Monday, May 28, 2012

Organizing Garden Tools with PVC

I love the "Keeping it Real" posts that fellow bloggers post. We all know that we share the best photographs and that often the other side of a room is a disaster. I will be showing to you the disaster that I spent the Memorial Day weekend rectifying. That would be the tool shed. It was embarrassingly disorganized and non-functional. But thanks to bloggy inspiration, today it is not! 


Today, our garden tools stand at attention in organized (and labeled) fashion. And I used PVC pipe to achieve this task. But first here is the before photo.


There is utter chaos in here. The floor is piled deep with tarps and tools that have no home. There are many tools we just can't find anymore. So I started by emptying out the entire tool end of the wood shed. I organized it all on the driveway. It seemed to stretch for miles. Job number one was purging and identifying the trash. I had no problem there.


Then I started planning, arranging, looking at the space. I determined that it would help a lot to add an additional shelf for storing tarps so I started there. As you read this post understand that there is no light in the tool shed. I brought in a little clip lamp so I could see but photography was absolutely a challenge. I was doing this project from salvaged materials, reclaimed wood, etc. The tools shed is part of our woodshed, it has a dirt floor, no windows, spiders, mice and an occasional squirrel. This is not a place for fine woodworking!


Next I had to deal with the garden tools. This project all started from an inspiration in a post I had pinned previously. It is a sketch from Living the Country Life. The suggestion is to use 12" lengths of PVC pipe to create a tool holder. 

I knew a variation would work in our tool shed. I had some PVC left over from a sculpture project posted here. (Side note- following that link is worth it if you don't know about our sculpture week. Risk it and take a look!) Instead of the suggested format, I cut the PVC scraps at an angle (approx. 30ยบ) into 6" pieces and mounted them at the mid point and bottom of my shed wall. Here are the cut pieces. I saved the short end pieces and I was glad I did.


First I cut the pieces to length at an angle on the band saw. A band saw isn't required but because I have access to one, I used it.


We have a lot of tools so I made a lot of PVC holders. After cutting, I sanded off the plastic shreds.

I then drilled holes into each end. The reason for cutting the pipe at an angle was to have clear access to a drill hole for attaching these to the wall. 

When I emptied out the tool shed I found an old piece of 3/4" plywood from a project from 35 years ago (I can't believe I have saved it for 35 years - I finally found a second use!) With the help of David I screwed that to the studs to separate the wood storage area from the tool area. That gave me a new wall surface to store tools.


I next started arranging the tools in an order that maximized use of the space. It took almost no time at all to screw the PVC holders into the plywood divider. And I popped those tools in there just to get a peek. Oh,yes!


I still had all the small tools to deal with and decided to make use of some of the space between the studs on the exterior wall.  I cut a scrap of wood to serve as a face plate and, to the back, I attached some of the smaller PVC rings left from cutting. We had always used this space for the hand tools but they slid down and got lost in the darkness. My goal was to create a grid that would hold them in place. Here are the rings attached to the back side of the board. The spaces are where the studs will be.


Here it is in place. I screwed it into the studs and...



Moved in some tools......



I continued moving in the tools and the items needing to be stored on the shelves.  I was very pleased with how well everything fit, and how accessible it would all be. 

But, I have learned. Spaces only stay organized if everything has a home and that home is labeled! So out came my collection of colored duct tape.  



I decided to use yellow because of the lack of light. Hopefully it will be readable in the gloom. So here is the tool shed in all its organized glory......

The new tool wall - with labels! 



The original tool wall, thinned out, reorganized and labelled....


I used more of the little rings for odds 'n ends. Here are some arranged for brushes. I didn't even know we owned these!


And here is a detail shot of how the angle cut at the top and bottom of the PVC allowed easy access to screw these hangers to the wall.....


And for the curious, the outside view. David is about 1/2 way done with getting in the wood for next winter. The verticle lumber helps with the cord wood stacks and keeping an opening to the tool area. The tool storage area is to the right behind the solid wall.


If you have been following my blog for awhile you might notice the similarity to another project on a smaller scale. Check out my Measuring Cups and Spoons post, too. See the PVC?




It was a very productive weekend! Did you find time for any projects?

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©2012 Ashbee Design, Marji Roy


75 comments:

  1. Brilliant! Amazing! Outstanding!!!

    Words fail me to applaud this idea.

    Bravo!

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    1. Thanks Teresa, do you have a place to implement it? If so, go for it and send me photos when done. Marji

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    2. I will. If they turn hald good looking ahahahah

      I'm planning (dreaming, in fact) with a Garage Makeover. Our Garage doesn't garage cars; it garages mess, lots of mess and this craft is heping me to keep despair at bay by seeing how and where I can use it.

      The tricks you shared today? Girl, I'm jumping in my chair!!!!

      Will do! The Craft and share the pics with you.

      Thank you so much.

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    3. We have managed to keep the garage open enough for 2 vehicles- I think my husband put it in the marriage contract. Growing up we never had garage space and he knew I come from hoarder stock. That said- the top of the garage is in serious disarray!

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  2. This is a wonderful post and I think my readers would love it. Would you consider being a guest writer on my Weekend Edition? Here is a direct url for you to read more about it. http://hammocktracks.com/hammock-track-tales/2012/05/calling-all-bloggers-coming-soon/

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  3. Fantastic job! I love the PVC idea. I was just thinking about what to use in our garage as I want to clean up the tool area. Thanks for the idea and for linking up to Simply Sensational Tuesday. :)

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  4. This is a neat idea. I've not seen this before. And I like the labels too so EVERYONE knows where to put stuff back. This is great! I'd love to have you link this up to Titus 2 Tuesday on Cornerstone Confessions.

    Hopping over from Creatively Living.

    Kathy

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    1. Thanks for the comments Kathy. I find labeling the biggest help when you want others (spouse, kids) to find and return things. Big help in sharing the load.

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  5. Awesome idea! I love it! can't wait to try it.

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    1. Jessica, Send me pictures when you do! I'll share.

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  6. Wow - that is such a creative, awesome idea. Nice job - I'm really impressed. Thanks so much for sharing this at Romance on a dime.

    I'm pinning this project. :) Hope to see you back next Tuesday!!

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    Replies
    1. I love the pin boards to refer back to and inspire. Best image storage system I've found yet.

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  7. Clever idea. I have pinned it for future reference. thanks.

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    1. Clever and easy! The test of time will show if the family returns things to the proper place though!

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  8. What a great idea! I would love for you to share this (and any other creations) at Pin It and Win It Wednesday @ www.cheapcraftymama.com-- where you can win free ad-space on my blog!

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  9. Seriously clever! Mine of course look like the before picture! :) This is great, thanks so much for sharing at Uncommon! :)

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    1. It only took a day and a half to fix it! Give yours a try. Did some gardening yesterday and it was so much easier with organized tools.

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  10. Just found you on Organize and Decorate Everything. I love this idea and just emailed it to my husband!! Another honey-do project!! Thank you!

    http://smallorganizedhome.blogspot.com/

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    1. Send photos if your husband does organize the tools. I'd love to do a post showing tool shed reorganizations I've inspired!

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  11. I'm seriously impressed with your idea ... and your use of tools! Serious tools. Band saw tools!

    And you took a perfect "beauty" shot of the final project too!

    Linda

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    1. Thanks Linda, A bandsaw is the easiest power tool I have ever used. Skill saws and routers are more challenging and I almost always have my husband do those for me.

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  12. Hi Marji,
    What a great idea. I have PVC sitting around that I could use in the garden shed. Garden shed makeover is moving up on the todo list. thanks for sharing. Love your blog. I'm following you now.
    Cheers!
    Miss Ellie

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    1. Welcome Miss Ellie, glad you are following. I'll mosey on over to your blog as well.

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  13. Super awesome job! I love all the photos!

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    1. Thanks Emily, They were a challenge due to lack of light and not enough space for a tripod. Some are better than others but I shot a whole bunch of duds as well. Thank goodness for digital photography!

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  14. You are a creative genius! I am so glad I found you at A Creative Princess! We just moved our shed this past holiday weekend. It will now be used as my garden shed for all of my garden tools. I was going to go buy pegboard but now that I see this, nope, not gonna do it! I will be buying some PVC instead! I will be posting on my blog once everything is in place! I would love it if you popped over and shared this at my party going on now at
    http://www.kathewithane.com/2012/05/youre-gonna-love-it-tuesday-week-6.html

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  15. What a great idea! We don't have as many tools as you, but I store a lot of things between the beams on our garage wall just like you and this would help ensure they stay up & get put back where they belong.

    I knew I shouldn't have posted my garage makeover posts yet :) But that's the beauty of organizing...there's always more you can do! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. You are so right about your last comment Hilda.... Yes, there's always more to do - I still have more disorganized spaces than organized ones! Just means I have more things to post about as well :-)

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  16. I love this and love the way you are in the pictures working on it:) Thanks for including the reminder about the measuring spoons, I need to try this (start small then...) Just dropping in form Just a party with My Peeps to invite you to share this at Freedom Fridays. Hope to see you there!
    PS I am now following you via Linky:)

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    1. Thanks Evelyn, The comment on the pictures of me made me smile. Those are hard to get because it requires someone else to be there at the right time! Often my "How to" photos are of my left hand because my right hand is taking the shot. Everyone thinks I am left handed but not! Thanks for the invite.

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  17. What a clever idea! Love the fact that the tools can't fall over and hit someone.

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    1. Our tool shed was a disaster waiting to happen. Not only was I worried about tools falling over, but also stepping on sharp or pointed tools scattered on the ground. This takes care of both. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

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  18. I love this idea. All my tools are always in the way, I should do like you. Thank you for sharing.

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  19. What a great idea!!! I love it!
    --Katie
    @ Creatively Living

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  20. Amazing! Our garage is always such a mess.

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    1. You haven't seen my garage yet. That is a MUCH bigger project! But it is on the to-do list and I will blog about it!

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  21. Fantastic Idea!!! Thank you so much for sharing over here at Fishtail Cottage's Garden Party...xoxo, tracie

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    1. Looking for more garden parties as well. I have a lot of outdoor posts and need more garden link parties to share with.

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  22. Thanks for the tip on cutting at an angle- when I read that, I wondered why- so clever! I'm thinking I may need to do this on a smaller scale for my paint brushes.

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    1. Would work well- see how I did the smaller size for my measuring spoons at the bottom of the post. I like the paint brush idea as well because it protects the bristles.

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  23. What a great idea. My husband saw this and said why didn't I think of that. Thanks for linking to the Home Decor and Organizing Link Party. I'm featuring this today.

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    1. And you asked him why he didn't think of it, right? The beauty of Pinterest is as all the "Why didn't I think of that " ideas! I find it very inspiring. Thanks for the feature.

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  24. Love the this idea! What size diameter pvc pipes did you have on hand?

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    1. I used 3.5" outside diameter PVC. A size smaller would have worked better, especially for hand tools, but this was what I had to recycle.

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  25. LOVE IT!!! Such a great idea! I must share this with my father!

    Thanks for sharing at The DIY Dreamer.. From Dream To Reality!

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  26. Hi Marji! Just wanted to let you know I featured you on this week's Simply Sensational Tuesday! Feel free to grab a "featured" button in the footer of my blog. Have a great week and thanks for linking up your great idea. :D

    http://www.organizinghomelife.com/archives/3274

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    1. Hey Ginny, thanks for featuring this project. I am on my way over to link up my project from this week. It is all about keeping the ideas flowing. We never know where the next inspiration will come from.

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  27. Hi Marji-

    What a great use for leftover PVC. {We both have tons in our garage, because both of our husbands are tradesmen} We hope this inspires some families and camps to keep organized with gardening this summer.

    We featured your post at our summer fun 101 series: gardening round-up.

    Hope you have a lovely week!
    Nicolette & Karen
    editors of The Classroom Creative.

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    1. Thanks for featuring my organizing project. It is certainly applicable to all types of storage problems. I am on my way over to your site to check out other ideas in your summer gardening round up.

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  28. Hi Marji. I just read about this over @ Lorie's Be Different Act Normal. This is such a great idea and it's really great that you took the time to make a tutorial for us. I'm now a new follower and look forward to seeing more. I've got to pin this now.
    Have a great day…Tracy @ Cotton Pickin Cute

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  29. Super clever! What an awesome idea! Thanks so much for sharing! ;)

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  30. Hi Marji, such a great idea. I know I am being a little dense here but do the handles of the long tools rest on the floor? If not, how are they held up?

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  31. Nancy, Great question. My tool shed has a dirt floor so I just ran a row of bricks along the bottom and the end of the tools rest on that. I didn't want them resting on the dirt. I could have attached a wooden shelf for a bottom. On the short tools I did use the wooden sill as a bottom.

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  32. Love your organizing idea, especially since our before picture looks so similar to yours. I don't have a band saw, just a table saw and chain saw. Any chance you'd think of marketing bags of already cut and drilled PVC. I'd be a happy customer. Cheers to you! Sandra

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    Replies
    1. PVC is easy to cut by hand. All you need is a standard hack saw. No band saw required!

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  33. What size PVC did you use?

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    1. I used PVC with an outside diameter of 3.5 inches. It was what I had as scrap from a different project. Some tools needed this diameter but many would have worked with a size smaller as well.

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  34. I stumbled across this site and looked over your project you made Marji, good use of recycled material to create organization. Keep up the good work.

    -Kevin
    http://www.plumbinghow.com

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  35. Hello Marji,
    Thank you for the follow-up pictures specially. Each tells without a word.Words alone may left one with more questions.
    My rather small attached to the house garden tools and stove wood shed was supposed to be made by an ironsmith and carpenter but they split and my shed is left into shadows for now.
    After I saw your work now, I may have hopes to do it my self with wood and PVC pipes only.
    A smaller pipe for smaller tools?
    Quarter PVC pipe cut holders may be, for my shed height wouldn't be much more than 200 cm.
    I will see what is available at the stores near by..
    Thank you. (:

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  36. I just hope I don't loose your blog.
    All the best with peace up-on-all.

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  37. I really have no excuse now for the jumble of tools in my allotment shed! Its even worth buying pipe just for this project. Thanks for sharing :)

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    1. I did this organization project last spring. The good news is that it held up through out the rest of the year. It still looks good after a full season of using the tools. NOt all my organization schemes are keepers. This one is.

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  38. LOVE this idea. So smart!

    Aloha,
    Charlie

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  39. good idea, i have to try it

    Wendell "Bear" Watson

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  40. Thanks for continued comments. I have just posted a new article reporting in on several of my organization schemes and how they held up after 1 year of use. The post is here. This one is still golden - others required modifications.

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  41. Great Idea. I especially like your creative approach to fastening the PVC sections of pipe to the wall by cutting angles on each end. Much better than my first blush approach by drilling a larger hole on the opposite side of the mounting hole for insering a screw driver, which is why I haven't done it yet. Now I can take your clever idea and put it to good use.
    Also excellent use of pictures to illustrate your methods and techniques. As Confucious said a picture is worth 10,000 words.

    Best regards,
    Peohguy

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  42. Lovely work. Pls what did you use to cut the pvc at an angle?

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  43. I used a band saw. You can see me using it in one of the pictures above. A band saw isn't required though. PVC is fairly easy to saw by hand and the same cut could be made with a hand saw and miter box.

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  45. Great tips. very well-written, keyword-oriented and incredibly useful. its really interesting to many readers. I really appreciate this, thanks


    Plastic Pipe

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  46. Thanks, nice idea! Glad I found it.

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  47. It is a good idea, using PVC pipe to make the tools organization. But it is not suitable for all type of gardening tools.

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  48. its a very smart idea to arrange the tools ..... i will use this example for my tools

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