3 Storage Shed Organization Tips

A green shed.

Storage sheds, ironically, don't always come equipped to give great and efficient storage. Here are a few ways to improve your storage shed's organization.

1. Think Vertically

In most storage sheds, much of the vertical space goes unused. A shed is usually at least 6 feet tall, and most garden implements with handles stand only 3 or 4 feet tall. With a little planning, you can use the top third of the shed for some smaller items.

Make a shelf: Most sheds, be they wood or plastic, have structural support elements inside that can be used to support a shelf. In a wood shed, if there isn't some sort of reinforcing ridge at the right height, you can easily add one yourself. Just get a few pieces of scrap wood and nail or screw it so that it forms a 3-sided ridge to put a shelf on. Then get a piece of wood or finished fiberboard the width of the inside of the shed, and lay it on top of the ridge. A plastic shed takes a little more work, since there are usually more protrusions to work around. But you can make cutouts in the wood or fiberboard to fit the plastic "studs" and lay it in place.

Don't make the shelf the full depth of the shed. It's likely that the shelf will be lower than the top of one or two implements. So leave the front half of the shed unobstructed and arrange your garden tools so the tallest ones hang or rest in front of the shelf.

Install hooks: You can use all kinds of hooks in either shed. For wood sheds, you can get metal hooks that screw into the wood; for plastic sheds, get self-adhesive plastic or metal hooks. Many plastic sheds have holes spaced here and there on the structure—use them for pegboard-style hooks, S-hooks, and the like. You can use these hooks for anything hangable such as gloves, hats, buckets and hand garden tools. If space permits, you can install a pegboard to hang lots of items, but only if the shed is reasonably leak-proof. Regular exposure to moisture will turn your Masonite pegboard to mush.

2. Think in Groups

When it comes to arranging all the various "stuff" in your shed, think about the functions the items perform, and group them together for easy access. Do you keep your car-washing supplies in the shed? Keep the soap, the wax, the scrub-brushes, and the chamois together in the car-washing bucket. Keep a supply of gardening gloves together with other small gardening supplies in a plastic storage box on your shelf, or in a bag hanging from a hook. Keep extra seed packets in a disposable plastic storage box for next year. Plastic storage is also great for items that might rust like spare screws and hand tools that you keep outside.

3. Think About Accessibility

When you evaluate the functionality of your garden tools, also consider the amount of use they get. For instance, unless you've currently got a paver project going, your hand tamper can stay in the back corner, while you'll want the mower near the front. Arrange your rakes and shovels where they won't tangle in each other when you grab one. Even though sheds can get sort of crowded, try to make it so you don't have to move more than one item to get to another.