We spend a good deal of time in our backyard every day. Not in a continual soirée of cocktails and string lights kind of way, but more of a pushing toddlers on bikes while yelling at the dog to stop digging the garden kind of way. There are a variety of items that I like to keep within reach while I’m outside but I also want them to be out of reach from the littler kids. So today I wanted to share a few quick, easy ways I’ve found to store things outside, out of the way.
The vast majority of our small backyard is decked and we have a few large trees that provide shade throughout the year. While it’s wonderful having shade, it also means that the deck is littered with leaves on a daily basis. I like to keep a broom out the back where it’s needed but I quickly found that if the kids had access to the broom there was a 100% probability that it would be used as a weapon. I overthought the problem for a while, imagining elaborate, handmade, outdoor storage lockers, when I finally settled on the perfect solution to my problem.
Although it’s not an epic, pin-worthy, built-in storage unit, it is a simple, DIY storage solution. The broom hangs up out of the way (safe from the hands of vicious toddlers) but is easily within reach when I want to give the deck a sweep. And all it took was a nail. Don’t overthink it, sometimes a quick fix is all you need.
The next storage solution I want to share is for our paddling pool. The kids use our clam shell pool often but I empty it the moment we’re finished (I won’t even leave water in a bucket for fear of them drowning while I’m not watching). Early on, I discovered that if the kids have access to an empty paddling pool they will tip it upside down and then jump on it like a circus trampoline until the pool breaks. (Our children are gifted in the art of destruction.) My solution: hang the pool up.
(Don’t mind the streaky mess all over the walls – we had an epic chalk drawing marathon in the holidays.)
The paddling pool is simply hung on a hook that’s screwed into the wall. I can easily grab it down every day and just as easily put it away when we’re finished.
I bent the hook open a little more to make it easier to hang the pool up. As you can see, all the dust and bird poo collects on the outside of the pool while the inside stays clean.
Although the pool is hung out of reach, part of me still worries that #3 will stand on the dog to get the pool down, pee in the pool repeatedly and then drown in her own pee. These are the things mums worry about.
In the photo above you get a glimpse of my third outdoor storage solution: a basket.
Above the hose I hung a basket (that I can reach but the kids can’t) for things I often need when I’m outside. As the basket is hung so high, the eaves shelter it from the rain. (This is the same kind of basket I used for my drink bottle station in the kitchen.)
Things like my sharp secateurs are handy for snipping back unruly plants but would be lethal around my children. The scrubbing brush isn’t dangerous but we use it to scrub the dog’s outdoor water bowl every day. If I kept the brush where the kids could reach it they would pull the bristles out and bury the handle in the garden somewhere. Our kids are gifted.
Here are a few other simple ideas for outdoor storage that I wanted to share:
Ann used an old letterbox in her garden to store her small gardening tools. I love that it’s weatherproof. I’d have to have a much higher post though so the kids couldn’t open it.
Michelle drilled drainage holes in the bottom of some plastic tubs and hung them on the fence as outdoor toy storage. I love this because they’re down low to encourage kids to put things away themselves.
Amber used an old pallet for easy lawn tool storage. I love a good pallet project but my kids would climb this like a ladder.
Jennifer mounted solar lights to the fence. I used to have garden solar lights but the kids always pulled them out and the stakes became weapons. (Gifted.) This is the perfect solution for me.
Not everyone has a garden shed. Or if they do, it’s not always convenient to access. Hopefully you’ve found some simple inspiration to store something outside where it’s both easy to reach and out of the way. If you have any other small outdoor storage solutions you can let me know in the comments 😀
*Linking up with these awesome parties: To Grandma’s House We Go /