Organizing Outdoor Storage

Are your neighbors starting to give you dirty looks? Are passersby shielding their children’s eyes to keep them from the sight of your yard? Is your spouse reminding you everyday that the yard is not your personal dumping ground?

It may be time for an intervention. Don’t let your front, back, or side yards fall into unsightliness and disorganization. There are easy ways to keep your outdoor storage better organized. Here are some tips:

1. Turn Your Garage into a Storage Machine

Setting up garage storage is simpler than you think. Hooks and nails on the wall will hold up the shovels, axes, and other tools that might currently be spilling out and making a mess. A simple set of shelves or two can hold most of the junk on your garage floor. A chest of drawers found at a garage sale or picked up on Craigslist could be the ideal thing for kids’ sports equipment, gardening tools, or other items. With this level of organization, you might even be able to fit a car in your garage!

2. Make Sure Things That Live Outside Look Great

Anything that is kept outside permanently should be gentle on the eye. Keep your hoses rolled up nicely or buy a coiler to keep them straight and attractive. Some people create a small shelter for their garbage and recycling bins to make them more attractive. If you or the other people who live with you tend to keep clothes outside the house — running shoes, winter coats, and so on — consider buying an attractive, weatherproof container for them. The same thing can be said for pet (or child) toys that are kept outside. Finally, make sure your wood pile is actually an attractive stack, not a mess.

3. Treat Your Porch and/or Patio Like Another Room

Particularly in good weather, many people consider their porch or patio (or both) to be another room of their house. Organize it that way! If you keep barbecue tools and accessories on your patio, find an attractive container to put them in. Use a set of shelves or drawers to store anything that you frequently use outdoors. Keep a trash can with a lid on the patio or porch so your kids don’t leave their litter out. The only trick here is making sure that whatever you use outdoors fits your climate (or can go inside in bad weather) — heavy duty polyethylene plastic may be what you need, or you may be able to get away with something wood or metal.

4. When All Else Fails, Buy (or Build) an outdoor storage Shed

Prebuilt outdoor sheds are available at most large- and medium-sized hardware stores. These small buildings can be plopped right down in your yard, and — much like the underside of your bed when you were a kid (or now!) — can have a lot of items placed inside and still look great from the outside. A new shed may also give you the motivation you need to keep things organized, with a new space available for your use.

5. OR STORE YOUR OUTDOOR STUFF SOMEWHERE ELSE

Who says you have to keep all your outdoor items on your own property? Gather up your patio furniture, athletic equipment, lawn mower, kiddie pool, and anything else you only use part of the year, and get yourself a portable storage container. If at any time you want to get some stuff out of storage, your container can be re-delivered to your house, or you can always take a trip to your local facility to grab what you need. If you’re only storing your outdoor and seasonal items, we highly recommend our “mini yet mighty” 7-foot container.

Don’t let your outdoor spaces be an eyesore. Get organized and enjoy the respect and admiration of your family and neighbors (or, if nothing else, avoid those dirty looks). Happy organizing!

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