Organizing Chaos

My garden shed has to serve many purposes.  It is a gardening shed, of course, but it is also an exercise room, a machinery shop, freezer space, and storage.  All these purposes make organization and order very necessary.  Unfortunately, it also means that the shed quickly slides into chaos.  Over time it gets to the point where order must be restored.

I forgot to take a before picture, but this shot of the the other side of the shed should give you a pretty good idea of what I am dealing with.

Definitely chaotic, and no room to move around.

Definitely chaotic, and no room to move around.

As I said, organization is very necessary, but it is also a giant project at this point.

When projects get to be this big, I find it very helpful to break them into parts.  First, my husband and I cleared off the floor space, so we had room to move.  Only then did we tackle the gardening bench.

When organizing anything, there are a few simple rules to follow:

  1. If it is broken or useless, toss it.  A lot of old handtools and pool toys (which did not belong there anyway) got tossed.  I also threw out most of those cheap black plastic pots that I have accumulated over the years.  I still kept some, though, because I had nothing else of that size.
  2. Hang things on the walls to make the best use of the space.  My long-handled pruners will no longer be constantly in the way, because they have a spot on the wall allocated just for them.
  3. Place items in containers when possible to conserve space and to keep everything together.  I found that my old hanging baskets work perfectly for this.  Besides, I know I’m not likely to use them again, and they were in too good of shape to justify tossing.
Tool Basket (w) -- 7-11-2015

Repurposing an old hanging basket.

After a couple of hours, this is what we ended up with.

Organized Potting Area (w) -- 7-11-2015

A garden bench I can use!

Along with the space looking much nicer and feeling much less claustrophobic, I can now find what I need quickly and tools are less likely to get broken.  There is also room for more stuff, which is always a good thing.

Not all of the shed has been tackled yet, but by taking a section each week, it will not be too long before everything not only has a proper place, but we can easily get to it.

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