Get It Together

Quick fixes for organizing your garden shed

Written by P. Allen Smith Photographs by Jane Colclasure

When it comes to storing garden tools, no one has ever accused me of being a "neatnik," I'm more of a grab-and-go kind of gardener. At the end of the day, I usually toss my tools and supplies in a heap inside the door. But this year, T built a new storage building (10-feet by 14-feet) and used the occasion to mend my ways. I discovered that by creating special places for tools and materials it's much easier to keep things in order. Most of the items used to organize my suppl ies were made from repurposcd products like old shutter doors, file boxes and spice racks. The good news is you don't have to break the bank to put some order in your life.

Garden Shed Organizing Ideas

Work Table OPPOSITE The shed has two windows, which help illuminate the interior during the day. A long, narrow table set under one of the windows takes advantage of the natural light. Along with a work surface, the table has two shelves, making it useful as both a desk and storage unit. Straw hats are close by to grab on sunny days.

Shed ABOVE: Positioned in the middle of the garden, this pre-cut, panelized and prefinished kit garden shed took just a couple of days to assemble. The kit was delivered in boxed sections. Construction was made easy with explicit step-by-step instructions, right down to marks indicating where to put nails and screws.

Wall of Tools RIGHT: Long nails hammered into studs are used as hangers to hold shovels, hoes, loppers and rakes. The outline of each tool is drawn on the wall behind it to indicate where it belongs and to show which tool is missing from its place.

Shuttered Cabinet BELOW: A simple homemade cabinet made from l-inch-by-10-inch pine boards and backed with a sheet of peg board is used for storing hand tools and supplies. The hinged doors are a pair of old window shutters, A maintenance caddy filled with items needed to sharpen, oil and clean tools is within easy reach.

Peg Board Tool OutlinesShutters Made With Peg Board

A Place for Everything

Here are a few more tips on easy ways to store items in your shed:

  • Fill a galvanized bucket with sand mixed with a little mineral oil to store hand trowels and pruners. The sand helps clean the grit from the tools and the oil helps prevent rust.
  • Recycle clear plastic bins (such as kitty litter containers) to keep birdseed and other items away from mice.
  • An old metal basket mounted on a wall holds a garden hose. Keep sprayer heads and other hose accessories Inside the basket,
  • Give rake heads that have lost their handles a second life as holders for drying flowers.
  • Use office-supply binder clips to seal opened seed packets and hang them on the prongs of a belt hanger attached to the shed wall.
  • Reuse glass jars to store small Items, Place them on a narrow shelf so they are easy to see.

Spice Rack BELOW: The clear plastic jars in this rotating spice rack are the ideal size to sort all those little items like nails, screws and matches that get lost in the shuffle or fall into the bottom of a box. Labels on the lids identify what's inside each jar.

Hanging Tools Plastic Shed

Strings 'n' Things below:

Instead of storing spools of thread, the prongs on this holder are ideal for organizing all those loose bundles of twine and rolls of tape and string. It also makes a great place to keep scissors close at hand.

Rotate Rack For Rolls Material

Garden Office above:

Beyond storing tools and materials, a desk in the shed provides a place to sit down, have some water and jot down a few notes. On the wall above the desk, a bulletin board is a convenient place to post reminders, check the calendar and pin up magazine pages for inspiration.

Seed Organizing left: a file box is repurposed to hold seed packets in plastic bags. With divisions by month, the seeds can be organized according to planting seasons. Another area in the box is designated for seeds to be started indoors, $

Repurposed Planting Shed

curb appeal

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