Is your tool shed a nightmare of tangled cords, oversized garden gear, and bags upon bags of fertilizer? Are you at a loss for figuring out what you have and where it’s at? You probably need a little help getting organized in your backyard and it all starts with your tool shed.
Below are some ideas to help you turn that mess into a useful and effective storage and work space.
Figure Out What You’ve Got
Start with an inventory of what is in your tool shed.
On a nice day with little chance of rain, take everything out of the shed. Group items by task, type, or size. See if there’s anything you never use or that needs repair and set those aside.
Decide What You Want to Do in Your Shed
Based on your inventory and your needs, decide whether you’d like to use your shed mainly for storage, work, or a mixture of both.
If storage is the main goal, you’ll want to find ways to store things so you can find them easily. Cabinets might be a good idea, or cubbies that allow easy access to small items.
If you want to use your shed mainly for potting or repair work, focus on workbenches. Make sure you’re getting a bench that is the right height to avoid straining your body: an inch or two off can make a big difference when undertaking long projects. You might also invest in an adjustable task chair so you don’t have to be on your feet the whole time.
To mix these two activities, vary the types of items you put in the shed. A blend of low-profile cabinets, cubbies, and shelving will allow you to store your tools and utensils while a combination workbench and storage unit will give you the workspace you need.
Get Rid of Things You Don’t Need
Those items you realized you’ve never used? List them for sale on Craigslist or post them on a sharing site such as Neighborgoods. If some of the items are broken and need repairing before you sell them, set them aside to be fixed in your new workshop.
Now that you know what you need for your shed, you can do the fun stuff. Go buy the storage and work items you need. Don’t forget to throw in some good-quality shop lighting so you can see what you’re doing.
If you want to use your tool shed for garden activities, you might also invest in a planter window that will give you a good place to start seeds and store plants during the winter.
Put Everything Together
Once you get home from the store, you can put everything in place. Install lighting and windows, then set up cabinets and workbenches. Put your tools and garden implements away in their new homes. Add in your chair and revel in your handiwork.
Finally, commit to ongoing maintenance. Put tools away when you’re done using them and create a system for your belongings so you never have to go through a huge organization project again.
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