Spring Cleaning Tips for Owners of Sheds - By: Jamie Simpson

Sheds have a pesky habit of accumulating stuff until you can't find anything or fit anything else in. Maybe it's been years since you've cleaned your shed, or needed to, but eventually all the useful (well, possibly useful) things you've hung onto will turn your shed into a veritable jungle of tools, machinery and yard implements. It happens to many sheds. Don't be daunted by the seemingly daunting task of cleaning it out. Choose a day when the weather is nice and get to work. This will be easier than you think.

1. The first thing to do is take everything out of the shed. Make separate piles of tools, yard implements, spare tires and whatever else is in there. Also make a pile of things you no longer need. If you look at all your stuff and can't see anything you don't need, try this rule of thumb: if you haven't used it in three years or more, you most likely don't need it.

2. Clean the shed and your stuff. Start by using a broom to sweep out the interior and get rid of any spider webs or cobwebs, then hose everything down including the floor and walls. It's also a good idea to hose down the outside of the shed, since most sheds accumulate dirt and bird poop on their walls and roof. If you want to go the extra mile, add a little bleach to the water, but be careful it doesn't run onto your lawn. Dish soap is also a great degreaser, and it can be a little gentler on grass.

Clean your equipment with a moist, soapy towel or by simply hosing it down.

3. As the shed dries turn to the piles of things stacked nearby. It's a good idea to have some kind of storage system, such as bins or tubs, and to clearly label the boxes with what they'll contain such as "tools" and "fishing gear." If you don't have storage bins, just separate your belongings into smaller piles than you've already done, placing like with like. This will prevent all your tools from wandering about the shed and getting lost in the rest of your stuff.

Make a pile of things to throw away and then actually throw them away.

Make a pile of things to donate, and package them up in boxes or bags for donation.

4. Now it's time to begin putting everything back. Some sheds have wooden beams or walls that you can put nails into and hang tools, rakes, and other items up within easy reach. When putting items back, it's a good idea to keep the things you use most often as close to the front as possible so you can get to them with little trouble.

Sheds fill up fast, so your organizing system will come in handy if you stick to it. With luck and a little organization, you won't have to clean out the shed again for many years to come.

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