Garden Tools, Guest Posts, How To

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.

garden shed organisation

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.

garden shed storage

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 MitchellSimon 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.

Dakota Murphey, Decoration, Garden Design, How To, Make over

mum cave

It’s well-documented that men “need” their own sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle of a busy family home… but what, women don’t?! The modern gal is somehow expected to be all things at once: income earner, household manager, mother, wife, lover and friend – and yet we don’t “need” our own space to unwind after a long week of relentless life? Rubbish.

I’m sure plenty of people will argue that the entire house is a woman’s kingdom, and that most homes are decorated and run to the specifications of Mum. While this may be true, the fact remains that a household is still a place of constant demands, whether that be from chores, partners, children or pets. It’s simply not the same as having our own, private space to unwind, recuperate and regain our sense of self.

Forget a man-cave, you need a mum-cave, or she-shed. Sound good? Here’s how you make it happen.

Step 1: Claim your domain

In a busy family home, it’s highly likely that all of the spots which used to be “yours”, now belong to someone else. The second bedroom became a nursery; your favourite reading nook now houses the dog bed; even the kitchen and bathroom have been overrun with toys, washing and mess.

While it’s not mandatory for you to move out to the garden shed, it’s essential that your mum-cave is in a part of your home that isn’t frequently used by other people. Converting a garage or loft is a popular choice, but may need a little more planning than taking over the shed.

she shed

Step 2: Purge it

It doesn’t get much more satisfying than emptying out junk that has accumulated over the years. Take an afternoon to clear out gardening tools, old paint tins, broken patio chairs… absolutely everything. You don’t need this stuff infringing on your mum-cave, so sell, donate or bin anything that doesn’t even get used anymore, and relocate everything else to your garage, or a garden storage chest.

Once it’s empty, bust out the rubber gloves and give your shed a thorough clean. Show no mercy to dust, mud or spiders.

Step 3: Make it cosy

To use your she-shed all year round, you’re going to need ways to keep it a comfortable temperature. The simplest way to do this is to lay insulation boards in the roof and walls, before sealing them behind MDF. If you’re feeling fancy, put an insulating underlay down on the floor too, and top it with linoleum or carpet.

Next, you’re probably going to want a power supply. If your shed already has an outlet then make sure it can handle everything you might want to plug into it (sound system, heater, TV etc.). If there isn’t an existing plug, or if it isn’t powerful enough, you’ll need to spend a day connecting one from the main house. Don’t forget to check the strength of your Wi-Fi connection, and purchase a booster if it’s sluggish.

interior design

Step 4: Live your interior design dreams

Remember that cream living room you used to dream about? Or the fantastic shade of turquoise paint that your hubby refused to use in the bedroom? Now’s your chance to make it happen, in a space that nobody else can have an opinion about. If you’re not sure where to start, don’t panic. There is heaps of inspiration available on the web, you just need to know where to look!

If you don’t have much spare furniture at home, try looking in local charity shops and flea markets for second-hand desks, unique storage units and squashy armchairs to help you realise your vision at bargain prices.

Step 5: Add the necessities

Once you’ve decided what role your den is going to play (craft station, yoga studio, reading nook etc.), and have put the main bits of furniture in their place, it’s time to accessorise. Anything that has taken a backseat in the main home can find a haven in your she-cave, whether that’s strings of fairy lights, a zillion scatter cushions or your prized collection of tchotchkes.

transforming shed

Step 6: Protect your kingdom

The final step is to make sure that your mum-cave is safe from unwelcome visitors – yes, that can include your family, but we also mean opportunist thieves who might spot that your shed is no longer simply a shed.

Firstly, avoid drawing unnecessary curiosity by closing curtains, turning off standby lights and removing any valuables overnight. Secondly, visit a security hardware specialist like Signet Locks for tips about improving the locks and latches on your shed and garden gates, to make accessing your garden more difficult.

Once your she-shed is safely under lock and key, you’re done! All that’s left is to grab yourself a glass of wine and some cosy slippers, then slink off to finally enjoy an hour of peace.

Dakota Murphey

Dakota Murphey is an independent content writer who regularly contributes to the horticulture industry. She enjoys nothing more than pottering around her gardening in the sunshine. Find out what else Dakota has been up to on Twitter, @Dakota_Murphey.

Cat, Gardening, Grow Your Own, Water Features

london eye

Last week we asked you for your new year’s resolutions on Facebook and love the responses we got:


Finally finish writing something!


Carry out orders of Head Gardener less painful that way.


To laugh more!


Stop my dog digging my lovely garden.


Tonnes of them.


More reading, more learning and more development for 2013.


Yes I did make one…’I will not be sucked into bargain corners of DIY sheds’…. One tiny little trip this morning to B&Q for paint = No paint and 3 ragged Dicksonias later..




Do more in garden if can . . don’t spend enough time on it.


Yea I did new diet lol cause I haven’t got a garden lol


Well I did a silly one. Mine was to stop telling everyone (who didn’t care) when my favourite footballer scores a goal. Worked well up to yesterday (New Years’ Day) when he decided to score 2 in the same match lol


This year I’m setting myself a little goal and planting a little veg garden and planting a few fruit trees.


Add more plant to garage roof, snowdrops in flower, even have self-seeded verbena.


Stay living in an attic flat…no digging…


I have major plans to transform our garden into a fab sensory one for my son – just got to wait for the builders to stop churning it up first! I also have a very happy boy with his new bubble wall from Primrose – he is full of the horrible cold, but as soon as the runny nose goes I’ll get a photo for you.


To get the garden shed re-felted asap.



We wish you all good luck!

wedding-meCat works in the marketing team and is responsible for online marketing, social media and the newsletter.

She spends most of her time reading about a variety of interesting facts, such as oddly named Canadian towns, obscure holidays and unusual gardening.

She mostly writes about Primrose news and current events.

See all of Cat’s posts.