28 Garden storage ideas – innovative solutions from mini-greenhouses to vintage boxes

Maximise every inch of your outdoor space whilst keeping everything neat and tidy with our garden storage ideas

garden with wooden crates and ladder
(Image credit: The Range)

Incorporating a few thoughtful garden storage ideas into your outdoor space will make gardening so much easier. As well as ensuring items are easy to access, it'll also free up space for inviting people over and allow your garden ideas to shine.

'For many, summer means that the children will be spending more time in your garden, making great memories and with that comes a lot of outdoor games, balls, paddling pools and water toys. 

'Or you may be wanting to entertain and invite friends and family to your outdoor space and so need to accommodate added seating and shade. To keep things looking neat and tidy without making countless trips inside or to the garage, consider adding functional storage to your garden,’ says Daniel Murry, The Range

Garden storage ideas

If your garden shed is looking more like Monica Geller's cupboard and less like something from The Home Edit, read on for our practical garden storage ideas to keep everything in check.

While garden storage ideas aren't as exciting as pondering decking ideas or choosing plants for your flowerbeds, they'll be just as impactful. 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.

1. Add drawers to an outdoor kitchen

outdoor kitchen with storage tables, drawers, shelving, hanging rail with utensils, plants, pots, tableware, baskets, apron

(Image credit: Future PLC)

If we have a heatwave, if…then building an outdoor kitchen will be top of the to-do list! Freestanding furniture is ideal for this, make sure you opt for designs with multiple drawers, shelves and a wipeable surface.

For extra bits and bobs pop up a cane hung on hooks and use it for mugs, utensils and light chopping boards.

2. Opt for a narrow and tall storage unit

balcony with plant, cream metal storage unit with pots and garden tools

(Image credit: Ikea)

If you have a balcony garden or are working with small garden ideas then every inch of space needs to be considered. This is where uber slimline storage units will become your best friend! 

Storage cabinets aren't just for inside, they can work brilliantly outside as long as you choose a weatherproof material. Choose tall and narrow for maximum storage and a mixture of open shelving and cupboard space will give you the most variety. 

3. You can’t beat a good old shed

garden with wooden table and chairs, compact space, shed with climbing plant, bench seating set in wall

(Image credit: Future PLC)

If you have the space then garden shed ideas will be the answer to all of your storage needs. They come in all shapes and sizes these days so it’s easier to find one that will fit your space. 

You could go bright and bold or keep it subtle and less noticeable in your garden. Make it part of your scheme and grow a climber up the side or invest in a ‘green roof’ using sedum. 

4. Include a versatile mini-greenhouse

garden with half pink greenhouse, deckchairs, plants, pots, gravel

(Image credit: The Range)

If you’re a family keen on growing fruit and veggies a mini-greenhouse could be your savior. Not only does it have shelves for your pots, but you can include some smart greenhouse ideas so you can use it for storing garden ware during autumn and winter. 

We love this mini greenhouse from The Range, which has been painted in a lush pink shade. ‘At nearly 2m high the greenhouse provides keen gardeners with a surprisingly spacious area for your potted plants and storage. Flexible and compact, this greenhouse includes two heights of shelving; with adjustable middle shelves to accommodate taller plants,' says Daniel Murray, The Range

5. Utilise wall space for hanging items

peg rail with garden tools hanging from it, stone wall behind

(Image credit: Lights4Fun/Oliver Perrott)

Keep tools that you use regularly within easy reach – but keep them up high and off the potting bench so you don’t clutter that up. 

Good ideas include hanging a standard peg rail or a shelf with hooks, either will be low cost and can be given a lick of paint for a fresh look, if you have plenty of tools then hang more than one in a row. 

6. Storage you can take with you

garden caddy with tools, blue painted exterior, wooden handle, on table

(Image credit: Annabel James)

There’s nothing more testing than working in the garden and realising you’ve left your secateurs back in the shed. A caddy is what you need! You can pick one up for as little as £10 from Dunelm.

Invest in one big enough to store your essentials like string, trowel, gloves, hand fork and bulb planter. They’re lightweight and usually come with at least two handy sections – you'll wonder why you never had one before!

7. Invest in a dedicated cushion store

outdoor cushion storage trunk in garden, cushions showing on top

(Image credit: Bridgman)

Believe it or not, there are special cushion storage trunks (available on Amazon) and the reason is that if you don’t have room to store them inside during autumn and winter they’ll need to be kept in a damp-free place.

‘To prolong the life of outdoor cushions, we recommend storing all of your cushions in a cushion storage box when not in use. This is particularly important during the autumn and winter months when the weather tends to be more wet and windy. 

'Unlike a shed, a premium storage box should contain a waterproof material lining that keeps out insects while providing extreme resilience in high and low temperatures, as well as 100% weatherproofing for protection against snow and rain,’ says Francesca Hadland, styling expert, Bridgman.

8. Think outside of the box

three wooden storage boxes, vintage in style, plant in one

(Image credit: Homebarn)

Garden storage ideas don’t need to be conventional, in fact, the more quirky the better. Vintage boxes are well made and sturdy which makes them ideal for storing small tools, seeds and seed brochures. 

‘Storage doesn’t have to lack style. Investing in antique boxes which can be stacked on top of each other is a great solution that adds character to the outdoor space. Or for a more organised option, then try opting for a chest of drawers which can be placed under cover to add a plethora of style to the space,’ say Sarah and Sally Wilkie, founders, Home Barn

9. Keep your firewood in a log store

firewood store with logs outside next to a wall, basket of logs next to it, lawn, axe

(Image credit: Cuckooland)

Contrary to popular belief and the fact they add a decorative quality to your living room, logs shouldn’t be stored inside unless they’re going to be used in the next 48 hours. The reason being is that they don’t get the air circulation required and can end up rotting and creating mould on the walls. 

Another top tip is to not store them too close to the house as they can attract pests, so along a wall in the garden will be a good spot. 

10. Double use storage is always a winner

garden potting table with zinc top, drawers, vintage style crates on shelf, pots, string

(Image credit: Garden Trading)

If you love gardening but don’t have a huge space, then look for garden storage ideas that give you a double use. 

‘Garden sheds are a great storage option for spacious gardens, but when it comes to more compact spaces, they become a forgotten space that can easily become cluttered. For smaller gardens opt for more practical pieces of furniture like storage boxes or potting tables. 

These are a great way to create versatile storage, in winter they are a place to keep your tools organized and tidy ready for spring. In the summer, they can transform into a food and beverage table, making hosting an easy and involved task,’ says Francesca Morris, senior buyer, Garden Trading.

11. Maximise vertical space with stacked crates

garden with wooden crates and ladder

(Image credit: Future Publishing Ltd / Spike Powell)

Source wooden crates from online selling sites like Facebook Marketplace and Gumtree and make a rustic feature with practical storage space. In a sheltered area of your garden, you could simply stack them up, or you might prefer to add screws to hold them in place.

Store your terracotta pot collection, string, plant labels, a watering can, tools and even your wellies in crates. Allow trailing plants to grow around them they'll soon look like they've always been there.

12. Create extra storage underneath shelving with mason jars

storage with underneath shelving and mason jars

(Image credit: Future Publishing Ltd / Spike Powell)

We love this simple, budget garden storage idea. Pick up some mason jars, at Dunelm and screw the metal lids to the underside of a shelf to give you extra space for storing smaller items like seeds and string.

It's a lovely way to display your gardening essentials and means you can see when things need topping up. Go one better by labelling the jars and adding LED lights into the jars, too.

13. Repurpose an old chest

storage with drawers and plants

(Image credit: Future Publishing Ltd / Jamie Mason)

Before you throw out an old chest of drawers from the kids' rooms, why not give it new life out in the garden? Give it a fresh lick of (exterior) paint and perhaps some new hardware.

You could also attach wheels to make it easier to transport, and hooks for keeping gardening spades, forks and brooms together. Depending on its height, you can also use it as a potting bench.

14. Opt for foldaway furniture

storage with wooden flooring and table

(Image credit: Nöa & Nani)

Foldaway furniture like this table with a detachable top from Nöa & Nani is easy to store away when not in use. 'If you only have a small bistro set and don’t wish to cover it in bad weather, either place the pieces undercover or tie it all together and secure to a gate or a fence, especially if high winds are forecast,' says Angela Slater, a gardening expert at Hayes Garden World.

15. Create a seed storage box from an old cutlery tray

garden with storage box and old cultery tray

(Image credit: Future Publishing Ltd / Mark Scott)

As well as finding a new use for old furniture, see if you have any kitchen or stationery storage items that could be useful in the garden. This wooden cutlery tray works well as a garden caddy to keep seed packets together.

16. Choose flexible storage for the garden shed

garden shed with potted plant and white flooring

(Image credit: Store)

An adjustable garden shed idea like this 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.

'Sheds offer large amounts of storage to keep gardening equipment and tools all in one place,' says Jack Sutcliffe, Co-founder of Power Sheds. 'Maximise this space by adding shed shelves, drawers, or hooks to make the most of storage high and low.'

Tailor it to suit your space both width and height-wise, going for a combination of sturdy shelves, racks and hooks. Consider using the inside of the shed door, too. Store heavy, bulky items lower down, with tools at eye level so you can locate them with ease.

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

17. Let a trellis double as storage

trellis double with hanging planters

(Image credit: TBC)

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.

18. Incorporate storage within seating

garden sitting area with gravel and wooden sofa

(Image credit: Future PLC /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!

19. Store a drinks station on the wall

drinks station with bottles and wooden drink table

(Image credit: Future PLC /Tim Young)

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.

20. Rack up your tools

galvanised steel rack with fork spade and rake

(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, £22.99, Agriframes

21. Add an ‘overflow’ store

wooden rack with brick flooring and plants

(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.

Jack Sutcliffe from Power Sheds recommends storing items seasonally so you can access what you want easily without creating clutter. A small 'overflow' shed will be handy for storing items you use all the time.

Buy now: Forest Garden Pent Garden storage, £210, B&Q

22. Create a storage wall with a pegboard, rails and shelves

peg board with rails and shelves

(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.’

23. Store bulky items off the floor

wooden stand with wooden wall and bottle

(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, £30 for two, Store

24. Organise outdoor storage for small-scale items

outdoor storage with plants and chair

(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.

25. Double up with stowaway storage trunks

stowaway storage trunks

(Image credit: Ikea)

These handy storage benches have wheels and a grab handle so are easy to move around and make a great extra seat or coffee table too. Multifunctional items like these will really leverage all the space available for storage, helping to keep things streamlined.

26. Keep ugly bins hidden

wheelie bin storage made from wood, holds two

(Image credit: Naken)

Conceal an ugly wheelie bin with a double bin store. Not something we want to draw attention to, so a design that fits in with the aesthetic of your garden will always be better than seeing the real thing. 

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.

27. Take care of outdoor toys and play equipment

outdoor area with toys and trees

(Image credit: Future PLC/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, £189.99, Waltons

28. Protect garden furniture with extra-large covers

outdoor area with white flooring and plants

(Image credit: Future PLC/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, £79, 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.

What can I have instead of a shed?

Although a shed is the ultimate storage solution it’s not always possible to have one if your garden is awkwardly shaped or you don’t want to use up space. 

‘Thanks to some clever new designs, you don’t have to feel confined to adding a shed to provide a storage solution. There are some fantastic and stylish designs available that don’t rust or warp and are easy to clean too.

Storage boxes that are made from water resistant materials and have a lid to open from above and front doors tick all the boxes and are great for those who need easy access. These boxes can be easily placed beneath windows, at the side of the house or at the end of the lawn or patio which make them perfect for smaller gardens. 

If you need to store away garden tools and parasols make sure you opt for a taller size or if it’s just for seat cushions or kids garden games, select a shorter storage box,’ advises Daniel Murry, The Range

What can I use as garden storage?

The key with storage is to think outside of the box – pardon the pun! Anything that can store something can be used. It will depend on whether your storage is outside and needs to be waterproof or within a shed or greenhouse. 

Source vintage boxes and crates for unused pots and seeds. Galvanised designs will be long lasting and can be kept outside – a shelving unit that you had inside could be reused in a shed for tools. It’s about being flexible and finding options that suit your space and needs. 

Is it okay to leave patio furniture out in the rain?

Covers are often available for better-quality garden sets. If you don't have one, just secure all the furniture together and cover it with a waterproof tarpaulin, suggests Angela Slater from Hayes Garden World.

Tie the tarpaulin to the legs of the furniture and place a broom handle through the parasol hole in the centre of the table. Or, she says, just place an upside-down bucket on the table so the centre of the tarpaulin is elevated and therefore will shed the water and not leave it sitting in a pool on the furniture.

How do you store outdoor cushions in winter?

The cushions on high-quality garden furniture are designed to be left out in the rain, says Angela. 'However, they are better brought indoors or stored in a dedicated cushion box where they will be dry and damp-free. They do sometimes become water-marked if they are left in the elements for too long,' she says.

Lisa Fazzani
Deputy Editor

Lisa is Deputy Editor of Style at Home magazine and regularly contributes to sister title Ideal Home. She has written about interiors for more than 25 years and about pretty much every area of the home, from shopping and decorating, crafts and DIY to real home transformations and kitchen and bathroom makeovers. Homes and interiors have always been a passion and she never tires of nosying around gorgeous homes, whether on TV, online, in print or in person.