When it’s time to mow the lawn, trim the hedges, or plant a garden, don’t waste time searching for lawn equipment. Instead, design a well-organized storage spot in the garage to ensure your tools are easy to find and in good condition. Consider these savvy strategies based on your needs, budget, and available space.
Organization experts stress the importance of getting items up off the floor. “When it comes to lawn and garden equipment, I am a huge fan of using vertical space whenever possible,” says Lisa Mark, certified professional organizer at The Time Butler in Los Altos, CA. “These systems convert otherwise unusable wall space into great storage space.” Think of your garage walls as a blank canvas for arranging useful “art”: rakes and shovels, sprinklers, pruners, weed whackers, and more.
Slatwall (or Slotwall)
This versatile system features grooved panels that attach to walls and organize various types of accessories, including hooks, shelves, baskets, and brackets. A slatwall system tends to be more affordable than cabinetry and features a narrower depth, says Chris McKenry, owner of Get It Together LA and member of the National Association of Professional Organizers. “If you don’t want to take up the whole wall, you can also simply add small strips of slat wall with adjustable hooks,” he says.
These perforated panels affix to walls and hold various hooks and brackets that can be moved around as needed. Pegboard is affordable and easy to install, and can even be painted for a pop of color. If you’re worried you’ll forget where to return tools, draw the outline of each item on the pegboard.
To free up floor space, you can install various types of racks that are specially designed to hold wheelbarrows, ladders, leaf blowers, and long-handled tools, including rakes, shovels, and brooms.
If you don’t need a whole wall storage system, McKenry recommends screwing attractive hooks into the wall to hang small tools such as cultivators, trowels, and pruners.
Shelves are a great option for keeping gardening supplies off the floor and away from small hands. Freestanding units can be moved to free up wall space; some even have wheels for portability.
A sturdy cabinet can be ideal for tucking tools, bags of soil, and other supplies out of sight. If you have children, choose a style with lockable doors to secure dangerous items, such as sharp tools, weed killer, and insecticide.
Tall items work well stored in racks attached to the ceiling says Judson Crowder, CPO, owner of Restorganize, LLC and member of the National Association of Professional Organizers. “Sometimes you only have four to six inches of space above the garage door, and that is just enough space to store your ladders, shovels, and rakes,” he says. “This keeps your walls clear for other storage, and the long-handled tools slide in and out with ease.” HGTV Smart Home 2013 demonstrates this type of storage with surf boards instead of shovels.
If you’re an avid gardener, consider adding an inexpensive potting bench, or repurposing an old desk, hutch, or diaper change station to serve as one. Choose a piece with a work surface and storage space for bins and planters. Add hooks to organize small tools and sturdy clips for hanging hats and gardening gloves.
Sort small items by type and stow them in labeled bins or baskets. “I recommend storing smaller items such as gardening gloves, knee pads, and flower pots in stacking bins,” Mark says. Totes, buckets, and tubs are handy for items you bring outdoors frequently.
On the Floor
Park lawnmowers and snow blowers in a spot that is accessible, yet out of the way. Before putting them away for the season, check the manuals for cleaning and storage instructions.