Sheds can be the most perfect of garden storage solutions but there is no denying that they can quickly become places dedicated to miscellaneous items that we can’t/don't store elsewhere. Old paint? Put it in the shed. Deflated paddling pool? Put it in the shed. That foot spa you got for Christmas from work? Put it in the shed.
Throughout the winter months it’s very easy to ignore the black hole that’s forming in your garden, but come summer, it’s time to start getting your garden in shape. So, here's our guide to getting your shed organised with easy ideas, buys and advice.
1. Start by emptying your shed
Sorry, but it’s got to be done. Choose a sunny, or at least dry, day so you can drag everything out and lay it in the garden and start sorting. Be ruthless when deciding what to keep and be realistic about what is going to fit in your shed without it becoming a death trap. Do you really need three rakes? Have you ever even used that rototiller? What does it even do?
2. Group your items
Organise the items that have survived the cull into groups. How you do this is up to you, but it might be based on product type and purpose, on how often you use the item, or on how its size will work best for your space.
Top tip: If you're not sure where to start, choose a big item, like the lawnmower, and plan how you will fit everything else around it.
3. Formulate a plan of action
An empty shed is a rare thing. Take advantage of this and evaluate the space, then consider what storage solutions are open to you. If you have plenty of sturdy wall space then a whole wall of shelving (whether wall-hung or floor-standing) could be a good option. If space is tight then you may want to line the walls and ceiling with hooks and tool racks, and use stackable boxes instead. Whichever you choose, ensure the shed's structure can take the strain.
4. Keep frequently used items accessible
Create a group of those smaller items you use most often, and plan to keep them to the front of the shed, so you can grab them easily and get gardening instantly.
This handy tool storage from Garden Solutions at Not On The High Street has plenty of pouches to store all your smaller garden paraphernalia and will take up minimal space. It also doubles as a stool for when tackling that unruly buddleia all gets too much.
5. Use adjustable shelving
Maximise your square footage by getting as much as you can off the ground and on to shelves.
This unit from Elfa (below) is completely customisable and includes different types of storage for hanging, stacking and suspending. Ventilated shelving (have a look at these wooden ones from B&Q)are also a good option as any dust and dirt will fall through rather than accumulate.
6. Organise the small stuff
For smaller items (and a stylish look we wouldn't say no to), go with open grid storage units so you aren’t always having to rummage through drawers or pull out large boxes. Within the grid, you can then organise everything into smaller containers, glass jars or tins.
This grid wall unit from Waitrose can be mounted to the wall to save on floor space, keeping odd and ends out of the way but still accessible.
7. Stow your tools on hangers
Long handled garden tools are best stored somewhere accessible but still out of the way (let’s avoid any Chaplin-esque re-enactments, please). Attaching a sturdy tool hanger to one of your shed walls will get them off the floor and neatly stashed.
Burgon & Ball’s tool rack has easy to use grip slots that will fit most garden tool handles and holds up to 3kg. The grips are also adjustable so you can make room for bigger items.
Top tip: Magnetic strips like this tool bar from B&Q are great for storing the collection of paint brushes that lives in your shed. The bristles won't get squashed and it will allow them to dry quickly after washing.
8. Save space with a peg board
We have sung the praises of peg boards many a time for kitchens and home offices, and they are just as handy in the garden.
The Hang it Peg Board from designist. comes with eight hooks and one shelf. Hook yours on a wall, to the side of shelving or the back of a door.
9. Make use of your shed doors
Speaking of doors, don’t neglect them: put that otherwise wasted space to good use. Hang hooks and baskets on the inside panel to stash items that you always want to be accessible; use wire baskets to make the most of a compact shed or try adding hooks; or hang narrow shelves – just ensure you don't overload it.
Find similar storage ideas at Wayfair.
10. Keep it clean
After spending so much time turning your shed from a chaotic mess into a gardener’s dream, why not dedicate some time to it each week (or month, more likely) to having a quick sort out. This way you can avoid having the dreaded annual overhaul next time, and enjoy a tidy shed all year round.