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Creating An Outdoor Closet

Monthly, I volunteer at a local homeless shelter (Samaritan House) in Charlotte which provides care for homeless guests who are recovering from a hospital stay.   As you know from previous posts on their dining room and basement, this program is located in an older home which causes lots of storage and organization issues. 

Recently, when I was working, the director, Miss Carrie, mentioned they were frustrated that they didn't have a place to store their outdoor equipment.   As she started, I was thinking they just need a simple storage shed.

She went out to describe what she wanted to store….outdoor tablecloths, outdoor decorations, cleaning supplies.  As she went on, I started thinking…wait, this needs to be really an "outdoor closet".   Luckily, Rubbermaid just came out with new Roughneck sheds.  The cool thing about these is that because they are double-walled (helps protect from the elements), they also have slots in the walls so that you can hang shelving or pegboard.  The benefit is that the shed doesn't become a disorganized dumping ground for stuff.  I thought this would be perfect for Miss Carrie's storage needs. 

I shipped a shed to them.  Luckily, when I called to see if it had made it, she said some high school kids who were volunteering put it together in less than a half hour!  Awesome…

When I got there though, they had just placed their stuff in it.  As you can see, this is not optimal for maximizing the organization potential. 

Shshed_originalwstuff  DSC00386

So, I installed a Homefree closet kit which I have a lot of experience with, and went on an organizing mission also using Roughneck totes to provide more storage for these items.  My part of the project took less than ten minutes.


Miss Carrie was so excited she had an organized home for her stuff, she gave me a hug.  In looking back, I realize I should have put labels on the totes for her.  I will be sure to tackle this next visit!

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  11. lauren April 8, 2011 at 2:35 pm #

    Wow! That is an interesting use that I have never heard of!
    Way to be resourceful! And hope that all went well with your trail-building!

  12. Produce guy April 8, 2011 at 2:31 pm #

    Just want to tell you how we used our shed awhile back,I was working on a trail build,building new trails out at a lake and while there were several men,there was also 4 women who decided to help.We usually bring a 5 gallon bucket to go to the bathroom in,but now that we had some women with us ,we decicded they might like some privicy,so we took our Rumbermaid shed and make it into a porta-potty.
    So there’s 1 more use for a shed.

  13. lauren January 31, 2011 at 8:32 am #

    Thanks!!! It was fun! They are still using it!

  14. Midatlanticfisherman January 28, 2011 at 9:29 pm #

    Cool little project!

  15. lauren June 7, 2010 at 9:37 am #

    Thanks! I just visited yesterday to grill out for the guests and they are still really enjoying the closet.

  16. Theresa Finnigin June 6, 2010 at 4:40 pm #

    Great project! Love the “closet”. Love real life stories of products solving problems.

  17. Shawn June 2, 2010 at 11:17 pm #

    I’ve always thought of those as storage buildings rather than closets. Treating them and organizing them like closets make perfect sense, though. Thanks!

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