Best Garden Tool Organizers

Garden Tool Storage Solutions: How To Store Your Tools Outside?

The most common question about garden tool storage solution is how to store your tools outside.

You may have several questions like: What kind of gardening tools do I need? Which type of outdoor plan will it fit well? Will it protect my plants from wind damage or rain water?

These are some of the many questions you might have. Here are some ideas on how to store your garden tools outdoors.

1. Outdoor Plan – DIY Planter Boxes

DIY planters boxes are one of the easiest ways to store your garden tools outdoors. They come in various sizes and designs, but they all have one thing in common: they’re designed to hold just a few garden tools at a time. If you want to use them for storing other items too, then you’ll need to buy additional planters.

However, if you only need a couple of tools inside these boxes, then they’re worth considering.

2. Plastic Pail With Lid

If you don’t mind having your tools exposed to the elements (and not being able to see what’s inside), plastic pails with lids are another option for outdoor tool storage. They are easy to clean, and you can always place a concrete block or some other object on top of it to prevent the lid from flying off during a sudden gust of wind.

3. Coated Steel Wire Baskets

Wire baskets are an attractive option for storage, but if you live in a windy location then you’ll need to secure them so that they don’t blow away. These are great because you can easily see what’s inside, and you can adjust the size of the openings as necessary

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4. Wood Slat Storage Rack

Often just one of these wood storage racks is enough to get the job done. And since these are freestanding, wind won’t be a problem (provided that you place it in a sheltered area). The only thing you’ll need to do is add some sort of training device at the bottom to prevent the wood from scratching your vehicle

5. Open-Ended Wire Baskets

If you plan on storing your rakes, hoes and shovels standing up (rather than laying them down), then open-ended wire storage baskets are a fine choice. They can hold several tools at a time, and they’re very easy to access. If you live in a humid/rainy climate, then you might consider adding a cover of some sort.

6. Folding Wood Planters

While these aren’t as sturdy as the wood storage racks mentioned above, they still do the trick quite well (and are less expensive too). If you live in a windy area, you’ll need to secure it in some manner so that it doesn’t blow over.

7. Pallet Racks

Pallet racks are ideal for storing long handled items such as rakes, hoes and shovels. In addition, you can also use them to store wheelbarrows and lawnmowers too. While these are freestanding, they’re best placed in a covered area (such as a garage or a shed).

Obviously these aren’t as pretty as the other storage solutions mentioned here, but they get the job done.

8. Wood Shelves With Hanging Racks

If you don’t need a large number of tools stored outside, then wood shelves with hanging racks are a nice way to go. These are decorative enough that you can leave them outside all year long without them looking out of place. The only thing you may need to do is place a drip cover over the top shelf to prevent tools from getting wet when it rains.

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9. Cinder Blocks With Peg Board

Cinder blocks are ugly and take up a lot of room, but if you’re short on space then using them is an option. You can partially mask their appearance by attaching peg board to them (for tools that you’ll be storing outside). But you’ll still need to place them in a location that’s out of the way (such as a corner of your garage).

10. Shelf Rack With Umbrella Cover

If you’re looking for a way to store your lawnmower and gas can (by the door of your garage), then shelf racks with umbrella covers are an option worth considering. These have the added benefit of protecting your stored tools from the elements. Of course you can only store smaller tools on these, and if you have a lot of them then you may need multiple shelves.

11. Pallet Racks With Shade Cloth

If you live in a humid/rainy climate, then pallet racks with shade cloth are worth considering. The shade cloth helps to prevent moisture from building up on the tools you’re storing outside, which in turn prevents them from rusting. Just be aware that you may have trouble finding these (and you’ll need to do some assembly).

12. Vinyl/Plastic Storage Boxes

Vinyl and plastic storage boxes tend to be cheap, come in many different sizes and are very easy to stack. But their main drawback is that they can only hold tools that fit inside them (or you can get crafty and drill holes in them too). In addition, if you live in a humid/rainy climate, moisture can build up on the bottom of the boxes (unless you place something underneath to prevent this).

13. Milk Crates

If you’re on a really tight budget, then milk crates can be a cheaper alternative to vinyl/plastic storage boxes. The only problem is that they’re not as durable or as easy to stack as the vinyl/plastic boxes are. In addition, they also tend to be a little harder to find (But you can usually find them at grocery stores that have bulk items, such as Costco and Sam’s Club).

14. Hanging Wire Baskets

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Hanging wire baskets are another budget friendly option. These can come in very handy especially if you like keeping your garage as neat and tidy as your house. The only issue with these is that they can’t hold all tools (such as larger items).

But for smaller hand tools, these are a good option.

15. Multi-Drawer Plastic Storage Cabinets

Multi-drawer plastic storage cabinets are more heavy duty than the vinyl/plastic boxes. These can hold a lot of weight and can be easily stacked (for more vertical space). The only drawback is they can be pretty expensive.

But if you can afford them, they’ll keep your garage neat and tidy, but still allow for a lot of storage capacity.

16. Old Cabinets/Filing Cabinets

If you have old cabinets or filing cabinets that you’re not using, they can also be converted into outdoor storage units. Simply remove the doors and place them in a location (such as the side of your garage) where they won’t take up much walking space. Just be mindful of what’s above them (if anything), so nothing falls down onto them.

17. Old Trunks

If you have old trunks (or old suitcases) that you’re not using, they can also be converted into outdoor storage units. As long as they have a hard lid, you can place tools inside them (such as your hammer and hand saw). You may want to keep these out of the way, if you have small children though.

18. The Ground!

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The ground! You can always place wooden pallets on the ground and then put whatever you need on top of them (as long as it’s not too heavy). This will save you from having to buy something, if nothing else.

Plus, it’s completely free! If the wooden pallets have nails in them, you’ll need to ensure that they’re lying on a surface (such as bricks) that can handle a little weight.

19. The Wall!

If you happen to have a long stretch of wall that doesn’t have any doors or windows, you can always put shelves up there. This will free up a lot of floor space (especially if you use hanging shelves, such as these).

20. Ceiling!

If you have a high ceiling, you can also use part of it to store your tools. There are many different types of ceiling storage units out there. Just make sure whatever type you decide on, that it can easily hold the weight of what you’re putting on it.

You don’t want it crashing down onto whoever is working underneath it!

21. Inside The House!

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Lastly, if all else fails, you can always put some (or all) of your smaller tools inside the house. You can use a corner of a room or even buy yourself a nice new tool chest. It all just depends on how much room you need and what will fit in your house.

I hope that you’ve found this list helpful. Just remember, the size of your garage will ultimately dictate how many of these storage methods you’ll be able to use. If you’re really strapped for space and can’t find anything that will help you (or you don’t want to spend the money), try getting a smaller set of tools.

There’s no need to have a truckload of equipment if you only do small home repairs once every blue moon. Just remember the saying “jack of all trades, master of none”. That definitely applies here!

Sources & references used in this article:

Garden implement and supply carrier and organizer by KC Davis – 1918 – JB Lippincott Company

A Tool for European Citizens? A Typology of ECI Organizers 2012–2015 by WC Sherwin – US Patent 5,390,944, 1995 – Google Patents

Dual rail tool holder by M Conrad, F Steingrímsdóttir – Bridging the Gap? Opportunities …, 2016 –