Junk Drawer Hobbies

Kurt has been kicking around the idea of a little hobby shop for a few years. He’s a bit of a collector of things, so having a little shop that he can find new homes for his things and enjoy the selling and trading of items has been something of a future plan. Well a brick and mortar store is not something that is feasible, or even wanted, when he has a full-time job. Instead it is something of a hobby that he wanted to add to his list of hobbies that he enjoys.

This winter, he decided to take the plunge with an e-bay store that he aptly named “Junk Drawer Hobbies“. A lot of the stuff on there are things that we, but mostly him, have collected or kept over the years. They are all in great condition, but we no longer have purpose, or perhaps never had purpose, for them. As I said, Kurt is a bit of a collector. We actually had to have a discussion about how many model kits were tucked, shoved and stored in many areas of the house. So many that he couldn’t possibly do them in his lifetime. Anyways, I digress.

With all his collections, he has been stocking his online e-bay store and is having a great time with it. It is also quite busy and popular with a lot of items finding new homes. It seems almost daily he has shipments going out. Most items on his store are smaller, non-expensive items, so it is an easy buy, or justification for buying. Some of the comic books he has are his grandfathers, still in great condition, but very old. He also has little die-cast NASCAR’s, lego kits, beany babies, and more. Such an eclectic mix, which is why Junk Drawer Hobbies is so fitting.

Anyways, with all these things that he has had tucked away, he is finding, he now wants easier access to, so that he can sort, list and sell them. The basement spare bedroom closet has been his little storage area for years, but it hasn’t really been setup for in and out manoeuvring. More stacking and piling and forgetting about it. So he asked if I could help build some shelves so that he can better organize all the items he has.

It was a pretty easy build. The closet is a standard clothes closet, so we decided to add some bracing and lay the shelves on top of it. I had considered just building some shelves with legs to slide into the space, but this was a more sturdy option for piling items onto them. Plus, then he doesn’t have to contend with the legs and deal with blocked access. This gave a very open approach to the shelves.

Due to the size of the closet, there were plenty of studs to get the braces secured onto the walls with. The front facing wall hadn’t been drywalled on the inside, so it was very easy to add to that spot. I have a bit of a love – hate relationship with stud finders. I love when they work, but hate playing the guessing game of if they have actually found the stud. We have 2 stud-finders, and I do tend to lean towards the DeWalt one over the Mastercraft, but both are pretty solid little devices. I just usually run it over the space 3 or 4 times to make sure that they beep on the same spot repeatedly.

Once the bracing was in place, I cut out the shelves. We went with 1/2″ MDF board for the shelving so that it was nice and strong. Most of the stuff is lightweight, but with the large tubs of some of the items, the weight can add up. We didn’t bother painting them, just left them the way they are. Kurt happily spent a few hours organizing all his stuff onto the shelves.

Once we were done that, I realized that we had a bit of spare MDF, and I have been talking about adding another shelf to the linen closet. It looked like it had another one at some point, but now was down to 2. It is not ideal, again with us precariously stacking it full and being ok with it all falling all over the place when you had to get something out of it.

I managed to cut it down to size and notch in the areas that were needed where the bracing went. I do have to say, I am learning that there isn’t a single square wall in our house. Building shelves has really struck that point home, because I will measure and use tools that great perfectly square cuts and something will fit at the front but the back won’t go into place. It is extremely frustrating, but very worth it once those organizational devices are in place.

It feels good to get everything organized. Its a great way to start the gardening and landscaping season, with everything in its place inside so that you can focus on the chaos outside.


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