From bicycles to lawn supplies to seasonal décor, finding a permanent place for all of the items in your home can be a tricky task. Not everyone is fortunate enough to have a garage or dedicated storage room to hide those things that don’t require daily use. So, what’s a homeowner to do when they find themselves short on space? You might just need to take a look outside.
Consider Item-By-Item Storage
The easiest (and least expensive) approach could be to add some item-specific storage options to your outdoor areas. For example, a DIY bike rack is the perfect way to organize scooters, skateboards, or bicycles that are otherwise left lying around the yard. This inexpensive fix easily stores against the wall of the garage or back of the house. As for those pesky garden hoses, grab yourself a hose reel or two to tidy up your yard and prevent trip hazards. The rest of those garden tools can cause clutter, too. All of the rakes and shovels and weed whackers need a place to live, so invest a few dollars into some sturdy hooks for storage inside the garage. If that is not an option, try an exterior wall, providing there is some form of protection from the elements.
Put It Away on the Porch
When it comes to keeping children’s outside toys organized, find a location that provides for both easy access and quick clean-up. Depending on where the kids prefer to play, the back deck or front porch is likely the perfect place to keep a small storage bin. Ranging in size from 50 to over 150 gallons, a quality deck box might be all you need to keep your patio looking neat. These portable solutions also provide a great place to house pillows and cushions for your outdoor furniture and also serve as a convenient spot to store small to medium-sized tools and watering cans for nearby flower beds or vegetable gardens.
Should-Have Shelving Units
Sometimes the answer is as simple as a durable shelf with a few totes. Shelves are an organizational asset as they openly display items, so you can easily locate what you need. Larger items can sit directly on the shelf, but if you need to store lots of little things or groups of related items, pick up a few plastic totes. Select clear ones for simple searching or choose colored totes and then label them for a more organized aesthetic. Popular Mechanics has identified some great choices for outdoor shelving to serve as your base. While these units are designed for a garage, many of them could also be utilized outdoors underneath an overhang or against the side of the house.
Reevaluate Your Garage
One of the best ways to create outdoor storage is to rework the space that you already have. For homeowners lucky enough to have a garage, it may be time to examine how efficiently you are using this bonus real estate. The garage can sometimes serve as the place where things go to die, with boxes of forgotten trinkets or tools tossed away in a corner never to be heard from again. Dedicate a weekend to dusting off those cobwebbed corners, eliminating any items that no longer deserve a spot inside or outside of your home. This can be a hard step to take, but Ruoff has some helpful tips on how to take a minimalist approach to garage storage. Then, once you have an emptier canvas to work with, think through where you might add shelving, a work bench, a set of drawers, or a peg board to help bring order to your belongings.
Go For a Garden Shed
Sometimes the best answer to your outdoor storage needs is the most obvious – a good old-fashioned garden shed. This tried-and-true hidey hole has served as the number one homeowner’s storage solution for years. Cute and compact, a garden shed or similar structure offers a weather-proof place to house lawn equipment, gardening tools, and anything else you might need to tuck away for a time. For those with construction skill sets of their own, build one from the ground up to save yourself some money. If you don’t fancy yourself a custom builder, though, take a look at Bob Vila’s picks for sheds and shed kits to help minimize the know-how required.
If the interior of your home doesn’t allow for ample storage, you are most definitely not alone. Property owners often have to think “outside” the box to create the storage solutions that best fit their needs, so when contemplating where to find more room, don’t discount the great outdoors. It might just be your space-saving grace.