A young woman standing in a shed looking at the camera and holding a wooden crate. She is organising the shed.

Sort Your Shed Out

by Lynsey Queen of Clean

The garden shed is very much like Michael McIntyre’s famous joke when he talks about ‘the man draw’. Not necessarily because the garden shed is a man’s territory but because commonly, it is an amalgamation of the household’s ‘stuff’ that doesn’t quite qualify for being kept in the house.

Sometimes, things end up in the shed that we think we’ll use later down the line – when our kids reach a certain age, or when work starts to slow down a bit. So, it can be quite a nice process – becoming reunited with past dreams and goals.

Now is the time to either reignite them or decide that you’ve actually developed new ones – and whatever tool you originally bought can now be sold or donated to a new home.

Organising your garden shed may also serve as a period of reflection too, so there are lots of benefits to putting yourself to task here. Don’t put off to tomorrow what you can do today!

Firstly check the weather forecasts to make sure ‘tackling the shed day’ is going to be a dry one. This is because the first thing you’ll want to do is lay all the stuff from inside the shed out on the lawn.

Remember there are lots of options for dealing with the things you no longer want to keep. You can take to reselling platforms like eBay, Depop, Vinted and even keep it local with Facebook Marketplace.

It’s a good idea to group like for like items together.

If the extra money isn’t important, there are plenty of charity shops who would be delighted to receive donations.

Lastly, if some of your items are rather bulky, or not of use to anyone (I’m talking fridges), you can contact your local council as they will have a collection service.

Once you have established what you are keeping, still deciding on and definitely ridding of, move on to giving your shed a sweep with a stiff broom.

Next, plan how you want your shed to look. It’s a good idea to group like for like items together. To maximise the space, it’s beneficial to use the walls. You can create more storage space by installing shelves – you can buy these from your local DIY store or online. eBay has a lot of reclaimed wood available too. A nice option would be to create a work bench at the back if you have the need for one.

One of the best ways to keep your shed nice and tidy is to buy or use free standing metal shelves. This is where you can store pots, kids’ toys, small gardening tools and lawn care. Free standing shelves are great as they can be moved around as and when needed.

Another idea would be to add small metal baskets or recycled biscuit/sweet tins to the shelves to store random items such as cables etc.

Purchasing magnetic strips and fixing them to the wood around the bit of the wall where the wall meets the ceiling is a good way to store metal tools neatly and out of the way. Keeping them up high means they are kept out of the reach of children.

Remember to keep what you use most regularly nearer the front

Strong hooks can be used for larger tools such as saws, garden spades and forks – or anything else you have. Other ideas include recycled Mason jars for paint brushes. It all depends on what your needs are but it’s an opportunity to get creative.

Remember to keep what you use most regularly nearer the front and allow floor space for bikes, scooters and outdoor sporting equipment.

Once you have arrived at the final stage, you will be better placed to know whether the things in the ‘maybe’ pile will become ‘keep’ or ‘recycle’.

Now you deserve to pat yourself on the back.

Follow Lynsey Queen of Clean on Instagram at @Lynsey_QueenofClean

NorthernLife May/June 2022