I was coming up with a list of things you can do to get ready for spring when I decided to clean up my tack room. Or I should say my tack/feed barn because that is what I have. My tack room and feed room is combined into this little red barn.
And it works for me. No it isn’t my dream barn, but it is what I have, and I am used to it.
But over the winter here it gets cold. So my horse time is usually reserved to feeding horses, grooming horses, and maybe some chores but that is about it. The trash and dirty stuff just gets pushed out of the way until its warmer.
Thankfully I got the day off from work because the farrier was coming. And I got the idea I would reorganize my barn in anticipation for the upcoming change of seasons. Little did I know that it would take me all day to get the little red barn clean.
While I was trying to figure out how to put ‘walls’ up in my barn, and trying to figure out how I would do this, I had a genius idea.
We had to rip up a laminate floor in our basement because it had flooded. And because I hate to throw anything away, and because my trash men limit me to what I can throw out (all honesty here) we had kept the left over flooring materials. And this is when the genius idea came. Maybe I could use the floor planks to make a wall. If there was even a possibility of a light bulb moment, like for real, this was it!
I decided to move things around in the barn first and sweep away the dust and hay remnants before deciding how I was going to do this.
And once I had a reasonable area to begin working, I brought out the flooring pieces. I wasn’t sure how much it would take, or how far I could get, but I decided to bring all of the laminate planks to the barn. And I had no idea of how I wanted this to turn out. I just knew that I want to use the space in the most effective way I can in order to keep it clean and organized.
Building A Wall
Getting started wasn’t too hard. But I didn’t have a lot of framing to attach the planks too. Thankfully the flooring planks have little grooves and they attached together, giving a little more strength to my wall. And section after section went up fairly easily until I had covered most of one side.
I went up as high as I could before the roof started to curve a bit.
And then I was trying to picture how I would use this space. I knew I didn’t want to have the big pieces of furniture up front anymore. They were bulky, and caused me to have wasted space. And I really don’t like wasting space. So while I was working from one part of the barn to another, the bulky furniture was just kind of stuck in the middle.
I was able to get all of the ‘walls’ up and start getting things somewhat organized before I had to stop to get the horses ready for the farrier. But is was a little frustrating to look around me and see how much work was left to do.
The Job Isn’t Finished…Yet
And after the farrier had made my horses hooves look gorgeous, and then I turned them out into the mud pit of their pasture, I got back to work to finish the project I had started.
It was a little overwhelming to have everything in piles throughout the barn. Nothing was in it’s place. And there was just so much stuff everywhere. But instead of letting it overwhelm me, I just got busy finding homes for everything in the barn.
Now that I had bare walls to hang up all of the pieces I have bought in the past, I started with deciding how to utilize the space, and hang these pieces up first. I thought about how I wanted to be able to have my saddles and saddle pads close to the door, along with some simple hooks in the front where my halters would live. Basically I wanted to have a spot close to the front to keep everything that I use on a daily basis.
And then I had another light bulb moment. Instead of having hay and shavings on one side, and grain on the other with the tack room mixed in between, I moved all of the feed to one side, and this left the other side available for tack, and grooming equipment.
The Feed Room
So now one side of the barn is for feeding. The hay, and shavings stayed where it has always lived. But in the front corner, I moved my little homemade feeding table and my trash cans filled with feed.
My little table is where I keep all of my horses supplements and feed scoops. And the extra buckets live under the table. They are out of the way, but close enough for me to grab if I need them.
There is plenty of room for the hay, and right now we only buy 10 bales at a time, but in the future we are going to have the hay delivered. So I need to have room to stack 30 bales of hay. Thankfully this little barn is tall enough that I can make that happen. And we keep the hay on pallets that we got for free from our local feed store. This helps to protect the hay while also having a dedicated space for the major part of my horses diets.
The Tack Room
And this is my favorite area. I hung up the majority of the hangers that I have in the front of my barn. And I positioned the saddle racks high enough that there is space underneath for my tack trunk as well as my grooming caddy.
There was also a space for my riding crops, along with a perfect corner for my larger yard tools like rakes, brooms and forks.
I hung 2 simple hooks for the horses halters right by the front door. And I added 2 simple hooks for bridles that I use a lot while I am working with my horses. One for Frisby, and one for Ethan
And then I had bought a lot of blanket bars, but had not been using them for holding saddle pads. So I decided it was time to use them as they were mostly intended. And the saddle pads I use most frequently will live here.
I also had 2 large hooks that I hung up for easier storage of my horses winter blankets when they aren’t wearing them. And when the weather gets warmer, and the blankets are no longer needed, I will pack them away into one of the many drawers I have.
I also found these cute little bins that I painted, to keep the horses boots and bonnets in one spot. Little signs clearly show what goes in each bin, and it looks cute. I found the signs at the dollar store, painted them, and hung them on each bin.
Using All The Space
And while I have dedicated space now for what I use the most in the front of the barn, I still had a lot of left over room at the back. So I moved the large pieces of furniture to the back, and made use of the available shelving and put all of my stockpile of fly sprays, grooming totes and first aid kits here.
I still have one corner to go through, but I ran out of time. So this will be the forgotten corner, for now.
I have to figure out some sort of project with all of the twine I have collected. More on that later.
I also still have all of the space in the loft for all of our stuff that is packed for Christmas, and other stuff that I should really look through. But that project will have to happen at another time.
Thrifty Tack Room Makeover
So after a very, very busy day off from work, I was able to get my little red barn mostly complete. And the best part of this project, besides the fact that it is done, is how much it cost me. $0.00, I did’t spend any money to do this. Well, I mean I did spend money on the stuff at one time. But I did not spend a dime in anticipation of making this barn makeover happen.
I just used what I already had, and reorganized.
Overall I am really happy with how this turned out. I think I have made good use of the space that I have. Time will tell, and we will see how easy it is to keep this organized once I start utilizing the barn to its full potential this summer.
And because I love before and after photos, here is how the barn looked at it’s best before….
And here is how it looks now….
It is a lot more open, or well as open as it can be. But I like how all of the feed is on one side, and the tack is on the other side. And I still have lots of room in the back.
So overall I am really happy, and even though it was a lot bigger project than I had anticipated, it was worth the investment of time to make it happen.
Now all I have to do it wait for the mud to turn back into dirt, and then I can put my tack room to use and see if I did a good job!