With Brits having more time on their hands than usual due to the UK-wide lockdown, gardens up and down the country are reaping the benefits of their green-fingered owners.
A third of Brits (32%) admit that they enjoy gardening as a hobby, but while gardens are looking the part, what about our shed spaces? We’ve put our heads together (virtually, of course!) and came up with a few tips to help get your shed in tip-top shape.
1. Have a clear out
Sheds are usually prone to becoming cluttered with gardening equipment, paints, tools and household items that you can’t quite fit in the home.
To help turn your shed into an organised haven, firstly have a clear out. Pull everything you have in our shed out (you can also clean any machinery and tools as well) and sort through what you do and don’t need. Check if machinery and tools are working correctly, and if you have any old or empty paint cans, dispose of those correctly.
If you have any paint remnants, remember to dispose of them in the right way as leftover paint can be hazardous to people and the environment. Try donating any spare paint to a friend or specialised paint recycling company.
2. Check your paint brushes
When having a clear-out, make sure you check the condition of any paint brushes that you have. After use, paintbrushes should be thoroughly cleaned with a solvent such as white spirit before they are allowed to dry, so they don’t harden. If, however, your brushes have hardened due to paint, there are ways to dissolve this.
For brushes hardened with water-based paint such as acrylic, use a mixture of fabric softener and water to help dissolve the paint. For brushes that have dried with oil-based paint on, you’ll need to swirl your brushes in a solvent or paint thinner until completely dissolved. Rinse any remaining fabric softener or paint thinner off your brushes, and allow to dry horizontally.
3. On-the-wall storage
You might be lucky to have the outdoor space for a large shed, but for those whose shed is on the smaller side, you may want to invest in wall storage hooks and shelves.
Hooks in particular offer a great space-saving way of organising power cables, paintbrushes and gardening tools, without taking up any floor space. 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.
4. Get recycling-savvy
Once you have decided what’s to keep and what’s not, you might need storage solutions to help store nails and small tools.
Old takeaway tubs (either plastic or aluminum) work great as storage containers for bits and bobs, such as nails or small tools, like screwdrivers. They are also stackable if they come with a lid and can easily be labelled with a permanent marker pen for easy identification.
5. Utilise all available space
As well as utilising the 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. 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.
6. Give your shed a little TLC
The May Bank Holiday weekend is the perfect time to give your shed a little TLC. With an extra day off and warm weather expected, it's a great time to treat your shed to a little extra care.
Firstly, use the new, organised space in your shed to brush away cobwebs, debris and dried leaves. If your shed has windows, give them a good clean to let in natural light and crack open the window to ensure lots of air can circulate in your shed. Finally, use a quality shed wood treatment on the outside of your shed. This lick of paint will ensure your shed looks brand new once again and will protect it from wear and tear, and weather damage going forward.