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How to Organize a Shed

Grey Garden Shed
By:Meghan Paynter| Last Updated:03/28/2024
Time to Read: 4 min
Time to Complete
1-2 days
Project Cost

How to Organize A Shed

A backyard shed is a great storage solution for the dedicated gardener or lawn enthusiast. But over time it can collect junk that doesn’t belong which makes using garden tools a pain.

Follow these steps to learn how to organize your shed and create easy access to all of your gardening tools.

Equipment to Keep in Your Shed

What to Keep in Your Shed

Wondering what actually belongs in your shed? Before you organize your storage shed, make sure you’re using it correctly. It’s a great place for any of your gardening or lawn care supplies, as long as the products are safe in changing temperatures and can withstand a little moisture. This includes:

  • Lawnmower and small amounts of gasoline
  • Weedwhacker
  • Gardening tools
  • Hose
  • Workbench
  • Lawncare chemicals
  • Wheelbarrow

If you’re lacking other storage and have enough space in your shed, it can also be a safe place for bikes or outdoor toys, as long as they are separated from any chemicals or fertilizers.

What Not to Keep in Your Shed

Your garden shed is probably not insulated and will be affected by changes in humidity and temperature. Keep items that could be damaged by moisture, temperature or could attract bugs out of your shed. This includes:

  • Clothing
  • Pet food
  • Paint
  • Charcoal

If you’re storing any of these items outside, get rid of them when you clean out your shed.

BD Quote Icon

“Sheds can sometimes be receptacles for old bikes and recreation equipment. As clutter piles up, those items can get buried and outgrown quickly. To prevent this problem, 'purpose' the space in each of your storage and outbuilding spaces. Decide where recreation equipment will live and store all of it together. Whether in the garage or shed, at least all like items will live together.”
Vicki Norris | President, Restoring Order


Make sure to declutter your home or shed before organizing it.

3 Steps to Organize Your Shed

Shed in Need of Organizing

Step 1: Clean Out Your Shed

The first step to having an organized storage shed is to clean it out. Pull out everything and separate it into three piles: keep, relocate and throw away. In the throw away pile, set aside anything that can be recycled or donated to Goodwill.

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Pro Tip: Only relocate items if they belong somewhere specific. If you don’t know where the item should live, consider getting rid of it altogether.

After you’ve decluttered your shed, sweep it out with a broom, wipe down shelves and remove as much dirt as possible. It doesn’t need to sparkle, but starting with a clean, empty room will help you feel great about the final product.

Step 2: Arrange Your Tools by Use

Now that you have set aside everything you want to keep, begin arranging items by use. This is an important part of decluttering a tool shed because grouping like items together will help you store them logically and will make them easier to find. Examples of groups are:

  • Hand tools
  • Power tools
  • Gardening accessories
  • Lawncare materials
  • Long-handled items

There is no wrong way to organize your shed. Whatever makes sense to you is correct. Once this is complete, move on to step three.

Step 3: Add Storage Solutions

Adding storage is the best way to improve your shed organization. Especially if you have a small shed, keeping tools and other materials off the floor of your shed will make the building more usable. If each item in your shed has a designated place, you’ll be more likely to keep it organized even if you use it every day.

BD Quote Icon

“Acquire or build shelving or cabinets to properly store and work with your supplies by category within the space. Reload thoughtfully, containerizing unruly or small items as needed. Beautify as you go.”
Vicki Norris | President, Restoring Order


Looking at the groups of tools and other materials you are storing in your shed, consider these options as the most effective ways to store them:

Small Shed Storage Ideas for Tools and Materials

Long-handled tools

  • Install wall hooks
  • Use rafters as overhead storage

Power tools

  • Hang on wall hooks

Hand tools and gardening tools

  • Add a pegboard
  • Build shelving unit to hold tool box
  • Store in easy-to-carry bucket


  • Mark a dedicated parking spot in shed

Lawn and Garden Chemicals

  • Place on shelves, off the ground and out of reach of children

Garden hose

  • Hang on hooks

Add enough DIY storage to make it easy to keep your shed organized. Then, place all of your tools in their new homes.

To prevent your shed from becoming cluttered in the future, try not to add any items that don’t fit into your new organization system. If you do purchase a new tool, consider getting rid of an old one, or one you haven’t used yet that season, when you add it to the collection.

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