Are you ready to finally clear out, organise and enhance your garden shed with the type of storage space you have been yearning for?
Well now that the Irish season of Imbolc is here, we can safely say it's spring clean time. It’s also time to get that garden pruned back and prepped for the growing season.
You’ll need a decent base from which you can store away your cleaning products, tools and temporarily put away household items whilst decluttering indoors. Guess where? That garden shed of course!
So read on for ways to get your shed in tiptop condition. You’ll thank us later when the weather changes….
Practical Shed Cleaning Tips
First stop? Clean it out with this step-by-step approach:
Declutter and Dump the Junk
Be brutal. Start by removing everything from your shed and create the following piles outside your shed:
- If it’s broken put it outside for your impending trip to the waste centre. This includes WEE items and appliances that you are definitely beyond repair. Watch out for hazardous chemicals or especially anything out of date. These could be flammable or highly hazardous to the environment so dispose of these responsibly
- If you have something in good working order but no longer useful or have never used it, put it in the charity shop pile or donate it to a local social and community enterprise that may need these items. This could be extra tools, or unwanted garden furniture.
- You may even decide to do a yard sale or offload unused items in Facebook’s marketplace or on Donedeal.ie (especially if you have 2 of the same thing). So put these items aside separately
- A pile of shed contents you will keep, restore and bring back in, once you’re done cleaning out the shed which brings us too…
Sweep it, Dust it, Wipe it Down and Hose it
So now you’re ready to do some deep cleaning in your shed.
- Start by dusting off the cobwebs from the ceilings, doors, and corners. Sweep away debris off the floor. A strong wire brush, ideally with a long extendable handle or a simple vacuum cleaner with a long extendable hose will do this job.
- Do watch out for any nests or creatures that may have made this shed their home over the winter. Stop future nests by mice or spiders from recurring by sealing any cardboard boxes in your shed, with packing tape. Check in between Planters and unused containers.
- Wipe, wash down and polish the windows.
- Start hosing down once dusted. You may want to apply something stronger than the garden hose like the pressure washer. We suggest investing in one of these because there’s no end of places that you can apply this to - from paving to decking to clearing out corners and gutters.
Restore Fixtures and Equipment to Former Glory
Save more time by getting more hands on deck. The others could be cleaning or wiping down the tools and equipment outside whilst you’re cleaning the inside.
- Clean your garden tools off accumulated dirt, debris and moss before returning them to your shed with a wire brush.
- Removing rust spots would be a key priority. Why? Well, the rust eats into the metal leaving holes and rendering your metal panels permanently useless. It’s also not safe to have rusty objects lying around in case someone does get infected or cut by a protruding fixture or rusty equipment. Did you know you could use a non-toxic paste comprising of baking soda and lemon juice to remove rust spots with a brush.
- Protect your tools once cleaned of rust by rubbing them with an oil or spray them with a lubricant.
- If you have metal shed walls, shed roof or metal fixtures in your shed, you may want to remove the rust spots on the exterior walls as this would be an eyesore ruining the view of your back garden.
- Protect your shed walls now that you have cleaned them by painting them outside and even inside if you can spare the time with a protective shed/garden paint . Use a decent exterior paint designed to protect against weather and mildew. Check our shopping list below for a range of options!
Smart Ways to Organise your Shed
But before you start filling it up again, you may want to do some repairs. Install a few storage hacks to squeeze the most utility from your shed storage space.
- Think about the floor. Will you need to repair anything or re-line your shed with a safer more durable flooring option? You may want to refresh rotted plywood floors with fresh wooden slats or use leftover wooden flooring from a previous project. Alternatively consider durable and easy-to clean Vinyl Roll Out Shed Flooring.
- You may have shelves that have already been installed. Ask yourself if they need rearranging or repairing.
- You could add another layer of floating shelves right up to the top to maximise storage space on that wall. Bear in mind the distance between shelves must vary to allow for different sized equipment. Be cognizant of the strength of your shed walls and whether they can withstand the load.
- Mount more hooks. The more effective your wall storage, the more floorspace you will be freeing up for heavier items.
- Not all hooks are created equal so be sure to get advice from your local hardware supplier on the various strengths of the hooks used.
- You may want to leave one wall free of shelves for all your hanging items
- Bigger ones can be mounted on the shed walls used for hanging larger equipment like gardening appliances, gardening rakes and bicycles.
- Smaller hooks can be hung underneath or at the edge of wooden shelves too for smaller items like incidental gardening tools or DIY tools.
- Consider using clear stackable plastic containers to hold small items that need to be safely secured in a watertight container and protected from mould. Just sort these items by task or type of article. You can also place smaller bins on shelves. This prevents them from falling behind larger items in your shed.
- Do label storage boxes and bins clearly ideally using the durable waterproof label maker. This prevents you from having to look inside multiple containers to find one thing.
- Estimate the empty floor space you will need too. This is necessary for large heavy items like storage bins, lawn mowers, BBQs, Gazebo packs or heavy tool boxes.
Clever Shed Storage Tactics
Once you have cleared out the shed and installed some cool storage solutions, you’re ready to fill it up again.
- This is where you stand back and think about which items you will be using more often. Try to put the most frequently used items at the front of the shed and the more infrequent occasional items like gazebos at the back.
- Be mindful of the floor space you will need to manoeuvre around. Create a sufficient pathway for moving things in and out from the door to the back of the shed. You do not want a shed that forces you to remove multiple obstacles, just to get access to items at the back, every single time.
Checklist For Your Shed Cleanout Project