How to organize your garden tools
A Q&A with professional organizer Diane N. Quintana
Atlanta, GA-based professional organizer Diane N. Quintana, author of Now What? A Simple Organizing Guide, is also an avid gardener with lots of tools to store. Here are her best tips to keep your tools in tip-top shape, year after year.
Why should gardeners to organize their tools properly?
When you’re organized, you know what you have and where to find it. Gardeners often need scissors, clippers or a stake right now in order to complete the task at hand. Who wants to take the time to sort through a pile of stuff to find that elusive ball of twine?
How can gardeners figure out which organizing system will work for them?
Look at the space you have available. Can you allocate a wall in your garage or shed for all your gardening tools and supplies, or are you limited to a small space outside? Do you have room for a large garbage can, a shelving system or a wall-mounted pegboard? Once you know what space you have, you can plan which system to use.
What systems do you recommend?
A pegboard system allows you to hang the majority of your tools so you can see everything. Corral large tools standing up in a garbage can; keep smaller ones in baskets on shelves, or wrap a tool belt with loops and pockets around the outside of a large bucket, and glue it in place.
Any affordable ways to organize tools?
Always use what you have before investing in pre-made organizing systems. Look at shelves or bookcases in your home. Can you move one to use as a dedicated gardening zone? Can a chest of drawers be repurposed as storage for gardening tools? Any container that can corral tools safely is a great alternative.
What about pots, labels and other gardening stuff?
Please don’t keep every pot that comes into your home, or you’ll run out of storage space! Keep just a few in different sizes so that you can repot plants. I like to label plants as I plant them, so that when they die back in the fall, I’ll remember what occupied that space. Use a pencil to write on Popsicle sticks – which doesn’t wash off or fade. Be sure to write the date you planted it. I like to keep the smaller items together in a basket on a shelf, or in a plastic baggie inside a flowerpot.