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Storage Secrets for Your Garden Shed

There’s no doubt about it: a well-organized tool shed can save you time, energy and money. For instance, you won’t waste 10 minutes looking for the trowel. You won’t be frustrated moving the wheelbarrow and that extra bag of potting soil to get to the lawn mower. And you won’t spend money on another set of gloves because you can’t find yours. Use these strategies to make your garden shed shine.

Help those hoses.

Tired of tripping on your garden hose? Get it out from underfoot by wrapping it around a large hook. Hint: When purchasing, select large hooks with a steep angle to help hold the hose in place.

Keep hand tools handy.

Long-handled tools are best stored where they’re out of the way but still accessible. Attaching a sturdy tool hanger to the inside of your shed’s door frees up the walls for shelves and a potting bench.

Invest in shelves.

In tight quarters where there’s never quite enough light, it’s smart to opt for open metal shelving that lets the sun filter through. Adjustable shelves provide the flexibility to match shelf height to tools.

Kill the clutter.

Having a great set of shelves doesn’t do much good if things just get piled up on them. Take the organization one step further by using plastic or metal bins to stash your stuff.

Make magnetic magic.

Mechanics have long taken advantage of magnetic bars to hold and organize their tools. The strips work just as well for metal gardening gear such as pruning shears and trowels. Choose a bar with a magnet strong enough to hold the weight of your tools, and you’ll always have them within reach.

Keep track of the basics.

Little things like twine, string or thin wire can be some of the most useful objects in your shed. They can also be the hardest to find. The solution: Install a toilet paper holder on its side so you’ll be able to reach and cut with ease.

Add a potting bench.

Tidy up your shed and make room for a potting bench. This way, you can care for your favorite container plants out of the rain or hot sun. Bonus: Space underneath the bench is the perfect spot for keeping bags of potting mix dry.

Set a date.

Keep a calendar of landscaping activities and you won’t have to guess when you last fertilized the lawn or planted seeds. This one is metal, creating a convenient place to secure plant tags, seed packets and small parts with magnetic holders.

Make it easier when you’re on the run.

A wicker basket suspended from a shed door is a smart receptacle for frequently used small gardening items, such as shears, trowels, gloves and a favorite reference book. Grab what you need and get right to work.

Organize and maximize space.

Old bushel baskets are just the right size for holding mulch, birdseed or potting mix beneath a potting bench. You can usually find the baskets at an affordable price at flea markets, but just about any sort of basket or bin will do the job.

Get a garden carryall.

A vintage milk-bottle carrier is the perfect place to store seed-starting supplies. Blue canning jars hold row markers, pens and clippers—and there’s room in the carrier for peat pots, fertilizer and hand tools too.

Be creative.

If you have a lot of garden gear, you’ll want to make use of every bit of space. Here, an old window shutter is transformed into a sturdy shelf over a shed window.

Steal small spaces.

A good shelf doesn’t have to be a big production. A flea market find, this old chick feeder is an ideal spot to store old seed packets, catalogs, markers, reference books—and even small potted plants.

Make a planting calendar.

Keep track of what needs to be planted each month with a simple ribbon organizer. Each ribbon represents a different month, with clothespins used to attach seed packets to their place on the “calendar.” It’s a pretty—and especially visual—way to keep up.

Leave notes.

Keep track of garden chores with a flat slate—or coat a sturdy surface with chalkboard paint. It’s a great way to help you remember what you need to do when.

Do double duty.

This shelf is the chalkboard from the previous slide. With hinges installed, it can be used as a horizontal surface when needed.

Do double duty, part 2.

Here’s another great example of using space wisely. An old stool is perfect for sitting on—or for storing seeds, small tools and other objects.

Ramp it up.

Stowing anything with wheels is easier if you use a portable ramp to get in and out. This one was a cinch to build—just a couple of scrap 2x4s and a piece of 1/2-inch plywood. Wheel things right into the shed, then store it when not in use.

Provide for nature.

Old cultivator tines are perfect perches for a host of summer bird treats. Oranges, apples and a mesh bag filled with sour cherries beckon feathered friends. When the season for fresh fruit passes, dangle suet cakes and peanut butter-filled pinecones from the curved tines.

Add a sink.

This iron sink allows for easy tool cleanup and quick watering of potted plants.

Put it in order.

All garden sheds need a wall of shelves to keep your space clean and tidy. To make the unit work best for you, organize your tools in order of what you use most. Store everyday items on the middle shelves and lesser-used items up top or down below.

© Meredith Operations Corporation. All rights reserved. Used with permission.