Sunday was the first “unofficial” day of summer at our house.
Was it really warm? Not particularly.
Was it beautifully sunny? Nope, it was drizzling and quite grey.
But it was the first time since the fall that we cracked open the BBQ and made a delicious grilled meal.
It is time to kick-off the time of year when we head out to spend time in our little backyard. I can see my perennials starting to poke through the ground. I’m thinking about what I want to plant this year and if the veggies I attempt to grow will happen or not. But first thing's first…job #1 is to get into our garden shed to get it ready for the season.
Without a garage, we pack that shed to the gills every winter with anything we want to protect from the elements. Then when spring hits, we drag it all out, assess what we have, figure out what we need for the coming summer, and put everything in its place.
Here are some of my tips for organizing a functional family-friendly backyard shed…
Even though our shed is small, I find it really helpful to keep like things together so I can easily find what I’m looking for. And the locations of the zones are determined by how often items need to be accessed and with child safety in mind. Lawn care tools are kept together and in a corner that is easy to reach but out of the way. Often used gardening hand tools and watering cans are together on handy shelf. Extra sand for the sandbox that we rarely need is kept in the very back corner. Filled yard waste bags sit in the middle of the shed so we can take them to the curb on the next pick-up day. And the Kid's backyard toys are right there when you open the door. This way, he can go in himself and find what he wants to play with without having to encounter any unsafe tools or materials.
Bins and Portable Caddies
I use lots of storage bins and portable caddies in my gardening shed. Big, stackable, opaque storage bins hold gardening supplies that I only use a couple times a season. I like that you can’t see inside these so nothing inside catches the eye of the Kid and encourages him to go exploring. Out of site, out of mind! His toy bin is clear for just the opposite reasoning. He also has a smaller portable basket with handles that can be carried out and into the yard. The most used item in the shed is my little green gardening caddy. It is where I keep my gloves, snips and other small hand tools. Whenever I see a weed that needs pulling or plant that needs to be snipped—which is almost every time I’m out in the yard—I simply grab my caddy and I have everything I need for a little impromptu gardening.
Utilize a Shelving Unit
We have a wooden shelving unit in our shed that I love to use to store smaller items and things I use regularly, like my gardening caddy. Yard waste bags are tucked in neatly on their sides so you just have to reach in and easily slide one out. On a couple of the shelves, we use old fruit crates to contain lesser-used items. And one lower shelf has two bungee cords across it that allows the Kid to reach through to take some of his items off the shelf while reigning things in just a bit. (As he tends to knock stuff over!)
Store on High
Storing things up high accomplishes two things: 1. Takes advantage of the vertical space in the shed and 2. Keeps dangerous items out of children’s hands. The top shelf of the shelving unit is where we keep all of the poisonous things like pest control items and fertilizers. We also have pieces of wood angled out near the ceiling along the sides of the shed to allow for shovels, rakes and other tools I don’t want the Kid to access to be stored up and out of reach. Then I put a decoy plastic snow shovel for him with his toys. This way when he wants to “help” dig, I give him the tool that is less likely to end up in a trip to the emergency room!
OK. So that was actually 4 tips!
Once you have your shed all organized, you’ll be all set to enjoy your yard on those lazy days of summer. I’m anxious for them to get here!
What about you? Do you have any great tips for organizing your garden shed?