Storage ideas for sheds – 21 ways to make the most of your space

Ensure your garden tools and potting paraphernalia stay organised with these top tips

Finding your secateurs can be tricky if the shed's piled high with toys, cushions and garden furniture, so let these storage ideas for sheds lighten the load.

To help turn your shed into an organised haven, start by having a clear out. Firstly pull everything out and sort through what you do and don’t need. Check all machinery and tools are in working order, and if you have any old or empty paint cans, dispose of those correctly.

Some garden shed ideas will transform your space so you can accommodate both storage and an area to work, but be realistic about this and don't force yours to do what it can't.

Storage ideas for sheds

The humble garden shed has the power to provide a storage solution for any garden need. From a purely practical tool shed to a functional potting shed or garden room. Looking for storage ideas for sheds to determine how you use yours? Firstly you need to plan the primary purpose of what you need your shed to be. Is it for storing tools, garden equipment or bikes? Or do you need something bigger, with windows to act as a workshop?

Whatever you need, you can tailor your shed to suit your storage needs.

1. Start with shelves

wooden shed with table and basket

(Image credit: Future Plc/David Brittain)

Sheds don't often come with any shelving or wall hooks, so begin by measuring up your space, plus what you need to store in it and work out a shelving system pronto! Racks are a fantastic way of organising your belongings in shed as you can make full use of both the height and width.

2. Create a system

white garden shed with orange plant and potted plants

(Image credit: Garden Trading)

Don't just chuck things into your shed willy nilly, but think about the things you use most often or what is most needed for the season. Lawnmowers can be stored at the back of your shed throughout the winter, while rakes and garden brooms can be at the front, but come spring, swap these over.

Store sharper items higher, safely out of reach and keep everyday items like gloves and kneelers in crates under benches.

Buy now: Moreton potting bench, £320, Garden Trading  (opens in new tab)

3. Reuse and recycle

wooden shelving with plant pots and bulbs

(Image credit: Future Plc/Dominic Blackmore)

Before you cast off old items of furniture or left-over wood to the dump, think if they can be used in the shed instead. Old wardrobes, shelving units and bookcases make great storage solutions, or even an old wooden pallet, can be upcycled to house potting equipment and tools. Be mindful to remove any doors from furniture and don't create too many hidey-holes. Have in your mind, if you can't see it, will you remember it's in there?

4. Use a peg rail for tools

metal peg rail with flower basket and watering can

(Image credit: Future Plc/Mark Scott)

An old peg rail is ideal for hanging long garden tools from, so they are off the floor and all together. Always hang rakes upside down so don't get caught up with strings and wires that could be on the floor and are further away from any rising damp. You can hang anything from a peg rail, especially if it has a handle, so it's a very useful thing to fix to the wall.

5. Build a potting bench

wooden shed with blue table and potted plants

(Image credit: Protek)

As we mentioned, shed's don't tend to come with storage built in, so shelves and benches are definitely a good way to help with keeping a curb on the clutter. Potting benches can be pricey to buy, but if you're a dab hand at DIY, why not make one using left over wood? You can make a fairly simple structure in an afternoon, then why not give it a vibrant lick of paint to bring a bit of colour to your shed?

Buy now: Wood Stain + Protect paint in Bristol Blue, £21.60 for 2.5L, Protek (opens in new tab)

6. Utilise the sides of your shed too

grey fence panels with potted plants

(Image credit: Future Plc/Joanna Henderson)

Don't forget to make the most of the outside of your shed too! Here recycled fence panels have been painted, turned on their side and attached to the back of a shed to create a living wall with space to hang tools too. Simple hooks can easily be moved around to accommodate what needs to be stored, without taking up space inside your shed.

7. Use every last inch of space

wooden shed with clay pots and basket

(Image credit: Future Plc/Russell Sadur)

Chances are you're going to need every last inch of space you can in a shed, as no matter how many clear outs you have, you will always fill it! So make sure you are using all the wall space, right up to the eaves in the ceiling! Shelves are certainly a good way to do this and bespoke storage is even better. If you know you need to store lots of pots in the same size, look at buying (or building) and custom fit shelving system so you don't waste any space.

8. Keep windows clear to see what you are storing

garden area with blue shed and plants

(Image credit: Cuprinol)

Windows are a good option in a shed, not only to allow the natural light in, so you can easily see what you are looking for, but also so you can see what you are storing from a far too. A quick glance from the house to see if the hammer is on the wall, or a quick peek to check if the 'emergency' chairs are clean before guests pop round, means you won't have to riffle through the whole shed every time you need something.

Buy now: Cuprinol Garden Shades Barleywood wood paint, £22 for 2.5L, B&Q (opens in new tab)

9. Gain extra storage space on the underside of shelves

green room with wall shelf and storage pots

(Image credit: Future Plc/Spike Powell)

Make the most of every inch of space with this savvy storage idea. In this garden shed storage jars are stuck on the underside of a shelf. The otherwise wasted underneath surface of the shelf is now utilised to provide a handy space to keep jars of garden or DIY essentials.

Simply glue the lids of the pots securely to the underside of the shelf and screw the base of the jar in place to create a suspended storage solution. Best to use small jars to keep the weight at a manageable level. Use the shelf as normal, to store tools, books and more.

10. Utilise a pegboard in a potting shed

wall shelf with storage pots

(Image credit: Future Plc/Sarah Hanson)

Create a picturesque potting shed with storage that is practical and pretty in equal measure. An on-trend peg board can provide a stylish solution to use the wall behind a potting table or bench to store tools handy while you work.

The simple design allows you to use every inch of the wall to peg up the items you need to have within reach. Add further storage above with simple kitchen solutions, such as metal rails with S hooks – to hang twines, watering cans and larger tools.

11. Make your own garden twine dispensers

green wall with storage pots and twine dispensers

(Image credit: Future Plc/Simon Whitmore)

Seek storage solutions that makes working in the garden a little easier. This smart storage idea for the shed is just the thing to keep garden twine handy and easy to use! These DIY gardening twine dispensers are simply stainless steel funnels  wall mounted to keep garden twine handy and easy to work with.

12. Be smart with wall storage

shed with metal wall hook and potted plants

(Image credit: Future PLC/Polly Eltes)

If your shed is on the smaller side, investing in wall storage hooks and shelves will prove invaluable.

'Hooks in particular offer a great space-saving way of organising power cables, paintbrushes and gardening tools, without taking up any floor space' says Vlatka Lake, Marketing Manager at Space Station (opens in new tab). 'If you’re looking to hang any heavy equipment, make sure the hooks are sturdy. Galvanised hooks are perfect for heavy equipment such as drills and spades. Fixing hooks high up ensures little ones can’t get their hands on any sharp or dangerous objects.'

13. Store on all surfaces to save space

garden area with trellis and potted plants

(Image credit: Future Plc/Michelle Garrett)

As well as utilising any wall space, make sure you make use of other areas of your shed.

'The back of the door is the ideal space for hanging small tools or wires'  explains Vlatka Lake. 'Try adding some hooks into the back of the door for a space-saving storage solution. You can also make use of the ceiling space too. If your shed ceiling is triangular, secure a wooden beam across and attach hooks. This is a great solution for wires and low-hanging tools.'

14. Pack it all in on a potting bench

wooden shed with table and vegetable basket

(Image credit: Future Plc/Andrew Woods)

A potting bench is a great multipurpose piece for storing everything you need when growing your own. The compact table can provide storage on all levels, from pots and tools on the top to seedling trays, hessian sacks and produce buckets on the lower shelving.

Mount a pin board behind the bench to store a planting schedule and pin seed packet info to make the most use of the space.

15. Fashion a branch coat rack

wall hook with purse

(Image credit: Curpinol)

Cheap, charming and completely practical – a twig coat rack is an ideal storage solution for sheds. Source a hearty branch, keep a look out while out on a woodland walk for fallen branches. Buy two handles to attached the branch securely to the wall, IKEA offer affordable leather handles similar to the ones above.

Line the new coat rack branch with metal S hooks that act as hanging pegs for clothing layers, gardening aprons, accessories and even garden tools. Hang near the door to make it more efficient.

16. Rack up gardening tools

wooden shed with shovels and hoes

(Image credit: Future Plc/Mark Scott)

Use a simple rack with hooks to keep all your garden tools mounted together. Use the hooks to grasp the handles of the tools, to keep them elevated and safely stored on the wall. Not only will they be grouped together and therefore easier to find when required, storing all tools upright will keep them safely out of the way to prevent any accidents.

17. Store seed packets in fabric baskets

seeds storage with drawer and wooden table

(Image credit: Future Plc/Adrian Briscoe)

Make your shed storage stylish with the addition of fabric baskets to store seed packets, colour coded twines and more. They not only add a cheerful touch to the decor they are easier collapsable when not needed, so they make a good solution for small sheds. Plus being fabric you can pop them in the wash if they get dirty.

18. Hang seed packet organiser

hanging seed packets on green wall

(Image credit: Future Plc/Simon Whitmore)

Alternatively you can hang your seed packets on lengths of decorative ribbon. Make a hanging seed organiser by tacking strips of ribbon into the walls of your shed, there's no real weight in the packets so a simple nail will be sufficient to secure. Attach the seed packets using wooden pegs or washing line pegs. This savvy storage method allows you to plan your planting, by hanging them per month and in order of importance.

19. Store vertically to make the most of space

wooden shed with shelf and bbq stand

(Image credit: Future Plc/Tom Leighton)

Even the smallest of sheds can prove invaluable for storage, when used efficiently. Make the most of all the space on offer by thinking of vertical storage. Use wall-mounted storage baskets secured high above items being stored at a lower level. Choose stacked shelving units to optimise vertical storage space. Elevated shelving allows you to keep items off the floor – avoiding any water damage or risk of attracting pests.

20. Put up plant pot shelves

blue shelf with terracotta pots

(Image credit: Future Plc/Caroline Arber)

Put in place slim shelves that are purely for storing terracotta pots for planting seedlings. Terracotta plant pots are a staple for any gardener, meaning there's always an abundance on hand. Keep them all. in one place, on a slimline shelf tucked away in a corner of the shed.

21. Fill a wall with multipurpose shelving

wooden shed with wall shelving and pots

(Image credit: Future Plc/Lucinda Symons)

Dedicate one wall for wall-mounted storage solution. This: garden shed shows how a wall of open shelves proves invaluable for stocking with flower pots and various garden and diy tools. Wooden crates are handy to store underneath the wall shelving to storage bulkier items that might not fair well on open shelves.

What should you not store in a shed?

wooden shed with white windows

(Image credit: Amateur Gardening)

The common garden shed appeals to most as extra storage for many household items. But what if those items aren't ideal for shed storage? Could we be unknowingly ruining valuable items?

The shed and garden experts from BillyOh (opens in new tab) have revealed seven items homeowners should never store in our sheds. 'There are two factors you should consider before storing something in your garden shed – temperature and moisture,' advises a spokesperson for BillyOh.

'Extreme temperature can damage a variety of items, and mould and mildew can render a lot of products useless quite quickly,' explain the experts.

'It’s worth noting that there are some products that can be stored if you choose to add shed insulation, humidity control, and apparatus to regulate temperature. But if your own shed is little more than a wooden box at the end of the garden, it’s best to leave out these seven items.'

What not to store in your shed

1. Avoid storing canned food

Any metal food container is subject to rust, causing holes and ruining the contents. 'Because outbuildings are prone to extreme temperatures, this will quickly spoil the food too.'

2. Paints and glues 

Don't we all do this? Turns out we shouldn't. 'When subject to extreme temperatures, paints and glues will break down. For example, once frozen, any paint or adhesives will become lumpy and unfit for use.'

3. Photographs

Nothing can destroy photos quite like humidity and high temperatures. The most common consequence is photos sticking together or developing mould. Keep them safe in the warm, to be treasured forever.

4. Clothing or bedding

It's a bug life out in the garden, and try as you may they will get into the shed. 'Insects are notoriously good at ruining clothes. While mothballs are a
thing, fabrics could wind up smelling musty after prolonged storage in your garden building.'

5. Wine

Don't spoil a fine vintage. 'When kept at inconsistent temperatures, wine can take on a metallic taste, so you should always store win somewhere dark and cool.' So not the shed. Also, you won't have to go out into the cold for a refill.

6. Electronics

It's maybe quite obvious that electrics don't go hand-in-hand with any damp. But likewise they can't get too hot – making the shed far from ideal. 'Plasma televisions, in particular, require temperature control, as the screens will go bad if under the duress of temperature mood swings. Rust can completely ruin the internal wiring too, and over time, humidity can cause a build-up of condensation akin to direct water damage.'

7. Musical instruments

To continue making sweet music, best to reconsider your storage. 'An instrument made of wood is very much affected by heat and humidity. Brass instruments such as trumpets and trombones can also corrode when exposed to humidity.'

How do I maximise my shed storage?

'Organise tools and equipment so they're easy to locate,' says Vicky Silverthorn, Professional Organiser at You Need a Vicky (opens in new tab).  'If you have to tackle a mess, move too much stuff, or it takes too long to find something, then you're more likely to put off doing a job.'

'Buy large garden furniture covers that span over the whole set (individual ones can be fiddly and time-consuming) so they don't have to be stored in your shed.'

Another top tip that Vicky shares is, 'Store garden hung on the wall so you can find what you need more easily. Try labelling tools or drawing around them in black marker on the wall so you'll know when one hasn't been put away.'

What should every shed have?

Every shed should have space for tools and garden equipment, as that's what it is intended for! If you find you're storing things like kids toys or garden furniture, leaving no room for anything else, you might need to invest in some additional storage.

'Don’t forget some lighting too, even a couple of battery-powered push lights will help you find what you need,' advises Vicky.

Additional words: Holly Walsh

Tamara Kelly

Tamara was Ideal Home's Digital Editor before joining the Woman & Home team in 2022. She has spent the last 15 years working with the style teams at Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, both now at Future PLC. It’s with these award wining interiors teams that she's honed her skills and passion for shopping, styling and writing. Tamara is always ahead of the curve when it comes to interiors trends – and is great at seeking out designer dupes on the high street.