If you own a house and do your own yard work, chances are you have a shed or garage full of garden tools. You have everything from rakes to shovels and those electric hedge trimmers that annoy your neighbors whenever you use them. The question is, what does your yard tool storage look like?
That old joke about the wife nagging her husband to clean out the garage isn’t completely fictitious. Garages and tool sheds have a tendency of getting quite messy thanks to inadequate tool storage solutions. But you can keep a cleaner garage or shed AND take some of your time back by changing the way you store your yard tools.
It’s About Safety and Cleanliness
Below is a list of simple hacks you can employ, hacks that will make you a yard tool storage master. But before we get to them, let us talk about why all of this is even necessary. There are two things to consider: safety and cleanliness.
A cluttered tool storage space is an unsafe space. Too many tools laying around in a disorganized mess are an open door to trips and falls, broken bones, cuts and abrasions, and other sorts of injuries. That says nothing of your kids hurting themselves while they are trying to retrieve a bicycle or their basketball.
Second is the issue of cleanliness. There is something to be said about a clean and organized tool storage area. And even if cleanliness doesn’t matter to you, it’s probably a big deal to your partner. So get that storage area tidied up by employing the 8 simple hacks listed below.
1. Hang the Wheelbarrow
As helpful as the wheelbarrow is, it is also big and clumsy. It takes up unnecessary floor space, floor space you can easily reclaim by hanging the wheelbarrow on the wall. How do you do that? It’s easy. Attach a piece of scrap wood to two studs using either screws or nails. Place the wheelbarrow on top of this piece of wood with the handles facing down and the wheel facing out.
Next, mark a spot on each of the studs above where the body rests on the studs. Remember, the handles should be pointing down and out. Now take the wheelbarrow down, screw in some hooks where you made the marks, and you’re golden. Now you can hang the wheelbarrow on the wall and get it out of the way.
2. Hang the Hose on a CD Spindle
Is your family fond of burning your own CDs and DVDs? If so, you may have a couple of empty spindles lying around the house. Those spindles make excellent hooks for garden hoses. Choose an empty stud in your garage or tool shed, attach the spindle with a screw, and hang your hose. This is one of the simplest and easiest hacks in all of yard tool storage.
3. Invest in a Tool Rack
One of the biggest problems of yard tool storage is finding a place for all of those large hand tools. You might have several rakes, a couple of shovels, a hoe, and perhaps a broom or two. It is not practical to hang each of those tools on its own stud just because you probably don’t have enough studs to go around. The solution is to invest in a wall-mounted tool rack (click here for a great selection from Amazon).
A wall-mounted tool rack is nothing more than a horizontal bar with a number of hooks attached to it. Each of your hand tools gets hung on one of the hooks. There is no fuss, and installation is as easy as driving a couple of screws. Best of all, tool racks are pretty cheap in the grand scheme of things.
4. Invest in a Corner Rack
If you do not have the stud space for a wall-mounted rack, a corner tool rack (click here to find some on Amazon) is another option. A corner rack sits on the floor in the corner of your garage or tool shed. It has both a bottom and middle tray, with the latter having holes through which you can slide the handles of your tools. The bottom tray has corresponding recesses to accept the handles.
Fill the rack with tools and then gently push everything toward the corner. The combination of gravity and friction will keep everything nice and tidy. When it’s time to sweep the floor, simply pull the rack out. Slide it back in when you’re done.
5. Get a Mailbox for Your Small Tools
Neither of the previous two hacks work well for smaller hand tools. But that’s okay because a mailbox will do the trick. Look for one of those tube boxes normally mounted on posts at the side of the road. You can find heavy-duty plastic models pretty cheaply online (on Amazon right here) or at the DIY store.
Mount the box on a post in your garage or directly to an available stud. Then open the door, slide your hand tools in, and close it up. Those hand tools will remain organized and free from bugs, dirt, and moisture.
6. Totes for the Little Things
If you are like most homeowners, you have a collection of little things scattered all over your work space. These are perfect candidates for plastic totes. A plastic tote is the perfect storage solution for clothespins, small pieces of rope, those washers that keep your garden hose from leaking, your garden hose nozzle, and on and on.
The beauty of plastic totes is that they are stackable. They are also ideal for yard tool storage because they are waterproof. And if they keep water out, you can bet they also keep critters out as well.
7. Install a Heavy-Duty Storage Shelf
There are going to be certain items in your yard tool storage area that are just too big or heavy for any of the other solutions listed here. For those things you will need a heavy-duty storage shelf. Stay away from metal (unless it’s stainless steel) because it will not stand up well to outdoor moisture.
Choose one of the walls in your garage or storage shed and place the shelf against it. Before you stack anything on the shelf though, securely attach it to the wall with screws. If necessary, use shims under the legs to level it before attaching the shelf to the wall.
A heavy-duty storage shelf is ideal for things like grass seed, cinder blocks, extra paver stones, your shop vac, etc. You can even use the sides of the shelf to install hooks for hand tools, hoses, etc.
8. Repurpose Your Old Golf Bag
How many people have old golf bags in their garages they didn’t have the heart to get rid of? If you are one of them, that golf bag is an ideal solution for storing your most used yard tools. Let’s say you rake your lawn every week after mowing. Put your rake in the golf bag. Put your broom in the bag too.
A golf bag serves a dual purpose here. First, it organizes some of the tools in your storage area. Second, it makes for easy transport of those tools when it’s time to go to work. It’s a win-win. You get to keep that old golf bag, and no one can argue because you’re putting it to good use.
There are plenty more hacks in addition to the ones listed here. In fact, you are limited only by your imagination. Between the commercial yard tool storage solutions you can buy and your own creative genius using things you find around the house, you can organize your yard tools in just a few hours.
Organization will make you more efficient and your partner happier. And think about all of the space you’ll reclaim. You will even get back some of your time by not having to clean the garage every month.