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Now that warm weather is at least trying to hit most of the country, some of the more green-thumbed among us are excited to get their potting sheds up and running again.

But the perfect potting shed requires planning, patience, and a little personality in order to get everything exactly where you need it to be. Due to their small size (smaller than most home greenhouses, even) it can be all too easy for a potting shed to fall into disarray and get too cluttered to use.

The act of organizing a potting shed, then, becomes one of those long-term investment chores: sure, it isn’t as fun to spend an afternoon cleaning up your potting shed as it is to actually get to planting, but if you take the time to actually tidy up your potting shed, the rest of your planting season is going to go that much easier.

Starting to sound pretty good, right? Here’s a few tips to help get started:


Let some light in

The first step is to remember that plants need sunlight just as bad (if not worse) than we do, and keeping your windows blocked off isn’t going to help the plants you keep inside the shed. Whatever you do to organize it, make sure to leave plenty of space around the windows for natural sunlight to get through.


Get rid of last year’s experiments

When it comes to growing plants, some of them will simply work out better than others. If you have any plants that didn’t quite make it last year, any supplies you bought for things you never wound up trying to grow, or any tools that you haven’t needed for a while, don’t be afraid to purge them in order to make room for everything else.


Find shelving that works for what you have in there

Even the hardiest of plants need easy access to sunlight and air, and that means you might need to find safer ways to store everyone. For example, using metal garage shelving for potted plants will give them a safe place to stay that can support their weight and let sunlight hit them more easily. Lighter plants or temporary planters can stay on wire shelves as their more ‘open’ design can support their weight and promote air/light circulation.


Get those tools out of the way

Potting sheds often wind up being a home for large, bulky gardening tools that don’t really have a home elsewhere. Instead of leaning them against the wall, try to find a clear spot on that wall to hang up some garage rail storage and hang your spades, shovels, and the like from it. This might also work with some repurposed sports equipment storage if the measurements all line up right (but you’re really going to want to check that first).


Sort by what (and when) you grow

Finally, once the space is made a little more livable, you need to make sure everything is set up in a way that will help the plants thrive. Get a seed tray and keep it somewhere dark and safe, separate your plants by type, and don’t be afraid to rotate your plants around on the shelves as needed to keep them in the sunlight. (You probably didn’t need us to tell you this part, but a little reminder never hurt anyone!)

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