Garden storage ideas – 13 outdoor designs for tools, furniture and even the bins

Overhaul your outdoor space – and always find your tools – with these neat garden storage ideas
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  • It’s not just aesthetics that make our garden storage ideas essential. Finding your secateurs or garden shears can be nigh-on dangerous if the shed’s piled high with machinery, toys, cushions and garden furniture. 

    No one wants to face a messy garden, let alone be hit square-on with a lawnmower. So it’s important to keep every element of the outdoors in check. Up for consideration are storage for garden furniture when the heavens open, secure storage for expensive power tools, and a place where compost, pots and seeds are dry and easy to access.

    These more practical garden ideas possibly aren’t as exciting as building a deck or choosing plants for your flowerbeds, but they’ll have just as much impact.

    They may involve reorganising the shed with shelves and hooks. Or, if you’ve converted your outbuilding into your own private sanctuary, you may want to add more structural storage, furniture covers or wall solutions.

    Clever garden storage ideas

    1. Choose flexible storage for the garden shed

    Garden shed with shelves and racks

    Image credit: Store

    This garden shed idea will transform an untidy dumping ground into a space you can use both for storage and recreationally. A modular wall-mounted storage system will keep floors clear of clutter. Tailor it to suit your space both width and height-wise, going for a combination of sturdy shelves, racks and hooks.

    Store heavy, bulky items lower down, with tools at eye level so you can locate them easily.

    Buy now: Elfa Garage Shelving III system, £645, Store

    2. Let a trellis double as storage

    vertical garden planter

    Image credit: Future Plc

    Take a multi-functional approach and make something pretty double as something practical. Take this garden trellis idea – it can support plants, but it can also stow the tools you need to tend them.

    For visual success, stick to a theme – pots in the same style OR colour. Then vary the sizes. Fill with a mix of foliage and those practical elements – hand forks, lighting, a watering can… you get the picture.

    3. Incorporate storage within seating

    DIY garden corner sofa around a firepit

    Image credit: Colin Poole

    Where to put all the cushions and throws to cosy up your garden seating? In the seating itself, that’s where! A pre-bedtime tidy up is so much easier when all you have to do is get on your feet and lift the lid on your storage.

    Achieve this either by commissioning (or building) your own wooden corner bench, or buying an outdoor sofa with storage included. Either way, you’ll thank us when you’re ready to sleep and don’t want to traipse all the way to teh shed!

    4. Store a drinks station on the wall

    upcycled pallet garden bar

    Image credit: Tim Young/Future PLC

    You only have to jump onto social media to see countless amazing examples of clever pallet ideas. Used right, the humble pallet can be transformed into a practical little number that makes Gin O’Clock that bit easier to celebrate.

    This garden bar idea is a fine example. Down below, bottles can be held in place ready for cocktail making. If you’re leaving them in situ, we’d advise securing them with a rail that runs horizontally at half-bottle height. That way, when you open up the preparation shelf, there’s no range of them crashing over.

    A second rail above can be used for glasses. We like that this design has an easy-to-clean worktop for prep and presentation. You could use another piece of wood, or tiles. Just ensure it’s light enough that when the unit is drilled into the wall, it can be securely supported.

    5. Rack up your tools

    metal garden tool storage

    Image credit: Agriframe

    ‘Organise tools and equipment so they’re easy to locate,’ says storage guru Vicky Silverthorn of youneedavicky.com. ‘If you have to tackle a mess, move too much stuff, or it takes too long to find something, then you’re more likely to put off doing a job.’

    Make use of wall space in a shed or garage by hanging tools on a sturdy wall-hung rack. Arrange these galvanised steel racks one above the other to store hand tools and long-handled garden tools like forks, spades and rakes.

    Buy now: Extra long tool rack, £36 for two, Agriframes

    6. Add an ‘overflow’ store

    half sized garden shed

    Image credit: Forest

    If you’ve only a small garden or want to supplement an existing shed that’s bursting at the seams, try a compact garden store. Position it close to the house so that the contents, such as tools, toys or cushions, are easily accessible and easy to put away in a hurry if there’s a sudden downpour. It’s also a great log storage idea, if you’re trying to dry out unseasoned wood.

    Buy now: Forest Garden Pent Garden storage, £155, B&Q

    7. Create a storage wall with a peg board, rails and shelves

    Garden shed shelving and hooks

    Image credit: Future PLC

    ‘Hang garden tools on the wall in a designated spot so you can find what you need more easily,’ says storage guru Vicky Silverthorn of youneedavicky.com.

    ‘Try labelling tools or drawing around them in black marker on the wall so you’ll know when one hasn’t been put away or returned to its home.’

    8. Store bulky items off the floor

    Shed hooks and shelving

    Image credit: Store

    Crowded floors can make sheds difficult to navigate, so utilise wall space and hang up bulky items to free some floor space. These heavyweight brackets double up as shelf supports, while the hooks are sturdy enough to hold folding chairs, a grass strimmer or garden parasol (hung horizontally).

    Buy now: Large shelf supports with tool hangers, £28 for two, Store

    9. Organise outdoor storage for small-scale items

    Green metal garden storage cabinet

    Image credit: Ikea

    Save a trek to the shed by investing in extra storage closer to the house. These sturdy weatherproof cabinets are handy for gardening essentials like tools and pots or for stashing outdoor cushions. Alternatively, cabinets and open shelves make great storage for tableware and cooking equipment if you’re thinking about outdoor kitchen ideas or building a barbecue area.

    Buy now: Kolbjorn cabinet in green, £65, Ikea
    Buy now: Kolbjorn shelving unit, £45, Ikea

    10. Double-up with stowaway storage trunks

    Wooden garden chest storage

    Image credit: Ikea

    Keep cushions, throws and seat pads to hand, rather than bundling them into the shed or garage every evening. These storage benches have wheels and a grab-handle so are easy to move around and make a great extra seat or coffee table too.

    Buy now: Applaro storage bench, £95, Ikea

    11. Keep ugly bins hidden

    Garden log and bin store

    Image credit: Garden Trading

    Store logs and conceal an ugly wheelie bin with this aesthetically-pleasing modular storage duo. In blackened Spruce with shingled roof, the bin tidy comes with lockable door and lift-up roof for easy bin-filling, while the log store has an open front, slatted frame and raised feet to aid ventilation.

    Buy now: Chelwood modular bin store, £300, Garden Trading
    Buy now: 
    Chelwood log store, £280, Garden Trading

    If you can’t stretch to buying this beautiful storage, an alternative budget garden idea would be to build your own from pallets. Top with a sloped plywood roof and consider covering this with felt, to keep everything from getting damp.

    12. Take care of outdoor toys and play equipment

    Garden toy storage shed

    Image credit: Waltons

    A family garden needs more good storage than most. ‘Garden toys can get in a state if they’re left outside in all weathers and not cleaned regularly,’ says storage guru Vicky Silverthorn of youneedavicky.com.

    ‘Cover or store play equipment when not in use, to help protect from the elements and prevent sun-fading and rust and keep textiles and wood from deteriorating. Empty water-play equipment after each use so that it doesn’t go mouldy.’

    Buy now: Pressure treated wooden storage chest, £234.99, Waltons

    13. Protect garden furniture with extra-large covers

    Garden furniture cover

    Image credit: Danetti

    ‘Buy large garden furniture covers that span the whole set if you can,’ says storage guru Vicky Silverthorn of youneedavicky.com. ‘Individual ones can be fiddly and time-consuming to put on in a hurry.’ 

    ‘If shed space is tight, designated cushion stores are ideal – just make sure your cushions are dry before putting them away.’ If they go into storage wet, they’ll quickly develop a musty smell and may get mouldy. 

    Buy now: Extra large garden furniture cover, £89, Danetti

    That should be more than enough to get you started on the Great Garden Tidy Up this year. A few little investments later, you’ll be able to sit back and admire a clutter-free plot. Enjoy.

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