10 Tips to Organize Your Lawn and Garden Equipment

Leaning over the lawn mower to reach the pruning shears is as difficult as it is dangerous, which is why the task of organizing your lawn and garden equipment is important for the busy seasons ahead. An organized toolshed is safer, saves money and gives you the time and energy you need to edge the flower bed, mow the lawn and finally lay down the stone walkway you've always wanted. But it takes time, so set aside a day or two to organize your lawn and garden equipment and complete the project.

1. Purge the storage space. Empty the storage space and assemble all your tools together. Remove any lawn and garden equipment that's rusty, worn out or never used. This will help speed up the sorting process.

2. Group similar tools together. Designate an area for each tool group or for tools that are often used simultaneously (like the TB32 EC Gas String Trimmer and JumpStart') to save time and optimize your storage space.

3. Identify underutilized space. It's easy to overlook open studs in your garage walls. Instead of ignoring them, try strapping a bungee cord across wall openings to add extra storage areas for taller lawn and garden equipment like rakes, shovels, hoes and edgers.

4. Think vertically. For example, an area above the door frame may be perfect for a shelf. And the back of the door may be perfect for installing a few hooks or a tool hanger for additional storage.

5. Install shelves. Drawers and deep cabinets tend to swallow tools and become disorganized. Instead, choose open shelving that allows light to filter through. Tools will be more accessible and less cluttered. If you'd prefer cabinets or drawers, be sure to label them so you don't waste time opening and closing doors to look for something.

6. Hang a pegboard. Pegboards are excellent for storing lighter lawn and garden tools. Try outlining each tool with permanent marker on the pegboard so you know exactly where to return each item.

7. Embrace the magnetic bar. Mount a bar with a magnet strong enough to hold your metal garden tools, such as shears, trowels and pliers. That way you can save on shelf space, and your tools will always be within reach.

8. Simplify everyday tasks. Designate a basket or toolbox for your everyday on-the-run jobs. Include what you need most: a pair of gloves, a trowel, twine, goggles, etc.

9. Use caution. Pesticides and harmful chemicals should be stored out of children's reach in a locked cabinet or on a high shelf. Ladders should be closed and stored horizontally, whether hanging on hooks or lying on the ground. And heavy objects, such as mulch or potting soil, should be stored as close to the ground as possible to prevent injury when picking them up.

10. Consider frequency of use. The tools and equipment you use most frequently should be the most accessible. If you use your lawn mower often, don't put it behind lawn equipment that would take any longer than a minute or two to move.


The Dirt from Troy-Bilt®, March/April 2014