One of the best things about moving from a condo to a single-family home four years ago was the ability to use a large storage shed. My husband Scott and I finally had a place to stash all of the bulky items that we used periodically, but not often. We keep our holiday decorations, beach gear, suitcases and some sporting equipment stashed away until we need them again.

However, it was not until this last holiday season that I realized how messy the shed had gotten. I dreaded every time I needed to pull something out and dreaded even more every time I needed to put something back. In the spirit of getting organized for the new year, it may finally be time to organize the shed.


If you want to organize your shed or garage, try some of these tips:

Go vertical

Use shelves wherever possible, and hooks or a peg rail for everything else. Hang tools like shovels and rakes, but remember that you can hang other things too: beach umbrellas, chairs, tennis rackets, golf clubs, helmets and bicycles. You also can add ceiling shelving with a track system to really take advantage of every square inch.

Use plastic totes with labels

Opt for bins with lids that seal closed to keep insects out. Label the outside so you can easily recall what’s inside. I recently saw an ad for storage bins at the hardware store for less than $4 each.

Shelve it


Shelving will allow you to use multiple bins without having to take down the entire pile every time you need to access one. You can start simple with ready-to-use metal shelving or build shelves into your space.

Close the door

Keeping things behind closed doors helps the overall space to feel more organized. Add cabinets with shelving to keep things inside tidy as well. Opt for clean lines without a lot of detail. This will make keeping them clean easier as well, by requiring not much more than a quick wipe down.

Make it pretty

Stain the floor and/or paint the walls. Add a calming color that will lend to a more tranquil feeling when you enter the shed. Just because its main purpose is utilitarian does not mean it has to be drab.


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