For most at-home horticulturalists, the shed at the end of the garden is often given little thought. It’s merely a place for your tools to go when they’re not in use, right? And, for some, this is fine. But, if the time has come for your shed to undergo a much-needed organisational update, you’ve come to the right place – because, in this post, we’re going to be breaking down expert shed organisation with a straightforward beginner’s guide.
Hang tight and read on for our best tips and tricks when it comes to priming your garden shed for practicality.
Step 1: Throw out the unused items
Now, as Brits, we’re all at least a little guilty of stockpiling bits and bobs that we never actually use. Whether it’s a broken lawnmower you’ll “get round to fixing one of these days”, an old-fashioned cutlery set your great-grandmother gifted you on your wedding day or a motorbike you swore you’d ride every week when you bought it, there are bound to be things in your home taking up unnecessary space – and the shed is no exception.
The first step to true garden shed utopia is a purge of all of those types of items. It can sometimes be difficult to make the call, so it’s best to adopt the 12 month rule: if you haven’t used it in the last 12 months, and if you don’t plan to anytime soon, it’s probably time you get rid. It’s best to do this before winter sets in – as you can lay out your shed’s contents on the lawn while you dig through.
If you’ve removed the non-essentials but your space is still overflowing, it might be time to consider upgrading to something more suitable. Primrose stocks a whole range of spacious, high-quality garden sheds ideal for the avid gardener.
Step 2: Apply a thick coating of TLC
Now that the unused items are out of the equation, it’s time you give your garden shed some long overdue TLC. With the space freed up from clutter, dedicate an afternoon to cleaning out cobwebs, dirt and dust, fixing any maintenance issues like leafy roofs, damaged guttering or draughty windows and giving the shed a fresh lick of paint if this is needed. Giving your shed the attention it deserves will ensure you can maximise the potential of the space and keep the contents protected from the elements – so don’t cut corners!
If you’ve had your shed for a long time and you’re just now seeing its full state of disrepair, it could be worthwhile investing in a new one – as there’s little point in making it an organisational masterpiece if it falls apart in a year or two’s time.
Step 3: Get clever with storage
So, you’ve thrown out the unnecessaries, you’ve cleaned up the interior and exterior and you’re ready to dive straight into organising your revitalised garden shed – but where do you start? Instead of rushing into things, take proper stock of what you’ll be storing inside by listing your ‘inventory’ and grouping them into relevant categories.
For example, you might group rakes, shovels and brooms together, and keep any power tools in their own separate lot. This will keep your tools in order in the long term, avoiding the lean-against-a-wall approach many gardeners end up relying on when their space isn’t fit for purpose.
Now that you have an inventory, you can begin to think about the different types of storage systems you’ll need to see your vision come to fruition. First things first, assess the space you’re working with – but don’t just think about floor space; your walls and ceilings make for valuable resources when it comes to storage, too. The back of the shed door is ideal for baskets to keep smaller tools in, for example.
Of course, the most effective way to keep clutter at bay is by installing proper shelving. Get creative when it comes to sourcing, as you might find that high-quality garage shelving units make for an ideal long-term organiser, better than flimsy shelving models you might find elsewhere.
Additionally, use a variety of other systems to make sure you’re maximising the space’s storage potential. For smaller tools, use magnet strips on the wall for a cost-effective and simple solution to an often messy aspect of your shed. If there’s enough space for a workstation, bring in a tool wall or peg board so that your in-use gardening instruments are kept in check. A shovel rack is best placed by the door, to keep mess brought in from these often dirty tools from finding its way too far inside – and also for making sure some of your most regularly used equipment is immediately accessible.
And, voila! You have yourself an organisationally optimised garden shed primed for use at any time of year. The secret now is to keep on top of it – don’t become complacent and let tools sit wherever they like, as you’ll be back to square one before you know it. With a splash of planning, a little willpower and a tactical approach, you can create and maintain a gardening station designed to make your favourite pastime even more pleasurable.
Simon Mitchell has run successful companies in Europe and the US that are focused on delivering exceptional value to clients – while Action Storage offers a diverse range of storage products, along with the technical expertise to help clients’ businesses operate more efficiently. In Simon’s words, that’s a rewarding place to be.