garden shed

These Are 48 of the Most Amazing Shed Tool Storage Ideas

An outdoor shed is an ideal location to store all sorts of tools that would otherwise be stuffed in the garage. But like the garage, a shed can quickly become unruly if there is no plan in place to maintain order. The best way to avoid creating a mess is to practice the old principle of ‘a place for everything, and everything in its place’.

Workable Storage Solutions

Keeping any storage area in tip-top shape starts by coming up with workable storage solutions. The term ‘workable’ is key here. There are plenty of storage options that might work well in the basement or garage but simply are not doable in a shed. There is no point in implementing them because they will just drive you crazy.

This post will cover 48 tool storage ideas for your shed, ideas that will help you store like a champ. Every idea you can implement is another step toward preventing your shed from becoming a victim of disorganized chaos. Along the way, you might even come up with storage ideas I haven’t thought of.

Make Strategic Use of Shelves

You are going to want to make maximum use of empty wall space. However, a lot of what you need to store will require shelves. So this is where you have to start. The goal is to make strategic use of shelves in such a way as to accommodate storage bins, jars, etc. – while using the available space judiciously enough to leave room for hanging things.

With that said, the first few tool storage ideas for your shed revolve around different types of shelving:

Repurposed Shelves

If you are like most homeowners, you probably have a wood or metal bookshelf you no longer use. It is just taking up space in the attic. Well, take it out to the shed. It doesn’t have to be beautiful; it just has to be functional. Repurposing an old shelf frees up room in the house and gives you a starting place for storage without costing you a dime.

The thing to remember is this: attach the shelf to the wall. Anchor it with a couple of screws or bolts. Whatever you do, don’t let it remain unsecured. Otherwise it could fall on you at some point down the road.

Floating Shelves

If you’re into building your own, try your hand at floating shelves. You can make them as large or small as you need them to be. Floating shelves are an excellent option for capturing dead space over windows and doors. They are also a good option for storing tools and other materials above a workbench. You can make floating shelves with fairly inexpensive pine or particle board. You don’t have to spend a fortune buying oak or cedar. Alternatively, you could purchase them inexpensively from somewhere such as Amazon.

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Adjustable Shelving

Adjustable shelving could be the ticket if you are the kind of person who changes things up on a regular basis. A typical adjustable package consists of several vertical tongue-and-groove pieces that attach directly to the wall. Along the length of each piece there are slots into which you can insert the horizontal pieces. This arrangement lets you determine the height of each individual shelf.

Rolling Shelves

Another option is to get your hands on a rolling shelf or two. Look for a standalone shelf with heavy-duty casters and wheel locks. Made from metal, a rolling shelf can be a handy piece of kit for potted plants, your watering can, unused bags of potting soil, etc. The wheels make it easy enough to roll the shelf out and directly to wherever you are working that day.

YSSOA Heavy Duty 3-Shelf Shelving with Wheels
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  • Measures 23 x 13 x 30 inches (WxDxH). Wire shelves adjustable in 1-inch increments.
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Corner Shelves

Don’t forget about the corners of your shed. They can often be underutilized spaces. Installing corner shelves can help you make the most of these areas. They are great for storing smaller tools or items that you don’t use as frequently.

Ladder Shelves

Ladder shelves can be a stylish and functional addition to your shed. They typically have a design that gets narrower towards the top, which can be useful for storing items of different sizes. Plus, they can be freestanding, which makes them easy to move around as needed.

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Overhead Shelves

If you’re short on space, consider installing overhead shelves. These can be placed above doorways or higher up on the walls. They’re great for storing items that you don’t need to access frequently.

Pull-Out Shelves

Pull-out shelves can be a great way to make your tools and equipment more accessible. They allow you to easily see and reach everything on the shelf, without having to move other items out of the way.

Narrow Shelves

If you have small wall spaces between windows or doors, consider installing narrow shelves. They can be used to store smaller items, such as cans of paint or jars of screws.

Tiered Shelves

Tiered shelves can provide more storage space by utilizing vertical space. They can be used to store a variety of items, and the different levels make it easy to organize and categorize your tools.

Shelves with Hooks

Consider shelves that come with hooks underneath. These can be used to hang smaller tools or items like tape measures, making them easy to reach when you need them.

Shelves with Bins or Cubbies

Shelves that have built-in bins or cubbies can provide additional organization. This can be particularly useful for storing small parts or fasteners.

Maximizing Shelf Space

Once you have your shelving options in place it is time to maximize the storage space they offer. Indeed, there isn’t much point in coming up with great tool storage ideas for your shed if you’re not going to make the most of limited space. When it comes to shelving, it’s all about finding the best ways to store whatever it is you are storing.

Plastic Tubs and Baskets

Plastic tubs and baskets are ideal for small hand tools, fasteners, garden hose parts, spray cans, and the like. They are also cheap. Go to any DIY home improvement store and you will find just what you’re looking for. You can also find them at online at places such as Amazon, big-box department stores, dollar stores, and even lawn and garden centers.

You might want to look for stackable tubs or baskets when you shop. Stacking makes it easier to maximize all of the space on a given shelf. Stack a couple of baskets on top of one another and you eliminate that dead space between shelves.

Old Wooden Crates

Maybe plastic isn’t your thing. Perhaps you would prefer something older, something a bit more classic. For that I suggest old wooden crates. You can find them at thrift shops and flea markets. Wooden crates are sturdy storage receptacles that provide a uniform option for maximizing shelves.

With any luck, you’ll be able to find crates with the original printing still intact. You will not only have a storage option, but you’ll also have a piece of Americana. You can turn your shed into your own private museum with the right crates.

Jars from the Kitchen

How many jars does your family throw in the recycling bin every week? If you’re looking to maximize storage space in your shed, stop doing it. The companies that supply you with peanut butter, jelly, relish, and pickles are also giving you free storage receptacles. Use them.

Glass and plastic jars are perfect for storing all of your fasteners. Use one jar for each size of nail and screw you keep. Use the jars for plastic ties, wire caps, staples, hinges, and anything else you can think of. The nice thing about this storage solution is that most jars are transparent. This means no labels are required.

Along the same lines, used mason jars work well for storing paintbrushes and rollers. Mason jars tend to be bigger, so you can get paintbrush handles in them easier.

Metal and Plastic Buckets

That last time you did a drywall job at home, did you throw the mud bucket away? If so, that’s a shame. Buckets can be used as storage receptacles in your shed. A plastic bucket is perfect for your garden hose. Just put one end of the hose in and start winding it around. It only takes seconds to get your hose put away completely. And when it’s time to take it back out, you won’t have to fight with it.

Plastic and metal buckets make great receptacles for brooms and larger hand tools as well. Your garden shears and manual hedge trimmers will slide right in without issue. And if you got extra potting soil and no bag to put it in, a bucket does the job.

Tool Trays

Tool trays are an excellent way to maximize shelf space. These trays come in various sizes and can be used to store smaller tools, screws, nails, and other small items that can easily get lost. The best part about tool trays is that they can be stacked on top of each other, allowing you to make the most of your vertical space. They also have compartments, which can help you categorize your tools and parts, making it easier to find what you need when you need it.

ERNST Tool Garage Organizer Tray, Black, 3-Compartments
  • Three compartments with different sizes to accommodate various tools, nuts, bolts, pliers, and other small objects
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Drawer Organizers

If you have shelves that are deep enough, consider using drawer organizers. These are typically used in kitchen drawers for utensils, but they can be just as effective in a shed. They come in various sizes and shapes, and can be used to store anything from screws and nails to small hand tools. The compartments keep everything neat and tidy, and because they’re shallow, you can easily see and grab what you need.

Storage Boxes

Storage boxes, especially those designed for tools and hardware, can be a great way to maximize shelf space. These boxes often come with removable trays or compartments, allowing you to customize the storage to fit your needs. They’re perfect for storing larger tools that don’t fit in trays or drawer organizers, and because they’re enclosed, they can protect your tools from dust and moisture.

Spice Racks

Don’t limit yourself to traditional tool storage solutions. Spice racks, for example, can be a creative and effective way to store small items like screws, nails, and bolts. You can place small, clear containers on the spice rack, and because the rack is tiered, you can easily see and access everything. This can be a great way to make use of small, otherwise wasted space on your shelves.

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Wine Racks

Wine racks aren’t just for wine. In a shed, a wine rack can be used to store spray paint cans, caulk tubes, or other similarly shaped items. The individual compartments keep everything neatly organized, and because the rack is designed to be sturdy, it can handle the weight. Just make sure to secure it properly to the shelf.

File Organizers

File organizers, typically used for paper, can be repurposed to store thin items like saw blades, sandpaper, or manuals for your tools. This can help keep these items neat and prevent them from getting lost or damaged. Plus, because file organizers are tiered, they make it easy to see and grab what you need.

Utilizing Wall Space

Not everything you need to store in your shed will fit on shelves or in buckets. You are going to have to utilize wall space at some point. That is not a problem because there are a lot of creative ways to hang things from the wall. You just have to be comfortable with hooks, screws, etc.

Install a Pegboard

Pegboard has been around for decades. It is a very versatile product that works equally well in any storage environment. If you are looking for creative tool storage ideas for your shed, it is really difficult to ignore pegboard. When you buy your pegboard, be sure to buy the hooks too.

The best thing about pegboard is its versatility. Every hole in the board represents a place to hang a hook. As such, there are an unlimited number of configurations. You can use pegboard to hang just about anything. Hang your edge trimmer, your rakes, your handsaw, and so on. Different size hooks can accommodate virtually anything.

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Install a Slat Wall

A slat wall is similar to pegboard in principle. The difference is that it utilizes slats and specialized hooks rather than holes. Some people prefer slat walls because they can handle a bit more weight than pegboard. Others prefer them because they like the look. It doesn’t matter either way.

Hang Magnetic Strips

It is a safe bet that a lot of the tools in your toolbox are metal. Think screwdrivers, files, etc. You can get these tools out of the box for easier access by installing magnetic strips on the wall. Just find some open space and attach a wood block between two studs. Then screw the magnetic strip to the block. Now you can hang your tools with the power of magnetization.

Magnetic strips go a long way toward organizing tools by size. Imagine being able to find just the right screwdriver at a glance. Imagine not having to dig through your entire toolbox looking for one file. Anything metal – from wrenches to knives – is a candidate for magnetic strips.

Install a Screwdriver Rack

Whoever thought of the screwdriver rack deserves a trophy. This handy little tool is nothing more than a block of wood with large holes drilled through. Different sized holes accommodate different sizes of screwdrivers. You can install one for your flat heads and another for your Phillips head screwdrivers. Or use one for both. It is entirely up to you.

Get a Few Tool Hangers

Few things are as frustrating as long-handled yard tools leaning against the wall. They get in the way; they fall down; they attract spiders. What’s the solution? Specialized tool hangers designed for long-handled items. You can find them at virtually any DIY store.

The hangers generally consist of two arms to support a shovel, rake, hoe, etc. Some are attached to the wall independently while others are part of a multi-hanger system supported by a rail. Either way, you can install one in minutes.

Hang Your Wheelbarrow

The wheelbarrow is one of the most awkward pieces of garden equipment – at least from a storage standpoint. It also takes up a tremendous amount of valuable space if you leave it on the floor. So what to do? Hang it on the wall.

You can buy a ready-made hook you screw to the wall on two sides. You can also buy a hook and rail system that is fairly easy to use. Yet none of those expensive options are required. There are plenty of ways to hang up your wheelbarrow with a fastener you already own.

Do you have a few plumbing hooks lying around? Screw them into a couple of studs at a level that is approximately waist high. Now you can hang up your wheelbarrow – wheel down and facing in – by resting the edge of the bucket on the plumbing hooks. Done and done.

Another idea is to install two wooden cleats. One cleat for the top, the other for the bottom. Then just slide the upper and lower rims of the wheelbarrow into the cleats and you’re done.

Hang Your Bicycles

If the shed is where you store your bicycles, save space by getting the bikes off the floor. Utility hooks will do the trick. You can hang the hooks from a metal or wooden rail attached to the wall. You hang a bike by raising it vertically and then attaching the hook to the front wheel. Let gravity hold the bike against the wall and you’ll discover that the wheel won’t rotate.

Some people like to preserve wall space by hanging bikes from the ceiling. That works too. All you need is some rope and hooks. Cut the rope to length, tie a hook to the end of it, and now you can hang your bicycles by the wheels or frames.

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Install a Tool Panel

A tool panel is another great way to utilize wall space in your shed. These panels are typically made of metal or wood and have a variety of hooks, holders, and bins attached to them. They’re perfect for storing a variety of tools, from hammers and screwdrivers to pliers and wrenches. The best thing about tool panels is that they allow you to see all your tools at a glance, making it easy to find what you need.

Use Wall-Mounted Bins

Wall-mounted bins are a fantastic way to store smaller items like screws, nails, and bolts. These bins can be attached directly to the wall or hung from a rail system. They come in a variety of sizes, so you can choose the ones that best fit your needs. Plus, they’re usually transparent, so you can easily see what’s inside.

Install a Garden Tool Rack

A garden tool rack is a must-have for any shed. These racks are designed to hold long-handled tools like rakes, shovels, and hoes. They keep your tools organized and prevent them from falling over and creating a mess. Plus, they free up floor space, giving you more room to move around in your shed.

Use a Wall-Mounted Ladder Rack

If you have a ladder that you use regularly, consider installing a wall-mounted ladder rack. These racks hold your ladder securely against the wall, preventing it from falling over and potentially causing an accident. They also free up valuable floor space.

Install a Power Tool Holder

Power tools can be bulky and difficult to store. A wall-mounted power tool holder can solve this problem. These holders are designed to securely hold power tools like drills, saws, and sanders. They keep your tools organized and easy to access, and they free up space on your workbench or shelves.

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Use a Wall-Mounted Hose Reel

If you have a garden hose, consider installing a wall-mounted hose reel. These reels keep your hose neatly coiled and prevent it from getting tangled or damaged. They also make it easy to reel in your hose after you’re done using it.

Install a Wall-Mounted Cabinet

A wall-mounted cabinet is a great way to store items that you want to keep out of sight. These cabinets can hold a variety of items, from tools and hardware to gardening supplies. Plus, they have doors that you can close to keep your items dust-free.

Use a Wall-Mounted Workbench

If you’re short on space, consider installing a wall-mounted workbench. These workbenches fold up against the wall when not in use, freeing up valuable floor space. When you need to use the workbench, you simply fold it down. It’s a great solution for small sheds.

Install a Wall-Mounted Tool Chest

A wall-mounted tool chest is another great way to utilize wall space. These chests have multiple drawers that can hold a variety of tools and hardware. They keep your items organized and easy to access, and they free up space on your workbench or shelves.

Think Outside the Box

All of the ideas you have read thus far are pretty standard for tool storage. Now it’s time to think outside the box. This last section of great tool storage ideas for your shed involves doing things that might be a bit unusual. Some might even be unorthodox. But guess what? They all work.

A Pallet for Garden Tools

Earlier you read about addressing those long-handled yard tools by installing specialized hooks. If you can get your hands on an old wooden pallet, you can create a different kind of storage solution that doesn’t cost a dime. Best of all, it is one of the simplest ideas ever.

Just turn the pallet on its side and attach it to the wall. You instantly have storage slots for your rakes, shovels, brooms, and more. For shorter tools like pickaxes and awls, just cut away the top section of the pallet. For those smaller hand tools, use screws or hooks mounted to the front face of the pallet.

A DVD Spool for Your Extension Cords

Do you burn a lot of DVDs or CDs? If so, what do you do with your empty spools? Well, they make a great storage solution in the shed. Mount a spool to the wall and you have an instant hook for your extension cords. All you need is a spool and a screw.

The DVD spool offers a secret benefit a lot of people don’t know about. Rather than winding an extension cord around your arm – which only serves to create a twisted and jumbled mess – lay it on the floor to start with. Now, grab one end and hold it on the spool. With your other hand, loop the cord around and over the spool. Keep looping until the whole thing is hung. You’ll find that it doesn’t twist or kink.

A DVD spool can also accommodate your garden hose. You get the same benefit of an out-of-the-way storage space that keeps your hose from twisting and tangling.

Pie Tins and Paper Plates

Sometimes you have to store things that just don’t fit any of your other solutions. We are thinking circular saw blades, sanding discs, and the like. Rather than just throwing them on a shelf and hoping for the best, make yourself a customized storage solution with old pie tins or paper plates.

You can cut either one in half and mount it to a piece of plywood. This creates a nice pocket perfect for your saw blades and sanding pads. Pie tins will last a bit longer than paper plates, but thick, corrugated paper still works in a pinch.

Meat Packages for Your Seeds

Supermarkets are in the habit of packaging meat in rectangular plastic tubs. Those tubs make great storage receptacles after you clean them out. They are perfect for packets of seeds. Place the packets in as if you were putting files in a file cabinet. The plastic storage tub makes it easy for you to browse through your collection to find just the right seed.

As a side note, photo albums are another good idea for seed storage. You slide the seed packets into the plastic inserts. This keeps the packets separate but visible. The only downside is that you now have to find a suitable way to store the photo albums.

Don’t Forget the Doors

Your typical backyard shed offers limited storage space by design. Thus, your goal is to take advantage of every inch you have. Knowing that, don’t forget the doors. They offer you plenty of untapped space just waiting to be used.

Any of the storage solutions discussed for interior walls can also be applied to the doors. But here’s the thing: you don’t want to put too much weight on the doors or you could pull them right off their hinges. You could also mess up the alignment, which could make them more difficult to open and close.

Your best bet is to limit door-based storage to light hand tools. Handheld spades, small pruning shears, brushes, and garden hose spray heads are all good candidates.

Repurposed Ladder for Vertical Storage

If you have an old ladder that you no longer use, you can repurpose it as a vertical storage solution. Simply lean the ladder against a wall in your shed, and you instantly have several rungs that can be used as shelves for storing items. You can also hang items from the rungs, such as buckets or baskets filled with tools. This is a great way to make use of vertical space in your shed, and it adds a rustic touch to your storage area.

PVC Pipe Tool Holders

PVC pipes are not just for plumbing. They can be used to create custom tool holders for your shed. Cut small sections of PVC pipe and mount them to a piece of plywood or directly to the wall of your shed. These pipe sections can be used to hold a variety of tools, such as screwdrivers, wrenches, and other small hand tools. You can even use larger diameter pipes to hold bigger tools like hammers and drills. This is a cost-effective and customizable storage solution that can be tailored to fit your specific needs.

Ceiling-Mounted Storage

Don’t forget about the ceiling when thinking about storage in your shed. The ceiling can be a great place to store long, flat items that don’t fit well elsewhere, such as lumber or ladders. You can install simple brackets on the ceiling to hold these items. Alternatively, you can hang a net or a series of hooks from the ceiling to hold lighter items. Just be sure to securely fasten anything you hang from the ceiling to prevent it from falling.

Tin Can Organizers

Don’t throw away those empty tin cans. They can be used to create a simple and effective storage solution for your shed. Simply clean out the cans, remove any sharp edges, and mount them to a piece of plywood or directly to the wall. These cans can be used to hold small items like screws, nails, and other hardware. You can even use larger cans to hold bigger items like paintbrushes or markers. This is a great way to recycle and organize at the same time.

Drawer Dividers for Small Parts

If you have a chest of drawers in your shed, consider adding dividers to create custom storage for small parts. You can use pieces of cardboard or thin wood to create compartments in each drawer. This is a great way to keep small items like screws, nails, and other hardware organized and easy to find. You can label each compartment to make it even easier to find what you need.

Conclusion: Shed Tool Storage Ideas – Use Your Imagination

This post has presented you with dozens of great tool storage ideas to help you transform your storage space into an organized and efficient haven. From repurposed shelves to mason jars, ladder shelves to PVC pipe holders, these creative solutions are both functional and cost-effective. Remember, the key is to let your imagination guide you in optimizing your shed’s storage potential. By implementing these innovative ideas, you can declutter your shed and ensure that every tool has its designated place. Embrace these tips and conquer the task of tool storage like a champion!

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