Cleaning out an old shed can be a hassle. When a shed is really messy, it can be difficult to make decisions on how to organize items. I am a saver. I am also creative, so just about everything has potential use somewhere in the depths of my brain. So I need help organizing and figuring out how to throw away certain items. When it comes to the shed, it’s even harder. Out of sight, out of mind. But there are plenty of times when I think to myself, “Wow, I really need to get this shed organized!” And I’m betting that there are plenty of others out there just like me.
A Resolution to Clean out My Backyard Shed
This year I made a mid-season resolution to clean out my shed. I figured with the holidays coming up, it’s likely I’d be making several trips to the shed to pull in and pull out holiday decorations. So I thought, “Why not take some time and get it organized this year so it’s not quite so painful next year at this time?”
What to Throw Away…
When doing a massive cleaning of a shed, the first thing you do it find all the things you can throw away. Cleaning and organizing will go more smoothly if you’ve gotten rid of things you don’t need. This is always my favorite part. Throwing away junk is so cathartic. It gives me a sense of real accomplishment, energizing me for the next part.
Throw away anything hazardous. Expired cleaners; old paint; dried up liquid items are all good places to start with the trash can. Look first at expiration dates or and shake to make sure that things are still good or haven’t evaporated. Make sure you dispose of these items safely.
Empty your shed of any recyclables that may have piled up.
Throw away any paper that you can. All the organizing and hoarding websites agree. Paper tends to stack up. But storing it in a shed is never a good idea. Paper goods can fall apart easily due to weather. It gets moldy and dirty. It attracts pests. They eat it and burrow in it for bedding. Books, magazines, old paperwork, wrapping paper and holiday decorations should either be stored inside or thrown away. Paperwork can be digitized. Books and magazines can be given away or recycled. And holiday decor can be stored elsewhere.
What to Organize in a Storage Shed…
Once you’ve thrown away everything you can, now you’ve got more room! Now for the hard part. I hate to organize! But it must be done.
Organize all your seasonal items. Find an organizational and/or rotating system for your seasonal items. Get a shed with a loft.
Now it’s time to make some decisions. Can you organize everything within reach? If so, then it’s a good idea to lump each season together and organize it in one shelf or one area of the shed.
There’s no need to make four spots, make two. Spring and summer go together. While fall and winter make a good pair. These seasons tend to have the same items back to back. Give each season it’s own shelf or half of a shelf, depending on space.
If you need a rotating system, organize items with a little more tedium. Shelves can rotate items based on month. For instance, in the spring/summer section, put your gardening/yard items out in front of the backyard toys. Gardening and yardwork tends to get done earlier in the year. And by the time you’re in the maintenance groove, it’s time to get out the kiddie pool.
For the fall, store your holiday decorations in boxes labeled by each holiday. Don’t lump them together.
Keep your tools, but check to make sure they are in working order. If you have any that you truly never use, get rid of them. Hang tools on a tool rack along the walls out of reach from little hands and off the floor to keep pests from chewing on cords.
What to Sell/Give Away…
Almost inevitably, if you’ve had your shed for years, it’s likely you’ve got some bulky items in there taking up space. That old exercise machine that you keep telling yourself you’re going to use? Old kids’ bikes? Play equipment that needs to be fixed? Old yard equipment? If it’s not being used or it’s not in working condition, get rid of it. Sell it. Donate it. But move it out. Considering selling your items on Craigslist, Ebay or Amazon. There are many non-profit organizations you can donate to as well such as Vietnam Veterans of America and Goodwill.
Get your Shed Cleaned Out this Fall Before it’s too Late!
Doesn’t it feel great to have a clean shed? Just imagine how much nicer the holiday season will feel when you aren’t tripping over boxes and toys to put away decorations. Fall is a great time to clean out your shed. And come next spring, you won’t have any excuses to get your gardening started early. You’ll be ready.
Sometimes, replacing your old shed with a new one might solve all of your storage and organization problems.