Organizing colleague Carolyn Caldwell of Altered Organization shares her knowledge.
THE PATH TO AN ORGANIZED GARDEN SHED
If you have a piece of property, chances are you also have a garden of some size and complexity and likely a shed to house the tools. So, along with turning the soil, top-soiling the grass and trimming the roses, why not set up for an organized garden shed as well?
No more looking around for tools you thought you had, can’t remember if you lent out and need for trimming that Euonymus. Here’s a step by step process to get you off on the right path.
Step 1 – Empty the Shed
Start by completely emptying the entire shed if feasible. Once it is empty, you will be able to start with a clean slate. You will also be able to see what you have and inventory your tools and their condition.
Sweep out the cobwebs, mouse droppings and other debris.
Step 2 – Inventory and Assess Your Tools
Review all your tools, shovels, rakes and hoes. Are there any that are broken, rusted or beyond repair? Throw out the irreparable and fix what’s needed. Are there any that are redundant, never used and could use a better home with someone else? Keep only those tools that you know you will use.
Step 3 – Look for Creative Storage and Give Everything a Home
Think vertical and you will find lots more fresh storage space that you may not have realized existed. The rakes, hoes, shovels can be stored on hooks or nails on the walls. This will get them out of the way and make them readily available when you are ready to rake. If you have the funds, many garden or home supply stores sell mountable devices specifically designed for hanging gardening tools such as rakes. If you are looking to organize using limited or no funds, use straight nails for hanging rakes, hoes, shovels and almost everything in the shed. Have some fun seeing how many tools you can actually hang for storage.
Hang one bag on another hook or nail to hold your digging and planting tools and a separate one for your garden gloves. Cloth grocery bags, made from recycled plastic bags and readily available in stores, are a great storage tool. Label with a permanent marker or bright fabric paint. An alternative to hanging gloves and hand tools is to repurpose a wooden winerack as a tool rack.
Items that are used on a daily basis or frequently during the week can be stored near the door on easy hooks or readily accessible shelves. Think secateurs for deadheading roses, trowel for pulling or upending weeds. Keep your garden gloves on the same shelf or hook beside – your tools are easy to grab for a quick 10 minutes of deadheading flowers each day.
Step 4 – Hide the Seeds from Wannabe Snackers!
Rodents and small animals would be delighted if you would just leave all those seeds out where they can help themselves. Let the squirrels find their own nuts and pack up the seeds to limit their scent and make it hard for animals to get access. Seeds that are stored in a plaster or metal box will be out of temptation’s way if rodents are a regular visitor to your shed. This is especially true of grass seed.
Step 5 – Keep Solutions Legal and Out of Reach
Review your solution bottles and know your pesticide by-laws. Many, if not all, jurisdictions have outlawed the use of pesticides. Check with your municipality to see where you can take the pesticides for disposal. Then check out your local garden centre to find an environmentally friendly alternative.
Even environmentally friendly products must be kept out of reach of children. Make sure your organized garden shed includes shelves high enough that curious children can’t get into solutions, anti-fungal products and plant food. Garden shed shelves, like tool hanging devices, can be expensive and fancy or inexpensive and simple. Most home supply stores carry industrial shelving of various sizes and strengths. Make sure to check the weight capacity, usually listed on packaging by individual shelf. If your shed is metal or plastic, you may be limited to commercial standalone shelves. With a wood shed, simple shelves can be constructed between the joists.
Step 6 – Use your Organized Garden Shed
An organized garden shed is easy to use and supports your interests in the garden. Try taking your shed for a test run. Can you easily find the tools you need? Can you just as easily put them away? Are your daily use tools where you can get at them? Are the seeds safely sealed away from intruders? Have you kept only what you use and what you need?
Last step – as always, enjoy the fruits of your labours and the bounty of your garden.
Carolyn Caldwell is a Certified Professional Organizer and the owner of Altered Organization in Toronto, as well as being a mentor for professional organizers. You can contact her at 647-505-2256 or by email.
Now that the calendar has been flipped over to August, the first day of school is on the horizon.
One chore that goes hand-in-hand with back to school is LAUNDRY. Like it or dislike it, it’s a necessity of life in households.
THAT DREADED WORD–L A U N D R Y!
In my experience as a professional organizer, I have found that many clients just can’t seem to keep up with the never-ending pile of laundry. For some people, laundry has become a mountain.
If you struggle to keep up with laundry, try some of the following suggestions.
- Have a laundry hamper(s) in a central location or each bedroom. Multi-section hampers are available to pre-sort dirty clothes into dark and light colours.
- Gather all your dirty laundry together before starting.
- Put each child’s clothing into a mesh bag for washing.
- Socks won’t disappear if contained in a mesh bag.
- Use a different colour basket for each family member.
- Keep your laundry area well stocked with supplies–detergent, fabric softener, stain remover, hangers, etc.
- Limit the amount of clothing you own.
- Children grow out of clothes so quickly. Pack up any clothes they have outgrown for your younger children. Or pass them along to a friend or relative or donate them to a thrift store.
- Store winter/summer clothes in a separate area–if possible.
- SCHEDULE TIME to do laundry on a daily or weekly basis, so it doesn’t get out of control.
- Wash one or two loads per day. The number of people in your household will determine how much laundry needs to be done.
- Put a load in the washer in the morning and transfer it to the dryer once you’re home from work. Or put a load in the washer at night and transfer it to the dryer in the morning.
- NOTE: For those of us who live in Ontario and are subject to time-of-use hydro (electric or power for our friends in the States) rates, this makes scheduling laundry a bit more of a challenge.
- Hang up items as soon as they come out of the dryer to avoid wrinkling.
- Fold and put away laundry after each load is dry.
- Make it a required chore for each family member to put away their clean clothes. Create good habits in the early years!
When was the last time you cleaned your dryer vent?
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, “Dryer lint caused 16,800 fires last year. These preventable fires caused 15 deaths, 300 injuries and about $88 million US in property damage. There are no comparable statistics available for Canada.” Schedule time to clean your dryer vent regularly. For more information, click here.
Don’t let your laundry get the better of you!
Get started and turn over another leaf!
Until next month,
Looking for a new salad idea? Try this one from The Recipe Critic.
Avocado, Tomato and Cucumber Arugula Salad
- 2 avocados, sliced
- 1 English cucumber, sliced
- 3 Roma tomatoes, diced
- 1/4 cup red onion, sliced
- 1 cup arugula
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup feta cheese
- In a large dish combine avocado, cucumber, tomatoes, red onion and arugula. Gently toss.
- In a small dish whisk the olive oil and lemon juice. Add to the veggies and toss.
- Serve with crumbled feta cheese.
And for dessert, try any one of Shape’s 10 Healthy Ice Cream Sandwiches.There are vegan, glutenfree and paleo options too!
It’s never too late to make healthier choices!
“Cathy has helped me immensely with a family member’s move.
Not only is Cathy [pleasant] to work with, very knowledgeable and proficient at her work, she went above and beyond her duties. Cathy was able to reuse or donate items to assist other families which meant a great deal to me.
I highly recommend Cathy as her expertise would benefit those who must tackle any type of project.”
N Schreiner, Burlington, ON
Thanks for reading…
P.S. To read more testimonials, please Click Here
If you’re planning to have a yard sale during the summer, check out our Yard Sale Checklist.
If you’re looking for some fun things to do this summer, check out these ideas from CAA.
Do you need some summer reading suggestions? To celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday, CBC compiled a list of The 150 bestselling Canadian books in the past 10 years.
Whether you’re buying a home or it’s time to renew your mortgage, consider using the services of a Mortgage Professional.
Here are just a few of the benefits:
- The research is done for you–saving you valuable time
- Mortgage brokers have a better understanding of what products are available than your bank
- May find you access to discounted rates
- Assists you with all of the required paperwork
- Gives you access to lenders that are otherwise not available to you
- Services are provided at no cost to you
- Mortgage brokers are licensed and the industry is monitored by governing bodies
Obtaining a mortgage is no easy task and can be time-consuming. Find an agent that you can trust and partner up with them for maximum advantage.
I hope you were able to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday. It’s great to still see so many Canadian flags everywhere. Our neighbourhood get-together on Canada Day was a lot of fun. We enjoyed great company, a delicious assortment of food and ended the night with a campfire watching several fireworks displays.
“Taking time to do nothing often brings everything into perspective.” I love this quote of Doe Zantamata’s. And it’s so true! How often do you find that you’re worried about something and after taking a break, it’s not as much of a problem?
In our last edition, I talked about life’s fast pace and the fact that most people feel they are too busy.
Take some time to slow down and enjoy all that summer has to offer. Continue to reflect and make some decisions about what you can do differently to lighten your schedule this fall. Yes, it will take some effort–especially if you’re trying to create some new habits.
“I find it fascinating that most people plan their vacations with better care than they do their lives. Perhaps that is because escape is easier than change.” Jim Rohn
In 5 Reasons to Streamline Your Life, Susan Krauss Whitbourne tells us “…. clutter, physical and mental, can interrupt our flow–both your ability to move and your ability to think. … your well-being could also become victim to what we might call the “clutter effect.”
The 5 reasons:
- “Low subjective well-being
- Unhealthier eating
- Poorer mental health
- Less efficient visual processing
- Less efficient thinking”
Susan’s article is worth reading in its entirety. She concludes with “Streamlining seems to have its advantages, … not just as a housekeeping tool, but as an essential process for maintaining your happiness in your home environment and at work.”
And for those of you who have trouble unplugging while you’re away, ParkSleepFly’s How to Unplug while on Vacation is a great read.
If you’re cleaning out your closets this month, please consider donating any gently used professional attire to Moore’s Canadian Suit Drive being held July 1-31. This drive assists at-risk men and women who want to join the workforce. Give a suit. Change a life!
So get started and turn over another leaf!
Until next month,