This time of year, I often get questions regarding how we store and organize all our outdoor gear — hand tools, lawn tools, toys, lawn furniture, kiddie pools, play equipment, mowers, fertilizers, hoses, etc. etc.
Yes, we have A LOT of outdoor gear around here, and although our storage and organizational needs are always changing, I do feel we have a decent storage system right now… so I’m happy to share.
One thing I do want to note right from the start is that we have a TON of storage space outside our home:
- a large 2-stall garage
- a second 2-stall garage + outbuilding
- a 10ft. x 10ft. shed
- a decorative “outhouse-looking” shed
- and a hidden storage space behind our outbuilding.
Although we might have somewhat limited closet space inside our house, we make up for that with all the extra storage we have for items outside our house!
So as you read through this post and see how we’ve organized our outdoor gear, please keep in mind that it is much easier for us to keep things neat and organized because we have SO MUCH SPACE.
That said, if we didn’t have as much space, we would most likely not have as much stuff either. We wouldn’t need a large riding mower, we wouldn’t need as much fertilizer, hoses, sprinklers, etc. And we certainly wouldn’t have nearly as many outdoor kids’ toys if we didn’t have such a big yard and long driveway to use our toys.
We have a bunch of hand tools — and we store them in so many different places throughout our home and yard — because we use them in so many different places.
We have a small set of hand tools in a drawer in our kitchen, we also have a small set in our extra garage — but the majority of our hand tools are stored in the drawers of our garage cabinets.
We don’t have any fancy organizing system — we just dump them in the drawers and use shoe boxes to keep things somewhat neat.
We actually don’t have that many power tools because we can borrow almost anything we need from my dad or my brother-in-law (who both have a VERY extensive collection!)
The power tools we do have are either in our basement or in our extra garage.
Car Tools and Equipment:
Everything for our cars is in the tall cabinets in our garage — extra fluids and oils, extra windshield wiper blades, buckets and rags to wash the car, wax, etc.
We don’t have a lot — but it obviously makes sense to keep all that stuff in the garage, right by the cars.
ALL of our lawn tools are in our larger shed now (they used to be split between the garage and extra garage until we built our shed 2 years ago).
It is SO nice to have everything in one spot — away from all the kid’s stuff. We really love this extra storage space (plus, it looks really cute at the end of our driveway too!)
Hoses and Watering Tools:
We used to keep all of this in the garage too — until we quickly realized our kids REALLY liked playing with hoses and water sprayers 🙂
We now store all our hoses, sprinklers, spray nozzles, and watering wands in our shed during the “off season”. We have specific places around our home where we keep the hoses coiled up during the spring and summer.
Chemicals and Fertilizers:
All our oil, gas, preen, weed n’ feed, fertilizer, RoundUp, bug spray, etc. is all on shelves in our shed — far away from little hands!
It’s also really nice to have it out of our garage and/or extra garage because it keeps any smell out of those areas too.
Bikes, strollers, scooters, etc:
ALLLLLLLLLL of this is in the garage. In fact, besides our car stuff and a few basic hand tools, the only thing in the garage is kiddie toys!
I did a quick count of bikes, strollers, scooters, and other “wheeled” toys, and I’ve concluded that we have an embarrassingly large number!
- 5 kids bikes
- 3 adult bikes (we’re in the process of selling one)
- a “tag-a-long” bike
- 4 strollers (one of which is also our bike trailer)
- 3 scooters
- 3 plastic cars (1 cozy-coupe, and 2 with adult handles to push the child)
- at least 3 different ride-on/push toys
- 1 doll stroller
- 2 shopping carts
- 2 lawn mowers
- possibly more!
I know that’s such a ridiculous number of outdoor toys — but our kids (and a handful of neighborhood kids) really do use everything on a very regular basis. It’s not uncommon for every single wheeled toy to be strewn about in various parts of our very long driveway while the kids are outside playing.
And thanks to a really great Monkey Bars storage system, we can hang almost every single thing and get it up off the floor (and out of our kid’s reach) when we actually want to pick up and have things neat again!
Sports Equipment and outdoor games:
We don’t have a lot of sports equipment yet — just a bunch of different types of balls, some bats, and tennis rackets. We keep them all in the garage — the balls are in a mesh bag that hangs from our Monkey Bars Organizing system, everything else is in the storage cabinets.
I suspect we will need to figure out a system for sports gear in future years — but I have a feeling some of it will end up in the mudroom. We shall see!
Since Dave and I are both home every day during the summer, we have plenty of time to mess with getting kiddie pools out for our kids on a very regular basis.
We currently have 2 hard-sided kiddie pools (but will be selling one in the next few weeks). We also had a fun blow-up pool (see below) that got a leak part-way through the summer. We patched it up and continually refilled it with air throughout the warm weeks, but then trashed it after cold weather came.
This amazing Step 2 pool was our most recent bargain (we found it on Craigslist last September) and it’s why we’ll be selling our other dark blue pool this year.
It’s a beast — and when we’re not using the pool part, we store it behind our shed. We keep the play area and slide out year-round.
Lawn and Patio Furniture:
Since our front porch is covered, we leave all our lawn and patio furniture out year-round.
However, the patio furniture on our deck is exposed to the elements, so we pack it up and put it in our shed during the winter.
I found this entire set for $30 from our local thrift store last spring — and we absolutely LOVE it!
The chairs fold up for very easy storage, the umbrella comes apart so it stores easier, and the whole thing is very lightweight and portable. I have no idea what brand name it is, but the folding chairs are a huge bonus in my opinion!
The potting bench stays out year-round.
I do not store many outdoor decorations — mainly because I don’t do much outdoor decorating.
I have 1 clear plastic tub of greenery I sometimes put up outside during Christmas time, and that is stored on a top shelf in the shed. I also have a wooden sled I keep in the corner of the shed during non-holiday times.
Other than that, I either use natural decor that can eventually be put into our yard waste (corn stalks, hay bales, pine cones, etc) or I leave the decorative items sitting out year-round — even if they are “in the elements”.
I guess I figure that I hardly spend any money on my outdoor decorations, so if they eventually get too faded or worn, I’ll just toss them. That’s easier and less time consuming than worrying about storing everything for the winter.
I’m sure there are things I’m missing (although I honestly did try to be very thorough)!
One thing that comes to mind are the few camping items we have (I know, we don’t camp but Dave wants to keep them!) We store those in our shed.
Also, bubbles… oh bubbles! Those are in the garage, on a shelf WAY too high for children to reach them!
Extension cords and our 1 large cooler are both in the garage.
And all our sand toys live in the sandbox year-round.
Ok, that’s everything I can think of!
If you have questions about any other type of outdoor item, ask me in the comments and I’ll do my best to offer some possible storage solutions!