Outdoor Organizing Options


outdoor organizing options
Ah, summertime–the time that calls for outdoor entertaining…and outdoor organizing.

Enjoying the company of family and friends is often easier in an outdoor setting. Unless, of course, your back yard or patio is festooned with a tangle of hoses and a mishmash of folding chairs, lounges, toys, games and sports clutter.

But don’t despair–you can keep almost any outdoor space looking tidier with the help of these effective outdoor organizing options:

  • Deck boxes are useful for both storage and seating, with hidden space for storing seat cushions, Outdoor Storage Seat Imagepatio furniture covers, pool supplies, toys and sporting gear. The Deck Box with Wheels is also easy to move around.  For smaller spaces, the Outdoor Storage Seat is a more compact version of a deck box, designed to look more like a chair.
  • Storage steps are designed for getting in and out of a hot tub but can also be used alongside a retaining wall or other structure where steps are needed.  The top step flips open to reveal a removable storage compartment.
  • Hose holders help prevent both hose clutter and accidents (a tangled garden hose hidden in a lawn can be as lethal as a snake in the grass).  Some hose holders are also designed to be decorative, such as the Perrault Wall-Mounted Hose Holder (pictured).

Read my post about other types of hose organizers here.




Gardening Organizers


Do you spend more time rummaging around for your gardening gloves than actually gardening? If so, your gardening gear could benefit from a good weeding–and a good storage system.

There are several different kinds of gardening organizers; most are either mobile or wall-mounted.  Here are two excellent examples of each type:

  • The Garden Rack with Removable Basket lets you efficiently store all your gardening tools and accessories togetherGarden Rack with Removable Basket Image. The rack is topped with a shelf for holding items such as gloves, clogs and plant food; the removable basket is handy for carrying materials to and from your yard.  Two sets of long hooks securely hang shovels and rakes; four shorter hooks accommodate hand tools.  Constructed of heavy gauge epoxy-coated steel, the rack can be mounted directly to the wall or may be used with Garage Grid or StoreWall systems.
  • For simply storing an individual long-handled tool or a garden hose, the Swivel Storage Hook is a space-saver. This clever hook folds flat against the wall for sleek storage when not in use. (More garden hose storage options can be found here.)
  • The Yard Tool Gardening Cart is designed to organize both long- and short-handled garden tools along with gloves, clogs and various Yard Tool Gardening Cart Imagegardening supplies. The cart features 10 pockets on each side for smaller items; two grid shelves can hold larger items, plus provide support for long-handled tools. The bottom grid shelf can hold smaller tools. A solid bottom shelf keeps tools in place.
  • The Garden Tool Storage Cart features a removable vented shelf for potting or storage, a solid storage shelf, a 4-inch-high bin designed for mixing soil, and a sifter on the top of the cart that allows loose dirt to fall into the bin. There are also five side slots for holding all sizes of gardening tools.

Patio Dining & BBQ Storage Solutions


Whether you have a tiny patio or a large backyard, outdoor dining requires special storage solutions.  (Unless, of course, you don’t mind making extra trips back inside to retrieve plates, napkins, utensils, condiments, etc.)

To simplify outdoor meal preparation, choose mobile or portable organizers constructed of weather-resistant materials.  Here are three efficient patio dining and BBQ storage solutions for organizing your al fresco meal supplies:

  • The Mobile Serving Station Patio Cabinet provides two handy cabinets topped by an expandable surface for preparing and serving food  Mobile Serving Station Patio Cabinet Image(two drop-leaf sections extend the surface to 40 inches of counter space). A divided serving tray is included, designed to fit inside the upper cabinet. The cabinets offer ample storage for grilling implements and accessories, napkins, condiments and more, and the entire unit rolls smoothly on heavy-duty casters (two locking and two non-locking) for easy portability.
  • The multipurpose Grill Station features separate trays for raw and cooked foods and includes a separate caddy for keeping seasonings, tongs and a beverage handy.
  • Charcoal storage containers are a necessity for those who prefer barbecues to gas grills. Charcoal Storage Bin ImageThe Charcoal Storage Bin (12-lb capacity) has an innovative lid designed to fit inside the original bag of charcoal: you simply cut the top off the bag and insert the lid to provide a tight seal that protects against moisture. The lid also has a flip top that lets you neatly dispense charcoal, and the large carrying handle on the side makes the bin easy to transport.  If you need a larger capacity bin, the Charcoal Storage Container holds up to 24 lbs.

Garden Hose Organizers


If you’ve got a garden, you’ve probably experienced hose clutter.  Unruly garden hoses have a way of creating chaos–not only do they look messy, they’re potentially hazardous (as anyone who has ever tripped over a hose tangle can attest).

Luckily there are several helpful hose clutter remedies to choose from.  Here are three types of garden hose organizers that provide convenient and safe storage:

  • Hose reel systems allow you to easily retract your hose, tangle-free–and then keepHose Reel Hideaway - Taupe Image it neatly hidden away and protected from the elements when not in use.  The Hose Reel Hideaway has two special features: an Easylink system which ensures a water-tight connection between your hose and the reel; and a Smart Trak hose guide that tracks the hose neatly onto the reel.  A more deluxe hose reel system is the Hydro Power Auto Rewind Hose Reel, a water-powered automatic hose reel that rewinds your hose hands-free with the flip of a lever.
  • Hose pots such as the Garden Hose Storage Pot are more decorative but less user-friendly than hose reels.  Designed to look like wide planter pots with a side opening for the hose to come through, they require you to manually coil the hose inside the pot.
  • Wall-mounted hose holders such as the Filigree Garden Hose Holder also require the effort of manual hose Filigree Garden Hose Holder Imagecoiling but take up the least amount of space, and are the most economical option.  Hose holders are available in a variety of styles.

Garden Tool Organizers


For some, yardwork is a chore; for others, it’s a joy.  But whether you’re a green-thumb gardener or just a reluctant raker, keeping your gardening tools in order can make yardwork tasks more of a pleasure.

If you’ve been looking for an efficient way to store your brooms, rakes, shovels and other landscaping tools along with gardening supplies, consider these well-designed garden tool organizers:

  • The Yard Tool Organizer Rack is a rolling storage solution that can accommodate 20 long-handled tools, 17 short-handled tools, a weed trimmer, leaf blower and more.Yard Tool Organizer Rack Image The slots provide side access to your tools so you don’t have to lift them vertically out of the rack; strong clips keep each garden tool in place yet release easily for quick access.
  • The modular Garden Tool Organizer Wall System provides adjustable options for storing all types of tools plus pots and hoses.
  • Suncast’s Rolling Garden Cart is designed for serious gardeners.  Featuring multiple areas for storing various gardening supplies as well as tools, it also includes a 4-inch-high storage bin that makes it easy to create custom soil, while a sifter on the top of the cart allows loose dirt to fall into the bin when working in the garden.


Organized outdoor dining


‘Tis the season of barbecues, picnics and patio parties. Outdoor dining is delightful, but it does require specialized storage solutions for your picnicking paraphernalia and other al fresco accessories.

Here are some of the best products designed to keep you organized so you can relax and enjoy all your outdoor meals:

  • The Collapsible Cooler Basket is an insulated space-saving alternative to the classic picnic basket–it folds flat for storage and has Collapsible Cooler Basket by Picnic at Ascot Imagea leak-proof food-safe lining, a zippered lid and a front pocket for wet wipes, condiment packets, baggies and other picnic supplies. 
  • The Table Caddy is a vertical organizer with compartments sized for napkins, ketchup and mustard packets, salt & pepper, hot sauce and more; and it stays in place even on slippery table surfaces with a Slip Stop grip.
  • The clamp-on BBQ / Campsite Organizer keeps grill supplies and other necessities organized and easily accessible–it mounts to any grill or table and features four double-sided hooks for barbecue utensils; a paper towel holder; and a shelf for spices, etc.
  • The Trunk Organizer and Cooler does Trunk Organizer and Cooler Imagedouble duty as both a car trunk organizer and a picnic helper.  It has two roomy side compartments plus a central zip-top insulated section for keeping items cold or hot.  Two handles make it easy to transport, and it folds flat for compact storage.



Recycling Storage Solutions


“Reduce, reuse, recycle” — this catchy environmental mantra has become familiar to most of us. What’s not as familiar is the variety of space-saving storage solutions designed to make those three R’s easier to integrate into your household routine.

Recycling bins have tended to be unattractive space hogs that belonged outdoors or in the garage. So in many households, recyclable materials are often tossed in the trash simply because it isn’t convenient to recycle them. Fortunately there are several home recycling systems that are refreshingly streamlined and easy to use.  Here are some of the most efficient and attractive storage solutions for maintaining a “sustainable” home:

  • The Stainless Steel Three-Compartment Step Recycle Center features three step-open compartments with removable bins for storing and organizing plastic, glass and other recyclables.  Each recycle bin section has a color-coded step pedal for easy identification.Three-Compartment Stainless Steel Recycle Bin Image

It’s also available in a two-compartment version.

  • For under-the-sink convenience, these Double Double Recycle Bins ImageRecycle Bins provide an out-of-the-way recycling station in an under-sink cabinet. The roomy removable recycling containers glide out on ball-bearing guided tracks and allow you to keep recyclables easily separated and ready for removal.
  • Simplehuman has an entire line of attractive and efficient dual-bucket home recycling systems.




Outdoor storage that hides in plain sight


Should you get a storage shed – or should you work on shedding your excess clutter?7.5'H x 10'D Backyard Garden Storage Building

In most cases, you’re probably better off getting rid of stuff than stuffing it in its own littlehouse.  However, a shed is an ideal solution for certain situations. If you want easy access to gardening tools and supplies, sports equipment, building materials or other outdoor-related items, a shed may be beneficial.

But if you just have too much “miscellaneous”, it’s better to shed the stuff so you don’t stuff the shed.

Deck boxes are an efficient and economical alternative to sheds–they can be used for stowing all types of outdoor gear such as patio furniture covers and cushions, pool supplies, toys and sporting goods.

Pool Side Deck Box with Wheels ImageThey come in a range of styles and materials and also do double-duty as seating options, ranging in size from ottomans to chairs to benches. For easy portability, choose a rolling deck box.





Staycation Preparation: Outdoor Organizing Options


Some ideas to get your backyard, patio or other outdoor spaces organized for your staycation…

  • Like indoor rooms, outdoor rooms require storage solutions for keeping things in order. The trick is to choose containers that do triple-duty: They should work as both storage units and furnishings, while also enhancing the decor. For example, deck boxes are seating options that include storage space for seat cushions, patio furniture covers and pool supplies.

  • If you’re planning to cook and/or dine outdoors, you’ll want to have at least one trash receptacle that is easily accessible for humans (but not animals), easy to empty and decor-friendly. For large-capacity loads (30-to 33-gallon), the molded resin Outdoor Trash Receptacle provides convenient access and looks like a stylish storage unit.

  • A hose is an ever-present part of outdoor living, but all too often it’s a disorderly and even hazardous presence – hard to put away and easy to trip over. Fortunately there is now a wide range of products designed to corral unruly garden hoses. Just watch out for devices that are more clever than useful. Anything that requires you to unspool the entire hose in order to use it could be more trouble than it’s worth.




Outdoor Room Dividers


reg-1224806747-109460Just as we have folding screens for the interior of our homes, we can also benefit by them when used outside in the garden, deck or patio!  Here are some tips on why and how to use them, and how to pick them.

Separate a Space
Outside, you may want to use a room divider for separating spaces, just like inside, creating different themed spaces.  For example, you may divide a large (or medium sized) patio into two separate areas for entertaining, sectioning off a space just for your outdoor dining set.

Another reason for an outdoor room divider is for privacy.  This could be privacy for you, or for your gardening tools.  For example, if you live very close to neighbors and they can see into your yard or patio, you may want to have a place where no one can see you, where you can just relax in peace without having to make small talk.  Or, if you have an old potting bench that has seen better days but the rest of your yard looks great, an outdoor screen can hide the unsightly mess!

Outdoor room dividers can also provide some shade.  Especially for apartment patios and balconies that face the sun, a room divider up against a short fence can cool your patio, while still providing privacy and décor.

Tips for shopping:  Obviously, you need a room screen that has materials that can be outside.  Unfinished woods are not a good idea because they can rot and deteriorate.  Stainless steel, on the other hand, would be a good idea!  For the fabric, look for natural materials like bamboo, or vinyl and plastic models that are specifically designed for outdoor use.  As you can see, there are a multitude of options, and many reasons to invest in an outdoor privacy screen.