The makings of a dream workshop

On Sunday, I had full intentions on doing a little building. But once I walked into the garage…

Messy garage / Part 1 of The makings of a dream workshop on


Messy garage / Part 1 of The makings of a dream workshop on

Not gonna lie. It’s not easy having a single car garage for your shed, storage and workshop.

Messy garage / Part 1 of The makings of a dream workshop on

I’ve long wanted to gut this place and make it into something special. It’s all insulated with a heater and a nice door and a few other things going for it. But… it’s ugly.

“But you really don’t have time at the moment for a big redo. It’s summer holidays. This can wait until fall. Just shove the crap to the side and build!”

But… the makings of a dream workshop called me loud and clear.

Messy garage / Part 1 of The makings of a dream workshop on

So out it all went. Well, one side anyway.

Purging the garage / Part 1 of The makings of a dream workshop on

But now? My poor neighbours have to deal with THAT. Goodness…

Now’s about the time when I need to do another Purge Video… remember that one?!

Purging the garage / Part 1 of The makings of a dream workshop on
Anyway, I started with spraying the shelf brackets from black to white. Hated them. No doctoring. Get rid of it. Down it came. I don’t want a garage. I want a WORKSHOP.

There’s a big difference you know. 🙂

White wall / Part 1 of The makings of a dream workshop on

So I painted the walls pure white.

Look how the grey cement pops now! Wow. 

I have a vision you see. I want a bright, light workspace that will be pretty for pictures. While I’d adore white planked walls, it’s not in the budget. So I have some plans. But first…

Metal red storage rack / Part 1 of The makings of a dream workshop on
This guy’s coming in. I picked this red metal rack from beside a dumpster awhile back (where I find all my pallets)  and it’s been sitting on the backyard sidewalk forever.

I wasn’t 100% on what it would ultimately do… what would you use it for?

But today, I just knew.

Metal red storage rack / Part 1 of The makings of a dream workshop on
Well, I wanted it inside the “workshop.” NOW. But there was no one to help me. It was Father’s Day and everyone in the neighbourhood was out visiting and my son wasn’t home. 

So I did the only thing I could do… I started dragging it. Metal on concrete. Non music to the ears.


Nerve wracking! But…

Metal red storage rack / Part 1 of The makings of a dream workshop on

IT FIT! And then I danced. And then I got all this new adrenaline because I had BIG PLANS! You know what I’m about to do with it, right?!

Reclaimed wood / Part 1 of The makings of a dream workshop on

(please refrain from pinning… I know it’s tempting…)

But the best part of all?

Part 1 of The makings of a dream workshop on
I found my vacuum cleaner extension! Jammed onto a broom pole. That won’t budge. 

We repurpose when we don’t even mean to around here.

Stay tuned…

What state is your “workshop” in?

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Categories: Organizing

34 thoughts on “The makings of a dream workshop

  1. Fabulous rack for all your lumber! My son came a couple of weekends ago to give me my Mother’s Day/birthday gift. My gift was all kinds of work that I needed help with around the house. The biggest project was working on my basement. That’s where my “workshop” will be when I finally get it completely organized. I have a beautiful laser guided compound miter saw which I received for Christmas two years ago that STILL has not be out of the box because I had no place to set it up. There is a workbench at Home Depot with my name on it as soon as I can drag it home! My goal is to actually have a real workshop by the end of the summer. I am keeping my fingers crossed!!

  2. Hey Donna – love that you are creating a more beautiful workspace. It’s so frustrating to try and work around all of that stuff all the time! Starts to feel like you spend more time shifting junk around instead of actually building anything. Our neighbors GAVE us their one car detached garage, so we got a bunch of friends and we picked it up and moved it to our yard. We’ve been documenting that process on our blog and here are the most recent exterior pics of it.

  3. I know your feeling! We moved in May from a 2900 SF home to a 1900 SF home. I can’t wait to have a yard sale to put the $$$ towards building out the early 1900s storage building. Its solid, but needing some TLC. The barn doors don’t quite touch the ground so critters find their way in. Need some light too, although there are 4 windows. We’ll be heading to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore to get full view french doors. Right now I am using the guest bedroom and I’m in the PILING mode.but you’ve given me ideas on storing wood trim for my dollhouses.thanks for sharing.

  4. Oh I laughed out loud at your description of dragging the shelving unit. I know that sound and I know it was drag. Drag. Drag. And you did a great job with the wall too! I am imagining all your wood finding a home organized on that shelving. Go you!!! Love the plans.

  5. Whew! Kudos to you! I try to curse myself when I think of “cleaning up the garage.” You’ve got a great start. And I was hoping you were going to stack that wood up on the rack. Perfect home and easy access loading and unloading right up front. Can’t wait to see how things move along!!!

  6. I’ve been organizing my shop too this summer – on Sunday I finally got rid of this huge, but useless plywood cabinet that someone nailed to the top of one wall with 1000 ardox nails… ugh. Good therapy whacking that sucker down I can tell you! I just put plywood on most of the walls so I can organize all my stuff. Now I realize I need a garden shed to get rid of some of my “clutter”… guess I’ll be building soon!

  7. Love your spirit, Donna! Keep at it, you’ll get there I’ve no doubt! And…I love, love, love that red rack. Red is the best color ever! Have a blessed day!

  8. It looks like your definitely going to need a little help with that. My husband has a big workshop garage with no car in it but it’s filled to the brim with junk. He keeps saying he is going to clean it up but that’s been 4 years now so I am not holding my breath, lol. Can’t wait to see what you do with it. Love the white!

    Gigi @ Old World Patina

  9. Ha! I’m laughing because of the many times I’ve started to do something in one direction but ended up, I don’t know, spray painting shelf brackets. 🙂 Good to know I’m not alone out there. That red rack! How did you get it home? I keep a set of those plastic-furniture-slider-things around to move the big stuff. They’re really inexpensive and do a great job.

  10. Very nicely done! I just found two full pickup loads of really nice lumber and crate/pallet wood! Shop? Shed? Well…for now…you can’t get in the door very far! But you’ve inspired me!

  11. Donna, there is absolutely nothing better than a clean, organized work space! Right now all my stuff is packed (what was I thinking) and I’m going nuts in limbo! I don’t care how big or small the space, if its ugly and unorganized we wind up working in the kitchen! LOL
    Can’t want to see what’s next!

  12. wow i have a carport i would love a garage…. kathy at petticoat junktion posted her workshop yesterday you too should get together lol xx

  13. That old ammo box on your red shelves before you put them in the garage is super cool! Can’t wait to see what you do with your shop, my garage is my everything room as well, I could use a little inspiration!

  14. My work shop in on my back patio. Sounds airy right, ha. But where there is a will there is a way. Love all your ideas, now my family doesn’t point and laugh at me for LOVING rustic junk. Keep up the good work sister, we are following where your leading.

  15. I love the red shelving, should be great for all that wood. My shop is a mess at the moment, having too much fun planting flowers and decorating the deck. You have inspired me to get out there and get it re-organised after “dumping” every thing in there all winter. Can’t wait to see what else you will do in there!

  16. I have created more things in a little bitty area of our workshop when it is “junked” than I ever have when it is organized. Our workshop is in pretty much the same condition as yours! I have no idea how it gets in such a mess other than me carting things home and kids needing us to store things! Well, come to think of it… it is me… seeing the potential and too many things! I think your ideas are fantastic and love to see what you are coming up with next!

  17. WOW! The possibilities are endless; very nice space with cabinets. I finally got to mine. My family has lots of hands, but they never return an item to its place. I have to do my projects in any tiny space I can find. But did a major purge and major redo in garage. More organization and a spot for MY things to create; dedicated spot for my tools, my supplies and a nice, but small worktable. Now just need to work on lighting my area. I can see all your wood organized in the awesome rack. Good luck and happy creating.

  18. I feel your pain. I am in the midst of a studio/workshop/garage reorganization right now over on my blog too. And I too end up dragging/pulling/carrying things when no one is around…. I can’t wait to see what you do.

  19. Too bad I can’t attach a photo for you, you would feel so much better knowing that you are not at the beginning stage. My garage is full of fun projects, literally to the ceiling with furniture waiting to be restored, ready to be made loveable again. I had just moved two great work benches into the space, bought myself a power mitersaw, and was all ready to get started when I spotted “the snake” just outside the open door, in my enclosed courtyard. RIGHT!! Turns out it was a big watermoccasin and I feared one or more got into the garage, lurking in among the old treasures. I am giving it three more weeks, if no sightings I’ll venture into the garage again. I did price out bead board at Home Depot for the walls and found it pretty reasonable. I want my workshop to look good, so I can really enjoy being there! Can’t wait to see your finished playground!!

  20. You’re luckier than I am. All we have is the open area back deck, so we can only work on projects when it’s nice out and not in the winter at all. I can’t wait to see what your space looks like when you’re finished.

  21. My livingroom is currently my workshop, as we have no garage and the basement is under construction, but ohh, how I long for a garage. That red rack just looks like it was meant for your work space. Looking forward to seeing your garage transform as you as those junky touches!

  22. I neeeeed that metal rack. Not only is it my favorite color….I neeeeeed it for storage too. Thanks for sharing your messy workshop. I recently shared mine and it was ugly…..still is. It’s hard to work with no room so I’m thinking of cleaning it up…;-)

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