We’ve rounded up the best garden storage ideas to help you hide away your tools, old toys, outdoor furniture – and pots and planters – with ease.

Backyard storage ideas

Does your garden, shed or front yard frequently turn into the family dumping ground? Then there’s no time like the present to get neat, tidy and organized with these practical – and stylish – backyard storage ideas. 

1. Invest in a garden room

Architects say there’s been an increased appetite to build garden rooms in backyards that are used for storage, and even doubling up as entertaining spaces.  Before starting your project, think about what you would like to storage in a shed or backyard room. Think about the things you use most often or what is most needed for the season.  In winter, lawnmowers can be stored at the back of your shed or sunroom, while rakes and garden brooms can be at the front, but come spring swap these over. Store sharper items higher, safely out of reach, and smaller items in labelled pots and containers – reused glass jars are perfect. Don’t forget lighting. Even battery powered push lights will help you find what you need.

2. Start with shelves

Sheds often don’t come with shelving or wall hooks, so measure up your space, plus what you need to store in it, and work out a shelving system. Racks are a smart way of organising a shed as you can make full use of both the height and width. Don’t forget to hang a series of wall hooks, too, for longer tools that won’t fit on shelving.

3. Give a shed a living room look

Before you cast off old items of furniture from your home, think if they can be used in the shed instead. Wardrobes and shelving units make great storage solutions, but I’d always recommend removing the doors so you can easily see what goes where. Have in your mind, if you can’t see it, will you remember it’s in there?

4. Find a place for everything

While sheds are a great place for storing your tools, I’d recommend keeping the ones you use regularly, such as a screwdriver, hammer and measuring tape, in the house. If you’re hanging tools on the wall, try drawing around them so you can easily see what goes where. Invest in good-quality storage boxes so you can pack away items like Christmas decorations or outdoor cushions, as putting these in cardboard boxes will mean they will become damp over time.

5. Take inspiration from indoors

Good backyard storage should be a priority when it comes to planning garden ideas – no one wants a cluttered and unusable backyard.  With the garden coming under increasing pressure to perform a variety of social roles, such as alfresco dining, relaxing and entertaining, a good layout and adequate backyard storage are more important than ever.  Simple garden shed ideas or ‘man caves’ might conjure up visions of being creaky, cold and damp, but – with the right materials – you can turn it into your unloved unit into a fully-functional she shed that is a powerhouse of creativity – and, comes equipped with just the right amount shelving, work station and plenty of pegs.

6. Invest in a shed for storage

Every garden should have a shed for storage. You can opt for high-end design when choosing a shed, ending up with something akin to a Swiss chalet or woodland log cabin, but boil things down, and most of us are really only after a secure weather-proof storage space for all out tools and sundries. Bear this in mind and a new shed needn’t cost you the earth. If your shed has to fit into a small garden space, opt for a slim design (good for positioning next to a garden wall or incorporating into garden fence ideas).

7. Build an entertainment area with hidden storage

Garden designers and architects say there’s been an increased appetite to build spaces in gardens that are used as a hybrid for entertaining and backyard storage, linked back to a heightened awareness of the benefits of being outside for health and wellbeing.  Converting outbuildings into party barns with hidden storage, exercise areas, pool houses and spas, is a big trend says Ben Holland of HollandGreen Architecture (opens in new tab). 

8. Set up shelving within a potting shed

Backyard storage ideas – whether open shelving or hidden within a potting shed or she shed – are a great option if you are the owner of an impressive container garden, or are a keen gardener who appreciates having tools and outdoor essentials close at hand. 

9. Install open shelving

Not everything needs to be hidden away when it comes to backyard storage. In fact, decorative storage solutions can make a huge difference to the look and feel of your backyard.  A cluster of simple floating shelves works particularly well in a shed or garden room. They add an element of interest that draws the eye, all while helping to keep floor space clear and tidy. It’s best to mount open shelving just above eye level and within easy reach if you intend for the shelves to hold regularly used items, such as gloves, secateurs, and watering cans. 

10. Provide storage for logs

If you have an outdoor fireplace, log-burning brazier or firepit then chances are that you will need to find a place to store firewood.  If you need to create shelter, a simple timber pergola or overhang will provide dappled shelter from the elements. Alternatively, look for a clever roof system with louvres similar to those on plantation shutters, which can be opened and closed.

11. Provide lockable backyard storage for valuable items

If valuable garden space is limited but you need to store bulkier or expensive items – from lawnmowers and garden tools to children’s play equipment and bikes – opt for a mid-sized solution, such as a garden lock-up unit that can be sited at the side of the house, front garden or in a backyard. 

12. Get creative with a work station

A backyard storage shed shouldn’t be just for storing away tools and pots. Use your shed to create a space to indulge in a joyous activity.  Head to the shed and potter away with a desk for planting seedlings ready for all your container gardening ideas. A potting bench is an essential, providing all the backyard storage you need to keep up with the growing season. 

13. Pitch a place for outdoor furniture

Is your garden groaning under all the outdoor furniture you’ve accumulated over the years? Then a roomy, weather-resistant garden shed packed full of storage essentials could be just what you need.    Decluttering expert Marie Kondo recommends storing like with like, so keep everything of a type together – for example, bikes in one place and garden tools and containers all together. Every category should have a designated home to make it easier to find. 

14. Smarten up with a compact potting bench

If you love propagating plants, then smart backyard storage ideas like these are delightful features to have in any backyard – big or small.  Its rustic look would complement all manner of country garden ideas. And, there’s enough space to keep everything you need within arm’s reach when potting up seedlings or taking cuttings. If you have the space, complete the look with a matching drawer unit to keep any extra garden tools, labels and twine handy.