Before and after: a garden shed makeover with a purpose

See how decluttering and an interior redesign has transformed Shirley Schofield's shed into a multi-purpose garden room she can enjoy with her grandsons

Content supplied by Clearabee

This summer, retired Shirley Schofield of Camberley, Surrey faced the daunting task of having to quickly find more storage space in her home, as her two young grandsons were scheduled to come to permanently live with her and her husband, bringing their belongings and toys with them. 

Shirley’s garden shed, although large and spacious was quite dilapidated and like many of us, she used it as a dumping ground for household and garden clutter and junk. 

Shirley dreamt of turning the garden shed into a usable, versatile space for her grandsons to play in, and as an area to house their piles of books and a computer for gaming on. 

Thankfully for her, Shirley entered a nationwide competition, run by Clearabee, the on-demand rubbish removal service, to win a garden shed clear out and makeover. 

Shirley said “To receive the news that we’d won the shed makeover and rubbish removal from Clearabee was a dream come true. We couldn’t believe it!” She continues “It was so quick! We chose a medium size ‘Beebag’ from Clearabee – which was delivered to me in the post the next day. When I opened it, it looked deceptively small, but when fully unfolded the bag, we saw it could fit several washing machines worth of junk inside, so we filled it to the brim with all the clutter we had accumulated and stored for years in the shed.” 

Daniel from Clearabee said “We were so glad to gift the shed makeover to such a hugely worthy winner. Shirley and her husband were so grateful to have their rubbish taken away and the shed redesigned for their grandchildren, so we were absolutely delighted to help them out.”


The exterior of the shed, which was blue and white 

Garden clutter was obscuring the fence 

Shirley found using the Clearabee Beebags easy and straightforward

Shirley found using the Clearabee Beebags easy and straightforward

Clearabee’s medium Beebags fit 3-4 washing machines and a small bathroom suite, including the tub. All materials are suitable from loose tiles to rubble and soil – a weight up to 1500 kgs.

The large capacity of the Clearabee Beebags allowed for a huge quantity of junk to be removed 

The makeover process

Professional interior designer, Dasha Slavinskaya from undertook the consultation and makeover of the shed. She said “ “The biggest challenge was to create a multipurpose room from a relatively small space. The task set by the shed’s owner indicated that she wished to have a play/storage room for her grandchildren whilst still retaining a washing machine and tumble dryer in the space, along with some shelves reserved for the laundry.” 

Dasha continues “We split the storage in two parts and hid the shelves behind curtains, placing a chair bed in-between.  The chair-bed spot was also important for allowing Shirley’s grandsons to watch TV and play games. One side of the storage is occupied by drying machine with some selves above, another part – by toys. We installed three narrow chests of draws along one of the wall with some shelves above at an angle to a laminated top, which can be used as a desk and TV shelf. We picked a black and white colour scheme, same as in the kitchen/dining area right opposite the shed. But we added splash of colours. Grass Green to match leaves coating the roof and royal blue for a contrast. A final touch – an animal print rug brought all room elements together.”

Items purchased to transform the space included:

  • Laminated MDF board to create a desk 
  • One part of curtains and two curtain corner tracks
  • Two office shelving units to store books and games 
  • One poster

  • A chair bed
  • A medium chest of drawers 
  • A small chest of drawers 

  • Two wall storage shelves

  • 12 Small storage boxes

  • A desk chair

  • Wall light
  • Exterior and
interior paint


With clutter removed and new furnishings added, the shed looked completely revamped

The exterior of the shed was painted a fresh cream colour to compliment the interior colour scheme of Shirley’s home. 

A fresh, bright appearance was created, to match the flowers in Shirley’s garden

A neutral green and white colour palette was used to create a calming, relaxing space for the youngsters to spend time in 

New furniture was purchased from IKEA including a chair, desk and chest of draws for that all important storage 

A contemporary animal print rug added the finishing touches to the shed’s interior creating a homely feel 

Shirley chose the allocated day and time that she wanted the rubbish to be removed, and Clearabee’s two men in a van took the filled bags away with them, to be deposed of environmentally safely as over 90 per cent of the rubbish removed by Clearabee is kept out of landfill and is instead recycled or reused.

Photos by Peter Blackman Photography