The garage and shed are seldom given as much organizational thought as their indoor counterparts. They are also prime spaces to dump items for future sorting. Here's how to keep these areas helpful and streamlined through the seasons.
A hammer and nails are easy to find if everything is kept in its place. Create that place by marking the outlines of tools on a garage wall or above your workbench.
A pegboard organizes tools and brooms, while a metal cart serves as a mobile workbench. Adjustable shelves display an assortment of containers, including a painted wooden box that stores glue; glass jars contain small hardware. And the pan of sand on the floor catches oil drips from the car.
Take this idea for a spin: Use a bike basket to corral tools in the garden shed. It’s sturdy, charming, and just the right size to hold gloves, twine, and other essentials. An old basket that’s missing its straps is perfect for the job, but you could also use a new one. Hang the basket by its handlebar-strap holes on pegs in the wall.
Battle rust-causing moisture with this surprising tool-kit addition: charcoal briquettes. These barbecue staples absorb dampness, common in garages and basements where tools are often stored. The briquettes tend to shed dust, however, so place them in a fabric bag before adding them to your box of tools.
Magnetic knife holders sold at kitchen-supply stores can be mounted to the wall with a few screws and will keep paintbrush bristles from being squashed. Hang the brushes bristle end down for proper drying and to minimize the amount of dust that collects between the bristles. You can also store other metal tools and utensils this way.
Create custom cabinetry in your garden shed with vintage wine crates from flea markets or online auctions.
Stack them horizontally and vertically, using some as bases to vary heights. Once you've established a layout, connect crates with wood screws and collars near the corners. Use cup hooks to hang smaller items, such as trowels, funnels, and scissors. If your need for storage grows, you can easily reconfigure the system.
A galvanized paint bucket makes a practical and inexpensive caddy for a garden hose and sprinkler.
Drill three holes in a triangular pattern in the bottom of the bucket. Depending on your wall, bolt or screw the bucket to the wall; strengthen the cut edges of the holes with washers.
Make the most of the space you have, including the wall. In this one-car garage, rubber-coated hooks hold a coiled hose and ladder; bungee cords stretched between studs create even more storage. A shovel is kept on a wall shelf. Another idea: Hang bikes by their frames on ladder hooks on the wall, and use the space behind the door for storing flat items, such as folding chairs.
Keep unruly balls of twine in line with big aluminum funnels, which serve as organizers and dispensers.
Hammer a nail through each funnel near the top lip, attaching it to the wall of a shed or back of a door. Place a ball of twine or string in each one; run the ends out the spouts.
A sand-filled trough will keep small garden tools from vanishing -- and keep them in good working order.
Fill a trough or other container with sand to 1 inch from top. Pour in about 1/4 cup of motor oil (sand should have a slightly moist texture); stir. When returning tools to the trough, wipe them with a rag. The sand will keep tools clean and sharp, and the oil will keep them rust-free.
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