A lot of us are pointing out how quickly January flew by. Its mythical ‘90 days’ seem to have engaged some kind of fast-forward gear, which can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on how you look at it. Good, because the pace helped many of us get through the stress associated with ‘Janworry’. And also because Valentine’s is closer.(Yay!) Bad, because we’re suddenly in the 2nd month of the year, and many of our January targets remain unfulfilled.
We’re not referring to New Year’s resolutions –that’s a separate discussion. We’re thinking more about the practical side of things. Things like spring cleaning or refurbishing or changing your food roster. Organising the shed was probably on that list. (And Netflix knows this, which is why they released their Marie Kondo show on the first day of the year). Fortunately (or unfortunately?), your shed hasn’t gone anywhere, so it’s not too late.
Before we get into the nitty-gritty, let’s lay out the basics. One, untidy, messy spaces look dirty, even if there isn’t a speck of dust anywhere. So whether it’s your room, your yard, or your kitchen sink, everything looks instantly cleaner when you keep everything in its designated place. Two, untidiness is largely driven by clutter. The more stuff you have, the bigger mess you have. The more un-occupied (floor) space you have, the cleaner it looks. It’s why KonMari’s first move is to help you get rid of stuff. Schedule it for trash day, to guarantee instant disposal.
Spot and move the mess
Whether your inspiration comes in the form of an adorably detailed lady with magical folding technique … or a glance at your neighbour’s yard sale … you have to begin by de-cluttering. You could try the ‘finding joy’ approach or use a more time-driven approach. Basically, look at everything in your shed and think about the last time you used them. This is the functional stuff – anything that’s broken should be discarded. If you were really going to fix it, you’d have done it by now.) So your first trash pile should contain literally damaged goods.
Your second pile will have anything you haven’t used in the past three months. Sort these by their condition. Some will be in dusty but unopened packs, brand new in theory(if not in age or appearance). You may find items you forgot you had, and while you’ll strongly *feel* you *need* these things, the fact you forgot they existed means you really, really don’t. Sell those items, or donate them to people who’ll actually use them. If you don’t trust your own objectivity, have a friend help you discard stuff. They’re less sentimentally attached.
By the end of your sorting, your shed should be empty. The idea is to have it completely unoccupied so you can evaluate the state of the shed. Now, at this point, many ‘organisers’ make the mistake of cleaning the shed. Why is this bad? Because you’ll tire yourself out cleaning, then leave the mess outside your shed for the next day. And when you wake up and see that mess, you’ll be sodeflated and demoralised you might not sift through it for a week.
Work from the outside-in
As you procrastinate, your items will get wetter (from evening condensation and morning dew) and dirtier and muster, as well as forming the perfect hiding place for pests. So start on the outside. You should have discard piles. Put those in the trash, and enjoy the feeling of lightness as the garbage truck drives them away. Put the next set in the donation pile and have them collected, or drive them to your chosen charity centre. For the items you plan to keep, wash and dry them thoroughly. Where possible, put them in a dishwasher or washing machine.
Now that your yard is empty, go inside. Clean the shed according to its type. Check for breakage, leaks, or pests, removing or repairing as needed. If the shed is too far gone, consider tearing it down and installing a new one. Buy a flat-pack PVC shed and install it in hours using nothing but a power drill. These sheds have trendy (optional) features like skylights, sliding doors, and shelving. These easily assembled shelves are especially helpful for keeping your shed arranged.
Invest in storage containers like bins, trunks, or Rubbermaids. Bring your shed items back in, assigning a spot for each one. Install sturdy hooks on the wall and use them to suspend some of your Garden shed equipment. Label your smaller tins and jars – and even your shelves – so items are easier to find. And ensure there’s good circulation and lots of free floor space, because they both contribute to the appearance of cleanliness, tidiness, and organisation in your shed.