Back o’ The Shed We welcome our new columnist, ex–Shed publisher Jude Woodside
Ionce heard from a woman who was renewing her husband’s subscription to The Shed who complained that he had six sheds packed with all manner of “handy stuff” that he couldn’t part with even though, at 94 years of age, he wasn’t likely to need much of it anymore.
His devotion to his collection was such that they couldn’t sell up and downsize to move into something smaller.
While I am not that devoted yet, I can see his point. I bet the day that the collection is finally cleared someone’s 1940s vintage car will break down outside the house and will require just the part that he had held onto for the past 70 years in anticipation of such an occasion.
Like every sheddie, I have a collection of stuff that will ‘come in handy’ some time and, as much as I realize that I haven’t called on it in over 20 years, I still can’t bear to part with it. It’s partly parsimony and partly utilitarian angst — I don’t want to buy another one and I still might use it.
Having fled Auckland last year for the beautiful Wairarapa I am still in the process some 12 months later of unpacking some of that stuff. My workshop is generally finished, I have all the tools I need for now, but I am still finding and creating homes for all the other necessary ‘stuff’. It is a maxim that proves itself time and again — that stuff expands to fill the space available.
I do like the feeling of a clean and tidy workshop with a place for everything and everything in its place. I’ve seldom been able to achieve it and I admire those who can.
I have just picked up a collection of wall-mounted storage bins that I will mount at strategic sites around the workshop, and I have been building shelves and cupboards. But still there are boxes unpacked and things that can’t be found.
There are few things as frustrating as, in your hour of need, not being able to find that ‘thing’ that you had kept all these years for just that job.
That’s the benefit of proper organization and methodical storage; something I suspect that I am pathologically incapable of achieving. I am far more of a free thinker, as anyone who has seen my desk will appreciate. My filing system is based on the ‘piling’ principle with no discernable system, but somehow I remember where everything is.
I’m in the process of finishing off a very sturdy shelving unit to take the larger accessories for my saw bench and assorted tools … just as soon as I find my tape measure.