Garden Shed Storage Ideas

If you're a gardener, all those things like shovels, rakes, lawn mowers and tomato cages have to go somewhere, and a shed is the ideal solution. The problem is when the number of "necessary" items for your yard and garden outstrips the capacity of your shed to hold them. That is where smart storage ideas come in. You can buy commercial storage aids, or with a few basic tools and scrap materials, you can make many yourself.

Free the Floor---Use the Walls

Lawnmowers and garden tractors must use floor space, but long-handled rakes, hoes and shovels do not. Racks designed to hold those tools are available everywhere, or drive large nails into a scrap of 2 x 4 inch lumber to act as pegs. Attach the board to the wall; drill holes in the ends of your wood handled tools; put strings through the holes and hang. Metal handled tools can be positioned heads up and hung between two nails attached directly on the wall. Alternatively, hang a magnet bar like mechanics use to hold tools. This works well for smaller metal trowels or clippers, or for metal cans filled with anything that needs saving.

Free the Walls---Use the Doors

Hang open-ended toilet paper roll holders on the inside of the garden shed door to hold string, wire or plant ties. Larger hooks hold hoses, ropes, work boots tied together by the laces, etc. Use smaller hooks to hang your straw hat or bags containing gloves, sunscreen or other small items that are hard to hang independently. Use clear vinyl shoe bags made to hang in closets and you can see what you are looking for without digging through them.

Free the Doors---Use the Ceiling

Put a pot rack overhead in a corner and hang tools from it with "S" hooks through loops in handles. Make one from an old gate, or use a bicycle wheel (without tire) hung from a chain through its center hub for a hanging "lazy Susan" from which to suspend tools. Place infrequently used tools like long-handled trimming saws across rafters where they are out of the way, yet handy.

Small Spaces for Small Things

A piece of aluminum "U" channel affixed to a wall is great for holding seed packets, or attach wooden clothespins directly to a wall stud to hold packets and notes. You can also store them in binders with plastic sleeves (used for photos). If the inside of your shed is unsheathed, build shelves directly between studs by nailing scraps of 2 x 4 inch lumber across between them. These are the perfect depth to hold paperback field guides and gardening books, vases, metal cans and small baskets or boxes (which you can fill).

Cheap & Easy Shelves

Plywood is incredibly strong and can be used to advantage for shelves. One plywood sheet will yield 64 right triangles 12 inches deep and long. (Measure and divide plywood into 32 12-inch squares, then cut each square in half diagonally.) Nail pairs of triangles 48 inches apart to the insides of your unsheathed stud walls to create shelf supports 8-1/2 inches deep. Place 1 inch x 8 inch boards across each pair of triangles for quick, sturdy shelving. (For heavy items, use triangles closer together and use 2-inch thick boards.)

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About this Author

Deborah Stephenson is a freelance writer and artist, who brings over 25 years of both professional and life experience to her writings. Stephenson boasts a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and Bio-Archeology from University of Arkansas at Fayatteville. She is an anthropologist & naturalist, and has published a field guide on Michigan's flora & fauna as well as numerous political and environmental articles.