Tag Archives: Shelves

Organize backyard garden shed

Garden Shed

As summer arrives and the yard and garden beckon, the problem of the jumbled storage shed becomes apparent. Fortunately, a few easy tips can help you make your shed an asset instead of a hindrance.

The key is organization. Four walls and a roof will protect your tools from the elements, but finding what you want when you want it may be a chore. Often sheds are used as extra storage space for items which, upon reflection, are not really needed at all. Cleaning out your shed and adding some built in organizers can make all the difference.

The first step to a better organized shed is to clear out the rubbish. Items that you really need to keep may be better stored in your house. Anything you haven’t used in over a year may be unnecessary to your life! Consider carefully each item and its use to you. Does it pull its weight in exchange for the space it occupies?

Sentiment often makes us hold on to belongings that would be better off finding new homes. Consider donating items you simply cannot bring yourself to throw away; some-one else may be grateful to have them and you can enjoy the thought that they still have value. Check with your local charities, or see if your community has a trade off recycling program.

Any items that remain to be stored can be put in identically sized bins with lids, and filed away for future reference. Any shelving you install can be easily customized so that the bins will fit neatly. This makes retrieval a snap! Label the visible sides, and post a list inside the door that will help you remember which bin holds what.

Once you have narrowed down the items you need to store, you can begin to plan your new shelving system. Wall to wall and ceiling to floor shelves yield the maximum storage space. Depending on the size and shape of your shed, your best bet may be to install this type of shelving on the back wall as well as along one side.

Long-handled tools such as rakes, spades and shovels should hang on the remaining wall. A pegboard can be installed for smaller tools. A garden caddy can hold miscellaneous items: gloves, seed packets, and even a tube of sunscreen or a hat.

If you do a lot of gardening, you may wish to customize your shed a little. Adding a small potting bench or table can make a corner into a handy workstation. Add shelves above to store pots, and bins below for soil and fertilizer.

If your shed is too small for such project, consider building one on the exterior against one of the walls. Mount a piece of lattice to hang your tools, or add hooks to the sides of the bench itself. A waterproof bin can be utilized for soil and additives.

Once you have organized your shed, every lawn and garden chore will be that much easier. By utilizing your space to its highest potential, you avoid wasted time and frustration. The hours saved by not having to dig through the shed for an elusive tool can be spent on that special gardening project instead!

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Practical garage organization

Dear Kathi,

I have a garage for the first time and I want to organize it in the most practical way. What are your suggestions? I’m sure some things are supposed to be in the front and others in the back. I need to do laundry and park my car and would like it to be functional and easy to keep tidy.
Keith, San Marcos

Keith,

Determine what activities will take place in your garage before you begin to plan the layout. Your garage will include a laundry area, but will it also store sports equipment, garden supplies, holiday décor? Will it feature a workout or workshop area?

Once you have listed the different items you will keep in your garage, you can create a practical plan for each zone within your space. For instance, position your laundry area closest to the interior door. Gardening supplies and lawnmower should be towards the front or side of the garage to keep the dirt toward the outer perimeter and away from the laundry zone.

Every garage should include some type of storage. Does your garage have pre-existing shelving or cabinets? If possible, use an entire wall for storage. Use every inch of vertical space, ceiling to floor and if possible wall to wall. Buy the tallest available cabinets or shelves to totally optimize the space along that wall. If you still have overhead space after installing these cabinets, consider running another shelf above to hold holiday boxes or tax archives.

Cabinets/shelves are typically 20-24 inches deep and should fit easily along the wall where you will park the car. Using this wall for storage will keep lawnmowers etc from banging into your car door.

When you think your plan is complete, look again at the space above each zone. You can never have too much storage. Consider adding more shelving in the areas that have empty wall space or above the garage door. There are companies that specialize in overhead garage door storage units. This storage area works well for large items like skis, extra lumber and building supplies.

Bicycles can be hung from the ceiling using a hook, pulley and rope system. Use a boat cleat to tie them off to a sidewall once they are hoisted above head level. A quick-release rappel cleat (found at any outdoor store) will quickly attach or release the bike from the rope.

When you design your laundry area, install shelving above the washer and dryer. This will hold your extra cleaning supplies and possibly paper towels and toilet paper if you buy it in bulk. If there is extra space, consider adding a thin rolling shelf between the machines for everyday detergents and fabric softener.

Make sure to have some type of large horizontal space in your laundry zone. The ultimate solution is to buy or build a large 36″ high counter top. This will help your back and provide a convenient space to fold and hold laundry. If space is tight, an ironing board will also work for folding laundry. This board can be stored vertically and hung on a wall when not in use. You could install an ironing board system that fits in between your wall studs. It lives behind a door and folds open when it is needed.

Garden supplies can be stacked neatly in two rows of large plastic bins with lids. Extra potting soil, mixes and pots can be stored in the two bottom bins. Tools, seeds and bulbs can be stored neatly within the top bins. Sectionalize your smaller items within the larger bins with ziplock baggies and smaller shoebox size bins. Keep an empty plastic bin on top of this stack to use for potting plants. By the time you have stacked three of these bins on top of each other, you have a convenient waist-high workstation.

Feel free to write again if you need additional information about planning your garage. Have fun and remember, a little build-out and preplanning will make using your new-found space much more enjoyable.

Kathi is a professional organizer, image consultant and event planner based in San Diego California.

Please submit your questions to: advice@addspacetoyourlife.com

San Diego Professional Organizer

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Why Being Organized Can Make You Healthier

Having a cluttered home makes it very difficult to find what you are looking for. Living in clutter can also cause stress and other health problems. It is not uncommon for individuals to purchase furniture to help them get organized. For example, a bedroom vanity can help someone who wants to organize his or her bedroom, and it can enhance the décor of the bedroom as well.

Purchasing furniture to keep your rooms organized is a good idea; however, individuals who have excessive items in their homes tend to clutter up the shelves and top surfaces of their furniture as well as the floor space around it. This diminishes the look of the furniture, ruins the décor of the room, and causes the home to look unkempt and be unsanitary.

Many individuals have a strong desire to collect things. When buying collectibles, people do not think about the day they will have to part with these items. In fact, most people have difficulties parting with material items, particularly those with sentimental value. The inability to get rid of things that are no longer being used is the primary reason for clutter in many homes around the world.

When people fail to throw away items that are no longer in use, they tend to store them in areas of the home where there is extra space. Extra bedrooms, basements, attics, and closets are just some of the areas where people store clutter. Once these spaces fill up, individuals generally begin storing items in visible areas, including living rooms, dens, porches, and backyards. Some individuals may even purchase extra furniture for the sole purpose of stuffing them with things.

When individuals continuously purchase new items and never get rid of old items, clutter starts to build, and it builds quickly. Excessive clutter in the home often causes anxiety, and ongoing stress. Disorganization is a major cause of stress, according to many experts. The time and effort that it takes to look for items that are not easily findable can cause your heart rate to increase and making you feel flustered. According to a study performed at Yale, individuals who hoard items (or live in cluttered environments )have much higher risks of depression and can develop attention deficit disorder during adulthood.

Pests and bugs tend to gravitate towards clutter as well. Mice, rats, cockroaches, silverfish, spiders, and ants hide in cluttered areas to escape from predators. They often build nests and reproduce in these cluttered areas. Individuals exposed to their excrement can develop allergies, rashes, and unknown illnesses. The excrement created by small pests is often microscopic, making it impossible to see. Many individuals who knowingly live with these pests set traps and spray insecticides, which can lead to respiratory issues. The best way to deal with this problem is to clear the cluttered area completely to get rid of the bugs and pests.

Staying organized and periodically getting rid of excess items is the best way to keep a home free of clutter. Keeping a clutter-free home is a surefire way to ensure that your home is a beautiful and healthy environment to live in.

Miguel is an avid blogger, father of 2, and recent proud homeowner. He loves studying architecture, home design and decor and plans to one day buy a custom house plan to build his dream home.

 

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A Multipurpose Home Business, Crafts and Laundry Room

Situation

This room needed to function as a laundry room, crafts and storage area as well as the production area for a home-based business. Although the home is beautiful, it is small craftsman built back when closets and all rooms were very small.

Challenge

My client has a popular line of gorgeous baby accessories including burp towels and bibs but does not have a lot of room to create and sew as the orders come in.

Solution

We divided and conquered this room by first determining which activities were most important within this space. After deciding that the home-based business needed as much space as possible, we re-contained and moved every unrelated item up and off the counter and into the side cabinets. We decided which shelves should hold which craft based on the frequency they were needed. The more frequent gift wrapping and card-making supplies were stored in the shelves at eye level.

Once the counter was clear, we were able to sort and organize all fabrics and place them within the sewing zone to the right and under the counter.

As you can see in the photo below, we still have an area for miscellaneous projects and tools in the side cabinet.

The one thing I love about craftsman cottages is that once you can organize and look beyond their small size, they often have exceptional built-in storage areas!

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Garage Becomes a TV Lounge, Play and Craftsroom

Situation:

This garage was used for watching tv, working on crafts, and an extra playroom. At the same time, it had to be used to store the usual garage items including holiday décor, extra entertaining supplies, etc.

Challenge:

In the beginning there was no storage in this garage, only some assorted furniture, TV and a desk. As with many garage conversions, this space had to accommodate many different types of activities and serve as a comfortable retreat /playroom for the two boys and a space for mom and sons to create craft projects and read.

Solution:

My client had wall-to-wall cabinets installed along the longest side of the garage without windows. The cabinets made it possible to create order with the deep freeze storage items like holiday décor and also made a place for sporting equipment and extra entertaining items to live while not in use.

I shifted furniture around to create zones for each type of activity. The desk was moved to the back wall so that all craft supplies were in the same zone with small table and chairs positioned for action.

The lateral file cabinet was moved next to the door into the house as this contained the permanent family records.

The large cube shelf was moved behind the couch to create division between storage and TV zone. All extra toys were grouped together ‘like with like’ and stored in baskets behind the couch. As the boys decided to play with different activities, they brought out one basket at a time and learned to put the first one away between activities to keep chaos at bay.

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Three Sure-Fire Ways to Organize the Canned Goods in Your Pantry

Although my family eats mainly fresh vegetables, we still need to keep cans of beans, quick sauces and condiments available for nights when we are pinched for time. Thank goodness that there are several wonderful ways to organize our caned goods! My three favorite solutions are shown below with the pluses and minuses listed.

Favorite #1 The Extra Large Lazy Susan

I love this organizer! It not only holds massive amounts of cans, it also organizes the pantry areas that become dark and deep black holes. So, instead of piling cans or boxes in front of one another, simply stack and spin until you find what you need. These organizers are a little pricey ($25 + each) but they are worth their price in gold. I currently have over 35 cans on one and loved it so much that I added a second one on the shelf below!

The minus ~ if you do not have a deep dark recessed hole in your pantry, this is not for you, The smaller lazy susan is great for condiment bottles but this boehemoth only works in areas 25″ or larger.

Second Runner Up ~ The Can Stacker Shelf

This organizer makes you feel really efficient and official. Once this shelf is in place within your pantry, all cans are visible and accounted for just like in the grocery. These shelves expand and contract to fit the length of the shelf at hand.

The Minus ~ Make sure to buy the extra large shelves, the others will hold only small spice bottles or micro-sized cans.

Third Place Contender ~ The Drop-Down Wire Organizer

After using this ditty for a year or so, I determined that it was only useful for items that I use repetitively and buy in mass. For me, this means my favorite Mexican sauce (for everything) El Pato, and my cat food. Items are organized behind each other and it is designed to roll the next one forward after the first one is used.

The Minus ~ It takes up too much shelf space unless you have a large quantity of the same items that you use over and over. As you can see in this photo, this was the beginning of my experience and my cans were not necessarily as organized as I had hoped. The size was a bit wonky so I even ended up storing packaged goods along with the cans. Not the best solution! Once I began using it strictly for my cat food and El Pato collection, it became more user friendly.

We Want Your Ideas!

Please let us know if you have created any other solutions for organizing  your canned goods or your pantry. All ideas are welcome here at addSpace. The more minds that ponder a problem, the greater the results. Go ahead and take a moment to post your solutions below so others can learn from you as well!

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Top 5 Ways Tips to Save Time and Be Organized While Moving

When you move, your life is literally turned upside down with everything inside of boxes. How does one stay organized through the chaos? There are a few simple tips that (more…)

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Organizing Your Kitchen – Plus Fox 5 News Segment 3 of 3

Kitchen Organizing


Even the most ideal kitchens have their share of problems when it comes to organizing and optimizing the work space. There is always at least one problem to solve when creating the perfect storage system for your kitchen. Sometimes you have more drawers than shelves and nowhere to store large appliances. Other kitchens feature massive amounts of shelving with little or no drawer storage.
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Deep Bathroom Shelves Can Become a Black Hole

Kathi,

I have a challenge for you:
I have built-in shelving in my bathroom.  It is behind the door and goes from the floor to the ceiling.  Only thing is, they are very, very deep.  The dimensions are 15″ wide x 23″ tall x 35″ deep.  There are 4 shelves.

We would like to organize this space with all of our bathroom stuff (towels, hair stuff, lotions, shaving, bath toys, etc.).  How in the world do we do this?

I had considered just buying some pretty wicker baskets to make it pretty, but still, our stuff would just be thrown into each basket without any order.
HELP!

Dear Help,

You are so lucky to have floor to ceiling built in cabinets in your bathroom. The only real challenge as I see it is that the cabinets are deep and probably act as a black hole with minimal effort.

Here is what you do to keep items form disappearing into the deep recesses:

Separate and organize all items by type of use. Your categories might include toiletries, bathing, makeup, towels, medicine etc.

Segregate each collection into containers.

Towels might be able to fit into large plastic bins that will act as drawers that you can pull in and out of the shelf as needed.

Bottles can swirl joyously on a very large (perhaps 24”) lazy susan

Bath toys can be hung in a hammock within the shower area or relegated again to another plastic bin of appropriate size.

Smaller items can be separated and stored in plastic Sterilite drawers

The items that are rarely used wil be tucked into the back of each shelf in separate bins so you can pull them out as needed after you pull out the items in front.

Consider your frequency of use for each ‘type’ of item

This will determine which items are stored at eye level and which are stored below or in the back of the shelf behind other more important categories.

I am assuming that you have already purged and donated the excess items that you no longer need or use. By the way, for all readers, women’s shelters and shelters of all kinds absolutely LOVE the small travel and sample bottles of shampoos and soaps that we bring back from our hotel stays. Please donate these to your local shelters; they are a valuable commodity to these organizations!


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