Shed organization can be tricky when we have more stuff than we have space. These ideas will show you how to organize a shed for maximum storage capacity.

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Figuring out how to organize the inside of a shed requires a bit of forethought. Although storage sheds can be a crucial part of your organizational system, they’re not always given the attention they deserve. 

Picture what the inside of your shed looks like right now. Are you able to walk from the front to the back without issue? Storage and garden sheds can quickly become filled to the brim with outdoor clutter that’s hard to find or access — lawnmowers, tools, rakes, shovels, etc. 

With an open, clean, and organized shed, you can store items more efficiently to find what you need when you need it. We put together a list of shed organization tips, hacks, and ideas to help you make the most out of this underutilized space all year.

1. Use a Magnetic Bar for Tools

shed organization ideas

When it comes to storage shed organization, one of the first questions you’ll want to tackle is: How do you keep your tools organized? 

A great way to organize tools in any type of shed is by making use of a magnetic bar. This storage shed organization hack has long been used to store standard tools, and it’s ideal for storing gardening tools, too. Just make sure to choose a magnetic bar that’s strong enough to hold the tools you’re looking to organize.

2. Hang a Pegboard for Tool Storage

A pegboard is another common, yet underutilized storage shed and tool organization idea. Not only does a pegboard allow each item to be easily found and accessed, but it maximizes your storage shed space by freeing up the floor and taking up virtually no extra space. 

Looking to take on a shed organization DIY? Learn how to build a pegboard for your tools here!

3. Add Open Shelving

DIY Storage Shelves - Blue Totes on Garage Shelves

When you’re left with limited space in a storage shed, it’s important to figure out how to make the most out of every inch. By modifying your shed’s walls with shelves, you can utilize more space to free up your floor and make your shed appear more spacious than it is. 

Want to DIY shelves for your storage shed? To build sturdy shelves, cut plywood to fit the surface area. To store more items, make the shelves deeper or construct shelves from floor to ceiling. 

Here’s a shed organization hack: Our friend Ginger built free–standing shelves for her garage for less than $60! Learn how she did it.

4. Use Hanging Jar Organizers

how to organize a shed: Hanging Jar Organizers

Nails, screws, tacks, and bolts are necessary items every tool shed needs, but those tiny pieces of hardware can easily get lost in the shuffle and sometimes end up on the floor, where you could potentially step on them. To keep them organized, in place, and out of the way, install a hanging jar system. 

We’ve all heard the hype surrounding Mason jars, but any jar with a screw top lid should work for this shed organization DIY. To create this system, fill each jar with your small pieces and attach the lid to the bottom of a shelf. To access the nails and screws, unscrew the jar and lower it carefully.

5. Construct a Rake and Gardening Organizer

Wondering how to organize your garden shed? Yard tools like rakes, shovels, hoes and pitchforks are tough to organize, which is why it’s so easy to let them form into a massive pile on the floor. To keep them out of the way, utilize your garden shed wall space by making a handmade organizer. 

This garden shed DIY is simple: Start by carving divots into pieces of wood planks that each tool fits into. This step will prevent your shovels, rakes and gardening tools from falling as you store them against the shed wall. Then screw the wood right onto your wall. If you’re worried about keeping track of each one of your tools, you may want to label each spot with a marker and duct tape.

6. Contain Chemicals with Storage Boxes

how to organize a shed: chemical storage box

It’s common to have chemicals such as weed killer, pesticide spray, diesel and paints inside storage and garden sheds. However, these are extremely toxic, and some are even flammable in confined spaces. As you’re figuring out how to organize the inside of your shed, prevent these chemicals from contaminating the floor, ground, or even your water supply. 

By placing all of your potentially hazardous chemicals in a storage container in your shed, you can ensure they’re in one place and also kept safe from outside exposure. Heavy-duty plastic bins that are easy to slide in and out are great options for storing these. 

How Should I Store Chemicals In An Outdoor Shed? 

Here are some things to keep in mind when storing and organizing chemicals in your shed: 

  • Keep the chemicals in their original containers, stored in one place together.
  • Keep them out of sunlight and out of reach of pets and children. 
  • If you’re storing fertilizer and fuel in the same close space, be sure that it’s ventilated and that the two aren’t near one another.

7. Reuse a Pallet as a Multi-Purpose Organizer

Pallets are arguably the most versatile accessory, especially when it comes to storage shed organization. They can be made into tables, headboards, vertical gardens, frames, wine storage, tables, and more. If your tool shed lacks a toolbox and you’re looking for a simple, yet effective storage and organization system for your tools, a pallet board and some nails will do the trick. The best part? Pallets are easy to find and often free of charge. 

How to Use a Pallet to Organize Your Tool Shed

To begin this shed organization DIY, take a pallet and smooth it out using a sander. You can leave it natural or paint it depending on your preference. Once it’s ready to go, install it on the wall using a couple of screws. The individual boards are a natural spot to hang hammers and items with handles, but you can also use nails and clamps to hold a variety of other tools.

8. Purchase Free Standing Shelves

Sometimes the simplest way to add storage and organization to a shed is by inserting pre-made shelving units inside. If you plan on storing bulky items or tools, make sure you somehow attach or bolt the units to the wall to stabilize them. Looking for a cheap, DIY shelving option? These wood shelves you can build yourself are an easy fix. 

9. Hang Hose and Cord Organizers

how to organize a tool shed

If you’re planning how to organize a shed, the last thing you need is a headache from all the tangled cords and hoses taking up space on the floor. Using shed organization hooks, shelving units or even PVC pipe to de-clutter your cords and hoses will help you to stay significantly more organized. 

The key here is making sure the hook you have is securely fastened to the wall of your shed. Hose hooks run as cheap as $5-10 from your local hardware store.

10. Hang Garden Tools on the Exterior

shed organization ideas

Don’t forget the most underrated storage sections of a shed — the back of the doors and the exterior walls. Hand shed organization hooks on the doors to organize your most commonly used smaller tools. This way, all you need to do is open the door to get what you need most. To store larger gardening tools like shovels and rakes, mount the hanging storage on an exterior wall. This shed organization idea is most effective if the wall is slightly protected from the elements with a roof overhang.

11. Opt for Wire Shelving

how to organize a shed

Still looking for different shed organization ideas? Consider wire shelving for your garden shed instead of wooden shelves. Wire shelves let the light through, making it easier to find items in spaces where you might not have a lot of light. Wire shelving also stands up to water better than wooden shelves, and you’ll have some level of moisture if your storage area is located outside.

12. Build a Potting Bench or Workbench

For your garden shed to run efficiently, you need an organized place to work even if it’s raining outside. Sheds can be as much a workspace as they are a storage place. The simplest solution is to add a potting bench to your storage shed if it’s large enough. This piece works much like a kitchen counter, providing a surface where you can stand and work. You can make the bench from reclaimed lumber, pallets, or a reused piece of antique furniture. The same applies to a tool shed, but instead of a potting bench, you’ll be building a workbench.

13. Use a Paint Bucket as a Caddy

how to organize a shed

One simple and free shed organization idea is to repurpose a paint bucket as a storage caddy. For example, take a galvanized paint bucket and turn it into a garden hose caddy. You can complete this shed organization hack by drilling a few holes in the bottom of the bucket and screwing the bucket to the wall. Next, wrap a hose around the bucket and store items like paint brushes inside.

14. Add Ventilation Using Chicken Wire

Because stagnant air heats up, too, it’s crucial to ensure that air circulates throughout the shed. However, paint and oil can be flammable or explosive if they get too hot. Windowless sheds protect against trapped sunlight and a superheated interior. 

Remember, a windowless shed doesn’t have to be airtight. Add air vents and cover them with chicken wire to discourage animals while allowing cool air to circulate. During warm months, keep the shed door open while you’re working.

Should I Insulate My Shed? 

On the other hand, you may want to consider insulating your storage or garden shed. Typically done on a shed’s roof, floors, or walls, shed insulation helps with things like temperature regulation, reducing moisture, and blocking strong winds, which can increase your shed’s overall lifespan and durability.

15. Set Up a Slat Wall System

A slat wall organization system is similar to a pegboard, but they are a bit more durable for hanging heavy items like wheelbarrows and bicycles. The slat board runs horizontally across a wall and uses pre-fabricated hooks that fit in the slats to attach things like gardening tools, supplies, and more. Just make sure that your shed is sturdy enough to handle such an installation.

16. Take Advantage of Door Space

If you’ve run out of wall space in your storage shed, taking advantage of the backs of your shed doors is another great organizational tip. Keep clutter off the floors by hanging hooks, baskets, or even small storage cubes on your shed doors for easy access to the tools you use often.

17. Tidy Up Drawer Clutter With Drawer Organizers

Sometimes keeping small items organized can be as simple as arranging them neatly inside a drawer. Costing as low as about $2-5, drawer organizers come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, making them a great way to store everyday tools like screwdrivers, scissors, tape measures, gardening gloves, and more.

18. Give Your Bookshelf A New Purpose

Have an old bookshelf kicking around? Using it inside your storage or garden shed is a great way to introduce organizational shelving into the space. Depending on its size, you can store anything from paint cans and storage bins to toolboxes and gardening tools. 

If you don’t happen to have a bookshelf you’re not currently using, check out our recommendations for the best places to get cheap furniture!

Maximize and Organize Your Storage Shed’s Space

Your shed organization system doesn’t have to be perfect. However, no matter your shed’s dimensions, it should be a functional space. Think you’ve figured out how to organize a shed? With a few of these quick and easy additions, you’ll be able to rid the clutter, maximize your space, and find what you need in no time.

This post was first published on 6/6/2016, was revised on 11/15/2018, and was updated on 8/18/2022 to provide new information.

About the Authors

Emily Malkowski

Emily Malkowski is a writer and SEO strategist living in Buffalo, New York. Having graduated from University at Buffalo with a Bachelor's degree in Communications, her work has appeared in outlets like The American Prospect, Roadtrippers Magazine, Step Out Buffalo, and more.

Lauren Thomann

Lauren Thomann has written about self storage and moving since 2015, making her our storage expert. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in English and Linguistics and has published over 150 articles on moving, storage, and home organization. She is also a contributing writer at The Spruce and Martha Stewart.

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