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Declutter Outdoor Storage Shed {15 Minute . . . At A Time Mission}

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Today's mission is to declutter your outdoor storage shed, and depending on how cluttered and large your shed is I know this isn't a fifteen minute task, but more like a 15 minute at a time kind of task.

Organize Your Yard & Garden Storage Areas Challenge
This mission is designed to be done while working on the Organizing Yard & Garden Storage Areas Challenge here on the site, which is part of the 52 Week Organized Home Challenge.

If this seems like a daunting mission to you, please read the instructions I've written below for how to tackle this challenge so that it seems more doable, and also to make sure you're keeping the "right" things inside your garden shed, and not just a bunch of stuff, for the sake of keeping the stuff.

The Problem: Storage Sheds Are The Junk Drawers Of Our Yards

When you first got your storage shed you probably assumed it would fit everything you needed to place in there with some room to spare. But as time went on you just added "one more thing" so many times it became overflowing with stuff.

If just the thought of opening your storage shed to get something out fills you with dread, because it is a huge and monumental task to find what you need in there, and/or opening the doors or shifting things around make you feel like an avalanche might get triggered, then it's definitely time for a decluttering session (or ten!).

We often see storage sheds as a catch all, a place to put what we don't otherwise know what to do with. Hence, it becomes like the junk drawer or our yards. But today that's going to change for you, and just this mind shift, alone, can take you a long way toward keeping this space organized and clutter free from now on.

Consider The Purpose Of Your Storage Shed: What Should You Store In There?

How to declutter your outdoor storage shed, including how to make the task less overwhelming and decide what should stay versus go from the space {part of the Declutter 365 missions on Home Storage Solutions 101}use this Pin it button to save to Pinterest
Part of the issue with these outdoor storage areas is that you can use them for all kinds of storage needs. That's how they're designed
actually, so they're versatile and can be used for all kinds of purposes.

But the problem is even if this storage area can be used for 20 different purposes, in theory, you need to know what you personally want to use it for, and only use it for those 1-2 purposes.

The lack of consideration over what you should be storing in this space is often one of the primary reasons it feels so cluttered and junked up.

So before you ever begin decluttering this space stop and think about how you want to use it. You may already know, and then have ignored that decision and stuck extra stuff in the space and now you need to deal with it. Or you may have never decided before and need to do so now before you decide what should stay versus what should go.

Here are examples of common ways people use these outdoor storage sheds (although the sky is really the limit, so you're not limited to these uses):While you can choose to store all kinds of things in these storage units remember that they are unheated and uncooled so you need to be careful what you decide to place in them to make sure the changes in temperature will not cause problems with the items.

In addition, security can also be an issue to consider, depending on what type of locking mechanism you need for the storage shed, and how safe the area is you're storing items in.

Once you've identified the purpose for your storage shed you'll have much more clarity when you begin the decluttering process of what to keep in there versus what to get rid of, or at least move to a different location.

Top photo courtesy of Rubbermaid Products, and second photo in collage courtesy of a reader, Melissa

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How To Tackle The Project: All At Once Versus In Small Sections

Cluttered storage shed, that is going to be decluttered and organized {on Home Storage Solutions 101}

Depending on how big your shed or other storage area is, and how much stuff you've got in it, it might be best to take out all the contents at once and deal with them in one big session. I only suggest this if the area is not excessively cluttered or is very small, otherwise it could get too overwhelming.

However, when you can do it all at once without being overwhelmed taking everything out can be a great method for tackling the project because you can see everything at once, and you can make a decision about each item and have it earn it's way back into the space.

If it doesn't fit the purpose for the storage shed it doesn't need to go back in there. For example, if you've determined that your storage shed's purpose is to hold your yard tools and gardening supplies the kids' toy balls do not belong in there.

On the other hand, if you've got a huge garden shed, and/or you don't think you'd have enough energy and stamina to tackle everything cluttering up your shed at one time do NOT take it all out at once, or you'll end up making a bigger mess and exhaust yourself in the process.

If that is the case instead break it up into smaller chunks of time -- such as my suggested fifteen minutes at a time. Just take out the stuff from one small section and a time and tackle it in these smaller chunks. It will still get done, and won't be as overwhelming.

For each item decide if it should be kept in the space, donated, sold, trashed, or moved somewhere else.

Especially if you work on just one small section at a time you may need to go through the process more than once until you winnow it down to the amount that easily fits into the space you've got, but trust me, it gets easier as you go. Plus just getting rid of one or two big items, like the old lawn mower that doesn't work anymore, can quickly clear out a large amount of space!

Tips For Decluttering Your Garden Or Storage Shed

No matter whether you do this a bit at a time or all at once, here are tips for getting the job done so you've got a clean clutter free space again.

First, keep your goal in mind. The goal is not to fill every single inch of the shed with stuff. You don't win if you played pack the tools in the small space Tetris and got the most stuff in there with no space even for air to circulate.

Instead, your goal should be to easily access items contained within the shed with as little shifting of other items around it as possible. That way when you need something you can quickly find it, get it out, and use it, and then easily put it back when finished. It sure will make yard work a lot easier when you can do that!

In addition, your goal should be that you're not afraid when you open up this storage area that stuff will fall out, or fall over when you shift things around. To do that you've got to have room to spare in there.

Second, along with getting rid of anything that does not fit the storage purpose of your outdoor shed, also make sure to get rid of anything that is broken, unrepairable (or not worth the time and money to repair), items that haven't been used in one to two years, duplicates, extras and excess.

I guarantee once you've pared the items stored in your storage shed down to a more reasonable amount that fits, with some room to spare, all your outdoor tasks that involve using those items will become much more pleasant to do, and you won't dread it nearly as much.

It's amazing how much clutter robs our enjoyment of everyday tasks until we get rid of it!

Photo courtesy of davidd

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Photos From Readers Who've Done This Mission

Decluttered and organized storage shed, after a reader, Kelly, did the #Declutter365 mission {on Home Storage Solutions 101}use this Pin it button to save to Pinterest

Here are photos from readers who've already done this mission to get you inspired and excited.

The one above is from Kelly, who said, "I pulled every single thing out of my shed on Saturday while the weather was nice. I got rid of all the junk (it had years of accumulated construction supplies from my husband's various work projects) and rusted tools and bought shelving to organize the storage tubs full of homeschooling curriculum, all organized by grade level. It's amazing! It doesn't even look like the same shed. You couldn't take more than two steps from the doorway before. It was literally a heaping mess!"

Yay Kelly! It looks wonderful now!

How to declutter your storage shed, with tips and instructions and before and after photos from readers who've already done this #Declutter365 mission {on Home Storage Solutions 101}use this Pin it button to save to Pinterest

These photos above were sent in by another reader, Asta. She said, "Step one - blue sky - step two - empty outhouse - step three - sort into throw away - sell - give away and keep. Sold an old cupboard for 600 dollars!!"

Great job Asta! You've made really great progress (you can see some of the stuff she hauled away in the photo below!)

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Make Sure To Haul Away The Clutter!

Make sure after you declutter your storage shed to haul away the clutter {more instructions on Home Storage Solutions 101}use this Pin it button to save to Pinterest

Storage sheds, by their very nature, often have some large bulky items in them.

If you decide to get rid of some of these things make sure as part of the mission that you actually haul all of the clutter away, to the dump, for recycling, or to sell, so that it leaves your home. (Or make arrangements for someone else to come pick it up and haul it away for you.)

Two readers who've already done this mission sent in their photos as they hauled away their own storage shed clutter. The top photo was sent in by Melanie, while the bottom photo is from Asta.

You did great ladies! I'm sure you feel so much better with less clutter in your home.

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Organized Garden Storage Shed For Inspiration

Now that you know how to declutter your outdoor storage shed, here's a photo of an organized shed to get you inspired to tackle your own!

I'd love to see your results as well, so make sure once you've done this mission that you submit your own photos here of what you accomplished. The best photos will be featured here on the site!

Want To Do More Decluttering Missions? Get Started With Declutter 365 Today!

Declutter 365 missions: 15 minute missions for your entire home

Once you declutter one type of item in your home I bet you'll want to declutter some more. After all, decluttering gives you a great reward for even a small investment of time and energy.

The Declutter 365 system is designed to help you declutter, over the course of a year, your entire house, with just 15 minutes of decluttering each day!

Hundreds of thousands of people use this proven system to get rid of their clutter, and bring peace and calm back to their homes.

Declutter 365 works to guide you to clear the clutter without overwhelm, focusing on just one small area at a time, and without making a huge mess in the process, so you see consistent forward progress without all that "messy middle" that makes it even harder to function in your home than before you started.

In addition to building a daily decluttering habit, the Declutter 365 program, along with the accompanying 52 Week Organized Home Challenge, teaches you the skills, habits, routines, and mindsets necessary to maintain the clutter free and organized state of your home from now on, so it'll never be as messy and cluttered as it is right now, ever again.

If you haven't already, make sure to get your copy of this year's Declutter 365 annual calendar here (it's FREE!), find today's date, and do 15 minutes of decluttering on the day's mission. Then, repeat again tomorrow, and again and again. Over the course of the next year, if you do this 15 minutes per day, you'll declutter your whole house!

Click here to take me to this year's Declutter 365 calendar

Photo courtesy of woodleywonderworks

Related Pages You May Enjoy

Getting Clutter Free 15 Minutes At A Time Hall Of Fame

Go From Declutter Outdoor Storage Shed To Home Page

Comments for Organized Garden Storage Shed For Inspiration

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by: Kathy

The big issue in my shed is critters. Spiders are everywhere and something gets into my grass seed making a huge mess. I can go out with a broom and sweep down all of the spiders and within a week, they (or their kin) are back. Perhaps you could suggest some ideas for making sheds less attractive to critters who like to find shelter there.

those plastic sheds
by: Anonymous

Those plastic sheds are handy but keep in mind that depending where you live you might want to invest in something sturdier. Around here they just pull the lock and locking mechanism right off and help themselves.

Response re critters
by: Karla

KATHY - Spider bombs work wonders in garage. Still killing after a year!!

Spider Remedy
by: Mary

Kathy, I mix a solution of peppermint essential oil and either water or witch hazel and spray it all over my garage. It keeps all the critters out and smells GREAT!! Hope this helps!

Storing grass seed in a shed
by: Terri

Put your grass seed in a metal popcorn tin like you can buy around the holidays. Squirrels and mice will eat through plastic ones.

Sheds on Purpose
by: Linnell Fowers

I have *NEVER* thought about the purpose of my shed before!! This simple shift in my thoughts is huge! I saw the monthly mission to do my shed and garage on the calendar and I felt a huge amount of resistance. (I’m brand new here!)
But now that I’ve got a vision of the purpose of my shed and garage, I feel much more able to tackle these areas and bring them into balance. Yay! Thank you!!

Reply to Linnell
by: Taylor

Yay, I'm so glad that shift in thinking has you feeling inspired to tackle this mission now, and hopefully it will help guide your decisions in what to declutter from the space and what to keep there. Good luck, I'd love to hear how it goes once you've done some or all of the work!

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Join the Home Storage Solutions 101 newsletter, and get as your free gift the 2024 Declutter 365 Calendar (a $20 value) from me, Taylor, your decluttering and organizing guide.

When you work through the Declutter 365 missions, and accompanying 52 Week Organized Home Challenges, you'll be able to declutter your home one mission at a time, organize what's left, and learn the skills, habits and routines to maintain your space from now on.

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