Last week, we shared several before and after photos — and walked through the EMEND process — of a garage project we recently completed. In that post, we also mentioned that purchasing a shed was key to completing the project.

Because the homeowners wanted to store their vehicles in the garage, we needed a place to store some of the items that were originally kept in their garage.

But, how do you determine if you need a shed? If you know you need one, what size of shed is right? To answer these questions, we followed the EMEND process.

Explore: What do we Need to Put in the Shed?

We started by taking everything we wanted to put in the shed out of the garage. For this client, it was bigger items such as the lawnmower, a barbecue pit and large ice chests that don’t get used often. They also wanted to house landscaping supplies — shovels and tillers — in the shed, along with extra home items such as tile and roofing shingles.

Merge: Get an Idea for the Size you Need

Next, we took all of the items we wanted to put in the shed and physically put them all together so we could get a sense of how big of a shed we needed. To do this, we literally put everything they wanted in the shed on the car port and we drew out an 8x12ft area on the car port. Then, we drove the lawn mower into the space we drew and put the barbecue pit there to make sure it was going to be the right size.

If you’re going to buy a shed, it’s very easy to fall into a trap of buying something bigger than you really need. Before you know it, you could end up with an extra house in your backyard! On the other hand, you don’t want to purchase a shed that won’t actually fit all of the items you need it to.

Edit: Find a New Home for Items That Don’t Belong in the Shed

Then, we got rid of anything that we didn’t want to be stored in the shed. Some items made better sense going back into the garage. This step is really determined by how you’re going to utilize the shed. If it’s going to be a workshop, edit with this in mind. If it’s going to store kids’ toys, clear out unlike items.

Nest: Figure Out How it’s all Going to Fit

Next, we laid everything out and figured out how it was all going to fit inside the shed. Consider the shed’s layout and what items you’ll store in the front of the shed vs. what will go in the back. This way, you can really get a feel for how to use the space and if you’ll be able to walk inside to access the items you need.

Develop: Keep the Shed Functioning

The final step is about keeping up the space in the future. Store frequently used items near the front of the shed and lesser-used items toward the back. If you need to sort items or label containers, now is the time to do that. Make a promise to yourself (and your family or anyone else using the shed) that you won’t get it too cluttered or to a place where it’s not functioning as a helpful space.

If you have specific questions about this, I’d love to address them. Please leave a comment or send me an email at: