yard tool

Simple Hacks to Make You a Yard Tool Storage Master

Key Takeaways

1. Discover effective yard tool storage solutions for a well-organized garage or shed.
2. Proper maintenance and storage strategies can extend the lifespan of your yard tools.
3. Organized tool storage prevents accidents, injuries, and clutter.
4. Categorize your tools and utilize zone organization to optimize storage efficiency.
5. Store frequently used items at eye level and heavy items low to the ground.
6. Rethink creative DIY solutions and repurposing for cost-effective storage systems.
7. Maximize space utilization to create an efficient and enjoyable workspace.
8. Use practical hacks like getting a mailbox for small tools and repurposing old golf bags for storage.

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. First of all though, let’s talk maintenance.

Maintenance of Yard Tools

Proper maintenance is the secret ingredient that can extend the lifespan of your yard tools and ensure they’re always ready for action. However, the reality is that maintenance goes beyond the occasional cleaning or sharpening; it encompasses a holistic approach that involves a conscientious storage strategy.

Regular Cleaning

Whether it’s a simple spade or an elaborate hedge trimmer, cleaning your yard tools after each use is the first step towards maintaining their quality. Soil and plant residue can accelerate rusting and dullness, affecting your tool’s efficiency. A stiff brush and warm soapy water are usually all it takes to get your tools shining again. For stubborn dirt, a putty knife can do the trick. Remember to dry your tools thoroughly before storing them to avoid any moisture-related damage.

Periodic Sharpening

For tools that have a cutting edge like pruners, shears, and lawn mower blades, periodic sharpening is essential. A dull tool not only makes your work harder but can also damage your plants, leading to disease or pest issues. Sharpening can be done using a simple mill file, while for more sophisticated tools, professional sharpening services might be a better option.

Proper Storage

Now, let’s tie this all back to storage. Proper storage is like the protective shield that sustains the efforts you put into cleaning and sharpening. Yard tools should be stored in a dry, well-ventilated space to prevent rusting and degradation. Hanging your tools rather than placing them on the ground can also keep them in good condition and away from potential dampness. For tools with wooden handles, a light coat of linseed oil can keep the wood from drying out and cracking.

Regular Inspection

Last but not least, don’t forget to regularly inspect your tools. Check for any signs of wear and tear, loose parts, or rust. Addressing these issues promptly can prevent further damage and maintain the tool’s longevity.

It’s About Safety and Cleanliness

The rest of this article consists of simple hacks you can employ, hacks that will make you a yard tool storage master. But before we get to them, a quick note on 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 (especially in the winter, which leads me too…).

Seasonal Storage Tips

In many parts of the world, the changing of seasons also changes our yard work routines. When it’s time to trade the snow shovels for garden shears or vice versa, we can often feel a little perplexed about how to manage the storage of these tools. It’s essential to store your off-season tools properly, not only to declutter your workspace but also to maintain the longevity and effectiveness of the tools.

Storing Winter Tools in Summer

As winter ebbs away and the days start to lengthen, you may find that your snowblower, snow shovels, and ice chippers have become obsolete. Before you stash them away, however, it’s worth taking the time to clean them thoroughly. Winter tools are often exposed to corrosive materials like ice-melting salts, so a good clean can prevent any unwanted rusting or corrosion. Once cleaned and dried, it’s best to store them in a dry and cool location. If you have a tool rack or wall-mounted system, hanging these tools can save floor space for your summer tools.

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Storing Summer Tools in Winter

When summer draws to a close, it’s time to pack away those gardening tools and lawnmowers. Similar to winter tools, summer tools should be cleaned before storage. Remove any dirt or plant matter stuck on the tools, and consider applying a thin coat of oil to any metal parts to prevent rust. For tools with engines, like lawnmowers or weed whackers, it’s best to consult the manual for proper winterization procedures, which may involve draining the fuel or using a stabilizer. These tools can then be stored in a dry location, ideally off the ground to protect them from any dampness or pests.

Remember

One season’s end is just the prelude to another season’s beginning. While the shifting of seasons may change the tools we need, it doesn’t have to spell chaos for our tool storage. By adopting these seasonal storage tips, you can make the transition smoother and help your tools last longer.

2. Hang the Hose on a CD Spindle

Are you among the dwindling numbers that still utilize 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.

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.

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Labelling and Categorization

Organizing your tools in an intuitive manner is paramount for maintaining an efficient workspace, and a key part of this is labelling and categorizing your tools. These simple yet effective strategies can save you countless minutes—or even hours—of frustrating search time in the shed or garage.

Firstly, let’s discuss the labelling process. It might seem like an unnecessary step—after all, you probably know what each tool is used for, right? But consider this: having clear labels on your tools or their storage areas not only helps you find things more easily, it also ensures that other household members or visitors can safely and efficiently navigate your workspace.

To label your tools, you could use a simple permanent marker and tape or, for a more professional look, a label maker. Ensure the labels are durable, visible, and protected from elements like dust, moisture, and sunlight that could wear them out over time.

Next, consider categorization. This can be done based on several criteria like tool type (gardening tools, construction tools, etc.), tool size (large, medium, small), or frequency of use (daily, weekly, monthly). A good starting point could be separating your hand tools from power tools, then breaking down each group further.

A helpful tip is to store the frequently used tools in more accessible locations, such as eye-level shelves or pegboard hooks near the door. On the other hand, seasonal or infrequently used items can be stored in higher or deeper shelves.

One popular method of categorization is the “zone organization” system. This involves creating dedicated zones in your storage area for different types of tasks. For example, all the tools you’d use for gardening—like spades, trowels, and gloves—could be kept in one zone, while tools for carpentry or vehicle maintenance are stored in another.

Remember, the goal of labelling and categorizing is to make your tool storage as user-friendly as possible. The system you choose should make sense to you and anyone else who might use your tools. Once you’ve set up a system, maintain it—it’ll make each task more efficient and keep your workspace tidy and organized.

4. Invest in a Corner Rack

If you do not have the stud space for a wall-mounted rack, a corner tool rack 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.

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Space Utilization

Making the best use of limited space in garages or tool sheds is a challenge many homeowners face. The trick is to think in three dimensions and use vertical and horizontal space effectively.

Think Vertical

To start, consider that most garages and sheds have high ceilings, presenting a great opportunity to store your less frequently used items. Installing overhead storage racks can help you maximize this vertical space. Items such as seasonal decorations, rarely used tools, and camping equipment could be stowed overhead, freeing up valuable floor space.

The walls of your shed or garage are another underutilized vertical space. Think about installing a pegboard or slatwall system. These systems offer incredible flexibility, allowing you to hang, display, and access your tools easily. Plus, they can be adjusted as your storage needs change.

Use Every Nook and Cranny

When thinking about space utilization, don’t forget about corners. They are often overlooked but can be a perfect spot for corner shelves or tool racks. The same goes for the space behind doors. A few hooks or shallow shelves installed here can provide additional storage without obstructing the door.

Clear the Floor

Floor space is premium real estate in any garage or shed. Try to keep it clear for larger items like your lawnmower or wheelbarrow. Wall-mounted storage systems can help you to achieve this. Another idea is to use mobile storage units, like a tool chest on casters. These can be moved easily when you need to, allowing you to reconfigure your space as required.

Plan and Prioritize

Finally, be strategic with your storage. Store items that you use frequently at eye level and in easy reach. Keep heavy items low to the ground to avoid heavy lifting and potential injury.

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Smart space utilization can make your garage or shed seem bigger than it is, while ensuring that everything you need is always within reach. Remember, a well-organized workspace isn’t just about fitting everything in; it’s about creating a space where you can work efficiently and enjoy your time.

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 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.

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Storage Safety

The safety aspect of storing your yard tools, chemicals, and machinery is an indispensable facet that often doesn’t get the attention it deserves. It is easy to overlook the dangers that lurk in our tool sheds and garages, but safety should never be compromised, no matter how pressed for space you may be.

Firstly, you must consider the nature of the tools you have. Sharpened tools such as shears, pruners, or saws should be securely stored in such a way that the sharp edges are not exposed. Use protective covers if available or find alternative methods, like hanging them high on the wall, to keep sharp edges away from accidental contact.

Storing Hazardous Chemicals

Garden and yard maintenance often involves the use of chemicals such as fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides. Storing these substances can pose a risk if not done properly. Ensure these are always kept in their original containers, complete with their original labels that provide vital safety and usage information. They should be stored on a high shelf or in a locked cabinet, out of the reach of children and pets.

Safe Machinery Storage

Machinery like lawn mowers, chainsaws, or pressure washers come with their own set of safety requirements. It’s essential to disconnect any machinery from power sources when not in use, and store them in a dry and safe area to prevent accidental activation or any weather-related damage. Keep the user manuals close at hand, and ensure anyone who might use these machines is fully trained and aware of the safety precautions.

The implementation of these safety measures is not an option but an absolute necessity. It not only helps in preventing any potential mishaps or injuries, but also adds years to the lifespan of your tools and machinery, ensuring they serve you well for many seasons to come.

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.

Budget-Friendly Storage Solutions

Let’s be honest, not everyone has a limitless budget to invest in high-end storage solutions for their yard tools. And the truth is, you don’t need to. There are plenty of low-cost alternatives that are not only efficient but also as durable as the expensive storage units. The key to saving money without compromising on functionality lies in resourcefulness and creativity.

Repurposing Household Items

Consider using items you already have at home that aren’t being used to their full potential. An old, unused bookshelf, for example, can be easily transformed into an effective yard tool storage unit. Simply reinforce the shelves if needed, perhaps even add a coat of weather-resistant paint, and you’ve got a storage solution for free. In a similar vein, an old chest of drawers can be repurposed to store small tools and gardening gloves. This approach not only keeps costs low but also gives new life to items that would otherwise be collecting dust.

Shopping Smart

On the other hand, if you need to make some purchases, do so wisely. Check your local thrift shops, yard sales, or online marketplaces like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace for second-hand storage units. It’s surprising what people are willing to part with at a fraction of the original cost. And remember, a coat of paint or minor repairs can easily rejuvenate second-hand items.

DIY Solutions

And let’s not forget about the DIY route. You’d be amazed at what you can create with a few pieces of scrap wood and some basic tools. You could build a simple tool rack or even a small shed. DIY solutions not only save money but also offer the satisfaction of creating your own personalized storage system. However, be sure to plan your project in detail before you begin to avoid wasted materials and ensure safety.

Remember, budget-friendly doesn’t have to mean lower quality. With some thought and creativity, you can create a yard tool storage system that is both economical and effective.

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.

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DIY Storage Ideas

Have you ever considered channeling your inner craftsman and creating storage solutions on your own? Well, it’s not as daunting as it might sound. For those of you who enjoy rolling up your sleeves and diving into DIY projects, here are a few practical yet intriguing storage ideas for your yard tools.

Firstly, let’s talk about PVC pipe tool organizers. Imagine a system of interconnected pipes where each tool finds its dedicated slot – quite the scene from a science fiction movie, right? You can use large PVC pipes, cut into small sections, and mounted on the wall or the side of a sturdy shelf. The pipe sections can hold long-handled tools like rakes and shovels. Ensure that the PVC is strong enough to hold the weight of the tools and that they’re secured tightly to the wall or shelf.

In the spirit of reusing and recycling, an old ladder turned into a storage rack might just be the most whimsical yet efficient storage idea. If you’ve got an old wooden ladder that’s no longer safe to climb, don’t discard it just yet. Prop it up against a wall in your shed or garage, and voila, you’ve got yourself multiple tiers of storage space! Paint it for a bit of aesthetics, and it can hold anything from your pots of plant seeds to small hand tools.

Lastly, consider wooden crates for modular storage. These can be stacked or hung on walls to create handy tool cubbies. Plus, their rustic look can add a touch of charm to your workspace. They can be acquired inexpensively or even free from some local grocery stores, making it a budget-friendly option.

By employing these DIY ideas, you’ll not only be adding personal touches to your tool shed but also reusing materials, contributing to a more sustainable environment. Remember, a well-organized workspace is a happy workspace.

Tool Storage for Apartments or Small Homes

Living in a compact space, such as an apartment or a small house, often poses unique challenges when it comes to storing yard tools. However, with a little creativity and cleverness, you can effectively store your tools without compromising on your living area’s aesthetics or functionality.

Utilize Vertical Space

Firstly, when floor space is limited, it’s time to think vertically. Empty walls, backs of doors, or even ceilings can serve as your best friend for tool storage. Invest in sturdy wall-mounted tool organizers or over-the-door hanging racks to store long-handled tools like rakes or brooms. Tools with a loop or hole, such as dustpans or hand trowels, can hang on simple pegs or hooks. Remember to place the most frequently used tools at an easy-to-reach height while seldom-used items can take the higher spots.

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Multipurpose Furniture

Multipurpose furniture is a lifesaver in small spaces. Consider acquiring a storage ottoman or a bench with a hidden compartment. Not only do these pieces offer a place to sit or rest items, but they also provide a clandestine spot to store smaller tools like pruning shears, gloves, or trowels.

Compact Tool Models

When shopping for tools, look for compact or collapsible models. Some tools like loppers or pruning saws come in foldable designs that can fit into a small closet or under a bed when not in use. A retractable garden hose is another space-saving tool that can significantly reduce clutter.

Rent a Storage Unit

If your tool collection outgrows your storage capacity, you might want to consider renting a small storage unit. While there is a monthly cost involved, it can help to free up space in your living area, especially if you only use some tools seasonally.

Organization is Key

No matter the size of your living space, the most important aspect of tool storage is organization. Regularly decluttering and maintaining your storage systems can prevent the buildup of unused or broken tools and keep your living area tidy.

Yard Tool Storage – Conclusion

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.

FAQs

Q: What are some basic tips for organizing my yard tools? A: Some basic tips include hanging large tools to save floor space, using bins or totes for small items, labeling everything for easy access, and regular decluttering and reorganization.
Q: How can I store my yard tools in a small space? A: Utilizing vertical space is key when dealing with a small area. You can use wall-mounted tool racks or pegboards. Also, consider collapsible or stackable storage solutions that can be tucked away when not in use.
Q: Can I store my yard tools outside? A: While most yard tools are designed to withstand outdoor conditions, continuous exposure to the elements can cause them to degrade faster. It’s best to store your tools in a dry, covered area like a shed or garage.
Q: How can I prevent my tools from rusting? A: Store tools in a dry, climate-controlled environment to prevent moisture buildup. Additionally, regularly cleaning your tools and applying a light coat of oil can help prevent rust.
Q: Are there specific racks for yard tool storage? A: Yes, there are many types of racks designed specifically for yard tool storage. They include wall-mounted racks, freestanding corner racks, and even specialized racks for particular tools.
Q: How do I store my garden hose to prevent tangling? A: Consider using a hose reel or a wall-mounted holder. You can also coil the hose in large loops and hang it on a hook.
Q: How can I make a DIY yard tool storage system? A: You can build a tool rack with some lumber and hooks, create a shelving system with reclaimed wood, or use PVC pipes to create custom holders for your tools.
Q: Is it necessary to store my yard tools in a particular order? A: While it’s not necessary, storing your tools based on frequency of use or tool type can make your work more efficient. Tools used frequently should be easily accessible.
Q: How can I store small garden tools? A: Small tools can be stored in drawer organizers, small bins, or even repurposed mailboxes. These solutions keep small tools organized and easy to find.
Q: Can I use household items for yard tool storage? A: Absolutely. Many household items like old bookshelves, chests of drawers, or buckets can be repurposed for yard tool storage.
Q: What are some budget-friendly yard tool storage solutions? A: You can repurpose items you already have, shop smart for second-hand storage units, or build your own DIY storage solution.
Q: How can I store yard tools safely? A: Tools should be stored in a way that minimizes the risk of accidents. Sharp tools should be covered or stored away from reach, and heavy items should not be stored on high shelves.
Q: How often should I organize my yard tool storage area? A: This depends on your usage. However, a general rule of thumb is to do a thorough organization and clean up at the start and end of every gardening season.
Q: How can I store large yard tools like a wheelbarrow? A: Large tools like wheelbarrows can be hung on the wall to save space. This usually involves attaching a sturdy piece of wood to the wall and using heavy-duty hooks.
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