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Make the most of your garden shed with these storage tips

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If you’re lucky enough to have a garden shed, it can be a convenient bit of storage space. However, our garden sheds can start looking a bit worse for wear over the years despite our best intentions. Meticulously organised seed drawers become seed lucky-dips, and you find yourself cursing over a missing hammer far more often than you’d like. When it comes to winter, and you know you really should be getting round to storing your garden furniture to keep it out of the snow and rain, you give up when you realise it’ll take you hours to make enough space. We’ve all been there.

It doesn’t need to be this way shed owners. We can help you to put this mess behind you. All you need to reclaim your shed is a sunny day and the motivation to regain your gardens best asset. Let’s get going with our best shed storage tips.

De-clutter your space

De-cluttering is always the first step to re-imagining the storage of any room in your home, and your shed is no exception to this rule. Over the years, your shed will have accumulated a lot of stuff that you probably don’t need anymore. Re-visit your collection with a critical eye and look at tossing, giving away or repurposing:

  • Tools – if they’re broken, get rid of them. If you haven’t gotten around to repairing them, you’re unlikely to do it now. Duplicates could be given away or sold.
  • Kids old toys – if your shed has doubled up as storage for kids’ toys, get them involved in deciding what should stay and what they are willing to let go of. If you have something to sell, incentivise their de-cluttering by offering to give them some of the sale money.
  • Gardening supplies – stop holding on to the seeds you kept behind from the summer of 2015 – they’re probably no good! The same goes for open bags of fertiliser, soil or any other supplies which are perishable.
  • Check expiration dates – if any chemicals, cleaning solutions or other product in your shed are past their expiry date, throw them away.

Throughout your de-cluttering remember to follow the golden rule – if you haven’t used it for a year and you aren’t going to be using it for the foreseeable, get rid of it. It isn’t worth clogging up your shed for the sake of something you might use one day.

Before moving on, get everything out of your shed and organise it into categorised piles to make the next steps of deciding on the storage you need easier.

Plan

Before going any further, it’s important to plan out your storage. Whilst you have everything outside, decide where it’s going to go in the shed, if there’s anything in the garden that will need to be moved into it, and what you need to buy to house everything.

The last thing you want is to get everything inside only to realise you need to find space for your 2-seater bench to live over the autumn and winter.

Shelving

If you already have garden shelving, is it suitable for your needs? If you frequently struggle to find what you’re looking for it probably isn’t. Whilst everything is out of the shed take time to make sure existing shelves are secure and don’t need any repairs and plan out any additional shelving you might need. If you can, get them up before moving anything back into your shed.

You can be extremely clever with shelving, so look around for inspiration instead of sticking with what you know. A mixture of heavy duty racking shelves and wall mounted shelves can work especially well in larger sheds and will allow you to keep more fragile, expensive items off the floor.

Tool storage

Are you a DIY buff? If you are, you should treat yourself to adequate tool storage. Your garden shed is the perfect place to house tools of all kinds, especially bulky power tools. Look at the following storage solutions for your tools:

  • Toolboxes – a toolbox seems like an obvious suggestion, but you should never underestimate the power of a good toolbox. Keep one full of tools you use frequently for quick access, and store lesser-used tools elsewhere.
  • Peg boards – sturdy peg boards are brilliant if you have lots of tools and not a lot of space. They keep them off the ground and make them easy to get to when you need them. This is especially useful if your shed doubles up as a workshop.
  • Drawers – whether static or on wheels, a decent set of workshop-style drawers can provide you with all the storage you could ever need. This will allow you to separate different types of tools and make them much easier to find.

To keep all your tools in good nick you should make sure your shed is completely weatherproof and that it won’t be breached by bad weather. Use this time to carry out some maintenance on the roof and window seals).

Look up

Is your shed tall enough and strong enough to suspend shelving or racking from the ceiling? If it is, take full advantage of this to store bulkier but lighter items which you want to get out of the way. Make sure anything suspended isn’t at head height, the last thing you want is a shed-related concussion.

Security

You never know when your neighbourhood and house might be targeted by burglars, and the first place they often look is the shed – which can hold expensive power tools, sports equipment and bikes, and is usually far easier to break into than your house. It doesn’t matter how safe you think your local area is, if you have anything of value in your shed you should:

  1. Invest in motion-sensor security lights and alarms. Sometimes a light coming on is enough to get burglars to scarper, but an alarm is an extra measure that will help to ward them off.
  2. Install a good lock on your shed door. Get a professional to do this if you aren’t sure what you’re doing to avoid damaging the door or doorframe.
  3. Get security cameras. You may have a security camera system set up in and around your home – make sure you have one that covers the shed.

There might be a local neighbourhood watch program you can join in with to stay in touch with your neighbours about any disturbances and criminal behaviour around your home.

 

Organise bits and bobs

As tempting as it is to leave your bag of random screws, bolts and nails for next time – it’s easier to get it out of the way. You can pick up drawers and boxes with removable sections from most hardware and DIY stores. This will make it super easy to find what you need when you’re in the middle of a project instead of digging through hundreds of tiny odds and ends.

Keep on top of it

You’re only human, and it’s easy to slip back into bad habits. Make a special effort to re-visit your shed storage once or twice a year and carry out the same de-cluttering and re-organising processes that we’ve outlined above. This will make your shed a functioning, useful space for many years to come.

Anna Sharples

Anna is the marketing and office manager for Garden Benches - a premium supplier of high-quality wooden benches and other outdoor furniture.

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