Any good handyman or gardener worth their salt will be able to tell you that a garden shed is one of the most useful things in the world. Not only can garden sheds be used for loads of different purposes, but they also look great too.
If you’ve got a garden shed of your own, you probably know how useful they are. But just in case, here are 10 great uses for garden sheds – some of which you may not have thought of!
This is pretty self explanatory. Garden sheds are great to keep things in, from lawn furniture to power tools or even camping equipment. Good garden sheds are set on a foundation and sealed properly, so your stuff will remain dry and safe.
2. Overwintering Plants
Those of you with green thumbs will know just how important it is to make sure your plants stay protected, all year round. Garden sheds are perfect places to overwinter your more delicate plants, and can be fitted with heat and light should you so require.
3. Pet Paradise
If you’ve got an unruly, yet beloved, family pet, why not convert your garden shed into somewhere for them to play and sleep? Many people choose to have their pets sleep outside, especially if they’re over-boisterous or over-large!
4. Children’s Playhouse
A garden shed can be easily converted into a playhouse for little people, simply by de-cluttering and giving it a lick of paint. Make your kids’ playhouse fun, bright and safe to play in, and they’ll be sure to enjoy it all year round.
No matter what kind of work you do, if you work from home you may find yourself wishing for a bit more peace and quiet, or even a bit of extra room. A garden shed can be turned into a convenient workspace simply by fitting it with a desk, chair, and a few home comforts. Or, if you’re a bit more hands-on, a work bench and tool rack.
6. Man Cave
Who doesn’t love the idea of their very own man cave? Man caves aren’t just for men, they’re fun for the whole family. Fit your out with comfy seating, a TV, games consoles, and a hifi.
7. A Bar
If you fancy yourself as a bit of a bartender, why not convert your garden shed into a makeshift bar? A garden bar is perfect for warm summer nights, and you can entertain friends and family in the evening by showing off your mixing skills.
8. A Sauna/Steam Room
A garden shed can be easily converted into a sauna or steam room, simply by sealing all cracks and gaps, treating the inner and outer walls, and installing the necessary equipment and ventilation. Don’t forget to complete your sauna by fixing it up with comfortable benches and towel racks, for the ultimate at-home luxury experience.
9. A Home Gym
Gym memberships can be pretty extortionate, so if you’ve got a garden shed going spare and a little extra cash to invest in equipment, you could be on your way to having your very own home gym. The great thing about a home gym is that, once you’ve made the initial investment, you won’t have to pay out any more money. And best of all, a home gym requires little to no effort to attend!
10. A Couple’s Retreat
If you’re in need of a romantic getaway for two, a garden shed could be the answer. It may not sound romantic right now, but with a little hard work you could transform your garden shed from a rundown shack into a love shack! All it takes is some mood lighting, a comfy place to relax and maybe a TV and DVD player for watching soppy movies together. Don’t forget the wine!
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If, like most workmen, you take great pride in your tools, you’ll probably be aware of the need to keep them safe and sound when not in use. In addition, tools left lying around can pose a health and safety hazard to others, especially small children and animals. So it’s in your best interests to invest in a storage solution which will both protect your tools and keep them out of the way of wandering hands.
Easy Tool Storage Solutions
If you have the facilities, the easiest way to keep your tools safe is to store them in an empty cupboard. But to make such a cupboard an appropriate place for tool storage, you may need to adapt it to suit your needs.
Installing shelves will increase your tool storage space and allow you easier access to your tools when you need them the most. After all, there’s nothing worse than not being able to find what you want when you need it! Shelving will also make sure your tools are kept out of the way of children, so make sure you store your most dangerous items closer to the cupboard ceiling. Installing a lock on the door will also improve your security, and make sure your tools are kept safe and sound.
Adapting a Garage or Outdoor Workspace
If you’re lucky enough to have a garage or workspace in which to keep your tools, you may wish to think about storage solutions which are a bit more creative than just a cupboard. If you don’t have an outdoor space you can use, you may wish to think about investing in wood or log cabins for sale. Affordable, sturdy and easy to assemble, they are a great storage solution for any proud tool owner. They come in kit form so can be put up as a DIY project.
A tool rack is a great idea for anyone who has lots of tools and not much floor space. Not only will it keep your tools nice and neat, it will also allow you to find what you need, when you need it, quickly and easily. There are plenty of tool racks available to buy both on and off line, or you can make your own if you think you’re up to the task. Of course, if you have enough tools to warrant a tool rack, you should be more than capable of making your own!
Another great tool storage idea, if you have the space, is a professional work bench with integrated storage solutions. This will be of particular use if you have lots of smaller items, such as bolts, nuts, screws, screwdrivers, tape measures etc.
Protecting Your Tools from the Elements
Storing your larger tools in a garage or outdoor workspace can be very handy, but it’s important to make sure your tools remain protected whilst not in use. Larger metal and/or electrical items should be stored on pallets, and covered with dust sheets to ward off rust. It may also be worth investing in insulating or sealing your garage or outdoor workspace, to prevent your tools being affected by the elements whilst in storage.
One might prove me wrong but when it comes to New Year’s resolutions, most people tend to settle for things that don’t really suit them, so they lose their motivation soon afterwards. Surely, we all can read more, exercise more, spend less time browsing the ‘net and do more around the house. However, one can only be so determined about it.
This year then, why not look to break an old habit or two and start from a place so close to every DIYer’s and gardeners heart? Our pride and joy, the garden shed!
Image by Lenore Edman
Surely, the lazy part of us would insist that de-cluttering our sheds during the season that we can’t use most of its contents is an absolute waste of time. Yet wouldn’t it be nice to have all your tools and equipment all lined up for when the next season of maintenance works and gardening comes around? Here are five easy steps for sorting out that handyman hideout of yours.
Clear Out Everything
It may seem quite obvious, but the first step to de-cluttering is to actually acknowledge what kind of tools and fixings you’ve been hoarding, along with all the odds and ends and, let’s face it – rubbish. In order to be able to organise everything, clear your shed out completely and move on to grouping the contents, separating garden tools from DIY tools, garden equipment from power equipment and so on. Throw out all the obvious rubbish and set aside the things you’re unsure about. Give your shed a good sweep and, if necessary, a scrub too.
Know What You’re Doing…Or Get Planning
Now that you’ve got a clearer vision of all the hidden treasure you’ve been storing in your shed for so long, the next thing you need is a clear vision of what you want to store in there. Think of what you use all those tools for, and why you’d want to keep them there. Obviously there’s no point in moving your garden tools away from the garden, but if you happen to do most of your DIYing in your basement and just use the shed for all your spare equipment and materials, it’s a sure sign you needn’t keep them there.
Invest In Storage Units
In case you’re still under the illusion that you’re quite an expert when it comes to organising, you’ll be surprised what difference storage units like shelves, box sets etc. can make. As we’re talking sheds rather than a living room, you don’t have to worry too much about making them look aesthetically pleasing which also equals lesser expense. Pick up a plain shelf set and a few plastic storage boxes from your nearest homestore – or, being a hardcore DIYer, you can always make them yourself. However, it may unnecessarily drag out the process. Besides, you can still put your skills to use in our next step.
Use Vertical Space and Walls
Not everything can go on a shelf or in a box, so this is the time to take advantage of our handiness and come up with some installations to make the most of the space in your garden shed.
To prevent any future clutters, focus on solutions that will help you keep things off the floor. Your solutions should also be easily accessible to increase the chance of things being put back again once you’ve finished using them, instead of leaving them lying around.
Try to use as much vertical space as possible: use ceiling racks to store away bikes and bulkier equipment. Use walls for organising tools and smaller hardware; pegboards are great for adjustable shelves and can hold heavier stuff like brooms, garden spades and rakes. If you start running out of space, remember the door is another surface you can make use of.
Even if you’ve managed to rid yourself of a fair share of your shed’s contents, simply stacking everything back would be a crucial mistake if you want to minimise the clutter.
Ideally, I’d recommend you carry out a proper inventory of your tools and equipment, focusing on the ones you really use. Unless it’s a piece of family heirloom, there’s no need to keep holding on to any half-broken or broken stuff that you’ve been meaning to repair for months. Or the one you’ve never used, like that heavily discounted wood-carving set you got yourself two years ago, strongly believing that you might have a knack for that (but didn’t).
However, that doesn’t mean you’ll end up wasting all that hard-earned money spent buying these tools – you can easily try and sell some of the relatively unused ones online. Or why not donate some to charity.
So, did you find these tips helpful for de-cluttering your shed or does it still look like a battlefield? And have you got any useful suggestions of your own?
Estelle Page is an interior designer and a passionate DIYer who knows how easily all those odds and ends one doesn’t want to waste can make a clutter. She blogs for Dunster House.
Mike Edwards from DIY Doctor has been testing out new products in our film studio. Well we say film studio – that makes our converted container sound very grand. (This photograph above isn’t it by the way – this one is from one of our Pinterest friends).
So we will be letting you know about the products Mike recommends shortly, but in the mean time here is a way you can waste a bit of time when you should be doing DIY.
We would like to pay homage to the humble container – there are so many uses that they can be put to, and we often feature cool container conversions in our blogs. So please send us any photos of containers that you think deserve to be featured. If anyone asks you are doing valuable ‘research’ online.
You can also click over to Pinterest and find the DIY Doctor boards there pinterest.com/diydoctor. If you want to share your own favourite photographs with us then email DIY Doctor and ask for a link to our shared board.
You can Pin photographs of anything to do with Home Improvement, DIY or craft, and gardening. In fact anything home-related that interests you, but keep it clean, or it will be off. Any of us who have found our Pinterest boards will know we also have a fondness for Owls (don’t ask) so you can post those too. But no more cute cats please, or dogs in jackets, pigs in wellies, etc there are enough of those on Pinterest already.
Happy DIY pinning!
Tree houses and sheds are a few of our favourite things, this one was shared by a friend on Facebook today, so I can’t tell you where it is – if you recognise it please let us know where it is and who built it.
Even better if this is your treehouse please do get in touch and we will give you full credit for your marvelous construction.
Any of you who a regular visitors here will know our penchant for sheds, if you missed earlier shed-related news then check out our blog on the Shed of the Year Awards, and get yours up to scratch in time to enter for the 2013.