Storing reclaimed lumber has been an issue for me in recent years. I don’t search out reclaimed lumber, but when it finds me—I rarely turn it down. And old saying in our family “it’s not eating anything” so why not store it?
I got this stuff almost 3 years ago and I still have some of the fence boards and 2x4’s. Are you ready to see the ugly truth of where I’ve been storing it?
yikes! This is a long narrow building attached to a garage. Way back in the day I used it for my Finish Max painting projects. For the last couple of years it has become a dumping ground. Don’t get me wrong, I would still grab lumber from here—but it had pretty much become useless as a storage solution. The roof has leaked for years, so I haven’t been able to store much more than reclaimed lumber here. Years ago there was an overhead light fixture, but some people who tried to repair the roof tore it out. ugh!
Shameful, right? I only show a really ugly before picture if I have a fabulous AFTER picture . . .
. . . not yet! First I have to show you how it was coming along. One of the major problems of the woodshed was how dark it was without a light. See how bright it is? While planning the makeover, Rodney (neighbor) and I discussed a skylight. But, that was too expensive! We improvised with one of those huge windows on the right. At this point, the original roof had been torn off, repairs of rotted wood had been made and Rodney cut the hole in the roof where the window would fit. Had it not been so well lit, I wouldn’t have been brave enough to go in there and clear this stuff out.
I helped Rodney on the roof on the first day, and thereafter whenever he needed help. But my job quickly became clearing out the woodshed. The upper shelf on the left held some deteriorated sheetrock and lots of fluorescent bulbs for the garage. The work bench in the back AND the upper shelf were full of feces! Huge clumps of poop!!! I’m not sure if it was raccoons or possums. I really don’t care. It was so GROSS. I donned safety goggles, you know, the kind you wear for science experiments—a hat, mask and gloves to clean all that up. Then I promptly removed it all so that the critters would lose their outhouse!
Empty AND clean! It’s not the best building in the world, but it’s what I have. Hindsight 20/20, I now realize that we could have easily put in a couple of windows in the walls. A window in the back would be really helpful. Oh well. You can see the sun shining through the roof/ceiling onto the floor.
The hardest part of organizing
The hardest part of organizing any big job is deciding what to keep and what to toss. I kept the reclaimed lumber sorted as I pulled it out of the woodshed. Some of it is for building projects, and some of it is for Etsy signs. I don’t want to use premium fence boards for building when I need it for making pretty rustic wedding signs.
Funny story! I have had these barstools for a few years. I took them apart and saved the turntable that makes them swivel. Then they sat upside down in the woodshed waiting for a useful purpose. I decided to put them to the curb. I carried one to the street and set it down as you see here. Suddenly it occurred to me that the two of them would actually sit right next to each other making a great double chair bench! Needless to say, I brought them back to the woodshed.
I did end up putting a LOT to the street. I like to put stuff out a couple of days before garbage pickup to give scavengers a chance to rummage. It worked. By the time the garbage man came, all the good stuff was gone and the only stuff left was worthless.
ps I also kept the two bases for these stools.
Video tour Storing Reclaimed Lumber
You can watch the video, or check out the pictures below . . .
Storage options for junk and reclaimed lumber
Utilizing wall space is a great option to keep things neater. I inserted long screws that allowed me to hang a patio table, leftover lattice work and more. The lattice is very old, but I put it to good use making a garbage can enclosure!
Vertical storage of reclaimed lumber is the best way to easily sort and grab just what you need.
This woodshed naturally gathers yard debris and leaves. It will be nearly impossible to keep the floor tidy unless I install doors across the front. For now, I’m calling it done! I’m so thankful to be able to use my rolling paint table and my large work table (also on wheels) again! I have already used both tables in the last couple of days.
Next week I’ll share a little about the roofing process, using a reclaimed window as a skylight and forming your own flashing.
One more look at the amazing empty space! I’d love for you to share this with your friends on Pinterest!
Gail Wilson is the author and mastermind behind My Repurposed Life. She is obsessed with finding potential in unexpected places and believes that with a little hard work and imagination, any old thing can be made useful again, including herself!
Gail reinvented herself during a midlife crisis and has found purpose again. She hopes you will find new ideas for old things and pick up a few tools along the way.