Shedding the outhouse clutter

It is a truth universally acknowledged that most properties in possession of sheds, barns, garages etc. will be using these handy outhouses to store large amounts of clutter. It is all too easy to sling stuff into the shed with the intention of sorting out later, but never quite managing to do so. Out of sight, out of mind.

Here are some ideas for keeping the clutter under control and using the extra outhouse space to its full advantage.

Plan ahead

Pick a clear, warm day to tackle the shed; it’s horrible having to dodge the rain. Start with a notebook and pen and make a list of everything that is inside the shed. Invest in some sticky labels, marker pens and solid, stackable plastic boxes. Allow plenty of time and energy. Ask a friend to help if the task seems too daunting, or enlist the services of a professional clearance company like EasyClear.

Sort as you go

A cluttered shed will have got that way for one reason only – procrastination and reluctance to sort out the contents. So don’t move everything out into big piles that just go straight back in, unsorted. Work out what you are going to do with each item as you come across it, and either throw it away, move it to its new home or put it into a storage box and label what’s inside. Be ruthless; anything that has been damaged irredeemably while being stored must go.

Savvy storage

Larger items will sit well in big storage boxes, but what should you do with smaller things, such as nuts and bolts, picture hooks, computer wires etc.? Biscuit tins, jam jars and ice cream tubs work well as smaller storage boxes, which can either sit on shelves or find space in larger boxes. Use transparent containers where possible so you can see the contents quickly, or add sticky labels for easy identification. Seek professional advice if you need to store anything delicate, such as precious old books or clothes. Don’t forget to use the walls – add more shelves or hooks to increase storage space upwards.

Get in the zone

If you have enough space in your shed or barn, consider creating ‘zones’ so you can go straight to what you are looking for. Group gardening tools together, for example, or keep cycling repair kits and accessories on the shelf above the bike itself. If you are using the shed to store possessions for other members of the family or grown up children who might want to retrieve them one day, allocate each person their own shelf, cupboard or space. This might encourage them to limit what they are asking you to store for them, thus reducing clutter further.

Revisit your work

Finally, don’t let your decluttering day become a one-off job. Put a date in the diary every three months or so to look through your stuff again and see if you still want to keep it. Again, regular appointments with a professional clearance company can help you keep track and stop the piles of stuff getting too out of hand.