How to Organise a Shed to Declutter and Create Space

Organising your garden shed is an extremely worthwhile undertaking, especially if you are about to start a new gardening or summer season. By turning your cluttered shed into a clean and relaxed workspace, you will have a much easier and enjoyable time gardening and working on your projects.

Many garden owners will know the feeling of opening the door of the shed to find that they can barely move inside it. As you climb over the lawnmower and step awkwardly around sacks of compost on the few inches of floor available, you realise that one of these days you really ought to find a better way to organise the shed – which is probably why you (or a partner who’s done enough nagging about it) have clicked on this article.

Cluttered and untidy shed
Does your shed look like this? Time to organise! Image Credit

Completely empty the shed

That’s right. Clear that shed out entirely and transfer the items onto the patio or the lawn. Every single tool, can of paint, and scrap of old wallpaper needs to come out. Perhaps the shed has become a dumping ground for stuff that you couldn’t find another place for. You will probably find things you’d forgotten you owned.

If your shed organising project is going to take more than a day, you might need to move some items indoors or under a shelter.

Anything that is unwanted, too damaged to repair, or dangerous to leave around should be disposed of.

Clean up any muck

Grab a brush and sweep all the old sawdust and dried mud flakes off the floor. You might even be able to vacuum clean it.

Find alternative storage

Could you store some of the shed items somewhere else on your property? Is the shed really the right place to store the Christmas tree and bags of old clothes? If there are things which aren’t really related to the garden, perhaps they could go in a cupboard or the loft in your house.

You could also add more outdoor storage in the form of a box or cabinet.

Shelving, wall hangings, and shed furniture

Shelving with tool and equipment storage
Image Credit

If you have a lot of small items and tools that were living on the floor, perhaps it’s time they moved onto the walls. Be sure to replace any shelves that are broken or rickety, and add more shelving if you really can’t fit anything else on them.

Wall hanging hooks are also a great option for tools such as shovels, rakes, watering cans, and possibly even bikes. There are also peg or hook boards for tools. Whatever wall storage you use, be sure that you will leave space to be able to get near enough to grab the items off them.

Tools hung and organised on a black pegboard
Image Credit

You could also put a cupboard in your shed to collect small items together. Some storage units come with a flat top, meaning you can also use this as a worktop. But to keep your shed organised in the long run, make sure you don’t start storing things in front of the cupboard doors where they won’t be able to open.

Measure and plan your shed’s floor space

Before you put everything back into the shed, think back to why you are reorganising it in the first place. You want to be able to get the barbecue out without needing to move a load of bikes and buckets out of the way first. Items that are less commonly used could go at the back, but you will want to be able to reach them easily when the time comes. The best way to achieve this is to plan a walking route through the shed: a central path that you will keep clear of items at all times. This could be straight down the middle, but if you’ve added shelves or a cupboard, you need to keep space in front of these so you can still get to them.

Grab a tape measure and double check the exact internal lengths of your shed walls, and then the lengths and widths of your largest items. This will enable you to work out which items can fit in a line along the walls. Could the barbecue and the lawnmower fit end-to-end next to each other? And if so, is there space to easily pull them away from the wall when they are needed?

If you want to be really strict about your new plan, you could put down lines of tape to dictate exactly how your floor is to be divided between storage and standing space. You can then fit your items inside their neatly defined boxes on the floor.

Organising a small shed

Some sheds are so small that they provide barely more than a single square metre of space. In this case you will need to make as much use of vertical space as possible. Mount your tools on hooks or rods high on the walls. It might also be possible to do this with your wheelbarrow or bike. This will create more floor space underneath.

Should you upgrade to a larger shed?

You’ve organised the shed, but you can still barely move in it. If you’ve truly utilised the space to the best of your ability and got rid of as much as you can, yet you still can’t get around the sheer volume of stuff, perhaps it’s time for a shed with more space.

Sheds from Garden Buildings Direct are available in sizes up to 120 square feet (12’x10’).

Other ways to use a shed

Aside from just storing your gardening tools and occasionally being used as a workshop, it’s possible to use the shed as an extra room. With your newfound extra space, you could turn your shed into an office

7 Simple Steps to Turn Your Shed into an Office (gardenbuildingsdirect.co.uk)