Doors open to a well organized shed.

Tips for Organizing Your Shed

Nothing is more frustrating than walking into your shed and fumbling to find a tool at the start of a project. But thankfully with a little bit of work, you can find a new and better way of organizing your shed. Check out some ideas below on how you can maximize your storage in your outdoor shed using shelves, hooks, and other materials.

What Can You Store in an Outdoor Shed?

Generally, there are three things you should consider before storing something in your outdoor shed. 

  1. Is the item temperature sensitive?
  2. Will it be damaged from humidity or moisture?
  3. Can it attract pests or be damaged by them?

If the answer is no to all three questions above, then your shed is the perfect place to store it. Since it’s outdoors, people will typically devote that storage space to lawn care items or they’ll store lawn furniture in their shed over winter

Some common smaller items you can store in your outdoor shed include:

  • Outdoor equipment (lawnmowers, weed whackers, etc.)
  • Gasoline
  • Lawn & garden chemicals (although you should check if they have temperature restrictions)
  • Power tools (while storing the batteries for them inside so they are not exposed to heat)
  • Seasonal outdoor decorations
  • Outside toys or games

What Not to Store in a Shed

If you answered no to any of those three prompts above, then it’s likely not a good idea to store the item in question inside your shed. Some items can’t handle high or low temperatures, high amounts of humidity and moisture, or they may be too attractive to rodents and pests.

Items not advisable to store in an outdoor shed include:

  • Chemicals with storage temperature constraints
  • Canned goods (they’ll explode if exposed to lots of heat)
  • Wooden furniture (it can be damaged by moisture)
  • Appliances (they’ll rust from moisture)
  • Pet food and treats
  • Any paper items or documents of value
  • Paint (the temperatures can ruin its consistency)

 

Ultimately, you want your shed to last. That’s why it’s important to make sure you pay attention to what you’re storing so that those items don’t cause damage. 

1. Start with Cleaning Your Shed Out

Before you begin organizing, you first need to properly clean out your shed. In fact, now is the perfect time to remodel your shed with a few easy, affordable upgrades

Take time to:

  • Take all items out & inventory them
  • Deep clean your shed
  • Fix any damaged boards
  • Paint or clean up cosmetic damage
  • Measure the dimensions of your shed

 

Once you’ve taken care of those details, now you have an idea of what items you need to organize and the space you’re working with. Next, it’s time to move on to adding in shelving and other solutions.

A shed sits cleaned out and empty inside.

2. Pick Shed Shelving Ideas That Fit Your Needs

There’s no better way to maximize the space inside your shed than with shelving. And the two most popular choices for sheds are floating shelving units or freestanding shelving units.

Visit your local store to see if you can find a type of floating shelving that will fit inside. Or you can also build a shed shelf yourself with some plywood and 2x4s to create simple storage. Then you can add the shelves along the back and / or sides depending on the dimensions of your structure.

Freestanding shelves are another great option and are easy to install. Just make sure that the material they’re made of (metal, wood, plastic) can handle the conditions inside your shed. 

Lastly, don’t overlook the opportunity to install shelves in creative places. For example, the door can be a great spot to possibly mount smaller shelves and keep compact items. Or, if you have an a-frame or chalet style shed, you can use the high ceiling to your advantage by adding a small loft above.

3. Find the Best Way to Hang Garden Tools

Once shelves are in place, it’s time to figure out the best way to hang garden tools and smaller items. Below are three of the most popular methods you’ll see almost every organized shed owner using!

A Metal Magnetic Strip

A simple search online shows some of the best magnetic tool holders you can find to put inside your shed. A magnetic tool holder is great for smaller items like screwdrivers, scissors, clippers, or pliers. It keeps tools together, easy to access, and a breeze to store. Plus, the easier it is to store an item, the more likely your shed will stay orderly over time.

A Long Handle Organizer

It can be hard to figure out how to store tools like rakes or shovels, thanks to their long handles. And nothing is worse than opening the door to your shed and having one fall on your foot every time. 

You can certainly make a shovel rack on your own if you’re handy and enjoy DIY projects. Or if you’re looking to bypass the work, there are certainly plenty of long handle tool organizers for sale. With this type of hanger, you won’t have to worry about a handle falling on your foot ever again! Plus, you can quickly identify the long-handled tool you need without having to grab and pull them all up to check.

A Pegboard

You may only think of adding a pegboard to a garage, but they work great in sheds, too! Once you’ve made and customized a pegboard for your space, it offers flexible storage. You can always rearrange how you hang items on it or adjust the pegboard as you accumulate more items over time.

 4.  Look for DIY Shed Organization Ideas

After hanging shelves and tool organizers, there may still be some items you need help with storing. Here are a few creative DIY ideas you can use for those leftover items:

Store Small Hardware in Jars

With a piece of wood, brackets, and some jars, you can easily create your own mason jar holder for small items, like nails or screws. Or simply use the jars as is, label them, set them on a shelf, and use them to sort and store loose hardware. That way when you need a screw or nail, you know exactly where to look.

Mason Jar Shed Organizer

Create a Bucket Holder for Your Hose

Hoses can be tricky to store without a holder, but if you have a five-gallon bucket handy you’re in luck. Find space along a wall of your shed’s interior and mount the bucket vertically. Then loop the hose around the outside. You can certainly just use hooks instead, but with a bucket holder, you can use space inside the bucket to store extra items, like a sprinkler attachment or hose nozzles. 

Add Storage to the Shed’s Exterior

After you finish organizing the inside, don’t forget about the outside of the shed! It offers plenty of storage for items that can withstand being outside. 

For example, a kayak takes up a lot of space. But with some large, sturdy hooks it can easily be suspended along the outside. This works well for other weather-tolerant items like ladders or canoes. Just make sure your shed has a slight overhang so it can offer some protection.

Once you’ve finished, take a step back and assess your work. And simply repeat the process if you find you need to tweak your organization system down the road as you accumulate new tools and equipment.

Still feel like you don’t have enough space to hold your equipment and tools, even after reorganizing? Check out our selection of sheds and customizable options to see how you can upgrade your outdoor storage to the next level.