Once you’ve used The KonMari Method™ to tidy your home, it feels natural to tackle other spaces that play a vital role in leading a more mindful, joyful life — like crafting corners or the garage. Backyards and home gardens are no exception.
A home garden provides the perfect opportunity to introduce more mindfulness into our lives — and more joy into our daily pursuits. “When I moved to the States, I enjoyed having space for an outdoor garden for the first time, which helped me hone my skills,” Marie says, “Now, I cannot picture life without gardening!”
If you are also familiar with the joys of gardening, you have likely acquired various tools, pots, seed packets and bags of soil over time. Treating a garden shed as a catchall for miscellaneous supplies is certainly tempting. If you’ve noticed your garden shed sliding towards disorder — almost like an oversized junk drawer filled with disorganized komono — let this guide help you bring it back into harmony.
How to Tidy and Organize a Garden Shed
1. Imagine Your Ideal Garden (and Shed!)
The purpose of a garden or potting shed is to support your passion for gardening. Before you begin your tidying project, take a few moments to imagine your ideal garden. By visualizing the outdoor space you’d like to have, you will quickly get a sense for what gardening tools and supplies you need to bring this vision to life — and which you can let go of with gratitude.
2. Take Everything Out
Everything! The goal is to empty your shed. Place everything on a nearby patio or even a drop cloth in the grass to see exactly what you have. You may be surprised by how much you’ve acquired, but don’t be too hard on yourself — you’re committing to only keeping what you’ll use in the future. And remember, by tidying using the KonMari Method™, you’ll only need to do this process once!
3. Tidy by Category
Before you even consider what to keep or discard, group supplies by type and function. Think “like with like.” Focus on one category at a time. For garden sheds, we recommend the following order:
- Aprons, gloves, garden clogs and other wearables
- Tools, supplies and gardening accessories, such as spades and shovels
- “Paper goods,” such as gardening how-to books and seed packets
- Gardening komono, or miscellaneous items, such as twine or lawn ornaments
- Any sentimental items, such as gardening gifts from loved ones
As a rule of (green) thumb: When tidying with the KonMari Method™, choose groupings that work best for you. If you prefer splitting gardening tools into winter and summer sets, then perfect! The goal is to find categories that make life easy and joyful.
4. Let Go, Donate and Discard
Set aside any items that no longer have a place in your ideal garden. That list includes broken items, tools you haven’t used for years, damp seed packets or damaged planters. It might also include items that simply never sparked joy, such as a gifted bird feeder or an itchy pair of gardening gloves.
Divide discarded items into a few piles: one for fellow garden-loving friends (invite them over for tea and let them take anything they want or need!), one for donating (tools and supplies) and one for discarding (broken items). Try to donate everything you can — even if an item fails to spark joy for you, it could bring joy to someone else.
Joyful Tip: If you find you have too many pots, fill them with favorite plant cuttings for neighbors and friends. They make for a joy-sparking housewarming gift.
5. Organize and Label
It’s now time to put everything back. Use organizers in different sizes to divide your garden shed, grouping similar items together. We love using empty plastic planters to organize and store seeds in one place and wall organizers to keep tools within easy reach.
Don’t forget to label everything! This step will help you locate seeds from previous seasons or quickly find the container that holds twine and wire — especially useful when your hands are filled with plants or covered in soil!
6. Commit to a Tidy Garden Shed
When you’ve finished tidying your garden shed The KonMari way, it will feel like a breath of fresh air. Moving forward, treat this space like you would your home. Return items to their designated places after each use. As you acquire new seeds or tools, assign them a place of their own. This simple maintenance will ensure that your potting shed — and garden — sparks joy for many years.