How to Find, Almost, Anything in Your Shed, Took Me 40 Years.

Introduction: How to Find, Almost, Anything in Your Shed, Took Me 40 Years.

I really hope it is useful, it has taken me some 40 odd years to come to this solution and, although it may seem little MAD, it works for me!

So, what am I trying to do?

I am trying to keep my shed tidy, tidy enough that I can find tools etc. when I need it or them. (My idea of tidy!)

I do not have, or have ever had, a big shed. I wish I did, then I would just get loads of cupboards, shelves and peg boards and it would look like the type of “shed” I used to see on some satellite DIY programmes, programs mostly from the USA where these guys had sheds bigger than my house, maybe bigger than my whole plot. They had every tool possible and all on nice tidy shelves and all just "goto" ready. Totally envious.

I have a small shed, a multipurpose shed.
I have lots of tools, plumbing gear, garden gear, electrical gear and so on.

What I used to do:
I have tried getting lots of little boxes and storage units and putting drill bits in one, screwdrivers in another, paint brushes in another, nails, in one box, screws in another and so on.
I put hooks on the walls, the small spare bits of wall that I had, and hung things from them.
Whatever I did looked super tidy, to start with. When that was done I had a nice tidy shed with all the disparate boxes in the nice tidy storage units.
I then discovered that, later, when I wanted something I did not know exactly which box it was in and even if I did which box, Where had I stored that little box, on a shelf, in a cupboard; Which one?!!!!

I knew what I wanted was there, somewhere, but the box, what cupboard was it in, maybe it was in a draw, underneath, at the back. Maybe I had I even left it in the house or where I was working last??????
I would eventually find what I wanted but by then most of the stuff was out on the bench or back in another place ready to be lost next time.

It just did not work but, it did not stop me trying to sort them out, time and time again. But now I have finally sussed it.

For the last couple of years maybe four, I have a working solution and I want to share it with you and there is no book to buy, no fee to pay you just need to do it, even if it sounds mad.

My Method:
I start with just one of my big old plastic storage boxes.
I give it a name, for example "Sticks Things Together”.
What is in it? well anything that I think "sticks things together", hence “my” name for it.
Screws, they join, (stick) things together.
Nails, they join, (stick) things together.
Tape, it (sticks) things together.
Nuts, bolts, washers, they join, (stick) things together.
Wall plugs, they help join, (stick) things together.
Cir-clips, jubilee clips, elastic bands……
"Can you see where I am going with this?"

It is not perfect and your idea of “Sticks things together” will vary from mine but since I did this, but wow, it works.

Now the next box:
Tools, simple although I have two of these and they are far from tidy but, all my tools are here, in one place, with a very few exceptions. Garden Spades... are just too big and so I have a small area where they are stood!

Next box, “Pokes Holes in Things”. Drills, mostly drills, metal, wood, masonry, SDS, chisels, reamers and, so on.

Next box, Garden stuff. Small garden tools, trowels, secateurs, gloves, scissors, pruning knives, hose bits and so on. The bigger stuff, hoes, spades etc. is stood around the shed in one place or hung on the side of the shed nearby as best I can.

Next box, Electrical Cables, what it says but it also has extension cables. Next box, PC cables, Lan, USB, etc. cables.

Next box, Power bricks or wall warts. These are sub sorted, all the 5v are in a plastic shopping bag with 5V written on the bag, the 12v in another etc.

Next box, Electrical sockets, switches and anything electrical that sort of fits on the wall.

Next box, Electrical Wires, OK sounds the same as above but this is the stuff that goes in the wall.

Next box, Plumbing, as it says but also has special tools that only get used in plumbing such as pipe cutters…

Next box, Decorating, paint brushes, rollers, scrapers etc. Next box, Bike stuff that also has pencils. So, who said it had to be a perfectly sensible system?

Next box, Power tools, ear defenders; see a third box with tools in but, a big distinction, also some of my power (won't fit in this box) tools sit on the shelf next to this box.

Next box, Misc’, a dumping ground that that when this gets anywhere near cluttered the bits get sorted into one of the above.
You have just got to have a “Don’t Know where” or “Just in a hurry" box otherwise you get fed up with being organised.

Maybe it’s only me???

Is this the best and most perfect system in the world, not a chance but after years of looking through every box, draw, shelf and then other dark mysterious nooks and crannies, whatever a cranny is, this works for me and if it helps just one more person, my work here is done.

You may call it common sense, it took me a long time to work it out it? If it is common sense, I don’t have it ; my Mum used to tell me that.

NOW: When I want something, I just have to think about the few headings above, and normally, pick up the plastic box I have decided it WILL be in and a quick rummage finds it.
Well most times which is a real result for me.

An example of how it works day to day: I bought some screening fabric, some aluminium bars and some steel wire to connect this lot to my garden mesh fence.
When finished I had some of the wire left over, where to put it.
Well it joined the fabric and the aluminium bars to my fence in the garden so which box?
"It sticks Things together” Job done. (The Garden box, it was in the running).

Today I wanted the spare door lock mechanism as one of my interior doors unit was damaged, Where to look?. In my mind I thought, “Well if I was decorating I would be removing and replacing these to paint doors” so I looked in the decorating box, Yay! there it was.

Indoors? I even have a draw indoors that is called “Sticks things together”; Gaffer tape, staples, glue, masking tape, paper clips…….

Where it goes wrong!
If it is not in the place “you” think it should be in, then I have absolutely no idea The end: “Have a nice day” and that is stored in the box called, “Found it straight away, Yay!”

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