Having a patio or a deck is not just an opportunity to entertain or relax outdoors. It’s also an extended living space which means you have even more room for storage. You don’t need to cramp all of your furniture or unused stuff inside the house and you also don’t need to build a shed just to organize all your supplies.
We have plenty of ideas on how we want our patios or decks to be. But not so much when it comes down to containing all those piles of items and keeping a clutter-free outdoors. So we’ve listed these practical storage solutions for your patio and deck.
Boxes come in a number of different material and size choices, which makes it easy to not only find one that fits with the décor of your patio but which will also fit into the space that you have. Look for one that is heavy-duty enough to stand up to the elements, as this will ensure that it can be placed out in the open and won’t have to be covered all the time to keep the rain and snow off of your items. These boxes often come in neutral colors so they blend into your décor and won’t stick out, but if you want to paint them to match your chosen color scheme then that is generally very easy to do. They are large enough to store outdoor toys, gardening tools, and even a hose if you do not have a dedicated hose reel for this storage need.
Source: Home Depot
There is something very charming about using a cabinet for your deck or patio storage, as it makes your outdoor living space look like an extension of the rest of your home. No matter what kind of theme you have on your patio, a wooden cabinet is a great way to store your items, and since they offer vertical space, they don’t take up nearly as much room as storage that sits flat on the patio does. This means that you will be able to store more items in your cabinet without taking up too much space on the patio. Make sure that the shelves are moveable so you can adjust the space between them, which will make it very easy to store your outdoor toys, towels, and other items. Depending on whether or not your cabinet is going to be protected from the elements, you may need to opt for one that has slats in the design, as this will allow water to drain through the cabinet without pooling and causing mold and mildew problems.
When looking for a bench to go on your porch or deck and double as storage, you will want to make sure that the top of the piece is flat, as this will allow you to easily sit on the bench without feeling uncomfortable or like you are going to slide off. Another benefit of the flat top of a storage bench is that you can use it as a serving station if you want. This will allow you to quickly maximize the space and furniture that you have, making it much easier to host parties outside without having to bring out additional furniture to hold the food. Benches are longer than they are tall, so if you are short on space then you may have to opt for a different kind of storage that will be able to better fit in your area without taking up too much room. Look for a bench that can also be locked so you don’t have to worry about the safety of your items when they are in storage.
It’s very important that you have storage on your patio or deck for your trash. If you do any kind of entertaining, you know how quickly trash can build up at events, but without a dedicated place to put trash, it will simply collect on the tables and get blown about by the wind. Not only is this unattractive to have to deal with and a pain to pick up later, but it can also attract wild animals to your home and give them reason to paw through your belongings looking for food. Having a locking and difficult-to-open storage option for your trash will ensure that wild animals aren’t able to scatter your trash after you have a party and will give people an easy place to put their trash so that it does not end up all over your yard. You can buy trash storage in matching colors to fit with the rest of your furniture and décor, which will allow it to blend into your patio or deck decor without sticking out and being obviously a trash can.
A storage-bench seat is going to be fairly smaller than a regular storage bench that you can buy for outdoor use, but will still have the added benefit of providing additional seating as well as a place to store your outdoor items when they are not in use. Many people opt for seats over benches because they are small, and you can more easily fit one into your space without worrying about it taking up a lot of floor space. Decorating with seats also gives you more options for moving around your furniture and changing the way that you want everything be arranged, thus giving you freedom when it comes to arranging your seating and giving you and your guests plenty of room to spread out. Because they have flat tops just like storage benches, you can put food or drinks on their tops when you have guests over and without worrying about them sliding around or getting knocked off. Make sure that the bench has a lip on the top so you can put a pillow on it for more comfortable seating if you want, as sitting directly on the hard top can get very uncomfortable after a while, and a lip will ensure that the pillow doesn’t slide out from under the user.
Prep Station Cart
Source: Home Depot
Anyone who likes to cook outside knows that it’s important to have a prep station along with all of the tools that you will need close at hand, so that you’re not constantly having to run in and out of the house to get what you need. When you have a prep station storage piece in your outdoor living space, not only will you have plenty of room to prep your items for the grill and hang all of your grill tools, but there will also be a cabinet that you can use to store any other items you will need. This is not a great place to put yard toys and other items, but it is ideal if you like to cook outside and want to have plates, utensils, and even herbs and spices at the ready for when you fire up the grill. Look for an option that has locking casters so that you have the option to move your workstation closer to the grill if you want to or can push it back out of the way if you need a little more room. This will give you a lot of flexibility when you are cooking. These storage units also provide a flat surface that’s a comfortable height for serving food and gives you an easy way to display everything that’s available to eat.
Having cold drinks and being able to keep perishables like sour cream and guacamole cold when you’re entertaining outside is always a good idea. Instead of dragging out buckets of ice, when you opt for a cooler, you can entertain in style. These are not your typical coolers that you would take with you on a camping trip. They are usually set on taller legs to make it easy to look through them, have wheels so they can be moved around your patio, and are generally designed to showcase your interests. Because they are sturdy, they can be left outside on the deck when your parties are finished, although you may want to bring them under an overhang to protect them from hard rain.
In general, wood is a great option for outdoor storage furniture. While there are a couple of different types of wood to choose from, when you opt for wood, you will enjoy great storage that is stable and able to stand up to the outdoor elements without being damaged. No matter what kind of wood you choose, you will have to take steps to ensure that it is protected from the rain and the sun. If you choose to paint your storage, it will have to be redone every few years, as the rain and sun cause the paint to flake and peel off. Sanding and repainting your storage container will keep it looking its best and prevent it from being damaged by the damp. On the other hand, if you decide to stain your furniture, you will need to reapply the stain every few years, as this will protect the wood and allow you to choose how dark you want it to be. No matter whether you use stain or paint, staying on top of the process will prevent your storage from being damaged.
Wicker provides an amazing natural look for your furniture and looks very comfortable and in-tune with nature. The problem with wicker is that it will require you to weatherproof it every couple of years to ensure that it stays looking its best and will continue to last. Wicker is also lighter than other materials, which will allow you to move the pieces around if you want to. These pieces are very environmentally friendly, so if you are worried about the impact that buying outdoor storage pieces will have on the environment, wicker is a great choice. However, when left exposed to hot summer days or a lot of rain, wicker will begin to deteriorate very quickly even if you have weatherproofed it regularly. It’s best to use wicker only if you are able to limit the amount of rain and hot sun that it will be exposed to, even though this tends to be a little inconvenient for most people. When you limit the sun and rain that falls on wicker furniture, you can extend its life.
Resin wicker looks like real wicker but has a number of advantages over the natural material. It is incredibly durable and moisture resistant, meaning that you don’t have to worry about it being damaged when left out in the elements. It will resist not only mold and mildew, but also damage from the sun. Because it doesn’t have any flaking paint, you won’t ever have to worry about painting or resealing it, and it generally costs less than real wicker does. This is a very aesthetically appealing type of furniture and is built to last even under extreme conditions that would damage other types of outdoor storage.
For the look of solid wood furniture that is also very sustainable, you will want to opt for wood veneer. This is a great way to get the look of wood while still buying a piece of storage furniture that is made from a renewable resource. Thin veneers of real wood are applied to the piece to mimic the appearance of solid wood. This veneer is generally applied over a material that is much more sustainable, such as eucalyptus, which not only decreases the environmental impact when these pieces are made and bought, but also lowers the price. Just because they are made of wood veneer doesn’t mean they aren’t sturdy, as these pieces are generally very well-made and comparable to their all-wood counterparts. Look for a piece that feels heavy enough to stand up to being used as storage and as a bench, and make sure that the veneer has been professionally attached. While there is always the fear of the veneer peeling, especially in very hot weather, you can generally avoid this problem as long as you make sure that the piece you buy is high quality.
Plastic is a great option for outdoor storage pieces if you are on a tight budget but still want to be able to buy storage options that will work in your space and look great. They are very light and rust-proof, meaning that they can stand up to years of being exposed to the elements without being damaged. If they do fade in the sun, which can happen in some climates, it’s easy to buy paint that is made specifically for outdoor furniture so that you can freshen them up and get them looking as good as new again. This also means that you can spray paint them any color you want if you are interested in updating your space and bringing in a splash of color. There is one problem with them being so lightweight, however, and that is that if they are not full of items that will weigh them down, they can be blown about in a storm. For most people this isn’t a problem, as they immediately fill up their storage pieces as soon as they bring them home, but it is something to consider if you have bought a piece and have a bad storm coming. Any time they are thrown about they can easily crack, and something slamming into them during a storm could also damage them.
Source: Home Depot
Once you fill your storage box or bench with outdoor items and toys, it is going to be very difficult, if not impossible, to move the piece. All of the extra weight of the items placed inside it will immediately make the storage piece very hard to move, but this doesn’t mean that handles aren’t important or a good idea. Having handles on the piece that you choose will make it much easier to move it before you fill up the storage, and this can make it so much easier to move your furniture when you are deciding where you want everything to be placed. Although handles may not seem like a big deal, they can make it so that you are not pulling your storage across the deck. Any dragging on a deck, especially on an older one that needs to be refinished, can cause deep scratches that are difficult to get out. Being able to lift the storage that you have bought will give you a little more control and will ensure that you don’t accidentally damage your deck or patio.
If you are going to buy furniture that will be taking up space on your deck or patio, you may as well make sure that it can perform double-duty and provide you with both a storage space and a place to sit. While many people think that you can easily use all benches as seats as well as a place to put outdoor toys and tools, depending on the design of the lid, this may not be true. While you can easily sit on anything that has a flat top, many boxes have curved lids to make the piece more aesthetically pleasing. It’s true that this does add a little visual interest to the piece and will help update it and make it look good with the rest of your furniture, but it keeps you from being able to sit down comfortably. Additionally, anything with a flat top can double as a way to serve food and drinks, instantly decreasing the amount of furniture that you need to have outside.
Source: Home Depot
While it is unlikely that you are going to be storing anything that is terribly valuable outside in your deck or patio storage, it’s still important that you are able to lock the piece to provide as much security as possible. Not only will this deter would-be thieves, but it will also ensure that anyone who is in your backyard can’t just help themselves to your toys and enjoy your patio when you are out of town. Most storage pieces don’t come with a built-in lock, but locking pieces do have a place where you can put a lock of your choice. This makes it very easy to hold on to the key and not have to worry about remembering the code of a factory-included lock.
If saving space is important to you, then you will want to opt for a storage piece that is taller than it is wide. While these can make it difficult for your kids to get into and pull out their toys when they want to play, they work great in small spaces and afford you plenty of storage room without taking up too much space on your deck or patio. Look for options that have adjustable shelves, as this will make it much easier for you to move your items around and find room for even the bulkiest of toys and tools that need storage. You will also want to make sure that the piece you choose is heavy enough to not tip over if a child were to climb on it or a strong storm came through.
Source: Home Depot
If you already know that you’re going to be using your storage as extra seating, it’s a good idea to look for an option that has a cushion included, as these can become very expensive if you are buying them separately, and it can be difficult to find the right size for your storage furniture. When you buy the piece and the cushion as a set, not only will the cushion fit perfectly, but the color and design will match with the appearance of the storage piece, creating an attractive and cohesive look that you’re sure to love.
Source: Home Depot
If you aren’t worried about keeping the items you’re storing perfectly dry, you may want to opt for storage that has slats. While this will allow rain to get into the storage, it does have the benefit of allowing air to circulate around the toys or hoses that you have inside. This ensures that even if items are placed into the storage wet, they will not mold, as heat and air can get into the box or bench and prevent mold from forming. This type of storage is ideal if you spend a lot of time in the water, such as at a pool or lake, and want to keep your wet items safe without worrying about mildew damaging them in a locked box or bench.