Despite every attempt to “not do gifts” – Aaron and I usually end up getting each other something. Most of the time, it’s some kind of mutually agreed upon trip. But other times, it arrives in the form of tool organizers, a crossbow I still haven’t shot or custom-printed mugs with our kids’ faces.
This year, we fully acknowledged that we definitely don’t need more stuff. We’re working hard to finish renovation work, we want to take some pretty significant international trips next year and – generally – we just don’t have enough time in the day to do every single thing we each want to accomplish.
As a much-needed surprise, Aaron had my car professionally detailed for this year’s gift. I was floored. After 2 years on the farm, 2 kids, regular trips into the city, hauling groceries and gear – it was a hot mess. It went from a messy dirt bomb to looking brand spanking new and has made the end-of-year drives to work feel so much nicer. Like – I am kind of scratching the surface of my old self. Kind of.
I took his early gift as inspiration to do something similar but equally as needed for him: organize the tool shed.
Now, this would typically be a bold move for the farmer’s wife – but I floated the idea of hiring a professional organizer last Christmas and he didn’t totally shoot it down. From that, I knew I had loose approval. Add in the simple fact that we have lived here 2 years and the shed was never even fully unpacked – the odds were really in my favor.
I started sneaking in an hour here or an hour there at the end of the workday while the kids were still at daycare and Aaron was at the flip house. He did eventually “catch” me – so he knew what he was getting. In true Christmas fashion though, I promised him that if he snooped before the holiday, I would return the gift. I would put every unorganized mess right back where it was if he went in before I was finished.
I think he followed through with the agreement.
Tonight – I finally finished the transformation. And – holy cow – I am blown away by the “before” and “afters.” The main entry is by far the biggest change. This area became the drop zone for any and all projects requiring tools. I can’t even tell you how many half-used project supplies were piled on the table here.
Then, the main workshop with all of Aaron’s tools and wood storage got a good cleaning – floors, countertops, cabinets and general organization. I added some flair to the peg boards, gathered tons of unopened tools and even brought in a new space heater and portable refrigerator.
Even the work benches at the far end of the shop got a makeover. Finally – there’s dedicated space for all of Aaron’s saws alongside the wood remnants that get reused for all of the farm’s projects. I even took the old fabric blinds out of the windows to brighten things up in the daylight.
I absolutely cannot wait to gift this space to Aaron. After all he’s done to keep our farm running over the last 2 years – it’s beyond time for him to really have a space to hold all of his equipment and materials. This is a space that has gone beyond neglected simply because his time has gone into so much else for us. It will be a pleasure to see how he is able to make it his own from here.