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6 Backyard Storage Solutions for Patios, Pools, and Outdoor Kitchens

Posted On: August 20,2018 By: Mary Dresser, RLA ALSA

Outdoor kitchen with drawers for storageWhether you already have (or you’re looking to add) functional outdoor living space, then you might be thinking about outdoor organization ideas. However,  you want solutions that are going to be an attractive enhancement—not something that’s going to be an eyesore.

The last thing that you want is to build a beautiful outdoor living space and then have it cluttered with bulky storage solutions like oversized deck boxes or big plastic trash cans. You want backyard storage solutions that are attractive and fit the caliber of your project as a whole.

Fortunately, there are solutions out there that can work for you. In fact, we’ve rounded up 6 that you need to know.


1. Built-In Trash and Recycling Receptacles

As you spend more time outside you naturally have a growing need for recycling and trash storage. But big trash cans and recycling bins can easily become an eyesore in your beautiful outdoor kitchen area. That’s why you might be thinking about having a built-in trash can or recycling bin added to your space.

outdoor kitchen counter cabinet storage

Built-in trash and recycling receptacles give you a place to neatly tuck away your trash and recycling so that it’s not littering your space. Whether it’s a pull-out bin or it’s just hidden inside of a cabinet, having a solution for trash and recycling storage will help keep your space neat and tidy.


2. Adding a Pool house

If you’re looking for pool organization ideas, adding a pool house would be a great space to store items like pool toys, towels, and pool supplies. You could even go as far as incorporating plumbing into your pool house so that you can have an outdoor bathroom. Instead of having to track water into the house, your family and friends would have access to a bathroom outside.

Pool house for storage

We’ve also had homeowners use their pool house as a changing space. For instance, if you have grown children and grandchildren who like to use the pool, they could come over and use the poolhouse for changing or restroom needs without ever having to enter your home. This means that if they stop by when you’re not home, they can go right to your backyard and have everything they need to be swimming within minutes of arrival.  


3. Building a Shed

If you’re looking for backyard storage solutions that will provide you with a spot to store various items from your yard, then a shed might be part of your overall landscape design. Of course, the last thing that you want is a shed that’s going to be an eyesore. A lot of homeowners picture a backyard shed as a run-down, wooden structure that does nothing for the overall aesthetics of the yard.

backyard shed with stepping stone lighting

Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be that way. A custom shed can be built to mimic the exact look of your home and can actually be both functional and aesthetically pleasing. A shed is a great place to store furniture or cushions, yard toys, and lawn equipment.


4. Wood Pile Storage

If a wood-burning outdoor fireplace is going to be part of your outdoor living area, then you’ll also want to consider where you’re going to store the wood. Unfortunately, a lot of times, this is an issue that’s not thought of until after the fact. At that point, your best (and only) option would be a stand-alone firewood rack. But these can be bulky and take up a lot of space. Even though there are some nice iron racks out there, you may not want to use up space with one.

outdoor fireplace wood storage

Thinking ahead, you could plan to incorporate wood storage into the actual construction of the fireplace. We have incorporated wood pile storage areas right into the fireplace itself. These can even be hidden off to the side or in the back so that they don’t become an eyesore. You’ll have convenient access to the wood without it taking up unnecessary space.


5. Outdoor Drawers and Cabinetry

If you’re looking for patio organization ideas, then chances are, you’re interested in outdoor drawers and cabinetry. After all, you don’t want all of those outdoor plates, utensils, cups, food, beverages, and other miscellaneous items to be strewn about your beautiful outdoor kitchen or dining area. You want a space where these items can be stored neatly when not in use.

outdoor kitchen grill and cabinetry

Outdoor drawers and cabinets provide that option. If you’re looking to store dry goods then you’ll want to be sure to have weatherproof cabinetry that will keep everything safe and dry.

You might even consider having locks installed on your cabinets if you’re going to be storing alcohol or any valuables there. Of course, if you have a grill outside, you’ll likely also want some drawers to store all your grilling utensils in. When you need your spatula, you can just open the drawer conveniently located next to your grill, and you’ll be ready to go.


Pull-out drawers are also a great place to store controls for your irrigation system, outdoor lighting, audio and visual components, pool features, and more.

These are just some of the considerations that should be taken into account in advance of your project’s construction. Adding them later is not only going to be more costly, but potentially less attractive. It may always look like an addition to the original project.


6. Refrigeration and Freezer Storage

Do you want to have cold beverages at-the-ready when guests come over to swim? Or, would you rather not have to run inside for the burgers when you’re in the mood to throw a frozen patty on the grill? If that’s the case, you will also want to consider storage options to keep your food and beverages cold or frozen.Outdoor kitchen with refrigerator and grill

This might include an outdoor freezer, refrigerator, kegerator, or even a wine fridge. Any of these options can help you to meet your specific storage needs.

Planning Ahead for Success

The key to success with all of these backyard storage solutions is advanced planning. While these problems may seem “minor,” the truth is that they can become big sources of frustration when not planned for properly. Your otherwise beautiful outdoor kitchen may look cluttered with a big plastic trash can or recycling bin taking up space.

Outdoor kitchen and pool house

Or your patio may feel unnecessarily messy if you don’t have a place to neatly tuck away plates, utensils, and cups. In the yard, you may have pool toys, equipment, or even chemicals lying around instead of safely stored away.

While thinking ahead of storage needs is important, it’s not something that every landscape company will do. Storage simply might not be something they want to be bothered with or they may feel that it’s not part of their job to think about where you’ll keep your stuff.

But at Earth, Turf, & Wood, we believe that every single detail of your outdoor living projects matters—and that includes where you’re going to store everything. The last thing that we want is for you to feel like you don’t love your outdoor living space because storage wasn’t planned for. By choosing to work with a company that will think of all your needs, when your outdoor living space is done being built, it will be truly complete.

If you’d like to discuss how the right storage solutions can be part of your complete outdoor living project for your Harrisburg, Lancaster, York, Hershey, or Reading, PA home, then contact us for a free consultation.

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Mary Dresser, RLA ALSA

Written by Mary Dresser, RLA ALSA

Mary Hatch Dresser is a Registered Landscape Architect with a Bachelor’s degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Georgia School of Environmental Design. Mary has designed landscapes for 32 years and joined ETW exclusively in 2009. Mary is a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA); and also serves on the Shade Tree Committee in Strasburg Borough where she resides. Mary prides herself in carefully listening to her clients to professionally meld their ideas and personal criteria with sound, experienced design practice.

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