Shed Organizing 101

Shed Organizing 101

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When we moved into our current home five years ago, tucked into one corner of the backyard was an aged aluminum shed. Five years later, that shed is still standing, but barely.

shedYears ago I decided that I would never buy a metal shed for the simple reasons that they don’t last all that long and they also don’t have the interior walk around space needed to make them all that useful beyond storing a lawn mower, garden supplies and other smaller items.

What Type of Foundation to Use

My next shed will be a lot like my neighbor Jerry’s shed, built out of wood and sitting on a semi-permanent foundation. Where I live if you pour concrete in order to provide a permanent foundation, then you need a permit and approval from your neighbors. But, if you set it on top of solid-concrete blocks, then the town is okay with that and your neighbor’s complaints won’t stick.

One of the reasons that people go with aluminum sheds is that they are so darn cheap. In fact, I’ve seen them retailing for just under $300 at my local big box retailer, a tempting low price for the person who needs outdoor storage but doesn’t want to pay a whole lot for it.

If you build a wooden shed, then all you’ll have to pay for is the components: wood, roofing materials, hinges, flooring, etc. But, most people choose to buy a completed structure, one with a window (and requisite flower box), door, shingled roof and permanent flooring.

Size Does Matter

Assuming that you’re happy with a wooden structure, one that is certain to withstand many years of usage and all sorts of weather conditions, you’ll want one big enough to serve your needs. Size does matter, but there is something to think about when choosing the right shed for your yard: if you organize it properly can you make better use of a smaller unit? I believe that you can.

Jerry’s shed is bigger (24×20) than what I need (16×12), fairly well organized, but it could be better arranged especially when it comes to maximizing storage capacity. The one thing he did that I really like is that he hung fluorescent shop lights from the ceiling which provides adequate lighting and doesn’t get in the way of the tallest worker. With an 8′ pitched ceiling, two adjoining shop lights hang just inches from the top, with his only fear that someone might hit the bulbs with a rake or a broom.

Organizing Wall By Wall

On one wall, Jerry has taken peg board and cut it so that it covers the entire wall from top to bottom. That wall has several dozen wire peg hooks hanging from it, where he hangs rope, cords, spackle, paint brushes and anything else that won’t pull away from the board. Bought in bulk, hooks of the same size should cost you about 30 cents each.

On a second wall, Jerry makes good use of putting up shelving, placed just above his work bench. Home Depot, Lowe’s and similar stores can cut the wood to size, so pick up some L brackets and you can nail them into the studs. Use left over wood to fill in blank spaces underneath for additional shelving, which can hold small paint cans, varnish, oils, cleaning solutions, etc.

Along the third wall is where Jerry lines up his lawn mower, seeder and stores waste cans. If your workbench is tall enough, some of these things could be stored underneath, but I like Jerry’s arrangement because he can quickly get what he needs and leave. Besides, underneath his work area he  has plastic bins filled with all kinds of stuff including screws, nails, gardening material, you name it. Those plastic bins, by the way, were once filled with kitty leader making for a reusable and useful way to store stuff.

The fourth wall is one which has both the door and the lone window to his shed on it. Thus, the only storage area he has on that wall is immediately below the window. I got Jerry to hang up several smaller hooks which hold various bags containing gloves, towels, paper goods and the like.

With mostly everything hanging from a wall or pushed up against a wall, there is plenty of room to walk around the interior without tripping over this or that, making it easier to enter, exit and move around the shed thanks to wise use of space.

Adv. — Are you looking for lights, cables, cords and wires to outfit your shed? If so, the Parts Store has everything you need at a low, low price. Overnight or two-day delivery is available, with a hassle-free return policy that is amongst the best in the business. Shop from their secure website today to find the parts you need for a wide variety of home products.

See also — Back Yard Sheds: An Excellent Space Manager

Photo Credit: A Syed

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