How do you choose the right garden storage? Experts explain your 5 options for a clutter-free garden

Who wants a cluttered garden? Not us...

outdoor cushion storage trunk in garden, cushions showing on top
(Image credit: Future PLC/Polly Eltes)

With summer on the horizon, you might be in the process of reviving your garden after the winter months. But you should also be asking yourself the following question: how do I choose the right garden storage?

Yes, you’ve probably utilised handy storage and organisation tips inside your home. But what about the outside? When you’ve paid good money for the best garden furniture, comfy cushions, the best BBQ, gardening tools, and the best lawnmower, the last thing you want is for them to be left lying around. This can result in rust, mould, and damage far beyond wear and tear. 

But choosing the right garden storage idea for your outside space isn’t easy. You have to think about the size of your garden and ultimately find the option that suits you best. 

5 best garden storage options 

Cleaning equipment against a green wall

(Image credit: Future PLC/David Brittain)

Whether you want to store your outdoor cushions or your pressure washer, you’ll be happy to know that the best garden storage can be split into 5 different categories. With the help of experts, we’ve explained what these options are and whether they’ll suit your garden and your needs. 

1. Storage bench or box

If you love to decorate your outdoor space with cushions or rugs, a storage bench or box is definitely your best option. And if you choose a storage bench, you get a 2-in-1 solution that’s perfect for small gardens

Steve Chilton, garden expert at LeisureBench, explains, ‘Garden storage benches can usually be used as both seating options and storage options. Storage benches are great to hold the likes of cushions and soft furnishings for other outdoor furniture, or other small garden items such as extra plant pots.’

In fact, storage benches and boxes are perfect for those without a garden furniture cover to protect their furniture accessories. 

Wooden garden seating around stone fire pit with outdoor cushions and blanket

(Image credit: Future PLC)

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,’ comments Caron Grant, Brand Manager at Bridgman.

‘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.’

However, it’s important to realise that this garden storage option won’t suit everyone - especially if you’re looking to keep your garden gadgets safe or have a large number of outdoor items to store. Steve says, ‘Storage benches generally aren't big enough to store large garden equipment and appliances.’

2. Garden shed

When you think of garden storage, you might immediately think of a shed. There are so many shed ideas out there, and they’re universally loved by homeowners across the UK.

‘Garden sheds themselves come in a variety of sizes, which obviously makes them suitable for different purposes,' says Steve. 'Some items that you might store in a garden shed include garden tools, equipment (lawn mowers, aerators, etc), and outdoor furniture.’

In fact, one of the many things we love about sheds is that they come in so many sizes, so you can always find one that will suit your space. Not only that, but you also have the option to choose between a traditional wood shed or a more weather-proof plastic shed. 

Plus, there are so many ways to organise a shed to keep your garden completely clutter-free. But just remember that a shed might not be a worthwhile investment if you only have a balcony garden

3. Greenhouse

Greenhouses are often associated with sowing seeds and the grow-your-own movement. And while the best greenhouse ideas offer the ideal growing conditions for your plants and veggies, greenhouses can also serve as an excellent garden storage option. 

Lucie Bradley, Greenhouse and Gardening Expert at Two Wests & Elliott loves how versatile a greenhouse can be, but she also states that organising your greenhouse is key. 

‘Organising your greenhouse enables you to create an ideal space for growing as well as a practical space for storing hand tools, spare pots, compost etc. safe and out of sight,’ she says. 

‘The internal walls of your greenhouse can be utilised by fixing shelves to the walls or hanging shelves from the roof of the greenhouse, these both enable you to make use of space in your greenhouse without using valuable floor space.’

‘Shelves are also perfect during Spring as they can be filled with small pots or seed trays packed full of seedlings when you can take advantage of the natural sunlight and the rising heat within your greenhouse. ‘

Just make sure that you know how to choose a greenhouse before whipping out your credit card, as there are a few different options on the market - from fully-fledged glass greenhouses to smaller growhouses. 

4. Summer house

There are two types of summer houses: traditional summer houses and more modern garden rooms. It’s important to consider this option when choosing the right garden storage option for your outside space. 

After all, it may work in your favour if you’re looking to store essential garden items and give yourself more outdoor living space at the same time. 

Steve says, ‘When not in use, summer houses can be perfect to store garden furniture in, and usually offer a more reliable source of weather protection than garden sheds, due to the fact that summer houses are generally more weather tight and built for living.’

Of course, you need to have the space to add a summer house to your garden, which means a summer house won’t suit those with smaller gardens. 

5. Indoor garage cabinet

Who says your garden storage option actually has to be in the garden? Many people forget about their garages when they’re looking to store their garden furniture and tools, but garages often offer a wealth of opportunities to declutter the garden. 

In fact, indoor garage cabinets are becoming more and more popular, offering homeowners the chance to store their garden goodies in their own dedicated cabinets in the garage. 

‘Many people around the UK use their garages as garden storage solutions, as garages are watertight, weather-proof and usually offer enough space to hold garden appliances such as lawnmowers,’ explains Steve.  

‘In many cases, garages are the only source of garden storage that a home may have, so it's important to use it as beneficial as possible, by really making the most of the space. You could do this by adding cabinets, shelving, tool racks, etc all of which can hold different materials and pieces of equipment.’

With this in mind, it’s best to choose an indoor garage cabinet that comes with its own shelves and racking inside. 


What size garden storage do I need?

To make sure you’re choosing the right garden storage for your space, you need to consider the following: 

What will you be storing? If you’re storing larger garden appliances such as a lawnmower, pressure washer, garden furniture, pots and gardening equipment, you’ll need to opt for a larger garden storage solution, such as a shed. However, if you only need to keep your cushions safe from the wet British weather, a storage box or bench should suit you just fine. 

How big is your garden? It should go without saying that you need to choose your garden storage based on the size of your garden. After all, there’s no point in buying a summer house if you’re only working with a small balcony or patio. Always check the measurements of garden furniture before buying, and make sure you don’t fill your space up with storage. 

Will it serve a dual purpose? Many of the garden storage options on the market - such as storage benches and greenhouses - can serve a dual purpose. If you want them to serve this dual purpose, you may want to choose a bigger size. For example, if you want to buy a greenhouse, you need to make sure that it’s big enough to store your gardening tools and your seed trays and pots. 

What do you put in garden storage?

The beauty of garden storage is that you can put anything in there. It may be that you want space to store your garden furniture and accessories over the winter months, or it may be that you want to give your lawnmower a safe space when you’re not using it. 

Whatever you choose to put in your garden storage, it’ll make a huge difference to your outside space and allow you to declutter your garden and save the open space for plants, furniture, and grassy areas. 

So, which garden storage option will you choose?

Lauren Bradbury

Lauren Bradbury is a freelance writer and major homes enthusiast. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in English and Creative Writing from the University of Chichester in 2016, before dipping her toe into the world of content writing. After years of agency work, writing everything from real-life stories to holiday round-ups, she decided to take the plunge and become a full-time freelancer in the online magazine world. Since then, she has become a regular contributor for Real Homes and Ideal Home, and become even more obsessed with everything interior and garden related. As a result, she’s in the process of transforming her old Victorian terraced house into an eclectic and modern home that hits visitors with personality as soon as they walk through the door.