Shelves can create storage in old sheds

Gardening Shed

Dear Kathi,

Now that it is summer and my kids are off from school, we have decided to tackle organizing our shed. Right now it is full of holiday d├ęcor, old desks, shelving, typewriters and lots of other junk that has been stashed in there for the past 8 years.

I would like to use it for gardening tools for the organic vegetable garden we’ve started, and also for extra storage.

Where do we begin and what do people normally store in their sheds? I also have a two-car garage that is in pretty decent shape, well at least both cars fit inside on a regular basis.

Harold, Oceanside

Harold,

To achieve maximum storage in your shed you should install or build in some organizing devices. Using built-in organizers solves the problem of not being able to retrieve or remember what you packed in there.

Large tools with handles such as rakes, spades and shovels should be hung on a wall so they won’t tangle up or require floor space. Smaller tools can be hung from a pegboard above or to the side of the larger tools.
If you are planning on using this shed for gardening supplies, consider adding a small potting bench.

You can buy a ready-made table or you can make one out of scrap lumber and plywood fairly easily. It should be about 36 inches high. This will make a handy work center to plant seedlings and repot larger plants. For easy access, position your workstation just inside the shed door.

If your shed is too small for a workbench, build one on the outside against one of the shed walls. Use the shed wall or mount a lattice grid above the bench to hang tools. Or you could hang tools from the sides of the potting bench.

Store potting soil and other soil additives in plastic bins with lids under or beside the potting bench. Mount shelves above the bench to hold extra tools and pots.

Use a garden caddy to hold your hand tools, gloves, seed packets, etc. Keep this caddy on your bench for quick access when you head to the garden.

Perhaps the back wall could be fitted with shelves to hold your storage items. It is always a good idea to build wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling to maximize storage within any space.

Take inventory of the non-garden items that you wish to store in the shed. Discard or donate all items that you haven’t used in the past year. Move anything into your house that you feel the need to keep and put it on display or make use of it in some way.

If something has sentimental value, but you don’t want to display or use it, it is not serving you. It is simply taking up precious space in your life. Seriously consider donating these items so that others can use them.

Box all items that you have decided to store into large, identically sized plastic bins with lids, and label them. Same-size bins conserve space. They also will provide a standard height to build your shelves, as well as make storage and retrieval easy as the years pass.

Thanks for writing and don’t hesitate to write with any other specific questions.

Please submit your questions to: advice@addspacetoyourlife.com

San Diego Professional Organizer

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