Body, soul and gardening - organising your shed

As things slow down in the garden, why not take advantage of the lull and organise your shed ready for spring.  Decluttering can make us feel liberated and more in control and has long been linked to well-being.  So, if your shed has got out of hand over the busy summer, streamlining it could be the perfect mood booster. 

The first step is to assess what’s in there, eliminating what you don’t use.  Ideally pick a nice sunny day and lay everything out on a tarpaulin – that way you can give the shed a sweep and even a lick of paint.  On the other hand, you might be the sort of person who prefers shorter sessions.  Try to be ruthless and give things you haven’t used for a year or more to friends or charity – just think of all that lovely space you’ll create.  You may find lost items, a sharpening stone or a hori hori knife… and discover you have three balls of twine and several packets of rose feed, which can be grouped.  This brings us onto the next step – categories.

Once you iidentify your must-have items, organise them by categories such as tools, gardening gloves and boots, seeds and bulbs, trays and pots, twine, plant supports, fertilisers, and larger items such as lawnmowers.

Then, try to find a user-friendly home for everything.  The right shelving will make all the difference – and sheds are a great place to rehouse any shelving or cupboards that don’t fit your home - putting most-used items in the handiest spots, heavy items at floor level and rarely-used things further back or on high up shelves.  Hooks are also great for trowels and secateurs and larger hooks for big tools like spades, forks and brooms.  Tool boards are the ultimate in user- friendly organisation and can be created with a peg board.  A magnetic strip works well for metal tools.  See-through boxes or jam jars are useful for storing smaller items such as plant labels and seeds so that you can see what’s in there at a glance.

As well as lots of cups of tea, a packet of biscuits and a good podcast to keep you going, having a goal in your head, such as a Pinterest image of your dream shed, will keep you motivated.