored with my helicopter and other vehicles in a rented hangar at the airport and that was a 40-minute drive each way from my home. I installed shelves that I’d brought with me from my old Arizona home. Later, when my building was finished, storage space was no longer a problem — heck, my garage/shop area is 2,880 square feet — I decided to use the shed for gardening supplies and beekeeping equipment. The barn cats came around Christmas time; that’s when I put one of my electric heaters in there.

Over the next year or so, I began accumulating garden tools — I’d only brought a few items from Arizona — and beekeeping equipment and irrigation parts. Often, after working in the garden, I’d just sort of toss tools and supplies in there. The shed turned into a mess. Last week, when I brought the heater back out for the cats — or cat; I’m not sure if I still have two — I realized that there was barely enough floor space to walk in. Clearly, the shed needed to be cleaned up.

I’d already begun moving the beekeeping supplies — mostly space-consuming hive boxes and frames — from the shed to some new shelves in the 12 x 48 “shop” area of my garage. I needed to move the rest of it out, vacuum the dust and dirt out, reorganize the shelves, and throw away the chicken feed bags and other garbage that had accumulated. (Chicken feed bags make excellent garbage bags for a place like the shed, but one is enough; I’d saved about ten.)

Shed Shelves
The shelves after tossing the garbage and organizing a bit. I do have some extra space. The wrapped items on the upper-left shelf are ceramic flowerpots from Arizona that I haven’t unpacked yet.

So that’s what I did yesterday afternoon when the sun was full on the shed, helping the heater keep it warm. I made many trips between the garage and shed and threw out a lot of stuff. I also mounted a 5-foot rack on the wall to store gardening tools. The result was amazing — not only did I regain all the floor space so I could set up the cats’ food, water, bed, and heater, but I also wound up with some empty space on the shelves.

Shed Tools
All my gardening tools fit on the rack I installed on the back wall. This keeps them off the floor so there’s room for the cat(s).

I also have a number of hooks I can use to hang larger tools from the walls or rafters. I have my leaf blower (from Arizona), hedge trimmer, weed wacker, and chainsaw hanging up there. Again, this keeps them off the floor so there’s more room for the cats. I even managed to fit my lawnmower in there, although it’s not in any of these photos.

Cat Home Cat Door
I had plenty of room to set up the cat food and water, along with a makeshift cat bed and the heater, which I leave turned down to low just to keep the chill out. The shed is not insulated — I might do that next year and put up interior walls with T111 plywood. The cats come and go through a cat door I installed last winter. The garbage pail holds dry cat food, which I buy cheap in very large bags. The cats don’t eat much of it.

In a way, this is sort of Shed 3.0; the third incarnation of my little storage shed. It’s a semi-permanent structure now; with electricity and water running right to/into it, it would be difficult to move. I certainly no longer need it for storage, but it’s a lot more convenient to have all those gardening tools under one roof close to the garden. It has become a sort of cornerstone for my garden, with a wildfire protection sprinkler and weather station on top. Next spring, I’ll spruce up the garden I planted on its north side and I might even paint it.

There’s always something to do here; never any reason to be bored. I think that’s one of the things that makes my new home so appealing to me.

5 thoughts on “Winter Prep Shed Fix-Up

    • Thanks. I’m very pleased with the results. I was really surprised by how much space I had once I sorted things out.

      In the spring, I might do something about the floor. There’s a ton of melted beeswax in one area that needs to be scraped off. Dirt sticks to it. Ick. The cat doesn’t seem to mind; sure wish I could see which one is still around. I might set up a game camera on the cat door just to see who comes and goes. Maybe later today.

What do you think?