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5 Tips to Level Up Your Tool Shed, Garage or Work Area
BY Dick Snyder | August 9th, 2022
There really is nothing better than a well-organized tool shed, garage or work area — every tool in its place and at the ready for any conceivable project. It may seem like an unattainable dream. But with a little planning and legwork, it is an achievable one.
“This is a topic our customers are very interested in,” says Home Depot Canada’s Alix Gropper Goldberg.
Truly, the sky’s the limit when it comes to creating the “Shangri-La” of tool sheds. And there are tons of storage and organization solutions out there. It’s a little overwhelming — so most of us just need advice on where to start. First up, consider what you need to do in your space. Are you working on project builds? Repairing household items? Tuning up your vehicle? Or just trying to organize all your tools and garden implements?
To get your started, here are some top tips from Katie Linnen, product merchant for storage and organization at Home Depot Canada.
1. Start with a clean slate.
If you’re like most of us, your shed, work space or garage are — shall we say — a bit of a shambles. So your first job is to throw out the junk, which might take a day or might take a weekend. (No matter what, it will take longer than you expect.)
“Give your garage a good cleaning, including sorting your items into keep, throw away and donate piles,” says Linnen. “Once you’ve got the items you’d like to keep, sort them into categories based on usage. For example, group all your holiday decor together in one space, and your tools in another.”
Decluttering done, you’ll have a better handle on the space available to set up storage and organization solutions. This is also a good time to upgrade: add new flooring, paint, lighting, electrical outlets, etc. You might even want to add an automatic garage door.
2. Add shelves and cabinets for storage.
This is about getting stuff up off the floor, which not only creates more usable space but also provides the opportunity to organize your stuff.
“Open shelves are inexpensive and are a great way to store things that you often use,” says Linnen. “Circular saws, garden tools, watering cans and more can be stored on the shelves to keep them off the garage floor and ready to use when needed.”
Lockable storage cabinets keep things like paint, chemicals and hazardous products safe. Wall-mount units are great space savers too.
3. Put objects in plastic bins.
For loose items and things you don’t use regularly, a plastic tote is the ideal vessel. Even better, transparent bins help you find your stuff faster.
“They fit neatly on shelving and allow you to see inside, so you know what’s in there while keeping it out of the way. You can even get waterproof containers, so you have peace of mind that your items are safe and sound in the event of flooding.”
Take the time to label each bin, especially if your bins are not see-through — it’s worth the effort to save time (and aggravation) down the road.
4. Put it on the wall.
“One of the best ways to store tools in a work area is on a pegboard or slatwall,” says Linnen. “You can customize the spacing of the hangers to fit any and all tools and organize them any way you want. This way, you’ll have easy access to anything you need, when you need it.”
For larger objects — bikes, wheelbarrows, tires, etc. — you can install hooks, hangers or folding shelves to get these things out from under foot.
5. Set up a workstation.
You’ll need some sort of surface to do your work — what you need to do will dictate how much space you need. Consider a dedicated work table, if you have the room, and you can always add more surfaces as needed.
“Another invaluable addition to any workspace is a cabinet or toolbox,” says Linnen. “These cabinets often come with multiple drawers in different sizes that will allow you to store your tools and other items, so you have immediate access to them during your projects. Some of these cabinets come with a wood top, making them convenient rolling workbenches that also carry all of your tools.”