Is this the most wasted space in your home?

We all long for more room, but what if a solution was there all along?

No one ever seems to have enough room to do what they want with their home. Between bulging wardrobes, cluttered kitchen counters, and bowing shelves, we all wish we had that little bit more space.

Related: Small living room ideas for gorgeous spaces

Only, what if we already had that opportunity? A new survey from Clearabee, the on-demand rubbish removal business, has revealed some interesting facts. 52 per cent of British people have a shed in their back garden — but only one third of those shed-owners actually know what they’ve put in it.

wooden shed with potted plants in garden

(Image credit: Future PLC/Polly Eltes)

The statistic’s highest in Wales, with almost a quarter of Welsh shed-owners admitting to uncertainty about what, exactly, they have packed into the structure at the back of their garden. Old toys? Broken skis? Socks?

Related: 7 simple ways to make a small space feel huge

Surely, if you can’t even remember what you have knocking about back there, it’s not worth taking up the space. 84 per cent of owners in Northern Ireland admit to using their garden shed as a dumping ground for junk, and Leeds and the East of England follow close behind with other staggering figures. That’s one large bin at the back of the garden.

wooden shed with garden equipment and wooden chair

(Image credit: Future PLC/Dan Duchars)

Just think what we could do with our sheds if we used a little imagination? It could become a spare room so visitors don’t have to put out their back on the sofa. Or an office where work at home can actually materialise. Maybe it could become a playroom for the kids, or, or… the list goes on.

More shed inspo! She shed – how to create a chic retreat in a weekend

Unsurprisingly, more than half of the survey respondents wish they could use their garden shed for a different purpose. The top three fantasy functions were a gym, a summer house, and a hobby room — all far dreamier than a place to stuff the lawnmower! More cheekily – one in ten residents of Birmingham, Glasgow and the West Midlands would turn their shed into a bar, if they could.

Just because the most common shed size is ‘small’ (6ft x 4ft), doesn’t mean you can’t use it creatively. Check out some ideas for making the most of a small space, or see some summer house inspiration. Not all garden retreats are huge: a simple day-bed and a stool for drinks can make all the difference, with doors flung open to vanish any claustrophobia.

wooden living space with sofa and wooden table

(Image credit: Future PLC/David Brittain)

Maybe the thing you really need your shed for is what, give-or-take, it’s already been doing – storage. It’d be well worth investing a weekend for a proper de-clutter, to get rid of the bits and bobs still knocking about for no reason, and make room for the important stuff. Invest in a system like stackable, labelled storage boxes, and make the most of your garden shed.

So while the summer sun lasts, go out and prove this statistic wrong. Think of all the potential!

Written by Izzy Palmer

Holly Walsh
Content Editor

Holly Walsh has been Content Editor at Ideal Home since 2021, but joined the brand back in 2015. With a background of studies in Interior Design, her career in interior journalism was a no-brainer and her passion for decorating homes is still as strong as it ever was. While Holly has written for most of the home titles at Future, including Livingetc, Country Homes & Interiors, Homes and Gardens and Style at Home, Ideal Home has always been her ideal home, and she can be found sharing her expertise and advice across both the printed magazine and the website too.