Great Tips to Trick Out Your Storage Shed

If you're a homeowner, warm weather doesn't just mean breaking out the short sleeves and making plans to dine al fresco. No, it means yard work -- and that process starts by heading out to that special eyesore housing your random jumble of rakes, bikes, and tangled hoses known as the storage shed.

For most people, this area is a dirty, disorganized mess… but it doesn't have to be. Check out these nifty remodeling tips to make this oft-ignored area more organized and yes, even swankier than ever.

Get a fresh start

Chances are your storage shed was inherited from your home's previous owner, and is either falling apart or seriously neglected. But if you're not up for shopping for a new shed, you can make an old one look new again for less money by just updating the exterior. This could be a simple paint job in a bold color. Or add a touch of luxury to your shed with products like NovikStone and NovikShake. Both have the rich look of wood and stone but are easier for a DIYer to install than siding.

Install a slatwall

The next step to glamming your shed is to get everything off the ground, so you can reclaim valuable floor space. The trick is to use the real estate on the interior walls to organize, organize, and organize some more. "A slatwall allows you to hang hooks wherever you need them, to accommodate all of your stored items, such as golf clubs, tennis rackets, and skates," says Michelle Johnson of Closets by Design. Beyond hooks, slatwalls can be outfitted with tons of accessories, from magnetic strips that handily display your tools to wire baskets to hold a gamut of balls. And don't forget to utilize the ceiling -- hang bikes from above with a well-anchored hook.

With a slatwall, you don't have to search for your tools.

Get creative

"If you're going to trick out your shed, pick a theme," says Diane Regalbuto, lifestyle organizer and owner of New Jersey and Philadelphia's Betty Likes to Clean. For some people, design might come in the form of a playful nod to AMC's The Walking Dead. For others, it might be a "favorite inspiring color." You can also add pop and personality to your shed by using " plastic woven baskets from Target or wooden boxes from Hobby Lobby." Funky interior paint also goes a long way, plus "it's cheap and easy."

Your shed could save a life in a zombie apocalypse.

Go tubing

We all have it -- a dark corner of a shed where hoes, shovels, and maybe a random sledgehammer lean together in a pile that resembles a game of oversized pick-up sticks. And when you try to extract a shovel, everything around it inevitably collapses right on your foot. That's why when it comes to a shed-streamline, a length of hollow PVC tubing is your new BFF.

Turn PVC into a shed workhorse by first figuring out how many excess brooms, fishing poles, and general equipment with a long handle you have. You'll need to make 3-inch tubes for the bottom and middle of each handle, so buy the corresponding length of PVC (10 feet will cost about $3). Use a handsaw to cut the PVC, then screw the resulting tubes to one of your shed's walls. Finally, slip the handle for each of your various implements into the handy PVC tubes for life-changing organization (step-by-step instructions here).

Design a sweet escape

Now that your shed is so neat and tidy, you're going to have to figure out what to do with all that extra space. Have an old chair that doesn't quite fit into your decor, or a few knickknacks that are more shabby than chic? Use them to transform your shed from storage area to that rustic art studio, cute sewing room, or inspirational writing studio you've always wanted. (A nap room is also an option.)

Don't forget to integrate

Chances are much of what you keep in your meticulously organized shed will be used to keep your home's grounds looking fabulous. So don't forget about how your shed as a whole looks sitting in your backyard. To keep it from sticking out like a sore thumb, spruce up the shed's exterior with some outdoor bright furniture and lush plantings. And if you want to add even more decorative touches to your actual shed, "there are a variety of shutters, lamps, flower boxes, porches, and skylights available," says Michael Bishop, owner of Bishop's Products in Pennsylvania.