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Tips for Tidy Outdoor Storage

Wouldn't it be nice to have all of your gardening tools and supplies organized and in a handy location? Read on to learn our tips for tidy outdoor storage.

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1256A_D overhead storage for garden tools

Overhead storage for garden tools

Rakes, shovels, brooms and other long-handled tools seem to be in the way no matter how they’re stored in the garage.

Here’s a rack that works: Cut two pieces of plywood about 12 in. x 48 in. and drill matching 2-in. holes in each, spaced about 6 in. apart. Mount the racks on crossties below your garage roof rafters.

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FH98MAR_01268002 garage organizer tools rakeFamily Handyman

Garage organizer

Cut an old hose into 7-in. pieces, slit them, and nail them to the wall to make good holders for handled tools in the garage.

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FH01SEP_02421_001 tool rack garage organizer Family Handyman

2-minute tool rack

One way to get rid of clutter in your storage shed or garage is to screw 16-in. scrap 2x4s at a slight upward angle to each side of a wall stud. They will hold a wide variety of yard tools.

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FH08SEP_491_08_014 yard tool organizerFamily Handyman

Yard tool organizer

Create a simple long-handled tool hanger out of two 1x4s. On the first one,  drill a series of 2-in. holes along the edge of the board. The trick is to center each hole about 1 in. from the edge. That leaves a 1-1/2-in. slot in the front that you can slip the handles through. Space the holes to accommodate whatever it is you’re hanging. Screw that board to another 1×4 for the back and add 45-degree brackets to keep it from sagging. If you wish, pound nails into the vertical board to hang even more stuff. No more tripping over the shovels to get to the rakes!

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FH98APR_01300001 golf bag lawn tool carrierFamily Handyman

Lawn tool carrier

An old golf bag with a cart makes a perfect holder for garden tools. The large wheels make it easy to haul the tools over long distances and rough terrain.

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FH04MAR_03251_008 wheelbarrow storage rack hookFamily Handyman

Wheelbarrow rack

Hang your wheelbarrow on the garage wall to free up floor space. Center a 2-ft. 1×4 across two studs, 2 ft. above the floor. Tack it into place, then drive 3-in. screws through metal mending plates and the 1×4, into the studs. Leave about 3/4 in. of the plate sticking above the 1×4 to catch the rim. Rest the wheelbarrow on the 1×4 as shown, and mark the studs 1 in. above the wheelbarrow bucket. Drill pilot holes and screw ceiling hooks into the studs. Twist the hooks so they catch on the wheelbarrow lip and hold it in place.

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FH02MAY_02651_003_ia2 propane tank carrier Family Handyman

Propane tank carrier

When you take your 20-lb. propane tank to be filled, does it always roll around in the trunk of your car? To solve the problem, stick it in an old milk crate. The crate’s wide, flat base keeps the tank stable.

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FH05OCT_462_08_100 garden tool mailbox hideawayFamily Handyman

Garden tool hideaway

A mailbox near your garden provides a convenient home for tools. A small mailbox like this one costs less than $10 at hardware stores and home centers. King-size models cost about $25.

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FH01SEP_02408_015 egg carton flower bulb storage solutionFamily Handyman

Bulb Storage Solution

Tender bulbs that must be overwintered indoors are hard to keep organized. These include canna lilies, freesias, caladiums, gladioluses, dahlias and tuberous begonias. Keep track of who’s who by storing them in egg cartons, with each bulb identified on the top of the carton. The cartons even have ventilation holes that help prevent rot and mildew.

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FH16APR_567_08_023 garbage can hose caddy sprinklerFamily Handyman

Hose caddy

Here’s an easy way to store unwieldy garden hoses without strangling yourself. Coil them up in a round laundry basket or bucket. Then hang the basket or bucket on the garage wall or slide it into an obscure corner.

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FH03JUN_03004_022 no-tip garbage cans with bungee cordsFamily Handyman

No-tip garbage cans

There really is a simple way to keep those garbage cans from getting blown or knocked over. For each garbage can, all you need are two 3/4-in. screw eyes and a 30-in. hook-end elastic cord from the hardware store.

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FH03FEB_02839_004 garbage can lid leash Family Handyman

Lid leash

Tired of losing your garbage can lid because the wind blew it away, or because it skittered away when you tried to knock it off when your hands were full of trash? Drill a small hole just below the rim of the can, and another near the center of the lid. Then thread a 24-in. length of rope through the holes, and knot the ends as shown. The lid will always be right there when you go to put it back.

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FH97OCT_01188006 milk jug tarp weights over wood pileFamily Handyman

Milk jug tarp weights

Use milk jugs partially filled with water or sand to weight the edges of a tarp. It looks weird, but for awkwardly shaped stuff it works better than trying to tie the tarp down.