Eleven Hours and Seven Thousand Square Feet

I cannot tell you the last time I went into weekend with no work or social obligations, all my project materials lined up, and a full two days to get shit done.


The shit I’m referring to in this case is everything I’ve managed to pile haphazardly out in the pole barn over the last four years. (Plus a few things that came with the place and that I’ve never taken the time to clean out.)

I had a dumpster out here a few weekends ago so that I could get rid of the construction debris that was piled up from tearing out most of the bathrooms and a good portion of my kitchen over the last few years.



Because my hobbies include 1.) making as much rubble in my life as possible, and 2.) …. Yeah. Actually, that’s basically it.

But getting rid of the rubble was just the beginning. There is a bunch of stuff that I intend to legitimately store in the barn long term, and a bunch of other stuff that is temporarily being stored there before going to craigslist or the restore, plus the everyday vehicles (like the tractor, golf cart, mower, and trailers) and storage vehicles that friends and family keep in the barn but aren’t taken out very often. (Oh, and let’s not forget an entire barn’s worth of bricks, concrete blocks, barn wood, and old barn beams hiding on the back wall of the barn.) All of which needed to be organized and appropriately stored.

So my first plan was to get everything I possibly could off the ground, particularly on the section of the barn that has a paved floor.



This picture captures an area of space that is roughly equivalent to the entire bottom floor of my house.

Also, there was this interior overhang built over the man-door that served no real purpose and needed to be taken down. More rubble!


So. Five hours and a fair amount of swearing later…


I went back and forth on building kayak racks myself, but finally caved and bought these through amazon. Getting the kayaks off the ground was huge.

I also put up a couple of shelving units…


I bought the industrial unit on the right a few months ago but hadn’t assembled it yet, and the wire shelves are another hand-me-down from my mom. I’ve got a bunch of cabinet doors and old windows salvaged from different jobsites that I can’t seem to part with (you never know when you may need a dozen matching cabinet doors, right?) The shelves help keep all of that, plus gas cans and other miscellaneous mechanical equipment, “neatly” organized. I suspect the shelves won’t look this empty for long.

After the shelves and kayaks were up, there was a lot of muscling large cabinets and other things around to clear up floor space…


(Sidenote: I started a new Instagram account recently which is now linked in the sidebar… more on that later, but maybe one of my favorite comments ever was posted to it here by @marriedtothephotographer.)

Anyway, the end result on this side of the barn is amazing.





I’m not even bothered by messes and that “before” picture is making my eye twitch now. And of all the things in the world I can do, I almost never want to give myself a pat on the back for my cleaning skills, but holy shit was that a project.

And, not to be kept from my power tools for too long, I also started building some lumber storage racks on the other side of the barn where all of the old construction debris had been.


The racks are built entirely with 2x4s… not pretty, but functional. I used ring-shank nails in my framing nailer to assemble most of this because it’s significantly faster than using screws.

Here’s an in-progress pic of the second shelf:


I nailed a bunch of 2×4’s up between the posts of the pole barn, then leveled a bunch of nailers on them. (While the nailers aren’t meant to be structural, it’s a hell of a lot easier to install wood screws on an angle with the nailers there to support the boards.)


So I tacked 20″ shelves to the nailers, and also attached a 45-degree support brace with the framing nailer, then drilled 2 deck screws into the top of each shelf to attach it to the vertical supports.


Hello, Makita, I’ve missed you.

I also used a couple of wood screws at the very top of the vertical supports. (Basically I used screws everywhere the weight of the shelves would be most concentrated, and then nails everywhere else.)


Here are the first two shelves of the rack. There are a lot of ways you can construct wood shelves without those angle supports, which would give you more storage space, but… space isn’t my issue so much as time, so I went with the quickest construction possible.

And even with the shelf complete it barely made a dent in the first of my 3 barn-wood piles…


Progress is progress though. I suspect I’m going to have to build half a dozen more of these lining the walls of the barn before I’ve got all the barn wood organized. (Ha.)

So. That’s what eleven hours of work in the barn this weekend amounts to. I made a fair amount of progress getting the whole thing cleaned up and organized, although judging by the current state of my laundry and dishes perhaps I should have allocated some time to cleaning up the actual house I live in as well…



But if anyone is looking for me… I’ll be hanging out in the barn.

11 Responses

  1. Beautiful work awesome barn wish I had that much space under roof at the new property. Would help immensely
    Keep up the good work God Bless George

    Way out West

  2. Yes, indeed…
    …all smart females know about levers(I call them Bicep Bars) and my hand truck is one of the best and most used tool I own. I bought it for folly(to move a large rock from old house to new 20 years ago) but use it at *least* weekly.

    1. Moving a boulder? I love boulders. A house is being built a few blocks away and they unearthed enormous boulders that they had to break up and get a special truck to take away. I would have asked for one except my yard is tiny. The glaciers must have been amazing.

  3. It’s nice to get this done before the cold weather hits. No one likes digging through piles of shit in 15 degree weather.

  4. Very productive weekend with new shelves and room for more stuff…j/k Looks great and organized, one never realizes how much ” STUFF ” you’ve accuired over the years untill you go to move. I’ve been in my acreage about as long as you in Black Feather and I’m busy throwing out, junking, recycling, repurposing things and have yet boxes I have’nt opened from the moved…nick knacks n tupperware, can’t have enough 😉
    I had to unload a heavy 2X4 costructed shelf system and move it to the other wall in my basement with a big pry bar it was so heavy empty alone so I could install a sump pump along that wall (low spot H20 collection area under floor) So on that wall I purchased a set of black wire shelves such as your mother hooked you up with and bought the wheel kit so if I have to I can move it without unloading all of it. The round pump container is rocked / cemented in and hole in the sill plate for PVC, which has to go under the front deck then under my flower garden out to the ditch. I get that wired on it’s own designated circut then want to get the egress window in and retaining wall complete before hard freeze.
    Total pole barn envy kit… constant growth!

    🙂 🙂

  5. 🙂 Shit!
    Forgot to mention it Kit, you get that barn floor cleared, things on shelves an organized y’all could ( I know where you can get it ) just spread a little saw dust on the floor and have an ‘ole fashioned country Barn Dance

    🙂 🙂

  6. Looks great. Doesn’t it feel good when you get something like that done (almost done) 🙂

  7. Any idea what the overhang over the for humans door was for? It’s slanted, so I’m thinking not storage.

    1. I was just talking to my neighbor about it and he said there was a big Caribbean themed party in the barn once, and that was the tiki bar! Haha. I never would have guessed, but it makes sense that it was purely decorative.

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