Category Archive: Home Maintenance

Day 3: The Shed Must Be Organized!

Several years ago, I purchased a really nice barn-style shed to store my lawn mower and a few tools. Since then, I have added a lean-to to the side of the shed – and now park my mower there. As of right now, the inside of the shed is literally over-flowing with tools, Christmas decorations, and an assortment of other stuff/junk.

Before you think bad of me, allow me a few more details. I was recently gifted with a huge selection of power tools, fasteners, hardware supplies, and other belongs-in-the-shed type items – but I haven’t had the time to organized them. They’re just in the shed, ready to be sorted. That’s this week’s after-work project.

Here’s a picture of the shed from when I first purchased it. It has 2, 4×8 feet lofts, one at the front and one at the back.

shed new

Not only do I have the shed, which I believe measures 12×16, I also have a playhouse that I built for our kids, which measures 8×12, with 8 foot walls. Between those two buildings, I have attached a roof, which forms a covered-space, for bicycles and garden tools.

I’ll show you pictures of this stuff tomorrow, once I’ve managed to tidy things up a bit.  Right now, it’s a disaster.

I am working out the details (mainly in my head) for adding shelves to the inside of the shed and to the inside of the playhouse. My goal is to have an area for long-term storage AND an area with easy access to the tools (and other things) I use on a regular basis.

I am torn between building the shelves – which may be more cost efficient – and biting the bullet and buying some shelving units from the big box store. I have the tools to build the shelves myself, but I don’t really have the time to both build the shelving units AND sort through all of the stuff. I’ll let you know what I decide.

I know that I will be giving away a pretty decent amount of the items I was recently given. One can only use so many hammers, I suppose. Oddly, I don’t actually mind the sorting-and-organizing. I actually find it to be somewhat relaxing. What stresses me out (as much as something this not-really-a-big-deal) can stress me out is, my lack of a real system for organizing all of the stuff. Right now, it’s just in there – taking up space – in a big jumble. I have a dozen flashlights, and I’m not sure I could find ONE, if pressed.

Today, I started the process, by simply going out to the shed and taking a quick inventory. I also did some quick research, pricing out the cost to build some new shelves and the cost of buying new ones. I also began sorting through a few of the easiest-to-reach boxes.

Tomorrow, I’ll make my decision on the shelves, get as many of those installed as is possible, and (hopefully) begin the process of organizing all this stuff. It’s going to take a few days, at a minimum, because this is one of those do-it-right-so-you-don’t-have-to-do-it-again type projects.

Thank you for checking out today’s post. I hope you have a blessed day!

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DIY Digest – Some Of My Favorite DIY Youtube Channels

Welcome to the DIY Digest – featuring DIY tips, techniques and resources.

I love DIY projects – and these 6 DIY Youtube Channels inspire me to tackle projects around the house and in the shop. I have included a link to each channel page – and an example video from each channel. Check them out –

1

The Jay Bates’ channel features both furniture builds and shop projects.  Here’s a recent video where he built an elegant cabinet. Jay’s Twitter and Jay’s Website.

2

The SSL Family Dad Channel filled with DIY projects – with great ideas for backyard gardeners and beginning homesteaders. Here’s a cool project where SSL uses inexpensive plywood to create an awesome looking floor. SSL Family Dad’s Twitter and SSL Family Dad’s Website.

3

The April Wilkerson’s Channel has awesome content – focusing on shop builds and builds for the home. Check out this video where April builds a french cleat system for her power tools. April’s Facebook and April’s Website.

4

Jon Peter’s has a very interesting channel. He mixes art, woodworking, and great camera work – and produces amazing content. Check out this recent limited-tools build. Jon’s Facebook and Jon’s Website.

5

The Midwest Man Mountain Channel not only features the coolest name on Youtube – it also has some of the best DIY content. Check out this post about building drawer dividers for your kitchen. MMM’s Twitter and MMM’s Website.

6

The Blazing Nail Gun – Redneck DIY Channel has high quality videos filled with great details.  I really like this mantle/floating shelf idea. Redneck DIY’s Twitter and Redneck DIY’s Website.

These channels – and so many more from the maker community – inspire me to get out in the shop and try new projects.  I hope you enjoy the videos – and subscribe to No Credit Needed via daily email or rss – and follow me via Twitter and Facebook – for more content.  Blessings.

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How I Find Free, Inexpensive, And Cheap Tools

Tools for DIY projects can get expensive.  Over the years, I’ve managed to accumulate a pretty decent set of hand tools and power tools – most at discount prices, and some for free.  Here’s how –

I shop the discounted / returned items section at “big box” stores.  I purchased a gasoline-powered pressure washer for 50% off retail a few years ago.  The original buyer couldn’t figure out how to connect the soap dispensing feature – so they returned it to the store.  I bought it, fixed the soap dispenser, and it still works great!

I shop at pawn shops.  We have several pawn shops in our area – and most have a big bin, loaded with very inexpensive hand tools, drill bits, etc.

I shop yard sales / garage sales / flea markets.  These are great for finding power tools – often rarely used.  A few years ago, I purchased a brand new, in the box, drill and driver, for five bucks.  As with any item I buy post-retail, I check for recalls and defects.

I shop the Amazon Tools section. Last year, I found a great deal on a set of router bits. Since I only use my router a few times a year, I wasn’t looking to spend a lot of money on expensive bits. Using Amazon, I found an entire set of inexpensive bits – and they work fine for what I need.

I shop eBay.  I just checked, and I’ve been using eBay since 1999!  Wow.  I love eBay for hard-to-find parts and tools.  A few months ago, I purchased a set of small screwdrivers, used for repairing electronics.  (I have never had much success with Craig’s List.  I think it might be because we live several miles from the nearest city on the list.  If I lived in a bigger city, this might be a resource I used more often.)

I shop our local hardware stores and farm centers.  These are great places for things like nuts, bolts, and fasteners.  This past summer – I checked online and with five different major retailers, before finding a part for my lawn mower – at the local hardware store, 5 miles from my house!

tools-864983_640

I borrow from friends and family.  Once in a while, I’ll need a use-it-once, never-need-it-again tool – and I’ll ask friends and family.  For instance:  I needed to jack-up our kids’ playhouse, but I didn’t have a set of bottle jacks.  Rather than go buy a set, use them once, and then have them sit in storage – I asked my Dad.  He had some, I borrowed them for a couple of days, and returned them.  When I borrow tools, I’m extra-careful with them – and I’m always ready to pay for a replacement, should I break them.

I let folks know that I’m into DIY projects.  On a couple of occasions, folks who know that I like to build stuff have just given me their old / unused / unwanted tools.  I have a ladder, a chop saw, and a belt sander – and all were gifts from folks who know that I’ll use the tools.

I check the for-sale section at the scrap yard.  One of our local scrap yards has a for-sale section, where they sell items that were “scrapped”, but are still in good condition.  Last week, I purchased two big spotlights for three bucks.  I used them to illuminate our back yard during a party – and there great for lighting a work area.

I shop the aisles at the “big box” store – and look for close-outs.  Each year or so, manufacturers refresh their product lines.  This is a great time to snag usually-expensive items for less.  Last year, I purchased a table saw for 50% off, just because the manufacturer was ready to clear shelf space for a new model.

Over the past few years, I’ve managed to acquire a decent amount of tools.  I’m still looking for a drill press – and I’d love a biscuit joiner – but I’m pretty happy with what I have.  If you have an idea for saving money on tools and DIY projects – leave a comment in the section below – or connect with me via twitter.com/NCN.  Have a blessed week!

 

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