Storage Sheds: Your Complete Guide


These are the best storage sheds for your money. Deciding between building your own or buying a kit is the tough part, but this guide will walk you through the entire process.

Storage sheds can help save space in your garage and keep your backyard tools handy. Today we’re sharing everything you need to know about storage sheds plus helpful tips and tricks to get yours organized and keep it that way.

Your complete guide to storage shed organization. Everything you need to know. Get organized. Stay organized. Two backyard storage sheds side by side.

Wondering where to begin? Get our FREE guide, The 30-Minute Organizing Secret, and discover easy ways to overcome the chaos of clutter – even with kids at home!

Storage Sheds

The best way to keep your backyard and garage organized is to build or install a storage shed. Having a storage shed will free up more space in the garage.

It will also protect your lawnmower and other tools from the weather.

Plus, having a storage shed could increase the value of your home when you go to sell it. It’s an investment that is worth the time and money.

This guide will give you all the information you need to choose the best storage shed for your needs. It will also help you organize your shed and show off some really creative shed ideas.

  1. Different types of storage sheds
  2. Is it cheaper to build your own shed?
  3. Where to Put a Shed
  4. How to Organize a Shed
  5. Creative Shed Ideas
  6. Can You Live in A Shed?

By the end, you’ll know what kind of shed to get and how to organize it. Easy!

Different Types of Storage Sheds

First, let’s look at the different types of storage sheds. Deciding on which size and type to install is the most difficult part. Once you find one that works for you, the rest is simple.

Everything you need to know to organize your storage shed. Two backyard storage sheds side by side.

If you want a super-comprehensive guide, check out Home Stratosphere. They have examples and details about every single kind of shed known to man. This guide will just cover the most common ones.

Metal Sheds

Metal sheds are made out of one of three metals: iron, aluminum, or steel.

The Good

  • Metal sheds tend to be the most durable and long-lasting. Since they aren’t made of wood, they are more resistent to bugs and fire-proof.
  • They are the safest options since they are the most difficult ones to break into.
  • Metal sheds are also affordable. You’ll be looking at prices from about $300 up to $1800 for small metal detached garages.

The Bad

  • Aluminum sheds are easily dented and metal sheds won’t withstand high winds like tornadoes very well.
  • You’ll also have to maintain them in the winter. Keep heavy snow off the roof so it doesn’t bend.
  • Steel buildings have the ability to rust, so they take more maintenance.

Wood Sheds

The next most common are made of wood. This includes all sizes from 10 foot wood sheds to small barns.

The Good

  • Wood sheds are the most popular kind because they are gorgeous and can be renovated into offices or small houses. Plus, they look so beautiful. They can be built to mirror your current house.
  • They come in a variety of shapes and sizes. You can even get 2-story wood sheds.

The Bad

  • Unfortunately, wood sheds are prone to termites, mold, and moss. You’ll have to maintain them and take care of them.
  • Wood sheds are also pricier than metal sheds. They vary in price from $800 to “small house” sized ones running around $10,000.


Plastic or vinyl sheds are another option to consider when looking for outdoor storage. These come in a huge variety of sizes and price points. One of the most popular brands of plastic sheds is Rubbermaid sheds.

The Good

  • The best thing about a plastic shed is its durability. Unlike metal sheds, they don’t dent as easily. They will withstand lots of weather like snow and rain.
  • Vinyl sheds don’t require as much upkeep. You might want to rinse them off if they get muddy, but they won’t rot or rust.
  • Price-wise they will cost around the same as a metal shed. It all depends on the size you buy.

The Bad

  • Really the only negative thing about plastic sheds is how they look. Lots of homeowners think they look cheap. It’s difficult to cover up the fact that they are made of plastic.
  • They also are more difficult to renovate into small houses or offices later on.

2-Story Workshop / shed

Finally, another option for a shed if you have the room is a 2-story workshop. Most often these are metal but some people build them like a detached garage out of wood.

The Good

  • These are gorgeous and definitely increase the value of your home.
  • They will nearly double the storage space of your house. Plus, you can always turn them into living quarters later on.

The Bad

  • The biggest drawbacks are that they require a lot of space, cost a lot more, and take more time to construct.
  • This is all expected since they are larger and require more supplies and time.

Is it cheaper to build your own shed?

Most of the time you will save money by building your own shed. It all depends on the cost of materials.

Sometimes you’ll be able to find a shed kit on sale for cheaper than the cost of materials.

Another benefit to building your own shed is the ability for you to customize the shed to your exact needs.

Where to Put A Shed

When you are deciding where to put the shed, consider how you are going to use it. Will you need to easily reach things and use them in and out of the house?

Most people put their shed in the backyard close to the house. This way they can store the lawnmower, shovels, and other tools close to their home.

Other people place the shed as far away from the house as possible. They might not want to see the shed from the house. Keep them out of sight if possible.

How to Organize A Shed

Sheds can become very disorganized very quickly. All it takes is throwing random tools inside one by one. And eventually, it becomes a crowded and dangerous place that breaks your stuff.

How to organize your storage shed. Front of a storage shed with wood siding and a rustic barn door. Lush purple flowers.

Keep your tools and outdoor equipment protected by organizing your shed with these 5 easy tips.

1. Build Shelves

First, consider building shelves inside your shed. This is easier in larger storage units since you’ll have more space to utilize. It works great for larger workshops and pole barns.

Building shelves are as easy as measuring the studs, cutting them, and nailing them together. This DIY shelves tutorial is really easy to follow.

When you finally have shelves, you’ll be able to see all your things and keep them up off the ground.

2. Create Zones

Even if you have a really small area or a 6 foot by 6 foot shed, you can benefit from creating zones in your shed.

Put all your tools in one corner, your machines like your lawnmower in another, and outdoor sports equipment in another.

3. Only Keep What You Will Use

Another tip that works no matter what you are organizing is to only keep what you will use. If you haven’t used that weed wacker in at least a year, get rid of it. Space is a precious commodity in a small shed, use it wisely.

4. Hang Things Up On the Wall

Since the shed is outside, it will have a pretty dirty floor. Your stuff will last longer if you get if off the ground.

If it is a vinyl or metal shed, look into some kind of hooks that can be adhered to the wall.

5. Keep It Safe

Finally, invest in a lock of some sort to keep your things safe. Theft is a problem in outdoor sheds.

10 creative storage shed ideas - corner of an outdoor storage shed with wood siding.

Creative Shed Ideas

Now that you know what kinds of sheds are available and how to organize them, how about some visuals? Let’s look at some creative shed ideas and maybe they will inspire you to create your own outdoor storage solution.

1. Wood Storage

Sheds are excellent places to store your firewood. This one is gorgeous. The most important thing for firewood storage is protection from the elements. You’ll need a roof of some sort like they added.

2. Garden Shed

This little garden shed is so quaint. It’s perfect for digging in the dirt, especially with the workbench. Garden sheds can be decorated with potted plants. These are some of the most popular types of sheds.

3. Mini Barn

You can also buy a shed that is the size and shape of a miniature barn. It’s so cute and has room for all that you own. If you have lots of space on your property, this is a really fantastic idea. These sheds can be turned into tiny houses later on.

4. Greenhouse

Your shed can double as a greenhouse when you add enough windows. The most important thing here is the light.

5. Bright Paint

Simply painting a shed gives it new life and makes it look brand new. This shed is so cheerful! Metal and wood sheds can be repainted a lot easier than vinyl ones. Also, double-check with your HOA (if you have one) to make sure you are allowed to own a brightly-colored shed.

6. She Shed

A really popular trend is to turn sheds into female retreats, or “she sheds.” These always look so relaxing and luxurious. They can have a place to sleep or just work, totally up to you!

7. Use Wood Pallets for Shelves

Organizing your shed is easy when you use wood pallets for hanging up your tools. If you can’t find wood pallets, you can make your own from simple pieces of wood.

8. Make a Statement

The red doors make a huge statement. It almost looks like it would be at home in a historic area. If you love making artistic statements, a creative shed like this one will do the trick.

9. Organize with an Old Dresser

Use chalkboard paint to label drawers for things like small tools or seeds. This way you can see where things are, even in the low light. Almost all sheds, no matter the size, can fit a dresser like this.

10. Hang Things Up

This is an excellent example of how you can hang things up on the wall, even in a metal shed. All you need are some wood beams. Another fantastic thing about this example is all the free space on the floor. There is room to walk around without falling down.

Can you live in a shed?

The best thing about investing in a larger woodshed is the ability to transform it later on into living quarters. Yes, if you have the right kind of shed, you can live in it.

There are just a few things you have to do first.

How to Transform a Shed into a Tiny Home

There is a lot of work that goes into converting a shed into a livable space. Thankfully, there are also lots of free resources online that will help you.

Here’s a video that takes you through the entire process so you know what to expect.

The really fascinating thing about the video above is how they decided to use water from a garden hose for the sink and make the toilet composting, so no plumbing was required. This post explains in detail how they plumbed this little house.

This article will take you step by step through the process too. When you go to turn your shed into a tiny home, you will need to consider these things:

  • Whether your zoning and/or HOA allows it to even be built
  • Insulation
  • Heating and Air Conditioning
  • Plumbing
  • Electricity
  • Tiny, space-saving furniture ideas
  • A stable foundation

Hiring a professional is a really good idea, especially if you aren’t an experienced plumber or electrician. Plus, it will save you money in the long run. If you do something incorrectly you’ll have to hire them to fix it anyway.

How to organize your storage shed once and for all - front of a storage shed with wood siding and a rustic barn door. Lush purple flowers.

Storage Sheds Can Create More Space

Choose your storage shed wisely. They tend to be in the higher price bracket. But they are worth the investment when you consider how much longer your things will last when they are properly stored and organized.

Also, consider the future use of your shed. Maybe someday you can turn it into an office or guest quarters for your older children.

Struggling to get motivated? Sign up to get our FREE guide, The 30-Minute Organizing Secret, and discover easy ways to overcome the chaos of clutter – even with kids at home!

More Garage and Outdoor Storage Ideas

As you begin to organize your yard tools and outdoor equipment, here are some more articles that will inspire you and help you along.

One Comment

  1. My husband and I want to sell our house far down the road and wanted some tips on how we could increase the value of our house. I didn’t know having a storage shed could increase the value of your home when you go to sell it. That doesn’t seem like a good investment and is a cheaper addition to our house compared to remodeling; I’ll have to tell my husband about this so we can look at storage sheds that’ll fit all our skiing stuff in it during the warm months, thanks to this tip!

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