Been There, Done That: The Shed

Story by Jon Stalnaker AKA The Studebaker Dude

I so admire organized people. I love organization and strive to be that person, but I wrestle that desire with the “Oscar Madison” in me. I saw a picture on Facebook of Albert Einstein’s desk and it was a total mess with stacks of papers all over the place. They were suggesting that clutter is a sign of genius. That concept is championed by the busy minds of those of us that are often too lazy to be properly organized. That would be me.

I’ve known people that are so organized that the concept of “a place for everything and everything in its place” is their reality. I’ve never been able to accomplish that, yet I have struggled to do so most of my life. I have lots of shelves and have no problem filling them up. I’m not one to throw out stuff, so shelves are my way to stay somewhat organized. Shelves normally come in boxes with some assembly required. When we moved here from our tiny home in California, we needed more furniture and more shelves, lots of shelves. That kept me busy for several months as the extra furniture also required some assembly.


I’ve given myself another title, so to speak; You can call me SARGE. Not to be confused with my former military rank (been there, done that). SARGE is an acronym that stands for Some Assembly Required Guru Emeritus. I have earned that self-proclaimed name by always being the guy that puts stuff together. Six children and many Christmases has provided me with many an opportunity. I like doing it actually. You hear people complain that men never look at the instructions, but that man is not me. I learned a long time ago that if you follow the instructions in the order as presented, assembly is not difficult. Patience and organization must prevail. And don’t forget to inventory all the parts before you start to put it together. I recently bought a big hose reel, and it was missing a few key parts. I had to request replacement parts which took a couple of weeks to get, so if I had just jumped in to slap it together, I would have had a mess to have to put back in the box.

In my forever quest to be organized, I bought a shed for the backyard. I will use it to specifically keep garden maintenance stuff in its place. A 4×6 storage shed that came in two boxes. It’s made of resin for light weight with metal structural pieces for strength. I liked it because it was already the right color to match the house and it seemed simple enough to put together. It is certainly no significant challenge for the SARGE. I found out that simple is probably not the correct word to use here. Inside those boxes were 331 parts that would all go through my hands before I was done. While I was in the process, it seemed more like thousands of individual pieces. I counted them out to get the 331 number, so I know that it’s accurate. I really thought it would be more. The instruction book was complete, but the process was a little more challenging than it appeared on paper. I did most of it myself but when the book suggested that two people were required, to complete a task, two people were required and at one point I had to depend on three of my neighbors to help get the roof positioned on the top. The most time-consuming part of the build were the seemingly zillions of screws that needed to be used to hold it all together. Between pilot holes to drill and screws to be attached, it would have been torture without the proper tool. I have a power drill and screwdriver in one tool and that certainly made child’s play out of that part of it.

The garden shed.

I’m happy with the finished product and now I need to complete the shelves and a work bench inside to make it useful and organized. And I want to give a shout out to my three neighbors, Anthony, Billy and my other neighbor Darrell, without whom I would have never been able to lift the roof into place. Now let’s see if I made it strong enough to withstand the winds that occasionally blow through my back yard. I did add a few creative safeguard enhancements for just such events.

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