Garden tools hanging on the wall in a barn.

Are you constantly looking for your garden tools? Are you someone who’s always thinking you lost them, having to replace that rake, pruner, or shovel year after year taxing your spring and summer budget? Or maybe your backyard, basement, garage or shed is just a mess with all the tools you try to use to make your backyard a beautiful place to enjoy.

Well, your friends at Ocean State Job Lot are here to help. Let’s help you organize better so not only will you find things, but when you find them, they’ll work better.

Garden tool inventory laid out on the grass.

Assessing Your Garden Tool Inventory

The very first thing you need to do at the start of any season is gather together all the tools you have. Make a complete list of what is in your shed, around the yard, and maybe some tools that could just randomly be lost around the patio.

We all know there are tools that have gone missing or need replacing. Here’s the time to do that.

Take Stock of Your Tools

Have a plan for the year. Know what projects you have on your agenda and try to figure out what tools you will need to complete them. Here’s where that complete list of what you already have on hand will be in fact, handy.

Washing off a small garden tool with a hose.

Basic Cleaning and Maintenance Before Storage

There are two ways of looking at this. You want to clean the tools that you want to put away. That’s first and foremost since you want to get the optimum use of them all season long.

You also want to be able to clean the areas where you will be storing these tools. Whether it be a shed, a storage unit, or a shelving unit. Protection is a very key step in the top maintenance of your garden tools.

Preparing Tools for Storage

As we mentioned above, cleaning your tools will be the first step before putting them away. If you access them for the first time since you put them away last winter, you’ll want a full cleaning. Using our cleaning supplies with sponges or with a damp cloth and water from a bucket or hose will be your best route. Soaking some of the smaller tools in our buckets will do the trick to get them pristine.

Drying them with a soft towel will complete the process before storage.

Garden tools laid out in a garage.

Storage Solutions in the Garage

Not everyone is going to be able to have this option available to them. But if you do, think of it as a blessing. Feel like it’s an organizational gift from the gods as not only do you get to protect your car from the elements but you get to tackle a tool problem as well. You also might get to have more space than some backyard sheds.

Wall-Mounted Systems

A simple solution is putting up shelves to mount some of the long-handled items like rakes, pruners, and shovels. Being in the garage allows those shelves to be a bit taller to allow room for longer tools.

They also could have room for the short-handled tools as well in spaces around the longer tools. It could be a bit of a puzzle once you get going and try to figure it out with the tools that you have.

You’ll want to pick up plastic or metal hooks for mounting your tools onto the shelves. Make sure the hooks, that are available at our Ocean State Job Lot stores, are able to withstand the weight of the tools they are supporting.

Freestanding Shelving Units

The biggest thing you want to make sure with these freestanding shelving units is that they are on level ground. Make sure they don’t have the opportunity to fall over. Ocean State Job Lot has plenty of shelving units for your use in the garage or any place around the backyard.

You want to make sure any tools you have on these units are accessible. The last thing you want to do is have to dig through tools and possibly injure yourself on sharp edges or possibly not find the right tool for the project you’re working on.

Garden tools hanging on shelving.

Organizing Tools in the Shed

You’ll want to organize your tools based on functionality, such as gardening tools, power equipment, and hand tools. As you go through the season, your needs will change depending on what tools you need. Bigger items such as lawn mowers and trimmers will need to be more easily accessible as you go through the summer. Labeling bins and shelves ensures a systematic approach, making it effortless to locate tools during projects. Regularly assess and declutter to maintain an organized space. With Ocean State Job Lot’s diverse selection of storage solutions, achieving a tidy and functional shed becomes a seamless task.

Maximizing Vertical Space

Utilize wall-mounted racks and pegboards to maximize vertical space, keeping frequently used tools within arm’s reach. You’ll want to make sure they are secure and not falling down easily when bumped as you access other tools in your shed. Invest in durable storage containers to safeguard smaller items like screws and nails.

As you think about your vertical space, you can also think about how you can make them go horizontally as well. It just depends on how much space you have on your shelf. Secure them with metal or plastic hooks to help you hang your tools safely.

Creating Zones for Different Tools

Your shed will be easier to maneuver if you can work around it without doing heavy lifting every time you need something. With that in mind, have certain areas set for:

Options for Storing Tools Outside

If you don’t have a place to store your tools inside, you’ll want to find a spot outside that makes sense and is out of the way. This will still keep your tools organized and easily accessible but less protected against the weather. You’ll want to consider things like size, layout, and add in the additional step of trying to keep them waterproof. A sturdy garden tool rack or wall-mounted storage system might be your best bet. This will make those tools right at your fingertips when you’re adding those whimsical ideas to your garden or fun ideas to your pathways.

Weatherproof Storage Containers

Weather-resistant sheds and containers help provide ample space for larger tools, protecting them from the elements. Utilize tool organizers with pockets or pouches for smaller hand tools, ensuring a clutter-free garden space. Storage benches with lift-up lids offer dual functionality, serving as seating while concealing tools within.

Portable Tool Caddies

If you have a larger yard or you just don’t want to carry your tools around, you may want to consider a portable tool caddie. They have slots for your long-handle tools while having a base to store short-handle tools as well. Depending on size, it may fit in a patio area for protection against the elements. Portable caddies could be an option to have and keep beside your greenhouses and raised garden beds.

An assortment of large garden tools.

Specialty Storage for Large or Unusual Tools

With larger tools, you might want to look at heavy-duty lockers to keep them well-protected. Consider versatile rolling tool chests with spacious drawers to fit the various sizes you might  have for these types of unconventional tools.

Another way you can try is the robust outdoor shed route. Durable storage bins, racks, and shelves also can do the trick. Don’t forget about using tarps for items that just don’t fit into a specific place. The tarps will protect them against the weather so that they last longer.

Man grabbing rake from garden tool storage area.

Maintaining an Organized Garden Tool Space

Make sure you’re disciplined with your organization now that you’ve taken this long-term project on. All too often, once your yardwork or planting is done for the day, we don’t want to complete that final step. We all say that we’ll clean up later or the next day and before you know it, it’s a week later and the mess remains. Put yourself on a visual schedule. If you’ve counted three times that you’ve seen that mess of tools, it’s been too long. Clean it up! You’ll thank yourself later.

Regular Check-ins and Adjustments

As we said, there’s no time like the present. Do the project and complete the project by putting your tools away where they need to be. If the visual schedule isn’t working as your reminder, commit to one day once or twice a month in your calendar to do it.

A good gardener is an organized one. So having the tools and getting yourself together is that first step toward a veritable green thumb.

Don’t forget to visit your local Ocean State Job Lot store for the latest garden tools, gloves, seeds, and more. Happy gardening!