Are you excited to make the most of summer? Are you ready with all the summer essentials that will keep your family comfortable whilst having fun during the hot sunny months? These essentials may include gazebos, umbrellas, camping gear, outdoor sports equipment (bat, soccer ball and nets, cricket sets), sports protective gear, inflatables, toolbox, utility tools, or BBQ equipment.
But before the summer comes, you can store these essentials in a storage shed, garden shed, or bike shed for easy access and safekeeping, but not all items are meant for shed storage. Here’s how you can keep them organised:
Before putting these summer gear in the storage shed, sort them out first. For instance, sort out the balls, bats, safety gear, inflatables, cycling, and camping and sports equipment before labelling them. This would make taking an inventory easier.
You can also maximise the use of your storage shed by observing the following:
1. Use the gable in a shed for extra storage space
If your shed is gabled (made of a triangular portion of the roofing), you can use it for extra storage. To do this, install a wooden and metal ceiling joist or rafter tie. This gable headspace can accommodate inflatables, cricket, and other sports equipment. Ensure that you’ve got a handy and stable aluminium ladder for easy access of the headroom.
2. Utilise a bungee cord for ball storage
A stud’s space is often unused. Use this space as a corner for soccer ball and basketball by installing a 2 X 4 rectangular frame, one for the top and another for the bottom. Drill a hole where you can fasten the cords from top to bottom; two cords for the front and one each for the sides.
3. Use the shed’s interior door for storage
The shed door can serve as a wall space for headgear such as rugby or bike helmet.
4. Use slotted wooden bars to hold bats
If you’ve got two slotted wooden bars, you can use them as a holder for bats. Nail these wooden bars against the wall and studs.
5. Install a bike rack
Use a plastic or wooden pallet instead of buying a commercial one for your bicycles. A pallet rack can keep your bikes upright and easily accessible.
6. Use rake hooks to organise your grilling or BBQ tools
Use rake hooks for slotted ladle, spoons, and whisks or build a wooden cart to store the grilling equipment. Make sure not to store flammable items, such as fuel, in a shed, especially during the hot summer months.
7. Put up a rack for screwdrivers
Use a wooden plank with slots to hold screwdrivers and wrenches for bicycle maintenance.
8. Install shelves for storing camping gears
Minimise or optimise spaces by using an existing multi-shelf rack or DIY wooden rack to store your camping gear. To store inflatables such as swimming pools, kayaks, or tents, use plastic bins.
9. Put desiccants in each plastic bin to prevent mould build-up
As inflatables are made of rubber or plastic, use a desiccant, silica gel, and anti-moisturiser to prevent mould or bacteria from building up. For a kayak, clean the inflatable with water and mild soap, and use a vinegar-water mixture to kill off mould spores and remove its fetid odour.
10. Keep a database or spreadsheet of your things
With a spreadsheet or database software, keep track of your summer essentials. With computerised record keeping, you can avoid lost items and prevent buying the same item because of misplaced ones.
11. Use a magnetic metal bar to store small metal tools
Fasten a magnetic metal bar on one of the studded wall spaces. You can keep the same magnetic screwdrivers on the magnetic metal bar without the need for fasteners or screws.
12. Use a file holder to store cutting boards and knives
Just like keeping files, you can use a file holder to keep cutting boards and knives stacked and organised.
13. Use boxes to store sports items
Keep golf, soccer, and volleyball equipment in wooden boxes with desiccants.
14. Exploit your shed’s wall space for storage
Keep your summer essentials off the floor by using ball claws, racks, bungee cords, existing studs, metal hooks, mesh baskets, magnetic bars, and scrap lumber to hold summer equipment.
15. Label bins to organise your sports equipment
Store sports equipment in bins such as barrels, laundry baskets, totes, mesh rolling bins, and plastic storage containers. Label each bin for easy identification and retrieval. For instance, label a bin full of cricket equipment and the next bin of golfing gear.
16. Clean camping equipment such as cookware
Scrub and remove food residues from cookware before storing them in a resealable bag to prevent microbial and fungal build-up.
17. Try a multi-boxed shelf for storing sports equipment
This shelf type can help you sort sports equipment.
18. Put racquets and balls in a closet
Install a closet with six spaces (one big space in the left for summer gear) and the rest for the large laundry basket, boots, and racquets.
19. Organise your storage for easy retrieval
For easy retrieval, place the seasonal bins up in the bike shed or garden shed’s multi-shelf rack and keep the often-used essentials in the lower level. For instance, keep the inflatable kayak in the upper level during the cold months or when you’re too busy and place the headgear you use while biking on the lower levels.
You can also label items according to seasonal use. Likewise, label equipment with stickers for easy identification.
It is also important that you observe safety when storing your things to protect them and your health. Observe the following:
20. Remove the batteries from gadgets before storing them
Camping gears such as GPS, bike lights, flashlights, and headlamps have batteries that could leak when left for a long time. In addition, lithium-ion batteries could explode in tight or hot spaces because sheds are continuously exposed to the sun.
21. Do not store food items in a shed or mix them with your summer essentials
Food items such as canned goods and food staples can go rancid in a shed constantly exposed to high temperature. In addition, storing food items with summer essentials would encourage fungal and bacterial build-up in the air and on surfaces.
22. Use a shed with enough ventilation
If you store fuel along with summer essentials, ensure that there is enough ventilation by using sheds with two or more windows or these options:
- • Shed copula. Just like a turbine ventilator, the shed copula sticks out of the roof and can remove a lot of heat. It resembles a small house-like protrusion often found in barns and churches.
- • Louver vents. They allow hot rising air to escape out of the gable shed; thus, making the shed cool. They also help lower humidity levels. You can install louver vents at both ends of the shed. They are low maintenance, yet stylish. However, they allow little air flow and they are always open, allowing bugs and outside smoke or air to enter.
- • Whirlybird turbine ventilator. Resembling an onion, a turbine ventilator can suck hot air out of the ceiling cavity. Either mechanically or air-driven, a turbine ventilator requires less maintenance and can remove hot air out of the shed unlike louver vents. The drawback is that you’ll get a noisy ventilator if it’s not installed properly.
- • Venting skylight. This can remove a lot of hot air and give you natural lighting. However, you may need more than one if you want to use a medium-sized or large shed.
- • Ventilation fan. Often found in the kitchen or bathroom, a ventilation fan can move a lot of air, but this requires more electricity and generates some noise.
- • Roof window opener. This is a good solution if you don’t want to spend more money for electricity or some kind of mechanical solution to vent hot air. A roof window can easily remove hot air naturally. Your only concern with it is that it can leave your shed open for determined thieves.
- • Window. Stylish and sturdy, windows offer iillumination and a constant airflow for hot and cold air.
- • Ridge vents. Installed at the peak or slope of the roof, ceiling and attic areas, ridge vents can help hot air escape through the ceiling by allowing airflow to go in each side of the ridge.
- • Wall vent. A slotted wall vent can allow dirty air out and fresh air in the lower portion of the shed. Wall vents can also prevent the build-up of musty odour due to moulds and bacteria.
23. Prevent fire hazards
Sheds can be a fire risk because of the direct sunlight that can degrade fuel and affect combustible materials and chemicals. To minimise fire risk, observe the following:
- • Store fuel properly. Follow the specific rules of fuel storage implemented by the Queensland Government’s Department of Education. Do not place containers in areas with fire hazards such as sunlight, sparks from welding or grinding, and combustible materials.
- • Label fuel containers. Accurately label kerosene, diesel, and unleaded containers.
- • Keep away flammable solvents. Don’t store the following chemicals along with your summer essentials: alcohols, acetone, aromatics such as benzene, xylene, ethers (ethylene glycol), ethylene oxide, acrolein, silane, vinyl chloride, ethyl acetate, furan, acetonitrile, acetic acid, dioxane, and cyclohexane.
- • Protect your shed from bushfires. Prevent bushfires from turning your shed into an oven by reducing the flammable items inside the shed. You should also remove firewood from your house and shed; cover the skylight with fire-resistant materials; and cover the shed gaps to prevent flames and embers.
- • Don’t store flammables with substances that can catalyse the combustion process by producing oxygen and other chemicals. These chemicals include common alkalis such as lye, calcium oxide, sodium hydroxide, ammonium hydroxide and strong bases; corrosive chemicals such as acetic acid and sulfuric acid; alkalis such as calcium oxide; hydrogen peroxide and picnic acid.
- • Prevent electrical fires. Don’t mix flammable materials with electrical ones; avoid multiple extension cords and fully used sockets.
24. Secure summer essentials in your shed
Any item such as a ball, sports equipment, and safety gear can attract a thief’s attention when a shed is in an unlit area and when it has unsecured doors and windows.
- • Anchor the shed. Prevent thieves from lifting up your shed by anchoring it with the use of screws, L brackets, and breeze blocks.
- • Install the shed away from the road. Prevent thieves by placing items in a difficult- to-reach place or where it is not visible from the main road.
- • Secure the roofing. Prevent thieves from prying the roof by bolting and screwing it to the frame.
- • Hide your shed’s contents. Use blinds and curtains to hide your summer essentials.
- • Invest in a strong padlock. Add security in your shed by installing a loud alarm that Is triggered by motion.
- • Use CCTV. This would add surveillance to your shed and catch thieves even after the break-in.
- • Be discreet. Don’t post your home or shed’s on social media. Avoid posting hints about your home’s location either.
- • Illuminate your sheds. Install an LED light that is bright enough to cover your shed and outdoor areas.
- • Make an inventory. You can easily recover items by using a serialised inventory.
- • Lock up several items together. This will give thieves a hard time stealing all your items.
- • Remove overgrowth in hedges. Trim hedges to ensure they are not covering the shed on your lawn or backyard.
- • Use opaque security sheets. These will prevent thieves from peering through the window. Likewise, you could use tinted sheets or frosted windows.
- • Properly lock a shed. Use a hasp and strong padlock.
- • Don’t leave tools outdoors. Thieves can use tools to break into your shed.
- • Mark items with a UV pen. A UV pen can help you track your stolen summer essentials.
- • Secure window-type air conditioner. Thieves can find gaps in ACs condenser. Secure an AC by installing grills for your windows.
- • Protect the hinges. Repair exposed hinges, as broken ones will provide thieves with an opportunity.
- • Properly install a skylight. Install a strong metal mesh to cover a skylight.
Use the right shed
Secure your camping gear by using a shed that’s customised to your needs. An example is a gabled shed that offers more headroom. Also observe safety guides against fire and burglary and organise and secure space by using racks and shelves.
How can EasyShed help?
EasyShed can help you find the best shed through an extensive list of products and a customisable search. For more than 30 years, EasyShed has been a leader in the production of DIY storage sheds in Australia. For more details, visit https://www.easyshed.com.au/.