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Shed Storage Ideas: How to Organise a Shed

Published: 28/05/2021

When you buy an outdoor storage shed, you do so with the best intentions. After all – you just want to keep your house or garden tidy and free from clutter. Perhaps it never occurred to you that you'd have to seek out a blog post on the best shed storage ideas at a later date. But the more possessions (whether junk, forgotten heirlooms or tools) pile up, the more you find yourself treading on random items, tripping over, banging your head and unable to find what you need. And we all know how frustrating that can be! And the worse it gets, the less appealing the idea of organising your shed becomes.

But we’re here to help you get started – and to get it done!

Messy shed full of junk

We want to give you a good starting point, but we also aim to help you create the most storage for your shed, and ensure your garden building stays tidy for good. From recommendations on shed shelving and shed accessories to storage ideas for tools, you’ll find all the shed organization hacks you need in this post. Most of the tips on our list also work as potting shed storage ideas. We've written this post for everyone. So whether you want to know how to organise your 8x10 shed or 30x18 log cabin, we're here to help you make the most of the storage space you have available. So without further ado, let’s get stuck in…

Where to start

Not knowing where to begin is a major obstacle to tidying anything – not just your home or shed [1]. So before we get in to shed shelves and other garden shed storage systems, let’s take a look at a few key starting points.

Clear out your shed

This is your first step to a tidy shed – especially if it’s so full of stuff that you can’t really see what’s in it. Thankfully, it’s a pretty easy first step. All you need to do is pull everything out of the shed carefully and lay it on your lawn ready to sort through.

Get rid of the junk (and anything you don’t need)

Two men throwing away junk from a shed

Start looking through the items on the lawn – and be merciless! This means throwing out anything that you don’t need and isn’t worth anything. Stick anything you don’t want (but that is worth something) on your favourite auction site or classified section (perhaps at a later date).

Group similar items together

Now it’s time to start organising the items that survived the cut! It’s up to you how you organise these items – some like to group according to product type, while others sort according to purpose or size.

Plan your shed storage ideas

With all that junk you had to deal with, you no doubt found it hard to picture how to organise your shed. But now the shed’s empty, this is the perfect time to think about where you’ll keep everything. Be sure to think about the following:

  • Items you use a lot
  • Where you’ll keep the small stuff
  • Tools – safety and accessibility are important to consider here
  • The amount of space you have

All the above are important considerations – especially if you’re looking for small storage shed ideas. It’s especially important to think about safety and the items you need most. After all, there’s no point in storing away important items only to realise you must pull everything else out of the way to get what you need.

7 simple shed storage ideas to get organised

Now we’ve shown you how and where to start, we’re going to show you a list of shed accessories you can use. Here are seven of the best shed storage ideas to help you organise your shed (and keep it that way):

1. Use shed shelving!

Tidy shed shelving

When it comes to organising your garden building, shed shelving really is the place to start. If you don’t have shed shelves to hand, we’d recommend buying some before doing anything else. Shed storage tip: Look for heavy-duty shed shelves – they need to be able to withstand a hefty weight if you plan to store a lot in them. Also, look for multi-level shed shelving – that’ll help you make best use of the available wall space. In the UK (and many other countries), you can find new shelving in places like IKEA - the website for which can be a great source of shed storage ideas!

Organise your shed shelves

As we said earlier, it’s a good idea to think about ways to store items you use most. Keep regular-use items in easy reach so they’re easy to see and easy to grab. (The exception here is obviously heavy or bulky items like lawnmowers – they should sit on the floor). Store anything you only use occasionally on the top shelves.

2. Upcycle!

Cabinet made from repurposed doors

In shed storage idea #1 on this list, we mentioned buying new shed shelves – but you don’t really have to do this! You could repurpose some old shelves – maybe you have some old units lying around that used to sit in the kitchen or one (or more) of the other rooms in your house. Whether you have shelves you’re supposed to fix to the wall or free standing ones, they may be very useful here. Old cabinets that look a bit worse for wear for home use can look great in your shed. But most importantly, they also have obvious practical uses.  Getting creative, you could even make a cupboard out of old doors – after all, there are plenty of those going around!

3. Hang ‘em high (and low)!

Ceiling rack for storage in a shed

It’s important to use the space you have wisely – especially if you’re planning small shed storage. Use every inch of the space you can. So rather than propping tools you have no room for at head height, look for other spaces to use shed storage hooks, pegboards and racks – both lower down and higher up. You can even use the ceiling if you have to! To make best use of your available space, it really is a good idea to rack out your shed (as in the photo above). And that brings us neatly (pardon the pun!) to the next two shed storage ideas…

4. Use the door(s) and the outside walls

The space on the shed doors is really useful for hanging items. If you have a decent wooden shed door,  you can mount hooks into the top of the Z-frame and hang trowels, shears and anything you fancy on the inside! And if you want to get creative with garden shelving, think about ways you can use other parts of the shed – such as the space under the eaves. Yes, that's right - you don't have to limit wall-mounted storage to the inside. As long as the items aren’t fragile or vulnerable to cold or heat, there’s no reason why you can’t hang racks on the outside walls – particularly if you’re stuck for space!

5. Get magnetic!

To maximize storage space, you'll no doubt also want to know the best ways to store garden tools in a shed. Let's face it - they can be cumbersome and awkward to store in drawers and shelves. So, as a sort of extension to shed storage idea #3 on this list, a magnetic tool holder is great for holding metal tools, such as saws, files, screwdrivers, chisels and anything else, in place. You can buy these from the likes of Screwfix in the UK, Home Depot in the US or Bunnings in Australia – although there are alternatives in all three of these countries! You can also make your own magnetic tool holder; the Instructables Workshop website offers a fantastic guide on how to do this[2]. Shed storage tip: Use a wall-mounted magnetic tool holder to hold your paintbrushes (well – those with metal handles!). It can get pretty annoying when you have to find the brush you need in a drawer that’s full of random stuff – but getting magnetic rack can help you help find your brushes quickly and easily.

6. Sweat the (really) small stuff

Nuts, screws and bolts in different compartments

Like most people, when you think of shed storage, you probably think of the big stuff – such as lawnmowers, rakes, as well as pretty substantial tools. But when figuring out how to organise your shed, don’t forget the really small stuff – nails, bolts, washers, screws and more. With small items like these, it’s helpful to separate different items. If you’re in any doubt about the need for organising small items, imagine looking for a small washer in a sea of nuts and bolts when you’re stuck for time – then you’ll realise just how important it is to organise all these odds and ends. To help you do this, you could use plastic cups or drawers with separate compartments. If you’re looking to repurpose – a typesetter’s drawer (or any kind of shed storage drawers with compartments) would be ideal! Even old soup cans would do the job (just be sure to watch out for potentially sharp edges).

7. Light it up!

There’s no point tidying your shed if you can’t see anything when you’re in there. If you have a shed with big windows and a good source of natural light, that’ll help you see inside clearly during daylight hours. But if you have a windowless shed or you want to spend time in your outbuilding at night, think about getting a battery-powered light – they’re cheap and very useful. At Tiger, we sell solar lights, which are also very economical and will save you money.

What should you not store in a shed?

Hopefully, this list of shed storage ideas has helped you organise your shed – and keep it tidy too. But before we go, we want to say a few words about what you should definitely not store in your shed. In the UK, it seems as though the weather is hardly ever particularly hot – even in the middle of summer. That said, temperatures go up and down – and this could affect the items in an outbuilding without shed insulation or ventilation. With this in mind, here’s a list of items of you may want to avoid storing in there:

  • Paint and glue – commonly found in sheds, but temperature changes can render them useless
  • Canned food – food is perishable and will go off pretty quickly in an outbuilding
  • Photographs and paperwork – should be kept away from damp
  • Electronics – feature sensitive components
  • Clothing and bedding – could end up smelling musty
  • Wine – inconsistent temperatures can ruin your favourite tipple!
  • Musical instruments – temperature changes can corrode metal

In another post, we talk about insulating a shed and how doing so can help prevent damp and can even help create the right environment to live in! But without proper insulation and ventilation, it wouldn’t be wise to store any of the above items in your garden shed.

What are the best outdoor storage sheds?

Wooden storage shed from Tiger

Another way of phrasing this question would be, “what should you look for in a storage shed?” A key factor you should consider is the material it is made from...

Wooden vs metal and plastic sheds

Plastic sheds aren't very easy to customise - you won't be able to fasten shelves to walls, for example. Metal sheds are also difficult to improve, paint or cover - plus they rust easily over time. Metal sheds can also get very hot in the summer - and very painful to the touch, which doesn't make working in them easy. Whatever you need the storage shed for, we recommend looking for one that’s well made from high-quality timber. So whether you’re looking for a tool shed or bike garden storage, avoid sheds made from cheap OSB chipboard at all costs – they’re cheap and won’t last very long. By contrast, the best wooden sheds are made from the highest-grade European softwood and use tongue and groove cladding. In other words, they’re built to last for many years. To help prove this, Tiger storage sheds come with a market-leading 20-year guarantee. And when you buy a Tiger building, you can also customise it with shed shelving and staging.

To browse the best outdoor storage sheds on the market, click this link.

References

[1] https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2020/jan/03/what-to-clean-if-you-have-spare-3-minutes-5-minutes-8-hours [2] https://www.instructables.com/Magnetic-Tool-Rack/

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