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garden shed door open flowers

The shorter days and the litter of red and gold leaves on the lawn signify that summer has begun her southern retreat and fall is settling into place. The change of seasons is an excellent time to clean out and re-organize your shed. You’re going to get dirty, so put on an old pair of jeans and your rattiest T-shirt, and let’s get started.

Empty out and clean up

Start by taking everything that’s in your shed out of it. Get help from your friends if you need it. Don’t just drop it haphazardly anywhere. As you carry each item out of your shed, try to sort it by season or purpose. For instance, garden shears could belong to a spring pile or to a gardening pile. Whatever your sorting method, be sure to keep any doubles and triples of each item together.

After you have everything out, get out the broom, some rags, and a bucket of soapy water, and sweep or scrub every surface. While it doesn’t have to be clean enough to eat from, you want to remove any dead leaves, dust, or grime that’s accumulated inside the shed since the last time you cleaned.

Play throwaway

Now it’s time for a good old game of throwaway. If you’re like most people, you’ve probably collected an impressive stack of junk as well as more tools and other implements than you need. Seriously, how many shovels do you really need? Look through your piles and ruthlessly start culling the junk out into a pile of garbage. Make another pile of items that you can sell or give away.

Consider donating the items you no longer need to organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, Goodwill, or your local veterans’ groups. They’ll make sure your extra tools go to someone in need.

Still got too much stuff? Shelve it

By now, you should be left with just the items that you plan to keep. If you find that you still have more items that places to store them, why not make some new storage areas? Shelves and simple cabinets are easy to make, and you’ll often find that you have enough scrap materials on hand to put them together without a trip to the hardware store.

Sort and rotate

By this time, you should be ready to begin the process of putting everything back. A good way to arrange your shed is to keep the current season’s tools and items near the front where you can easily find them, and put items from past seasons toward the rear. Once you have everything sorted out, it’s a simple matter to rotate your tools and supplies each season. Additionally, the holidays are coming up, so why not bring out your boxes of decorations and stack them neatly in a convenient location? Remember, of course, to leave enough space to put them away once the holidays are over.

Although it’s a lot of work, having a clean and well-organized shed is a great way to start the fall. Doing so will also free up more of your time to enjoy the upcoming holidays.

 

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Cate Morgan-Harlow

Cate Morgan-Harlow is an all arounder, writing about how-to, DIY, and design with gusto. She is a shadowy figure with a mysterious past.