Just like organizing your closet, organizing your garden shed and outbuildings for seasonal items is a good idea.
Rotating the tools in your shed or garage is as important as rotating the clothes in your closet. I know you probably climb over the winter gear to reach the lawnmower or maybe even the chainsaw and lawnmower to reach the winter supplies.
“I like to put my summer tools away with the first freeze and get my spreader for ice melt and snow shovel ready to use,” says College of Western Idaho horticulturist Dr. Rich Guggenheim. “I will leave them there until I go back in the spring and get the tiller and mower ready for the summer.”
Proper Tool Maintenance
Storing your garden tools according to the season also makes it easier for you to clean and maintain them year-round. Guggenheim points out, failing to maintain your tools can be a costly mistake. “In preparation for the first freeze, I drain the oil and fuel from my gas-powered equipment. I also drain and store hoses, so they don’t crack over winter,” he said.
Have your blades professionally sharpened in the fall, so you can avoid the spring rush when prices often go up. Sharp mower blades are essential for a sharp-looking lawn this summer. Dull blades tear the grass, making it more prone to disease and stress.
It’s tempting to leave your tools next to the garden, so they’re always easy to access. But that leaves the tools prone to theft – and you and neighborhood children prone to accidents. Lawnmowers can be deadly, but so can a rake or shovel propped up against a wall. Before you prune, plant, or preen your garden, make sure you protect yourself against accidental injuries by having a safe place to hang that sharp rake or hedge trimmer.
Slat wall panels can be an invaluable tool for hanging garden tools in the garage. It’s a great way to take easy inventory each year. They also help you keep your garage organized. This quick inventory can keep you from buying a tool you may have forgotten you already have.
Shed Vs. Garage
Having a garden shed allows you to use your garage for parking cars without tripping over rakes and shovels. Slat wall panels can also help you keep the long-handled tools in order.
Other ideas? Turn a filing cabinet into a moveable storage container. Store smaller items like gloves, twine, solar lights, and hooks in a large hanging plant basket that you can suspend from the ceiling. Put a small pallet in the corner of the shed for garden soil, rock salt, and other materials you want to keep dry. The key thing to remember is that all these are portable, so rotating your tools by season will be easier.
Article by Joel Hillan, a TV and radio journalist who’s written for several national publications. He has two backyard sheds: one for his kids’ toys and one for his toys, aka garden tools.