Shed life (in praise of the man cave)

LEM Image 082For some there is no greater joy in the world than spending hours in the backyard shed creating. But what if you have created a mess, rather than a place of creativity?

Need a project for the weekend? Let’s have a little look at some basic guidelines for organising the smaller castle called the backyard shed.

When it comes to organising the shed the principles remain the same as de-cluttering and organising any other room in the house. Divide and conquer!

It’s about looking at the space and creating zones. You may think you know the zones you need, however, sometimes a good de-clutter can reveal activities you don’t do anymore or may want to do again that you had totally forgotten about.

Step 1Remove everything. Make sure it is a dry day and use the space outside to lie out all the contents of the shed. Give the shed a good sweep, get rid of cobwebs and mould and do any necessary repairs to the building itself.

Step 2Categorise. Create some sort piles on the lawn or driveway to help you to group items.

Here are some to get you started:

  • gardening equipment
  • automotive supplies
  • sports equipment
  • electrical tools
  • carpentry tools
  • pool maintenance
  • plumbing supplies
  • painting equipment
  • home maintenance general
  • outdoor play equipment
  • picnic, beach and camping gear
  • cleaning equipment and supplies
  • christmas décor and lights
  • miscellaneous storage

Step 3De-clutter. Consider what can be donated and have some spare boxes and bags to transport these items. One note on donations, most do not accept electrical goods for the obvious risks associated. You may also  want to have a look at what could be sold or given to family or friends. If you do need to throw things away,  please remember your environmental impact when discarding chemicals and other dangerous objects.  Also consider exactly what can go into your council bin. Contact your local council for advice if unsure. The rest will have to have a home in the shed and be stored correctly.

Step 4Re-house what is left. Now you can assess what containers, hooks and shelves etc. you will need to effectively store everything. Try and recycle containers you already have to house some items where possible. If you need to make a list of items to purchase, take measurements before you leave. When putting things back, consider things such as object weight, safe reachable heights, ergonomics and safety and where possible keep items in their zones and label for easy retrieval.

Step 5:  Plan your next project from your great new shed!

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