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How to Organize a Storage Shed - Organization Ideas

How to Organize a Storage Shed: 15 Ideas

A storage shed is a great way to keep all your outdoor tools, equipment, and supplies organized and protected. But without proper storage and organization, your shed can quickly become a jumbled mess of clutter. An organized shed allows you to maximize your storage capacity so you can find what you need when you need it.

This ultimate guide covers everything you need to know to get your storage shed organized and tidy. Read this article and you’ll find plenty of ideas to help organize your shed and make the most of your space.

Key Takeaways:

  • Assess your shed's layout and storage needs before organizing. Make a list of items to store and evaluate space.
  • Maximize vertical storage with wall-mounted shelves, cabinets, toolboards, and overhead racks. Get items off the floor.
  • Group like items in labeled bins and designated zones for lawn care, gardening, sports equipment, etc.
  • Add visibility with windows, skylights, and lighting so you can easily see the contents.
  • Maintain regular tidying, purging unneeded items, and adjusting storage when needs change.
white storage shed with shelves with pots inside

    Assess Your Storage Shed Layout and Needs

    Before you start organizing your shed, take some time to assess your shed's current layout and determine how you want to use the space. Consider the following:

    • What will be stored in the shed? Garden tools, outdoor sports gear, lawn equipment, seasonal decorations? Making a list will help you plan.

    • What is the current storage situation? Are some items already organized while others are a jumbled mess?

    • How much floor space, wall surface, and height do you have to work with?

    • Are there any pain points like not being able to find items easily?

    • Do you need access to certain items more frequently?

    Once you’ve evaluated your needs, you can start planning an organization system and storage system that will work best for your shed.

    Clean Out and Organize by Categories

    The first step in any organization project is to completely empty the space and clean it out. Getting rid of clutter is key for a tidy shed. Go through every item and ask yourself:

    • Do I really need or use this item?
    • Does it work and is it in good condition?
    • Would it be better stored somewhere else?

    Set up an area outside your shed and organize items into categories as you remove them. Have boxes or bins for:

    • Lawn and garden tools
    • Outdoor sports equipment
    • Seasonal décor and supplies
    • Electric cables and wires
    • Chemicals, cleaners, automotive supplies
    • General household items that have migrated to the shed

    Once everything is out, thoroughly sweep the dust, and wash it down. Consider adding fresh paint or a coat of sealer if needed. Now you have a blank slate to work with.

    storage shed interior with shelves and tools

    1. Maximize Vertical Wall Space with Shelves, Hooks, and Panels

    One of the best ways to optimize storage in a shed is to take advantage of vertical storage space. You can store a lot more when you store items up off the floor. Some excellent options include:

    Wall-Mounted Shelves

    • Great for stackable items like containers and bins
    • Can be fully open or have retaining lips
    • Wood, metal, or plastic materials

    Floating Shelves

    • Add storage for smaller items
    • Easy DIY project using brackets
    • Stagger heights for visual interest

    Slatwall Panels

    • Customizable storage using hooks and baskets
    • Easy to rearrange components
    • More heavy-duty than tool board


    • Versatile and customizable storage
    • Great for hanging tools with pegboard hooks
    • Combine with bins, baskets, and shelves

    Wall Tool Racks

    • Made for brooms, rakes, and shovels
    • Keep long-handled tools neat and accessible
    • Can be DIY from wood or metal strips

    Cabinet Storage

    • Add enclosed storage for chemicals, valuables
    • Wall cabinets, tall lockers, cubbies
    • Opt for ventilated cabinets for paints, solvents

    Mix and match these options to create the perfect storage option for your shed's needs. Make sure to leave some open wall space too.  

    Here are some pros and cons for these different vertical space storage ideas:

    Storage Type Pros Cons Items to Store
    Wall shelves Customizable sizes, easy installation Fixed position, weight limits Containers, bins
    Pegboard Flexible arrangement, great for tools Items may fall off, delicate Lightweight tools, accessories
    Slatwall Heavy duty, easily rearrangeable Pricier than other options Sports gear, hardware
    Tool racks Purpose-built for long tools Limited in what can be stored Shovels, rakes, brooms


    2. Use the Shed Door for Handy Tool Storage

    Don’t forget about the shed door when planning your storage system. Use the back of the door to store hand tools, gloves, safety goggles, and other items you use frequently.

    • Use tool organizers that hang over the top of the door
    • Add a tool board to the door to hang small tools
    • Use hooks on the door to hang items like tape measures and dustpans
    • Shelves across the width of the door provide a spot for buckets, spray bottles, and containers

    This makes it easy to grab what you need on your way in and out.

    3. Add a Workbench, Table, or Shelving Unit

    Having a designated work area in your shed is essential for tasks like potting plants, fixing equipment, and working on DIY projects.


    • Sturdy surface for tasks that require securing items
    • Look for height adjustability
    • Can integrate storage like shelves, cabinets, and drawers

    Fold-Down Work Tables

    • Save floor space when folded up
    • Great for small sheds
    • Mount to the wall at a comfortable work height

    Shelving Units

    • Provide storage and work surfaces
    • Freestanding units can be positioned as needed
    • Utility shelves have lower shelves for supplies and upper shelves for workspace

    Position your workstation to take advantage of natural light from windows and doors while keeping high-traffic areas clear.

    4. Use Overhead Storage for Long-Handled Tools

    Long tools like rakes, hoes, and brooms can be stored overhead to keep them up and out of the way.

    • Use racks, hooks, or clamps mounted to ceiling joists
    • Can also mount horizontally on the wall near the ceiling
    • Allows tools to be stored handle-side up for tidy access

    Leave handles overlapping for space efficiency. This vertical storage is ideal for small garden sheds.

    5. Stackable Plastic Bins Offer Modular Storage

    Plastic storage bins are ideal for keeping like items together and separating supplies. Labeled bins help you organize and find things quickly.

    • Stack them on shelves, benches, or the floor
    • Can add locking wheels for mobile storage
    • Clear bins allow you to easily see the contents

    Bins keep items corralled while saving floor space since they stack vertically. They come in many sizes to suit your needs.

    6. Use Pegboard, Shelves, and Cabinets for Garage/Shed Chemicals and Paints

    Storing household chemicals, automotive fluids, paints, cleaners, and garden chemicals in your shed requires smart organization for safety.

    • Keep them completely separate from food items
    • Use enclosed cabinets or heavy-duty shelving
    • Make sure containers are properly sealed and labeled
    • Store up high if you have children accessing the shed
    • Use ventilated cabinets to reduce fumes

    Never store hazardous chemicals with lawn/garden supplies. And check local regulations for proper hazardous material storage guidelines.

    7. Maximize Floor Space with Wall-Mounted or Ceiling Storage

    Lifting storage off the floor is the best way to maximize usable floor space. The more you can store on walls, overhead, and on existing fixed surfaces, the more open floor you’ll have.

    Shelving Racks

    • Freestanding units on wheels for flexible storage
    • Easy to move out of the way for large items or projects
    • Great for sports gear, containers, or supplies

    Hanging Storage Racks

    • Racks mounted to the studs hold long items
    • Can hang cables, PVC pipe, lumber, and more
    • Easy access but up and out of the way

    Track Storage Systems

    • Ceiling-mounted tracks with hooks
    • Lets you customize hooks and height for items
    • Easy to reposition hooks as needed

    Chest Freezers

    • Utilize the top for additional storage
    • Just be sure to not overload the lid
    • Great for storing lightweight outdoor cushions, tarps, etc.

    Think vertically to get stuff up off the floor! The fewer items stored on the floor, the easier it is to clean and move around in the shed.

    8. Design Flexible Zones to Keep Like Items Together

    Grouping similar items together in designated areas or zones makes your setup more efficient. Some zones to consider:

    • Lawn care (mower, fertilizer spreader, etc.)
    • Gardening (tools, knee pads, gloves, supplies)
    • Sports/camping/seasonal
    • Workshop area
    • Painting station
    • Pet care area

    Use shelves, cabinets, or dividers to define the zones. This grouping by category helps keep things tidy so items can be found and returned quickly. Leave room for adjustments as storage needs evolve.

    9. Corral Extension Cords and Hoses Neatly

    Unruly extension cords, conduits, and cables can quickly lead to tangled messes and safety hazards. Keep them neat with storage options like:

    • Hose reels or wall-mounted racks
    • Retractable tube coilers and hanger hooks
    • Cord and cable holders
    • Mounted dispensers with cutters

    Proper storage not only prevents clutter but also protects cords from damage. And you’ll eliminate frustrating tangles and wasted time when everything has a dedicated storage spot.

    10. Use Wall-Mounted Tool Organizers Outside the Shed

    Don’t limit storage to just inside your shed. Use exterior panels for organizers that hold often-used tools and supplies. This provides easy access without constantly opening the shed.

    • Pegwall, slatwall, or perforated metal panels
    • Tool holders, hooks, baskets
    • Fertilizer/plant food caddies
    • Hose hooks and reels
    • Trash can holder
    • Charge station for electric tools

    Carefully measure the area to buy a holder that fits or DIY one from wood or plastic. Place out of direct sun and rain.

    11. Add Windows or Skylights for Better Visibility

    It’s hard to keep a shed organized if you can’t see what’s inside. Windows and skylights improve visibility and let in natural light.

    • Windows in the doors, on side walls, or in the back
    • Skylights or roof panels directly admit overhead light

    If adding new openings isn't feasible, consider installing battery-powered or electric lighting. Just be sure lights and any electrical cords are properly installed and rated for damp locations.

    12. Incorporate Portable Organizers for Flexibility

    Sometimes modular, portable organizers are useful for adapting to evolving storage needs without permanent installation.

    • Plastic storage cubes for stacking and rearranging
    • Durable storage trunks on wheels or casters
    • Multi-tiered wheeled carts for easy mobility
    • Portable shelving units like wire racks or cubes

    Having a few portable pieces allows you to reconfigure your setup as needed. They also provide extra storage for seasonal items that are moved in and out frequently.

    13. Add a Ramp for Easier Access

    Sheds placed high above ground level help protect contents from moisture but make it hard to move large equipment or supplies in and out. Adding a ramp resolves this.

    However, ramps aren't the only solution for making your shed layout more functional and user-friendly. There are a variety of other enhancements you can make as well. For example:

    Issue Solution
    High shed floor Permanent or portable ramp
    Low clearance door Barn-style sliding door
    Narrow door Widen door
    Climbing stairs Install railings
    Poor lighting Motion-activated exterior lights

      14. Use Labels and Visual Cues to Designate Spots

      An organized shed relies on everything having an assigned spot to be returned to. Help remind yourself and others where items belong with labels.

      • Painted outlines
      • Vinyl lettering
      • Signs and labels
      • Chalkboard areas
      • Magnets

      Also use visual cues like color coding, naming shelves, or using pictures. Labels and visuals eliminate guessing and keep everyone consistent.

      15. Maintain Organization with Regular Tidying and Purging

      An organized shed doesn’t happen overnight. Expect this to be an evolving project requiring occasional maintenance and adjustments.

      • Schedule time each season for tidying and rearrangement
      • Do a purge yearly to eliminate unnecessary items
      • Reassess storage needs if new items are added
      • Adjust organizing solutions as hobbies and interests change

      Making organization a habit, keeping clutter under control, and being willing to modify your systems are key to long-term success.

      wooden storage shed with shelves garden tools inside


      Follow this guide and soon you’ll have a storage shed that is tidy, efficient, and able to house all your valuables. The effort is well worth it for peace of mind knowing exactly where to find what you need.

      So don’t let your shed become a black hole of disorganization. Get excited about all the possibilities for smart storage and organization solutions. With some planning and elbow grease, you can transform your shed into a functional space that makes your outdoor projects easier.


      What are some good storage solutions for small items like nuts, bolts, and garden supplies?

      Use organizer bins, cabinets with drawers, wall-mounted shelves, or pegboards with small hooks to keep hardware, garden supplies, and other small items organized and easily accessible. 

      What kind of DIY storage solutions can I build to organize my garden tools? 

      DIY storage system for garden tools includes a pegboard tool wall, overturned gutters mounted to the wall to hold tools or a slat wall panel with customized fastener and shelving.

      What are some good ways to use pallet wood when organizing my shed?

      You can make pallet collages for hanging tools, a pallet bench, a storage rack, or even bins and boxes. Pallets are very versatile!

      What are some tips for maintaining organization in my shed?

      Make a habit of putting items back where they belong, do an annual purge of unneeded items, reassess needs seasonally, and adjust storage arrangements as hobbies change.

      How can I add more overhead storage in my shed? 

      Install racks and rails on your shed ceiling and walls to hang items like bicycles, lumber, hoses, and long tools vertically and up out of the way.

      Previous article How to Convert a Storage Shed into a Home Office in 10 Easy Steps
      Next article How to Keep Bugs and Pests Out of Your Storage Shed

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      About The Author

      Andy Wu - Resident Expert

      Andy Wu - Resident Expert

      Andy Wu is the resident backyard products expert and hails from Atlanta, Georgia. His passion for crafting outdoor retreats began in 2003.

      As a fellow homeowner, he founded Backyard Oasis to provide top-quality furnishings and equipment, collaborating with leading manufacturers.

      His main focus is on sheds and generators!

      In his spare time he like to hike the tallest mountains in the world and travel with his family.

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