The Very Brave Thing I’m Still Doing

Last month, I decided to do a very brave thing: Clean out the atrocious, garbage-filled shed in our back yard.  The least complicated way for me to tackle this messy project was to empty the garbage out a little at a time into our trash receptacle.

Here is what the bowels of our shed looked like before its initial purging:

And here is what it looked like after:

I barely made a dent that day…but at least I didn’t unveil any skeletons.

During the second week’s emptying, I discovered a muffin tin:

This and a couple of cracked buckets were the only “treasures” I unearthed out of the whole crusty pile.  [insert “Boo!” here]  At first I thought I might use the muffin tin as a screw and nail organizer, but in the end, I chucked it.  The buckets, however, make handy holding tanks for ashes and compost scraps.

On the third week, I uncovered The Box of Hangers From HELL!!!!

Do you realize how cumbersome it is to dispose of hangers?!! 

True to their nature, hangers hang on everything!  They hung to each other, they hung to the floor boards, they hung to my sleeves.  Needless to say, I had one HECK of a time cramming them into boxes.  Even then, there was not enough room for them in the trash receptacle that week.

By week four, the shed was starting to look empty!

The majority of the bulk was mouse-eaten cardboard boxes which I cut into small pieces and bagged up.  With great pleasure, I disposed of the boxes of hangers and a few garbage bags full of mouse droppings and random bits of trash that covered the shed floor.

No.  These aren’t human baby skeletons.  But I still screamed when they came rolling out of the wood works while I was sweeping.

When I realized that they were just mud dauber nests, I screamed again just to show them who was boss.

This week, I will throw away the bag of cardboard and then, HALLELUJAH!, the shed will be empty!  Then I can finally have it torn down and hauled off!!!


…I might do the unthinkable and *gulp* keep the shed!

I know, I know.  I’ve wanted this hunk of junk out of my life since day one…but it would make an excellent chicken coop.

Can’t you just imagine a cluster of chickens roosting up there on that upper timber?

Of course, keeping the shed for a chicken coop means more work (relocating, repairing, painting) but this project is guaranteed to produce treasure: free-range eggs!!!

Here is an idea of how I would like our future chicken coop to look like:

For more on this lovely chicken villa featured in Country Living Magazine, click here!!


Since I love starting and completing projects, I have fallen in love with Pancakes and French Fries’ William Morris project.  The gist of this project is to “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”

Isn’t that a great philosophy to live by?

Read more about current projects and how the project started here.


22 thoughts on “The Very Brave Thing I’m Still Doing

    • I still cannot figure out how to get the “button” to show up on this entry, however.:( I copy the link and paste it while in html and all I get is the underlined word “pancakes.” What should I do?

    • Thanks! Glad I made it out alive! Btw, how did you get the pink and gray william morris project button to show up on your page? I followed all the instructions and it didn’t work. :/

  1. Yeah, yeah, yeah! I’m so happy for you. It looks great. As great as an old shed that you’re thinking about tearing down can look! 😉 I totally think you should use it as a base for your chicken spa and resort. I love the one pictured and with what you’ve already got, I think it’s totally do-able. I’m excited for you!

  2. I swear, I think everyone has a secret room/ garage/ shed that looks like that. Mine was split between the garage and our back shed. And just like you, it took me weeks to dispose of the junk in them. I think your shed would make a fabulous coop.

    • Phew! Our house was a foreclosure and stayed on the market on and off for several years. So I am cleaning other peoples’ garbage. egh! When we bought the house, the inside was filthy in its own way.

  3. You are a brave woman indeed. I am glad you used a mask and gloves. I always forget to do that and then wonder why my hands look like a mechanics. I think that shed might make a perfect chicken coop, although the job of cleaning out the shed would never end. 😉 I am impressed with your courage.

    • I usually go bare-handed and mask-free, too, but this garbage was NASTY!!! Plus, I didn’t want to get Hanta virus from the mice droppings. 🙂

  4. Great job! That project looked like a TON of work! I cracked up laughing when I read the part about you screaming – totally reminded me of myself. 😉 And I’m loving the chicken coop idea!

  5. The inspiration shot of the chicken coop is awesome. Chickens smell though…just a caveat from a country girl. Although, I’m pretty sure that a dozen smell far less to 240 dozen. 🙂
    Great job cleaning out that shed. You are one brave lady!

  6. Oh my goodness. This is just amazing, and SUCH a huge job to tackle. I want to crack open some bubbly and toast with you. And chickens….pretty wild concept for this Southern California girl, but go for it!

    • Thanks for the encouragement! I grew up with chickens and got used to always having fresh eggs. Plus, chickens have cute, fluffy butts. (I’m weird)

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