Outdoor Storage: Cleaning and Organization Tips

Outdoor Storage Cleaning and Organization Tips
April 27, 2022

If you want to add some storage space or a bit of versatility to your backyard or outdoor space, then a steel shed is one of the best things you can buy. Not only do steel sheds look great, but they provide a good amount of protection for your tools and equipment, and they also allow you to keep your backyard looking neat and tidy. But how should you clean and organize your storage shed?

In this article, we will go over everything you need to know about cleaning and organizing your outdoor storage space, including:

  • How to choose the right size shed
  • How to maximize the space in your shed
  • How to organize your storage shed
  • How to insulate your outdoor shed
  • How to clean your shed
  • And much more

How to Choose the Right Size Shed

There are a ton of different shed storage options available on the market today, but you’ll want to select a shed size that will fit on your property, fit within your budget, and hold everything you need it to, whether that’s tools and landscaping equipment, or patio furniture, and gardening supplies.

Your first step should be to pick an area on your property that would be convenient for a storage shed and measure out the area. Once you have your measurements, you should see if everything you plan to store inside your shed will fit. Assuming you have a rough idea of where your shed will go, what will fit inside it, and how much you want to spend, then you can move on to picking out the shed that will work best for you and your property.

Outdoor Storage Metal ShedOutdoor Storage Metal Shed

Create a storage plan

Great, so you did your homework, picked out the perfect spot in your backyard, and you bought your new outdoor storage shed. Well done! The next step in the process is to create a storage plan so that you can keep your shed neat and organized, which will allow you to find what you're looking for when you need it and prevent your shed from becoming another big cleaning project in the spring.

But how do you create a storage plan? Well, there are a few things you need to consider, such as shelving, floor space, storage bins, hangers, and how you want to lay out your equipment in the shed. Let's look at each of these factors now so that you can come up with a shed storage place that will serve you well.

Invest in shelving

First and foremost, every good outdoor shed needs shelving. Without shelving, all your tools, supplies, and equipment will be scattered about the floor, making it hard to access anything. The whole point of your shed is to have organized storage, so shelving is essential. There are a few different options available for storage shed shelving.

Many modern sheds will include some form of shelving already, and so if that's the case, then you're all set. However, many sheds, especially the higher-end sheds, will not include shelving; this is so that you can customize your shelving system for your own unique needs.

One option is to buy prefabricated shelving, which can be welded to the inside of the shed if it's an all-steel shed, or alternatively, you can install shelving made of wood that you simply cut and measure yourself. In either case, being able to store things neatly overhead will take your shed from good to great, and it's something you should consider when creating your storage plan.

Use plastic storage bins

Plastic bins are great for storing smaller things and organizing tools. The best thing about plastic bins is that they can be stacked, which allows you to maximize your floor space without sacrificing any functionality. Typically, plastic storage bins are inexpensive, lightweight, and relatively durable, making them a great option that should be considered when you're coming up with your shed storage plan.

Maximize space with hangers

Hangers are another excellent way to organize things within your shed. Once you have some shelving in place, you can maximize your space by storing things on hangers; this way, nothing is sitting on the floor, and everything is kept neat and tidy. If you haven't installed your shelving yet, then one nifty idea is to run an extendable curtain rod the length of your storage shed so that you can still take advantage of hangers and plastic bins while you await the installation of your shelving system.

Outdoor Storage Cleaning and Organization BackyardOutdoor Storage Cleaning and Organization Backyard

How to Keep Your Shed Clean

Now that you've created your shed storage plan and everything is neat and organized, let's look at how to clean your shed so that you can keep it looking great and continue to find and access whatever you need without having to pull everything out just to find what you're looking for.

Insulate it

Now, before we can talk about how to clean your shed, we first need to discuss insulation. If your shed isn't insulated, then fungi, mold, and mildew can creep into your shed, rendering it inoperable until it's been disinfected and deep cleaned. The good news is that by installing some basic installation, you can prevent this sort of thing from happening. Insulation is also an excellent way to winterize your shed so that you can use it year-round.

After all, some people don't use their steel sheds for storage but rather as a workshop or external office. In these cases, it's nice to have a warm place to sit and work, especially in the cold winter months when your shed would otherwise be freezing and inhospitable.

There are plenty of options available when it comes to insulation, but standard sheet insulation, which you can find at your local hardware store, should do the trick perfectly and is relatively inexpensive. Just make sure you wear gloves and a mask when installing your insulation as the fiberglass can cause rashes, and the insulation itself can cause respiratory problems for some people.

Wash and wax with spray-on car wax

When it comes to washing the exterior and interior panels of your shed, you can wash it with soap and water, much like you would wash your car or anything else. In fact, after you spray your shed down, you can go over it with a spray-on car wax which will help keep it looking crisp and clean and will also help protect it from the elements.

Use touch-up paint when needed

Over time, your shed will inevitably start to look a bit weathered. Remember, your shed is sitting outside in the elements year-round, where it's exposed to wind, rain, and snow. However, you can keep your shed looking brand new for many years to come just by touching it up with a bit of paint when you start to notice it's losing its shine and luster. Many people neglect to touch up their sheds, which is a sin because it's so easy to do and makes a huge difference in how your shed looks and how you feel about it.

Rinse and wash doorways

Remember to always rinse and wash the doorways well. Dirt and debris can build up in the doorway as this is often the only gap in your shed. Generally speaking, you should be fine to spray down the door with some warm water or wipe it down with a lukewarm rag; just ensure there is nothing caught in the track and always dry off any steel components to prevent rusting.

Lubricate the door track

It's also important that you remember to lubricate the door track, as failing to do this can result in the door becoming stiff over time. Apply a liberal amount of WD-40 or some other lubricant to the track, ensuring even distribution, and you'll be able to keep your door opening smoothly well into the future. You don't need to lubricate the track all the time. Once a month should be just fine.

Remove chemicals from the shed

Lastly, and this is very important, you should never store chemicals in your shed as they can give off gases that will make your shed dangerous to enter. It can be easy to forget about this, but if you enter a shed that's loaded with a high concentration of toxic chemicals, then the consequences can be very serious indeed. It's okay to store chemicals in your shed temporarily while you’re working on a project, but even then, you should crack the door or a window and always remember to remove the chemicals before sealing your shed at the end of the day.


Having an outdoor shed is the best way to add storage space and functionality to your backyard while at the same time helping you keep your outdoor areas neat and tidy. There are several great storage sheds on the market, but no matter which you choose, you'll need to create a storage plan and spend a little bit of time cleaning and maintaining your shed on occasion so that it always looks great and serves you well.

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