Garage and Shed Organization

What does your garage or shed look like? How do you feel when you go out to get an item? Oftentimes garages and sheds can become the dumping ground for a mishmash of stuff such as yard tools, bags of grass seeds, sprays and fertilizers, outdoor toys, and recreational equipment. With summer upon us, it’s time to organize the garage or shed! However, does the thought of beginning the process of organizing this area overwhelm you? Well, we have some great ideas for you. Mindy Godding, Partner and Founder at Abundance Organizing, and also a Certified Professional Organizer, shares some tips to help and motivate you from her experience of organizing her shed with her husband, Craig. 

Before you begin, do two things.
1. Check the weather forecast.

Check the weather and make sure you have a couple of hours to accommodate your project. You do not want to get everything out of the shed and then be met with a rain shower. Mindy made sure the day of their project was on a nice, sunny day. At this time of year you also want to make sure that it will not be too hot. You may want to start extra earlier in the morning to allow you more time before the hot afternoon sun.

2. Define the purpose of your space.

It is important to define the purpose of your garage or shed. Don’t be surprised if the purpose of this area changes. Mindy and Craig decided the purpose of their shed would be for storing yard materials and recreational items. This was a change from the original purpose. For the first five years that Mindy and Craig were married, Craig did all the lawn care himself and accumulated quite the collection of yard tools and lawn products. However, about five years ago, Craig hired a lawn care service. The majority of the products that they had became obsolete. Because of this Mindy knew they had a lot of items that they could simply throw away. This first important decision, to toss lawn care supplies, made the following steps much easier.

 Step One: Pull all items out of the shed and sort them into categories.

Once Mindy and Craig were ready to begin the project, they pulled every single item out of the shed. They sorted all the items into categories. Mindy said, “it’s very important to pull everything out in order to see every single item. We found so much stuff we forgot about.” Mindy ended up with five different categories of items after sorting them. Your categories may be different.

  • Hand tools, shovels, and rakes.
  • Garden-related items such as fencing, stakes, tomato cages, etc.
  • Gas-powered tools.
  • Large, heavy equipment like the lawn mower and power washer.
  • Recreational items such as corn hole, golf clubs, softball, croquette, mountain bikes, etc.
Step Two: Go through the piles and eliminate duplicates, old, and broken items.

Once Mindy and Craig had sorted all their items they were able to go through each category, eliminate duplicates, and throw away old and broken items. If you have multiples of one tool, get rid of them. If you purchased a new set of golf clubs, get rid of your old set. Seriously consider the broken items you’ve been planning to fix. How much time and effort will it take to fix the item?  If fixing it is a must, set aside time on your calendar now to fix it. If putting time on your calendar seems like a chore, perhaps fixing it will not likely happen.

Step Three: Take time to clean the shed. Especially the floor.

Mindy highly recommends cleaning the space. After sorting through all the piles, Mindy and Craig took time to clean. Sweeping the shed made the most amazing difference. Mindy highly recommends taking the time to do it!

Step Four: Put items away. Assign homes based on the frequency of use.

After the transformational sweep of the floor, Mindy and Craig put all the “keep” items back into the shed based on the frequency of use. This allows them to get to their most frequently used items easily. Mindy already had a wall hanging system to hang the majority of their lawn tools. The wall hanging system is not elaborate. Two panels with adjustable hooks. Mindy and Craig did get more hooks to accommodate additional tools they found. They hung all the tools alternating long and short tools, putting the taller tools on the top hooks and the shorter tools on the bottom hooks.

After hanging all the tools, Mindy and Craig continued to put the rest of the items away. In the very back, they put all the lawn sprays and other garden supplies. They use them once a year so accessibility was less important. But they did place the items on a cart with wheels. Their lawn mower and power washer are stored on the floor, in front of the cart with the lawn supplies.

Mindy says, “the most challenging spaces to organize are sheds and garages because there are four walls and a big open space in the middle. The walls require storage solutions for various types of items and we don’t always take the time to maximize space in areas we don’t live in.” Mindy and Craig were beyond satisfied with the results. If you have been wanting to tackle your shed or garage, hopefully, this inspires you to take the plunge. Comment with any questions and don’t forget to tag us with your transformations!

Product Recommendations:

Below are some product recommendations for your garage or shed decluttering project.

 

 

 

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