Come spring, many of us feel compelled to clean our homes and tidy our yards–part of a seasonal ritual that heralds winter’s departure. Get a jump on that process now by assessing and organizing the contents of your garden toolshed (whether it’s a freestanding unit in the backyard or just a corner of the garage). Begin by paring down and ridding your precious space of the unnecessary. Then, use the following storage solutions on the following pages to move everything within reach–and off the floor.
1. Shelves of all sizes
Maintain order with a large shelf unity; install smaller ledges up high for infrequently used items. Attach hooks to the unit itself to hang long-handled tools. The space above needn’t go to waste either — add hooks to hold equipment horizontally.
2. Clamps and hooks
Mount metal spring clamps and rubber-coated utility hooks to the crosspiece inside the shed door so you can hang those tools you reach for most. If you don’t have a crosspiece, you can attach a 1–by–6 to the door with 1 ½-inch wood screws.
3. Garden – stake holder
Tools and Materials
PVC cement, 1 ½-inch PVC pipe (cut to desired length) with cap, 2 metal conduit straps, drill with a 5/64- inch bit, four 1-inch wood screws
1. Apply cement to inside of cap; attach to one end of pipe. Let dry until set, about 30 minutes.
2. Position pipe, sap side down, against crosspiece (or a piece of 1 x 6 attached to the wall) so bottom overhangs by an inch.
3. Place conduit straps over pipe at top and bottom of crosspiece; drill pilot holes, and screw into place.
4. Easy – glide ramp
Tools and Materials
One 4-foot-long 1×12 (which actually measures ¾ by 11 ¼ inches), pencil, yardstick, jigsaw, wood glue, ½-and 1 ½-inch wood screws, 11 ¼-inch piece of quarter-round molding, wire brads, exterior paint, metal handle, hardware sloth, tin snips, washers
A removable ramp lets you wheel items in and out quickly. Use two side-by-side for a lawn mower. This ramp will work for a shed with a 2-4” step.
1. Using one corner of the 1×12 as a right angle for one triangular side, mark 3 ½ inches in one direction and 16 ½ inches in the other. Using a yardstick, draw a diagonal line to close the triangle; cut out shape. Repeat for a second side piece.
2. Cut out an 18-inch-long rectangle from other end of 1×12 for the top of the ramp. Then cut out a 9 3/4-by-3 ¼ inch piece for the back.
3. Glue together sides, back, and top with wood glue; secure with evenly spaced 1 ½-inch screws. Attach molding to front edge with wood glue and brads.
4. Paint all surfaces; let dry.
5. Attach handles to side with 1/2-inch screws. Cut hardware cloth to 6 ½ inches wide; wrap around ramp so one end folds around and under back edge, and the other end folds over front; attach with ½-inch screw and washers.
5. Covered Storage
A storebought wooden box with a fitted lid corrals bags of potting soil, fertilizer, or charcoal. Insert a divider cut 1/8 inch smaller than depth and width of box; this will help keep the bags upright and divide a large box into two. If your lid doesn’t have a handle, add one yourself. Store the box on the floor, under the shelves.
6. Protective rack for saws and shears
Tools and Materials
3 pieces of 1×6 wood, jigsaw, 1-inch wood screws, drill, pencil, T square
1. Cut 2 pieces of wood to ½ inch less than width of door interior. Cut five 2-inch strips from the third piece; use a jigsaw to round off the short edge of each (which will allow tools to slide in and out easily).
2. Space strips as desired to accommodate tools (face rounded ends in same direction); attach each to a 1×6 with two screws.
3. Place boards side by side and mark the plain board where it aligns with the center of each spacer on the other board. Use a T-square to draw a line down the center of the plain board. Screw board with spacers to door (rounded edges up); place other board, marked side out, over it, and install wood screws along line to join the boards at the spacers.
7. Peg tool hanger
Small tools such as trowels, hand cultivators, and pruners can easily get lost on shelves or in bins. Keep them on the inside of your shed door and you’ll always know where to find them. Drill ¼-inch holes into the door’s crosspiece or into a 1×6 attached to the wall; cover bottom half of ¼-inch pegs with wood glue, and insert. Let the glue set before hanging up items. To hang a tool with a handle but no strap, install two pegs: Drill two holes, spaced to accommodate the thickness of the handle, then proceed with glue and pegs.