If you’re a homeowner, you probably have some kind of outbuilding on your property. Many of us make use of a shed by storing our gardening and outdoor supplies there. However, as a detached outbuilding, it can be really difficult to keep it as an effective, usable space. Often, we allow it to fall into disrepair. Sometimes, it becomes an absolute eyesore that eventually houses nothing more than broken tools and lots of spiders.
Here are some ideas for really putting that shed to use and making it a space that serves you and enriches your life!
As mentioned above, most of us use sheds to store our tools, especially in the winter when they’re not in use. However, few of us are really using the space to best effect.
- Install hooks for tall tools. Digging through tangled-up gardening tools is one of the most obnoxious things in the world, right? You can’t reach the hedge clippers until you disengage the hoe, apple-picker, and rake from each other, and get some old tarp out of the way. Instead, have everything displayed on the walls so that they have a clear place, and you can actually walk around on the floor.
- Clean gardening supplies every year. Before you shut everything up at the end of the growing season, always take some time to clean your tools. Not only does this make your shed much cleaner and more functional, but it also keeps your supplies in better shape, preventing rust and and the frequent disrepair that requires you to replace them over and over again. If you properly clean and store your tools, you’ll be able to launch straight into the best parts of gardening when next spring comes!
- Use creative organization. There are so many ways to make the most of a small space. This link has some great ideas.
One of the best ways to really utilize the shed is to turn it into a space that’s perfect for your projects. Instead of just storing things there that you take out to use elsewhere, you can utilize the space as an active workzone. This means that if you’re redoing furniture, teaching yourself to paint, putting together a model airplane, or building a shelf, your shed could be the perfect place to have an in-progress work protected and put aside. There are just a few things that you can do to make this shed seem like a workable area.
- Do a bit of weatherproofing. Sheds are usually not very airtight, which makes it easy for dirt, pests, and cold to get in. In order to make the space more comfortable, you can add caulking to the cracks and spaces, put a carpet on the floor, and some weather stripping around the door.
- Wire it for electricity. It’s hard to get things done out there if you can’t have overhead light, a charger, or a place to plug in electric tools. It’s easier than you think to wire an outbuilding for electricity. Running the wires through a rigid metal conduit (RMC) will protect the connection and prevent you from having to dig too far down. Just make sure that you get the proper permits, and hire an electrician to do the final connection to your central electrical panel.
- Install some shelves and a work table. If you don’t want to do any extra technical work, you might just purchase sturdy, industrial-style shelves that you can easily assemble inside of the space. Once you have these work stations set up, it will be almost irresistible to get to work.
Get Away from It All
Have you heard about the she-shed revolution? Rebelling against the “man-cave,” women everywhere have found new freedom by claiming a space outside of the home just to be by themselves. It’s a place where you don’t have to be on call for all the questions and minor disasters that the family has inside. You’re not cleaning up after anyone, or moderating the inevitable arguments that children will have. Instead, you can set up this area with a comfortable couch, a shelf of your favorite books, perhaps some notebooks for writing and sketching. Take some time out here to work on something for yourself, and decompress after a busy day.