The most important part of storing tools is to get them indoors out of the sun, rain, and snow. This will protect them from rust, cracked handles, and all the other problems that come with weathering. The next most important aspect is to organize your tools.
The best way to store tools is to hang them on the wall. Outline each one in paint, or print the name of the tool in the space where it will hang.
Where to Store Tools
The first thing to do is find some storage space. The garage and basement are logical choices, but if your garage or basement is a long way from the garden, it might be better to consider a garden shed. Build one from wood if you’re handy with tools, or assemble a purchased kit.
Another alternative is to put the tools on the outside of the garage wall or on the back of the house near the garden. Protect them from the weather by building a storage center on the wall. If the eaves protect the location, it can be a simple cabinet made from weatherproof plywood. If it will be exposed to the weather, add a roof.
How to Hang Tools
Hanging your garden tools benefits you in several ways: it keeps them out from underfoot, it makes them easy to find, and it keeps them off damp floors that invite rust.
A wide variety of tool-hanging hardware is available at hardware stores and building centers. Select from this variety, or simply drive some nails into the garage or basement wall and hang the tools on the nails. Use 6-penny or 8-penny common nails for shovels and rakes. Put two nails in slightly farther apart than the handle is wide, then hang the tool with the head up.
For smaller hand tools, use 6-penny or 8-penny finishing nails. Because these have no head, you can slip tools with a hole in the handle on or off the nail freely Or, if you’re short on wall space, you can make a multitool hanger, which is essentially the same as the two-nail hanger but instead uses long dowels or 2x4s that extend out from the wall. A number of tools can be “stacked” on this rack.
Organize your tools by category. Put all the shovels, spades, and rakes in one area; put all the hand tools, such as clippers and shears, in another area. An additional advantage of labeling or outlining each item’s spot on the wall is that you will know when a tool is missing at the end of a day’s work.
Perfboard is a sheet of hardboard with holes drilled every 1/2 inch. It is a handy alternative to nails for hanging tools. Perfboard comes in sheets 4 feet by 8 feet, but it can often be found in smaller sizes in hardware or gardening centers. Since you can cut the sheet to any size you wish, you can make multiple storage centers or use the entire sheet to cover a garage or basement wall.
Since there must be space between the wall and the board in which to fit the hooks, nail and glue a frame made of 1×2-inch boards around the back side of the perfboard. Then attach it to the wall. Pegboard hooks, made for hanging different types of tools are available in hardware stores. In addition to hooks for small hand tools, most hardware stores carry large S-shape hooks for hanging long-handled tools, such as shovels and rakes.