One of the biggest perks of calling the Pacific Northwest home is the nearly endless array of outdoor fun we can enjoy throughout the year. From kayaking and mountain biking to surfing, snow skiing, and camping, our landscape offers a bit of everything. But for true outdoor enthusiasts, this variety of hobbies can lead to a big problem: lack of storage space.
It’s a common dilemma for those who love the outdoors. If your interior storage space is spoken for, you might have a bit of room in your attic or garage. But even those with larger homes may not want to stow muddy boots and dripping kayaks in their attics, garages, or closets. The ideal solution is to store outdoor gear where it belongs: outdoors.
Of course, backyard sheds and outbuildings can be pricey. Plus, they can take up quite a bit of space—which, if you love the outdoors, is probably something you want to maintain. Luckily, there are a variety of brilliant DIY ideas online that create the perfect amount of space for your outdoor gear without eating up your entire backyard.
Here are a few of our favorite ideas:
Create Outdoor Storage Benches
This is one of the most popular DIY storage projects because it’s relatively easy and results in great storage space. You can find a wide range of outdoor storage bench plans online, ranging from small freestanding seats to larger corner units.
The smaller benches are ideal for backyard games and garden tools, while the large corner units can accommodate things like skis, kayak paddles, and bike helmets. Be sure to consider whether you need your benches to be waterproof. If so, using marine plywood or adding a thin piece of rigid plastic under the bench seat should do the trick.
Stow Your Bikes in a Storage Shack
This ingenious idea creates a dedicated space for your bikes, helmets, and cycling jackets, all tucked into an easy-to-access and surprisingly attractive storage shack. A word of warning: this project may require more than a weekend of work, unless you’re already skilled at woodwork. But the payoff might make it worth your while.
Build Your Own Lean-to Shed
Backyard storage sheds don’t have to be expensive or take up a lot of space if you take a strategic approach. Building a lean-to, instead of a free-standing structure, allows you to minimize the amount of materials you need. In many cases, you can even use pressure-treated pallets as the foundation because the shed will adjoin the side of your home.
This blog shares plans and diagrams for building a straightforward four-by-six lean-to, which would create just enough backyard storage space for cold-weather gear, paddles, and even a bike or two.
Use Old Pallets to Hang Gear
Make the most of the walls of your porch or shed by using old pallets to create a space for hanging and storing gardening tools, ski gear, kayak paddles, and more. This blog has detailed instructions and ideas.
Add a “Drawer” to Your Deck
Just think of all the space that is wasted under your deck. Wouldn’t it be great to use some of it for storage?
Home Depot actually sells the hardware for creating a deck drawer, a clever compartment that makes use of the space under your deck. The finished drawer can support up to 250 pounds, making it perfect for storing outdoor equipment and gear. Depending on the size of your deck, you can add as many drawers as you need (and as many as you have the patience to install).
Going the Custom Route
Of course, one of the best parts of building a custom home is the opportunity to accommodate your hobbies and interests. For outdoor enthusiasts, this often means crafting a custom home with plenty of storage for their gear. You can add a storage bay in your garage, increase the size of your closets, expand your patio space, add a mudroom, and more—because your custom home should be the perfect place for both you and the things you love.
Ready to create more space for your outdoor gear? Browse our customizable floorplans.