(From "A Place For Everything," by P. Allen Smith)
Details Make the Difference
Now that I’ve moved in and started working in the space, I’ve added a few more ways to keep my supplies neat and in good condition.
- Hose Hanger. I found an old metal basket and mounted it on the wall to hold the garden hose. Inside the basket, I store sprayer heads and other water-hose accessories.
- Quick Clean-up for Hand Tools. Tools like my pruners and trowels become pitted and covered in rust when I don’t clean them regularly. Now keeping them ready-to-use is as easy as sticking them in a bucket of sand mixed with a little mineral oil. The sand acts like sandpaper, cleaning off the debris, and the oil keeps water from damaging the metal. Plus, the bucket makes a good place to store the tools, so I’ll know right where they are.
- Tool Maintenance Caddy. When it’s time for me to clean up and prepare my other garden tools for use, I like to work on them on the center table. A carrying caddy keeps all my tool-care supplies, such as a file, sandpaper, WD 40, Pam spray, whetstone, et cetera, together in one convenient place so they’re easy to transport.
- Seed Box. I repurposed an old file box to store seeds. With divisions by month, I can organize my seed packets according to planting seasons. I also have an area in the box designated for seeds that I want to start indoors.
- Handy Holder. When the handle came off this old rake, I was about to give it a toss when I suddenly saw its potential as a holder instead. Now the rake enjoys a second life as a place to hang small dried-flower bundles or tools.
- Purr-fect Containers. The cat food I buy comes in plastic containers. Rather than throw them out when they’re empty, I’ve found they’re just the right size to hold bird seed and other items I want to keep from the mice. They also make great containers for cut flowers in summer.
- Belt Hanger Hold-up. I was rummaging through my clothes closet and found this belt hanger (see page 62). I decided I could put it to better use in the tool shed and discovered the prongs on the hanger made a convenient place to store partially used packets of seeds. After opening the packet, I
just clamp the top shut with an office clip and hang it on a hook.
- Spice Jar Storage. I seem to have lots of little items like nails, screws and matches that get lost in the shuffle or fall into the bottom of a box. This spice jar holder is an ideal way to keep them within reach.
- Recycled Thread Holder. Instead of spools of thread, I use this holder to organize all my
rolls of twine and tape as well as a handy spot for my scissors.
- Jelly and Coffee Jars. I also use an assortment of recycled, clear glass jars for storing an assortment of hardware.
About the Author: P. Allen Smith is a professional garden designer, host of two national TV programs, a regular guest on the Today Show, and author of P. Allen Smith’s Living in the Garden Home (Clarkson Potter, 2007) and other books in the Garden Home series. Learn more at www.pallensmith.com.
This article first appeared in the May-June 2009 Hobby Farm Home.