Storage sheds can be a great amenity, providing extra space for bulky gardening equipment, bikes, outdoor toys and more.
But they can easily get overrun with stuff and end up becoming a disorganised dumping ground.
Unfortunately, I must confess this has happened to our shed. Over time we have accumulated more and more stuff and it now houses the kids bikes, ladders, the lawn mower, camping equipment etc. I literally can’t walk across the floor to get to anything at the back, without taking out so much heavy stuff first. It is extremely frustrating and therefore something we have resolved to sort out before the weather gets too bad and wintry.
So I have been seeking ways to improve the way we store and organise items in our shed and thought I would share my plan of action with you in case you are in the same situation with your storage sheds.
Choose a fine weather day to take everything out of the shed. As you bring it all out, don’t put it down randomly, but make distinct piles of items you want to keep, donate or throw away. Be ruthless! There is a temptation to keep stuff we ‘may’ find useful one day, odd remnants of things, pieces of wood etc. But if you can’t envisage using that item again soon, you should discard it. Don’t keep multiples of the same thing, either – if you have a dozen screwdrivers that are all the same, you really don’t need to keep them all – streamline!
Regarding the items you decide to keep, think about how often you use them. Seasonal stuff, such as snow equipment can go to the back of the shed in summer, whereas you might want to store camping equipment near the front. Things you use much less frequently could be placed high up, whereas the items you use on a regular basis should be within easy reach. If you have a lot of gardening tools such as rakes, spades, hoes etc. these can be stored along the walls in a rack. Pegboard is a super way to hang up smaller tools and equipment. A handy wooden shelf can serve double duty, holding items both on top and below; have you ever seen lidded jars suspended below a shelf for screws, nuts, bolts etc? You simply glue their screw lids to the underside of the shelf and then you can unscrew the jars to take out what you need as and when.
Hoses can be wrapped around a sturdy wall bracket instead of being allowed to uncoil in a corner of the shed where they can become a tripping hazard. Racking, shelving and heavy duty stacking crates are all an ideal way to compartmentalise your equipment, especially if you have a lot of different things to organise. Bikes can take up a lot of space so look at brackets for wall mounting them or suspending them from the ceiling space to free up the floor. Cubbies or sturdy bins are a practical way to contain balls and sporting equipment.
Safety & Security
It goes without saying that you must keep any hazardous materials safely stored high up out of the reach of children. If you don’t have power to your shed, you could hang a battery powered lantern and leave a torch near the door, however it may be worth getting an electrician to run a cable from the house so you can turn on a light in the dark. You may also want to install a security light to the outside of your shed and a good lock, especially if you have valuable stuff inside, since your shed could be a target for thieves.
If your shed structure is in poor condition, you may even be consider getting a brand new one. I recently came across this site which looks useful if you need help choosing your next shed: What Shed?
Life feels so much easier when you can lay your hand straight on the particular tool or item you need, so why not join me in organising your shed storage this season.