Garden Shed Organization | Creating a Rodent Proof Shed | Simpe and Easy #garden #shed #organization and #cleaning | TheNavagePatch.com

Garden Shed Organization

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The Saturday started like any other. I awoke at dawn and pinballed my way into the bathroom. I brushed my teeth and dressed. Not once did I imagine a garden shed organization was looming in my immediate future. One eye cracked open, and I stumbled into the kitchen. I fed the coffee and then made some dogs…

No, wait. That’s not right.

I fed the dogs and then made some coffee. Yeah, that sounds more likely.

The other eye cracked open. I shuffled back into the bedroom and blackmailed Handan out of bed with the threat of no coffee enticed Handan out of bed with the promise of coffee. We went outside and sat on the deck while our caffeine infusions shattered the lingering shell of sleep.

The morning was hot. The day would be brutal – 90s and humid. I thought of all the things I could be doing inside in the air conditioned house or in the cool basement. I thought of all the things I could be doing in the yard, maybe following the shade. I looked at the shed on the other side of the pool. There was something in there that I needed for the pool. I walked over and opened the door.

God, I hated this shed.

There was no room to walk – I couldn’t get to the pool pump controls. The floor was covered in buckets and tools and bags.

Bags.

Like that bag of black oily sunflower seed I had left in there. The contents of that bag were strewn everywhere.

Mice.

Lots of mice. I had seen whole families migrate from corner to corner as I beat a path from the door to my lawnmower. Hell, they’d even taken up residence in my mower’s engine. Four times. Four! They were coming in from two holes in the roof line. They made the holes with their teeth. I beat a path to the mower area. There are double doors there. And look how they hang. Look at that space underneath the doors. Any animal smaller than a grizzly could fit through that gap. I sighed. Enough of this sh!t.

“BARISH!” I yelled back towards the house for my son. Who was I kidding? Getting the boy to answer a call-to-work from this far away would never work. I strode to the kitchen and mashed the intercom button with my finger.

“Boy! Get up! Get dressed! Socks and shoes! Eat breakfast! Come outside!” I turned to leave then jammed the button once more. “SNELL!”

I went back outside to await his arrival.

Barish turned up a short while later, shoulders slumped, face a perfect study in misery – a typical pre-teen faced with work on a Saturday.

“C’mon, Boy, we’re gonna clean the shed, so I can walk in there again. Start taking stuff out and throwing it on the grass.” He groaned.

The sun peaked through the trees as the humidity enveloped us.

The Garden Shed Organization Begins…

Throughout all this Handan stayed on the deck with her coffee and her iPad, oblivious to my plan. It was only when the yard started to fill up with junk crap stuff that she looked up from her tablet and took an interest in our work. She called to me. “What are you doing?”

“We’re cleaning the shed.” I said.

“Do you want my help?” She asked.

“Nope! You just relax. We’ll take care of this part. When it comes time to put the stuff back, then you can help.”

She considered this, grabbed her camera and walked to the shed. She looked at all the junk crap stuff we had already removed.

“Did you take a “before” picture?” She asked. A ‘before’ picture? What the hell? It never dawned on me to write about a stupid shed-cleaning. I just wanted to get rid of the mice and clear a path to the pump controls.

“Ummmm. No.” I said.

“Babes, you can write a post about this. Don’t take anything else out until I get a chance to go inside and take some pictures.” She said. “Shed organization ideas are all over Pinterest.”

Oh, goody. Pinterest.

Barish and I stepped back while she documented the scene like a CSI photographer.

So here are the “before” pics. Not exactly as it was on the inside, but you can get the gist of it based on how much crap junk stuff was already on the outside. Oh, and don’t you dare call this a shed “clean-out.” Handan was adamant that she would organize it in such a way that we would be fitting more stuff in than we took out, and we would still have more space to maneuver.

Garden Shed Organization | Creating a Rodent Proof Shed | Simpe and Easy #garden #shed #organization and #cleaning | TheNavagePatch.com
That rainbow thing in the foreground was a beautiful swinging chair I got for Handan for her birthday in 2013. Now it’s a mouse chew-toy. Actually, now it’s in the dump! Yay!
Garden Shed Organization | Creating a Rodent Proof Shed | Simpe and Easy #garden #shed #organization and #cleaning | TheNavagePatch.com
That’s black oily sunflower seed all over the floor. Dummy (aka, me) left a bag of seed on the floor in there thinking that the bag would provide adequate protection from animals. Also, I left two half-full feeders on the floor. What can I say – I’m a dummy. When we started, all of that floor space was covered. Walking was not an option.
Garden Shed Organization | Creating a Rodent Proof Shed | Simpe and Easy #garden #shed #organization and #cleaning | TheNavagePatch.com
I think that’s a stick farm.
Garden Shed Organization | Creating a Rodent Proof Shed | Simpe and Easy #garden #shed #organization and #cleaning | TheNavagePatch.com
This is over on the mower side. Cushions on a mouse-infested floor. Because, you know, smart! Tarps unfolded (I’m lazy). Cardboard and wood stacked against the side, because apparently I enjoyed giving mice perfect living conditions. Food, shelter…if only they had bedding, the poor little things!
Garden Shed Organization | Creating a Rodent Proof Shed | Simpe and Easy #garden #shed #organization and #cleaning | TheNavagePatch.com
Did someone request bedding for the mice? Oh, how about 6 bags of cedar mulch! Yep, that stuff was strewn all over. One bag even had the family living (or recently departed) inside. Notice the blue solar pool cover up in the rafters – it was home to several thousand ants. They had created a massive pool of black sludge that was dripping down to the ground (now I know why my lawnmower seat was covered in it this spring).
Garden Shed Organization | Creating a Rodent Proof Shed | Simpe and Easy #garden #shed #organization and #cleaning | TheNavagePatch.com
See those five crappy bird feeders? My sister, Margo, gave those to us because they were too crappy for her. Did we do the sensible thing and refuse them? No! We took them in like a crazy cat lady takes in strays. Will we use them? NO! They’re not squirrel-proof! They’d be drained of their contents in minutes by our thieving gray bandits.
Garden Shed Organization | Creating a Rodent Proof Shed | Simpe and Easy #garden #shed #organization and #cleaning | TheNavagePatch.com
Why, yes, those are two croquet sets! No, neither is complete. Well, no, we’ve never actually played croquet, but it’s good to have two sets, right? You know…just in case.
Garden Shed Organization | Creating a Rodent Proof Shed | Simpe and Easy #garden #shed #organization and #cleaning | TheNavagePatch.com
Before the Papasan Dog Hut there was the truncated dog-umbrella*. Got a bent umbrella shaft? No problem! Lop it off and glue it into a weighted base! Presto! Dog umbrella! *must have a child to crawl in and open it.
Garden Shed Organization | Creating a Rodent Proof Shed | Simpe and Easy #garden #shed #organization and #cleaning | TheNavagePatch.com
I have no comment. It’s just an ocean of crap. Well. I guess that was a comment. I have no further comment.
Garden Shed Organization | Creating a Rodent Proof Shed | Simpe and Easy #garden #shed #organization and #cleaning | TheNavagePatch.com
That’s a baker’s rack we bought from a lady on Craigslist. It sat in that shed for a year. As I type this, it is in the process of beautification. Soon it will live in my kitchen and carry a microwave instead of mouse turds and dirt.
Garden Shed Organization | Creating a Rodent Proof Shed | Simpe and Easy #garden #shed #organization and #cleaning | TheNavagePatch.com
Ummmm….ah hell, you have eyes. You figure it out.
Garden Shed Organization | Creating a Rodent Proof Shed | Simpe and Easy #garden #shed #organization and #cleaning | TheNavagePatch.com
Sure do find a lot of hoses when you start digging. I wonder if that snowblower could have made mincemeat of all that crap?
Garden Shed Organization | Creating a Rodent Proof Shed | Simpe and Easy #garden #shed #organization and #cleaning | TheNavagePatch.com
That ugly rainbow umbrella came with the house. I tried…I really tried to sneak it to the dump. But Handan discovered my plan and removed the umbrella from the trash pile. It stands next to the garage even now, mocking me…daring me…
Garden Shed Organization | Creating a Rodent Proof Shed | Simpe and Easy #garden #shed #organization and #cleaning | TheNavagePatch.com
The blessed arrival of our car to take its very first load to the Put & Take. It’s a miracle!
Garden Shed Organization | Creating a Rodent Proof Shed | Simpe and Easy #garden #shed #organization and #cleaning | TheNavagePatch.com
Hehehehe – mouse-chewed pool chairs. Think anyone will want them?

Okay! That covers the load-out. Time to clean and reorganize! We started…well, we started by, *ahem*, loading out some more stuff. But this load-out needed Handan, a ladder and an impact driver.

Garden Shed Organization | Creating a Rodent Proof Shed | Simpe and Easy #garden #shed #organization and #cleaning | TheNavagePatch.com

Garden Shed Organization | Creating a Rodent Proof Shed | Simpe and Easy #garden #shed #organization and #cleaning | TheNavagePatch.com

Handan removed the old “ceiling,” really a patchwork of scrap wood. She figured this would not only take away some mouse habitat, but it would open up the space as well. We wanted to eliminate as many hiding spots as possible.

Garden Shed Organization | Creating a Rodent Proof Shed | Simpe and Easy #garden #shed #organization and #cleaning | TheNavagePatch.com
Look at that arm! She’s probably stronger than I am!

While Handan was busy removing the ceiling, Barish and I worked on the floors. First we swept up the big stuff, and then I vacuumed with my new shop vac. We started the day with my older 9 gallon shop vac, but I felt like I could use some more suck, so we went to Home Depot, and I upgraded to the suckiest shop vac they had. I’m not a Home Depot shill, nor are they paying me to say this, but Holy Cow, this thing is frickin’ awesome! I don’t know how I lived so long without this much suck! This thing could suck the chrome off a trailer hitch! It could suck a golf ball through a garden hose! It could suck the beard right off my face…okay, enough. I just get excited when something sucks this much.

Here’s the beast.

Garden Shed Organization | Creating a Rodent Proof Shed | Simpe and Easy #garden #shed #organization and #cleaning | TheNavagePatch.com

If you are in the market for a remorseless sucking machine, look no further.

Oh yeah, it also blows. o_0

Okay, moving on!

When sweeping and vacuuming, it is important to wear the proper attire. You never know who you might meet, so I find it best to be prepared with genuine Calvin Klein underwear.

Garden Shed Organization | Creating a Rodent Proof Shed | Simpe and Easy #garden #shed #organization and #cleaning | TheNavagePatch.com
Calvin Klein – he’d be rolling in his grave seeing this. Wait, is he dead? No? Okay, then he’d be rolling in his chaise lounge. Poolside. Surrounded by supermodels. And a pool boy named Kiki.

I’ll spare you the rest of the photo. This is a DIY blog, not a science fiction and horror blog. Now I know why Handan kept telling me to pull my pants up when she was taking pictures.

Once the floors were cleaned, I turned my attention to the two holes near the roof line.

Garden Shed Organization | Creating a Rodent Proof Shed | Simpe and Easy #garden #shed #organization and #cleaning | TheNavagePatch.com

Garden Shed Organization | Creating a Rodent Proof Shed | Simpe and Easy #garden #shed #organization and #cleaning | TheNavagePatch.com

Garden Shed Organization | Creating a Rodent Proof Shed | Simpe and Easy #garden #shed #organization and #cleaning | TheNavagePatch.com

When we went to buy the shop vac, I also picked up a few cans of expanding foam sealant. I bought a can of a product I’ve used before, Great Stuff, and a few cans of Loctite Foam – a product I’d never used. I started with the Loctite.

Garden Shed Organization | Creating a Rodent Proof Shed | Simpe and Easy #garden #shed #organization and #cleaning | TheNavagePatch.com

Look, I’m no foam expert. I don’t hold a Masters in Advanced Foamology, but I gotta tell ya – this stuff is awesome! The other brand may be “Great,” but Loctite is phenomenal. It is a Cadillac in a parking lot full of Oldsmobiles.

Garden Shed Organization | Creating a Rodent Proof Shed | Simpe and Easy #garden #shed #organization and #cleaning | TheNavagePatch.com

I foamed the two holes and then foamed anywhere else I suspected might grant entry to mice.

By now, Handan had finished removing the old ceiling and had started to hang some vinyl coated garden fencing wire between some of the rafters. The fencing wire could hold our stuff, but one thing it wouldn’t hold – mice!

Garden Shed Organization | Creating a Rodent Proof Shed | Simpe and Easy #garden #shed #organization and #cleaning | TheNavagePatch.com
Here she is, hanging the feeder that I had left half-full on the floor.
Garden Shed Organization | Creating a Rodent Proof Shed | Simpe and Easy #garden #shed #organization and #cleaning | TheNavagePatch.com
Ah, perfect! Right next to the other five feeders we’ll never use! 🙂

To organize most of the tools, Handan found a long scrap piece of wood and drove nails into one side from which the tools would hang.

Garden Shed Organization | Creating a Rodent Proof Shed | Simpe and Easy #garden #shed #organization and #cleaning | TheNavagePatch.com

Garden Shed Organization | Creating a Rodent Proof Shed | Simpe and Easy #garden #shed #organization and #cleaning | TheNavagePatch.com

She then hung this board, nails facing the wall, across the studs. This way, none of the nails can cause harm if someone trips or isn’t paying attention while moving around in the shed.

Garden Shed Organization | Creating a Rodent Proof Shed | Simpe and Easy #garden #shed #organization and #cleaning | TheNavagePatch.com

This is how she planned all of the hanging – there would be no nails or screws sticking out of the studs – only from the recesses between the studs.

Okay, I skipped right to an “after” shot above, but that is because it was so hot and we were so tired, that pictures were forgotten. Oh, did I mention that it was now Sunday evening? That’s right, this little Saturday morning project turned into a two-day, dawn-to-dusk marathon. Ho-Lee-Crap, were we beat when it was over! I’ll carry on now with some more “after” shots.

Garden Shed Organization | Creating a Rodent Proof Shed | Simpe and Easy #garden #shed #organization and #cleaning | TheNavagePatch.com
The glorious door entrance. A clean floor! Huzzah!
Garden Shed Organization | Creating a Rodent Proof Shed | Simpe and Easy #garden #shed #organization and #cleaning | TheNavagePatch.com
Hose and bird feeder central. And…and a plastic goose. Because everyone needs a plastic goose.
Garden Shed Organization | Creating a Rodent Proof Shed | Simpe and Easy #garden #shed #organization and #cleaning | TheNavagePatch.com
If you need any tiki torch oil, I can hook you up.
Garden Shed Organization | Creating a Rodent Proof Shed | Simpe and Easy #garden #shed #organization and #cleaning | TheNavagePatch.com
Holding up and hanging from – the chicken wire does it all!
Garden Shed Organization | Creating a Rodent Proof Shed | Simpe and Easy #garden #shed #organization and #cleaning | TheNavagePatch.com
Headspace! Glorious headspace! Handan fit all those tarps up above, along with lots of other stuff.
Garden Shed Organization | Creating a Rodent Proof Shed | Simpe and Easy #garden #shed #organization and #cleaning | TheNavagePatch.com
The Pool Noodle Brigade

Garden Shed Organization | Creating a Rodent Proof Shed | Simpe and Easy #garden #shed #organization and #cleaning | TheNavagePatch.com

Garden Shed Organization | Creating a Rodent Proof Shed | Simpe and Easy #garden #shed #organization and #cleaning | TheNavagePatch.com
It is the most organized thing I’ve ever seen in my entire life!
Garden Shed Organization | Creating a Rodent Proof Shed | Simpe and Easy #garden #shed #organization and #cleaning | TheNavagePatch.com
Sprinklers above and dangerous tools well-protected on the wall.
Garden Shed Organization | Creating a Rodent Proof Shed | Simpe and Easy #garden #shed #organization and #cleaning | TheNavagePatch.com
That seed broadcaster on the wall came from the garage, as did the weed wacker and the edger against the back wall.
Garden Shed Organization | Creating a Rodent Proof Shed | Simpe and Easy #garden #shed #organization and #cleaning | TheNavagePatch.com
Those chainsaws and the hedge trimmer? Yep – used to live in the garage.
Garden Shed Organization | Creating a Rodent Proof Shed | Simpe and Easy #garden #shed #organization and #cleaning | TheNavagePatch.com
Storage above, storage below. I wonder how long it will take me to totally mess everything up? ?

Well if you’ve made it this far, I give you credit! Not everyone can slog their way through a 2100-word screed about organizing a garden shed. Kudos to you!

Garden Shed Organization | Creating a Rodent Proof Shed | Simpe and Easy #garden #shed #organization and #cleaning | TheNavagePatch.com

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48 Comments

  1. Yup Kudos to me. Something weird about looking at other peoples crap. I have 2 questions. Why did Handan keep the useless bird feeders? And… what makes the Loctite spray foam better than Great Stuff? I use Great Stuff for many projects. None of them are for filling holes though. Examples: I made a dress form out of chicken wire and paper mache and used the great stuff to fill in the cavity inside the form, also this year I used it to spray into an umbrella and stuffed in fake flowers for a door type wreath so the wind won’t blow away the flowers. I also used it to make a huge rock for a Halloween costume (Rock, Paper, Scissors). So if there is better stuff out there I would love to know your thoughts on what makes it better. Oh and Kudos to you guys for tackling a project I would have run away from!

    1. Hi Kat – I like the Loctite better than great stuff for a couple of reasons:

      1) it sprays better – less splatter than the great stuff
      2) the foam is denser (they claim 4x denser)
      3) and something about that denser foam just makes it feel better when you spray it – a bit of an intangible

      I’ve yet to see how they each hold up long-term. I’ll be looking at all the areas I sprayed with each next summer to see how they’re getting on.

      As for the bird feeders…we won’t be using them as feeders – that much is certain. Handan will find a use for them – somewhere, somehow. If there is one thing she hates, it’s throwing something away!

  2. Very inspiring. If I had a garden shed, I may be inclined to clean it out right now. My shed is in our backyard in the US waiting to be cleaned out when we move back next summer. Your blog gives me lots of reminders of all the things I need to do when we return. For now, I’m going to enjoy another cup of coffee and enjoy looking at your hard work.

  3. Ps. Waiting for the next chapter of your Afghanistan adventure. How long were you there? When did you leave? Did you travel elsewhere before returning to the US?

    1. I’m working on that story right now. It’ll be published soon (maybe next week or the week after). We were in Afghanistan for exactly one year. After that we lived in Vietnam and the India, so there will be many more stories to come! 🙂

  4. Well I give you a lot of points for doing it in this heat, great job though! It is such a great feeling when you walk in and its all in its right place. Big points for getting your son to help, but I’m sure hes a great young man. Our Garage needs to be done so I’m hoping for that. Now you can rest with another household project under you belt. Have a great day you guys! :))

  5. we have a crap full garden shed i might maybe possibly tackle in the fall if we have a fall, i was sweating bullets just looking at the pics, and yeah more stories from afar can’t wait xx

  6. Bravo on the clean out! We have a few out buildings, and its amazing how fast they fill up with stuff. And for the record, that plastic goose is adorable. Get it outside for yard decor.

  7. OOOO h my goodness, laugh out loud! Really! How many of those cleanouts have we done? But none as good as you have done, NOR with as much crap -stuff you have! I tell my hubs often, that is not stuff, it is crap! And he echoes his father, ‘welll, it is too good to throw out! ‘ Ok I am anxious to see what Handan does with those feeders! And the goose? I saw a picture of a plastic flamingo covered with purple half marbles..(gems)! It was gorgeous in the sun! I would love to have one here in the desert! Thanks for sharing your ‘one morning’ 2 day clean out! NICELY DONE! Am sharing with my friends. and my hubs! A bunch of laughs on a realistic scenario!

    1. Thank you, Bernice! Your husband and my wife would be fast friends – she won’t throw anything out either. I have to sneak things to the dump when she’s not around, but shhhhhhh, don’t tell her 😉

  8. Man I love seeing other people’s crap! I get this giddy feeling looking at all the ridiculous stuff you’re hoarding. And then the after – swoon – gotta love a good after ? Thanks for sharing at To Grandmas House We Go xx

  9. After reading about all your crap I feel much better now. Yes we all hoard stuff we don’t really need. If you guys can do all that then I can be shamed into cleaning out my crap as well. Thanks for the inspiration. And you did an incredible job there! Can I borrow Handan?

  10. AMAZING! Projects like this just seem to gain momentum like a snowball rolling downhill or an avalanche. What starts off as a “let me move this thing so that I can walk across the floor” moment turns into a major weekend whole-family project. But — the results are incredible. Kudos!!

    1. Thank you, Carol! It’s so true…our current guest bathroom renovation started the same way. In fact, everything we’ve done, and even this blog, started from a simple little faucet swap in our master bath three years ago! 🙂

  11. Thank you so much for linking at #overthemoon! I look forward to seeing what you share every week. Please come back for #WonderfulWednesday or #ThursdayFavoriteThings. Enjoy your week ahead.

  12. Your Saturday began quite like most of ours. The coffee is much needed and the next thing you know we have tackled a project which was never planned. Your shed organization turned out quite well and I’m sure you are not hating walking into it now. This post is one of the features for the new Merry Monday party. We all need some outdoor space organization inspiration! 😉

  13. THERE IS HOPE ! THANK YOU SO MUCH! I can see what and how to do it now; IF i can pound nails and screw in hooks! I know that because you have a lot of the same kind of stuff we have (well not the goose, but….) This is the best I have read on garage organization!

  14. Hi Greg and Handan..
    Rereading this fun post from some time back! Still my favorite!
    So….goose and bird feeders? Status?
    I just shared this with my son, via email. I think he will enjoy reading it also. The way you write is the way he talks. So it was like reading something that he had written. Too funny .
    Well your shed would make my husband envious. First of all they have one, and then secondly to have it so neat and tidy. But that wouldn’t stay that way very long.
    But I sure do love this post from time past! ? Take care.
    I just finished reading the office closet …beautiful! Nicely done!

    1. Hi Bernice, I almost missed this comment! So, the goose is now golden (literally – Handan painted the damn thing gold). It spent two years in the garden, but this year, I think it’s still hiding in the shed. As for the feeders – well, most went to the dump, but Handan is a tenacious little brat when it comes to chucking things, so she rescued a few and squirreled them away in the basement somewhere!

  15. This is one of the most entertaining blogs I have ever read…I was laughing out loud!…however; I’m sure you weren’t in too much of a laughing mode, though?. The ‘after’ looks great! As a matter of fact, it sucks!!..aka-really awesome, like your new shop vac, lol! Kudos to you & Handan!
    I noticed the date of this blog is 2016. So, how’s the shed these days? Still organized??

    1. @pamela…this is still my favorite , even tho time has passed..you have reminded me to read it again,even though they have moved. We can relate..everytime I look in hubs garage. Grrr

    2. Thank you, Pamela! I’ll be honest – I was only able to keep it that nice for about a year. Okay, maybe just a season. Anyway, it doesn’t matter because we moved to Georgia last month, and we no longer have a shed. Victory is mine!

  16. Thank you so much for all the deep belly laughs, I was rolling on the floor. You are hysterical. My husband and I had just done our shed a couple of weeks earlier for a move. Seeing your photos and hearing your narratives felt like you were documenting us minus the Calvins. I am definitely a fan and can’t wait to read more of your blog. Kudos to making chores like this fun.

    1. Thank you so much, Lori! I’m so happy you found us! Hey, if you like to read, check out our About Us – it leads to a nice long story (full of fun and adventure and comedy!)