16 garden storage ideas: organise your outside space with these nifty solutions

Our garden storage ideas will help you make the most of every inch of space and get your outdoor clutter sorted in style

garden storage ideas
(Image credit: Tom Howard Garden Design)

Thanks to clever garden storage ideas, organising your outside space isn't as daunting as it might first appear. Rest assured there are plenty of smart tricks and buys out there to solve your clutter issues. It’s amazing how quickly we gather garden essentials, everything from tools, lanterns, pots and planters to larger essentials such as bikes, BBQs and logs can quickly leave your beautiful backyard looking more like a chaotic mess.

To start with, editing what you do and don’t need is the key to getting on top of the problem. So embrace your inner Marie Kondo and recycle or give away anything you no longer need and then sit back and list everything you need to store. Group your list into small and larger items as this will help you work out exactly the scale and type of storage solution you need. 

Next, look at your outside area and highlight potential storage spots. It could be as simple as finding room for a shed, a slimline wall unit or watertight chest, but chances are, especially if is space is tight, you will need to be a little more imaginative. Under steps, a narrow side alley or the void below a deck are all prime areas waiting to be transformed.

So go on, what’s stopping you? Start organising your space today and if you need further inspiration, head over to our garden design ideas for more outdoor updates.

1. Use the walls

decked area with wooden garden furniture and a potting bench

This Wassif garden unit from La Redoute in mellow Acacia combines a handy potting area with compost bin, concealed and open shelving, plus hanging space

(Image credit: La Redoute)

When it comes to small garden ideas, one way to solve storage issues is to use the surrounding walls to maximise every bit of available space. A series of shelves, hooks and hanging rails or wall-hung containers can hold a surprising amount of clutter. Double your storage options with a base unit that has a tall trellis or slatted panel attached and then you can use it as a growing space for favourite herbs and plants too. 

2. Make the most of modular shelving 

outdoor storage unit with pots of herbs and crockery on display

Made from powder-coated aluminium shelves and teak supports, The Frame Shelving System from The Worm That Turned is distinctly modern and looks good inside or out

(Image credit: The Worm That Turned)

Need to make the most of a long, low wall or awkward corner then try a modular shelving system that can be tailored to the fit the space. The beauty of these designs is that they offer a smart solution, often at a fraction of the cost of a bespoke solution, and that they can be adapted or taken apart and moved as your needs change. As pictured, you could even use them as a space for the best herbs to grow in your garden.  

3. Choose flexible storage on wheels

decked area with wooden garden furniture and storage benches

Chestnut storage benches on wheels from La Redoute offer storage and extra seating in one handy design

(Image credit: La Redoute)

What could be better than storage boxes that look good, double as side tables or occasional seating and can be wheeled around to exactly where they are needed? There are plenty of sturdy chests that are suitable for outside use, many are watertight too – but few are as smart as these storage benches on wheels from La Redoute. If these don’t fit the bill, you can take on an easy DIY project and simply adapt standard storage boxes by fixing heavy duty castors to the base. They're readily available from Amazonand are easy to fit to your storage. Opt for designs with brakes to stop the storage unit moving around, especially if you want it to double up as a seating area. 

4. Fix up a handy display

storage unit on a wood clad wall

This metal wall hanging storage unit from Crocus is a useful way to keep things neat and tidy in a garden shed

(Image credit: Crocus)

Open storage is a great way to free up floor and worksurfaces while keeping everything close to hand. Wall hung crates or boxes, canvas pockets and neat multi-sectioned grids, like this one from Crocus, make perfect homes for smaller essentials and can liven up a plain wall too. Stash away everyday items such as the best secateurs, garden twine, the best gardening gloves, pots and labels, and don’t forget that the top of the organiser doubles as a handy shelf too.

5. Go for sleek small space storage

small outdoor storage unit

Ikea’s Kolbjorn range is a budget-friendly way to boost your garden storage solutions

(Image credit: Ikea)

Style counts, particularly in a small space so choosing storage can be tricky. Look for sleek lines, simple shapes and go for units with doors so you can hide the contents away to maintain a smart, streamlined look. For balcony garden ideas where space is really right, work out exactly what you need on a day-to-day basis and find a storage unit that will accommodate everything. Ikea’s Kolbjorn range comes in a range of heights and configurations featuring both open and closed designs. The shelves can easily be repositioned and you can stack different combos to suit your needs. 

6. Stash essentials in one place

garden caddy used to hold tools and seeds

This wood and steel garden caddy from Annabel James will ensure your garden essentials are always close at hand

(Image credit: Annabel James)

If you're fed up with the endless hunt for gloves, the best secateurs and string then create a garden caddy to keep everything you need in one place. It doesn’t have to be particularly smart but it needs to be easy to carry. A simple canvas bag, basket or lined fruit crate will also do the job. Divide the interior into two or three sections to help keep some order and try and store similar items together, hand tools one side and plant ties, labels, twine on the other.

7. Blend in large storage

modern urban garden with painted shed, fences and built-in bench seating areas

The storage in this stunning garden by Tom Howard Garden Design is designed to blend into the background

(Image credit: Tom Howard Garden Design)

Larger storage spaces, such as the best sheds and bike stores can dominate a small backyard or look out of place in if added as an afterthought. Thankfully, there are some clever and very effective tricks you can try. No one wants to look out onto an ugly ash-felted roof so why not swap it for a living roof instead. There are plenty of planting options to choose from including pre-sown matting and pocket systems which makes installation a simple project. 

Painting or cladding the garden store to match surrounding garden fence ideas and walls is a simple way to create continuity. In this stunning garden scheme, a lack of front facing windows and a flush profile merges the store into the planting, so it becomes a blank canvas to show off the stately olive tree.

Head over to our feature on the best trees for small gardens to find the right pick for your outdoor space. 

8. Utilise wasted space

steps leading down the garden with handy storage built in underneath the steps

In this contemporary design by Tom Howard Garden Design the void under the stairs has been transformed into a nifty store cupboard

(Image credit: Tom Howard Garden Design)

Garden structures often eat up space but look carefully as, with a little tweaking, they can provide storage opportunities too. Clever garden steps ideas, raised decking ideas, built-in bench seating and retaining garden wall ideas can all incorporate handy nooks perfect for stashing away items such as BBQs, folding chairs, tables and parasols. Yes, these spaces may be unconventional shapes, but they are often large and roomy offering the perfect spot to stash your garden essentials. 

9. Squeeze in a shed

Mini garden shed tucked into a corner of a decked patio area

A slimline shed is tucked neatly into the corner of the decked patio in this compact town garden by Fenton Roberts Garden Design

(Image credit: Fenton Roberts Garden Design)

The best sheds come in all shapes and sizes, offering endless amounts of storage but sometimes even the smallest off-the-peg design can be too imposing for a tiny outdoor space. The solution is to adapt a bought or existing model to suit your needs and garden layout. Or, if you are feeling handy, create one from scratch. 

Think about how you want to use the storage space – is it for housing bikes, long, thin garden tools or bulky toys, as this will help you decide on the dimensions and best location. Reduce the structure by cutting down the panels and securing any loose boards with timber battens. Upgrade features such as doors and windows with reclaimed materials and paint to blend in with surrounding walls and planting, You'll find the best exterior wood paint for your project in our buying guide. 

10. Snap up a seat with storage

outdoor bench with built in storage underneath

The Aruba solid acacia outdoor storage bench from Maisons Du Monde has three handy drawers underneath the bench for storing your garden essentials

(Image credit: Maisons Du Monde)

If you’re on the hunt for a super stylish new bench, then why not go for one with storage built in? Choose from designs with lift up seats or a series of drawers, ideal for keeping cushions, throws or smaller accessories neat and tidy, ready for the moment they are needed. They're a great way to make the most of your outdoor living space ideas and keep everything clutter free. 

11. Organise your work area

storage wall units in a shed for storing garden tools

Peg board storage is an easy way to ensure your garden shed always stays organised

(Image credit: Wickes)

Whether you are super neat or you long to be, here’s the secret for keeping sheds and garden rooms organised, the humble pegboard. Loved by shopfitters, DIY enthusiasts and crafty types alike, it’s easy to keep everything in its place and spot what’s been borrowed too. Pick one up online – there are numerous specialist companies out there that also sell extras such as shelves, hanging pots and slot-in racks that are compatible with their systems. Alternatively make one yourself using timber board, wood pegs, tape measure and a drill. 

12. Assemble your own outdoor kitchen

outdoor trolley unit for an outdoor kitchen

This Klasen outdoor trolley from Ikea is made from stainless steel so is suitable for use in the garden as well as indoors

(Image credit: Ikea)

Love the idea of learning how to design an outdoor kitchen? Then get organised with some practical units and create the perfect spot for an outdoor cook-up. There are plenty of budget-friendly outdoor kitchen ideas too, so you don't have to bust the bank balance either. Look for affordable modular units that sit neatly together to make a spacious worksurface with oodles of shelving space below. Handy built-in rails provide a place for cloths as well as a spot for hanging utensils and pans. 

13. Introduce some display shelves

tiered garden storage unit used to store and display plants

The Norfolk Leisure Florenity Verdi planting shelf from Hayes Garden World can be used in the garden, conservatory or greenhouse

(Image credit: Hayes Garden World)

Gather up pots, lanterns and any other outdoor favourites that are cluttering up your patio and pop them, pride of place on a stunning set of shelves. Not only will it free up floorspace, but open shelves can act as handy divider or help cosy-up your patio ideas too. Group together similar items for a cohesive look – one shelf could be lined with small potted plants while a group of larger lanterns sit proudly on another. Try not to cram the unit full though, the aim is for a smart but calm, interesting display.

14. Keep logs in order

large circular metal log store on a patio filled with logs

This stunning Woodstock circular log store from Parker & Coop has five different sections so you can easily grab the kindling and gradually build up your fire as it gets going

(Image credit: Parker and Coop)

A sprawling log pile can take up a huge amount of space and look cluttered too, so get organised and turn it in a striking garden feature. There’s a huge range of different shaped metal stores out there that not only look amazing but keep the timber secure, ventilated and dry. Choose from interlocking pyramids, rectangular walls and eye-catching circles like the one pictured above. 

15. Make space for a boot and shoe store

boot store under a covered front porch

The Gothic boot store from the Posh Shed Company will keep all your wellies and walking boots neatly stored away

(Image credit: The Posh Shed Company)

Fed up with trailing dirty boots through the house or falling over the pile left by the door? Then adding some suitable shoe storage is the answer. There are plenty of roomy weatherproof chests available that would do a brilliant job, but we really love this stylish design. The small footprint saves on valuable space while the handy shelves enable you to grab and go. Just pop a metal boot scraper nearby and you’ll be all set.

16. Disguise your bin store 

bin store with a green roof in a front garden

This bin store keeps unsightly essentials hidden from view, while the roof provides an extra growing space. Fenton Roberts sell DIY plans for this slatted bin store if you want to give it a go and make one yourself

(Image credit: Fenton Roberts Garden Design)

They are definitely less-than-lovely to look at, but wheelie bins are the perfect excuse to get creative with your front garden ideas. Bin stores are great for hiding these plastic hulks from view, but they are practical too, as they also stop bins being raided by foxes and blown over in the wind. 

A simple lick of paint is a good way to blend them in with the surroundings but go one step further and crown them with a living roof. Plant it with alpines and low-growing succulents for year-round colour. Head over to our guide on how to grow succulents for top tips on growing them indoors and out. 

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