outdoor storage

ATTRIBUTION: Louise Cohen (Flickr)

I’m always coming up with new ways to use outdoor spaces, but I’m far from the only one who thinks about these things. Some of the biggest names in home improvement have come up with great ideas for stylish and unique storage solutions to keep your plants, tools, and garden supplies organized, neat plans for tiny gardens that make the most of very little space, and storage cabinets that corral all of your frequently used tools. Today, I’ve collected some of their ideas that I think would be great additions to anyone’s backyard.

Great Greenhouse by Bob Vila

If you live in a cooler climate, you may be missing out on valuable growing time. By adding a greenhouse to your backyard, you can sustain your plants in the winter while giving yourself a running start come spring. If you already have a garden shed, save yourself some money and modify it to create a greenhouse. Bob Villa recommends removing pieces of the roof and siding and replacing them with panels of polycarbonate or fiberglass sheeting. When choosing a greenhouse location, opt for an area where the greenhouse will get at least six hours of direct sunlight per day in the winter.

Tiny Garden by HGTV

tiny garden

ATTRIBUTION: wiccahwang (Flickr)

Maybe you live in an apartment building or your home has little to no backyard. If your yard is minimal or non-existent, take advantage of vertical space. Install a vertical garden on an outside wall, porch, patio, fence, or balcony. Wall pocket setups like this one from HGTV take very little room but provide the space with instant color, texture, and vitality. You’re not limited much when it comes to what you can grow, either. In addition to succulents, which are a popular choice for vertical gardens, you can plant native perennials, ferns, herbs, vegetables, or trailing flowers.

Old-School Milk Crates by Better Homes & Gardens

You likely already use baskets and bins in your home to organize items. Why not use a similar concept outdoors? Heavy-duty milk crates are resilient, have a rustic appeal, and do a great job at storing items such as sports equipment and outdoor toys. Old-fashioned milk crates are available in a variety of sizes and shapes and can often be stacked or attached to walls to maximize space. The pros at Better Homes & Gardens suggest looking for crates at thrift stores or flea markets.

DIY Drill Holsters by Popular Mechanics

Always losing your tools? Find easy and effective solutions for storing your most frequently used tools so that you can grab them and go. One ideal by Popular Mechanics is these DIY drill holsters made from PVC pipe. These holsters are made from 3-inch PVC pipe cut to 8-inch lengths. Slots are made in the pipes to allow the drills to easily slide into the holsters.

Tool Storage Cabinet by This Old House

If you prefer to keep the majority of your tools hidden away, consider building a tool storage cabinet. Tool cabinets can be built to various sizes to accommodate your unique space. Add shelving inside for better organization, and add a hinged door to keep these items hidden away from view. This Old House recommends making the doors from pegboard, which can be customized to hold your unique tool collection.