For All The Things I Can’t Ever Find

Do you have any idea how much time I spend running around the house, waving my hands in the air, and asking the cat where the hell he put my drill bits/safety glasses/ball cap/[insert any other tool I own here]? Dude is always stealing my stuff.

I’m sure the fact that I’m a walking organizational nightmare has nothing to do with it.

The mudroom gets the brunt of the junk, tools, and animal supplies that are constantly being shuffled in and out of the house. Just as a reminder, this is what it looked like for the first year that I lived in this house:



A few months ago–in an effort to get some control over this room–I moved the tools into the spare room downstairs (which later contained both my tools and the Nuggets, so that was fun). I believe that endeavor was successful in keeping the mudroom clean for, oh, five minutes. Turns out the lack of shelving in this room just resulted in a lot of shit on the floor.

So, one epically stubbed toe and some very creative foul language later, and I’m finally ready to figure out what to do with this room for real. The window placement and baseboard heaters make it an elephant-sized pain in the ass to do built-ins. Not that I mind a pain-in-the-ass project every once and a while, but I’ll probably be immobilized by the amount of junk that collects in this room long before I have a chance to get those shelves built. I’m still not convinced I won’t lose this toe.

So on a whim I headed out to World Market where, when I bought this bookshelf for the living room, I noticed a similar desk unit that might work in the mudroom.

I decided to put the new car through its paces.


72″ desk, sans box? With the seats folded down, no problem.

Here’s the desk assembled and in its new spot.


I’m not actually planning to use it ask a desk, but the height makes it perfect for the storage of my trusty water-hauler and the chicken feed…


Along with the items that are most commonly hidden by the cat. (Drill, tape, I’m looking at you.)


And since one of my new favorite hobbies is compulsively buying chicken stuff at Tractor Supply, I found a couple of metal storage containers to help contain that mess.


Because pretty much everyone should have a bag of dried mealworms in their house. Yum.

The desk also holds a couple of my tool boxes which are in a constant state of being moved around the property, but usually end up on the mudroom floor. And a few other things that it makes sense to have on hand, like a flashlight and my egg-gathering basket.


The top shelf holds the books I often turn to for quick-reference on the farm, and a basket that has boot socks, work gloves, and safety glasses in it.


May seem weird, but on more than one occasion I’ve pulled on boots sans-socks for “just a minute” and then four hours later I’m still shoveling gravel and my heels are bleeding. Also, remember that time I was cutting sheet metal without gloves? Yeah.


I also have big plans for the rest of this room (there may or may not be a gun rack involved, and a ridiculously large chalkboard) but this was a good first step in getting the potential toe-stubbing situation under control. On the flip side, it has also renewed my eye-twitch over the PINK FLOOR.

Soon, guys. That floor has to come out soon.

13 Responses

  1. Very good! If you could next solve the issue of, “Dang it! Where is my ________? I just had it in my hand 15 seconds ago!” I’d be grateful.

    I constantly misplace tape measures, screwdrivers, bits, pencils, and the like, while I’m working, even with spares scattered strategically around my workshop.

  2. Nice desk, though I think that pipe shelves would have gotten around the base board heater problem too.

  3. This might not be your style, looks-wise, but it’s a really convenient type of shelving for odd spaces like yours.,or.r_qf.&cad=b

    Since it’s on the wall it wouldn’t interfere with your heaters, it’s completely flexible with regards to depth and width, and is easy to change over time. We have it plain in our closet, and in our living room where we added some sides to make it look more like built-ins. You can see that here:

    I wouldn’t know who makes something similar in the US, but I’m sure someone does.

    1. World Market for the metal chicken bin, and I think the wire bin was from Pottery Barn a few years ago, but it was WAY overpriced. I’d definitely try WM first!

  4. How about a quick coat of oil based paint over that pink tile, just to get you by? We’ve painted ugly subfloor that looked NASTY, so it would at least look a little better. That helped a lot of the “looking cleaner” problem until we could get the new floors down.

    1. Such a good idea. I thought of that back when I moved in, but I’m thinking if I go to the trouble to move everything out of the room, it would probably be just as quick to rip the tile up… (that’s how my brain works anyway.) I’m hoping the new floors will be a fall project, if not sooner, though!

  5. I informed my spouse that I now NEED a tool box labeled “Bits, Bobs and Screwy Things.” Brilliant idea. Brilliant!

    Oh, I also like the book shelf. Maybe it’ll keep your cat from hiding your tools. Now if you come up with a way to keep me from misplacing things I held in my hands mere seconds before, please let me know.

  6. I love those metal boxes!

    Giant chalkboards can be found at auctions for schools pretty frequently. I bought one (6×4, with stand) for $20 at the quarterly auction the local university holds, and I’ve seen them at city auctions too. Everyone is replacing them with whiteboards.

Comments are closed.

I'm not interested in a mediocre life. I'm here to kick ass or die.