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You are here: Home > Organizing Advice > Garage, Attic, and Basement Storage > How Does Your Garden Grow?
Garden Organizer Kit Spring has sprung, and this is a wonderful opportunity to go through all your gardening tools and supplies, take them out and assess whether or not you should keep them, need new ones, have too many, etc. Is everything in working order? Do the hoses have holes or leaks in them? Is everything you need ready to go, or somehow, over the winter, did all sorts of stuff arrive in with your gardening tools? There can be just as much clutter in your gardening area as in the other areas of your home or office. You need to get it under control in order to be as efficient as you can in weeding, trimming, planting and watering so you can sit back and enjoy your yard and all your hard work!

There is such a joy to being outdoors! It's very rewarding to see your accomplishments as the plants start growing, the weeds are NOT and your vegetables are bursting out of the ground! If you prepare and plan everything out, you will see great results sooner, which provides increased energy and spirit in tackling the ongoing projects in your yard throughout the season. Plus, it's just plain fun!!! Gardening is a wonderful stress-reliever after a pressure-filed day at work. Knowing you are coming home to get dirt under your nails can sometimes be the thing that gets you through!

ENVISION: You canít hit a target that you canít see, so you need to define what that target is! Good intentions or the desire to change are not sufficient without a vision, a plan. So, as in any organizing project, you want to know what you're working with, what your space and budget allowances are, what you want and what you see as a workable space. When you focus on your vision, you can turn that into reality. Once you have an idea of what is going to be workable for you, set up some activity zones, such as where seeds, pots, hand tools, larger garden tools, fertilizers and chemicals will be stored and where you plan to work with them.

PURGE:

First, empty everything out of the area and give it good cleaning.

Discard
all the garbage, broken tools, garden hoses with leaks in them and chipped pots that you don't want to use. Keep in mind, however, that you may be able to repurpose that broken pot: I have a little garden-art hedgehog peeking out of a Ĺ pot in my yard and I love it!

Set aside everything that belongs in another place - Don't go there now Ė just focus on the task at hand and get to that later! Gardening Center Kit

SORT:

Initially, sort by use, like-with-like, category or season and put everything into various piles. What belongs here? What would fit better somewhere elsewhere?

There is no right or wrong Ė you just sort and decide based upon what's right for you, and those who will also use the space, now!

Do you use this? Where? How often?

CONTAINERIZE!

Find a "home" for the items you have decided to keep. Make sure your chemicals are put away safely, up high or in a locked cabinet. If your garden area is subject to heat, humidity, dirt or moisture, keep that in mind when storing your items, such as seeds, or you could damage them.

Need more space? Remember to think "up!" Use shelving, hooks and pegboard to provide more storage space. You can even draw the shapes of the tools that you want back in a certain spot to help you remember to "put it back where it belongs."

Make sure what you are storing is in something you can see in. Make sure that containers you can't immediately see into are labeled. This would be particularly important for your seed packages, drip system components and other smaller items.

Group items as you intend to use them. For instance, an upright tool organizer/caddy is great for having everything handy, and also safely contained. If you are lucky enough to have a potting table, keep on it only the items that you know you want available immediately. Then, when you are there, that trowel is handy or the whisk broom is there to keep it clean and ready for the next time. Think of this like your "gardening desk" and act accordingly. Small hand tools that you use continually you could keep in a bucket or one of those sorted canvas bags. It's ready to pick up and go at a moment's notice, whenever you see that errant weed!

MAINTAIN & MODIFY.

Whatever systems you have set up will need to have modifications and fine-tuning from time to time, as your life changes, events happen, and you change. What's working? What's not working? If you find you aren't using the set-up you planned, then it is time to tweak your organizing system a bit to fit where you are now, so that you can be more efficient and happier when doing your gardening.

Keep it up! It is better to have small, regularly-scheduled purgings than to wait until your storage shed is SO bad that you can't even open the door anymore!

Maintenance isn't supposed to be fun, any more than house-keeping is! But, don't over-organize. Don't over-analyze! Keep it simple. Focus and stick to the task at hand. Do the maintenance when you have time to devote to the task and can be methodical, not hurried, and aim for "just good enough!"

In closing, sometimes we feel like we don't even have time to work in our yards anymore. It takes a lot of energy to mow that lawn, deadhead the perennials, weed, water, prune, plant and other maintenance. You could hire out the work, but then you don't get the satisfaction that digging in the dirt gives you, the stress relief you get and the fact that the physical activity is good for you, especially if you spend much of your day sitting at a desk!

Pay attention to how you feel, though. Change your activities from time to time, so that you are using different muscles, changing positions from bending or stooping to lifting and carting, etc. That way you keep from having too many sore muscles and prevent injuries from over-stressing some body part. Don't forget to drink lots of water, too!

After getting your gardening space under control, you will feel more effective, efficient, confident and in control and ready for the next project! Relax and reward yourself for this accomplishment, then set a goal for your next one. You can use these same organizing principles in any project you choose to take on, any drawer, surface or room!

I hope youíve been able to glean an idea or two to get your gardening shed or potting table in tip-top shape, so youíre not wasting time buying what you already have or buying what you truly do not need.

Keep on organizing
Ė one step at a time. If you see a mess, deal with it. Watch out for flat surfaces Ė they have a tendency to collect anything and everything. If youíre done with something, put it away. If you donít have any more room for certain items, itís time to begin the process of sorting and purging again. Give yourself some "buying" parameters: one thing in/one thing out, or better yet, one in/two out. And, remember: if you need help, call a professional organizer Ė thatís what we do.

Thanks to Organized A to Z.com partner Rhonda McNett, the owner of Sensible Organizing Strategies, for contributing this article. Rhonda is committed to providing a supportive and rewarding organizing experience through client education, cooperative involvement and ongoing personal encouragement. For more information, call (360) 588-1994 or visit http://sosbyrhonda.com.