The 13 Best Outdoor Storage Essentials for Your Backyard
Your outdoor area is an important part of your home with its own decor, accessories, and tools. Whether you have a spacious yard or a compact balcony, you'll need a form of outdoor storage to keep everything organized and protected from outdoor elements. Plus, a stylish touch never hurts either.
"Any furniture or decor that's going to be on display outdoors demands more durable materials that can hold up to the elements, but there are so many more sophisticated and stylish options for outdoor storage pieces than simply plastic," says Heather Goerzen, design editor for Havenly.
With so many different storage styles, sizes, and materials out there, it can be difficult to decide on the best outdoor storage solution for your space. To help, we researched the best outdoor storage on the market, keeping in mind each pick's size, material, placement, and storage capacity. We also consulted Heather Goerzen, the design editor for Havenly, an interior design service.
Overall, we recommend the Rubbermaid Big Max Storage Shed because it's made with durable, weather-resistant material and can store both large tools and small accessories.
To help narrow down your choices, here is the best outdoor storage.
- Best Overall: Rubbermaid Big Max Storage Shed
- Best Budget: Keter City Resin Deck Box
- Best Splurge: Frontgate Frances Tall Storage Cabinet
- Best for Small Spaces: Ikea Kolbjorn Cabinet
- Best Shed: Canopia Rubicon Storage Shed
- Best Deck Box: Loon Peak Ianis Lockable Deck Box
- Best Storage Bench: Pottery Barn Indio Eucalyptus Storage Bench
- Best for DIYers: Leisure Season Storage Shed Cabinet
- Best for Pool Accessories: Crosley Palm Harbor Wicker Float Caddy
- Best for Gardening Tools: Suncast Outdoor Vanilla Vertical Tool Shed
- Best Storage Table: Noble House Iliana Wicker Outdoor Ottoman Table
- Best Storage Ottoman: Best Choice Products Wicker Ottomans, Set of 2
- Best Basket: West Elm Sunbrella Basket
What We Recommend
Best Overall: Rubbermaid Big Max Storage Shed
Best Budget: Keter City Resin Deck Box
Best Splurge: Frontgate Frances Tall Storage Cabinet
Best for Small Spaces: Ikea Kolbjorn Cabinet
Best Shed: Canopia Rubicon Storage Shed
Best Deck Box: Loon Peak Ianis Lockable Deck Box
Best Storage Bench: Pottery Barn Indio Eucalyptus Storage Bench
Best for DIYers: Leisure Season Storage Shed Cabinet
Best for Pool Accessories: Crosley Palm Harbor Wicker Float Caddy
Best for Gardening Tools: Suncast Outdoor Vanilla Vertical Tool Shed
Best Storage Table: Noble House Iliana Wicker Outdoor Ottoman Table
Best Storage Ottoman: Best Choice Products Wicker Ottomans, Set of 2
Best Basket: West Elm Sunbrella Basket
The Bottom Line
Overall, we recommend the Rubbermaid Big Max Storage Shed as the best outdoor storage solution because you'll be able to store both large tools and smaller accessories. For a budget-friendly option, consider the Keter City Resin Deck Box. The lightweight box is offered in two colors and has a 30-gallon storage capacity, so you'll be able to store pillows, blankets, towels, and more.
What to Know About Outdoor Storage Before Shopping
Since the storage unit will be left outdoors, the material it's made of is one of the most important details to keep in mind when choosing the best outdoor storage unit for your space. Luckily, there are many options out there, each of which has its own benefits to consider.
"I tend to prefer more textural and timeless options like kiln-dried woods (specifically treated to prevent warping, splitting, cracking, and mildew), metals (think iron and galvanized steel), classic wickers, and even more modern concrete applications," Goerzen says. "All can take the wind, rain, sleet, and more while lending a more polished look to your outdoor set-up than hard plastics."
If you go with another material option Goerzen says to make sure you avoid any materials that will easily fade under the sun or tarnish due to moisture.
"I wouldn't recommend untreated woods or anything too precious like marble," she says. "That said, if you have a covered patio, the options are much more forgiving."
Outdoor storage sizes vary based on the piece's style. First, consider the size of your space as well as what you intend to store inside the unit.
"If you are looking for a lot of extra outdoor storage space but you have an apartment balcony or a patio with one wall and a window, then you're going to have to opt for a long and low storage bench," Georzen says. "If you have an expansive yard, your options are endless."
When it comes to storage capacity, you'll first want to consider what you're looking to store outdoors. Sheds and some outdoor cabinets are ideal for lawn equipment and long-handled gardening tools. If you need to store pool floats, toys, chaise lounge cushions, or throw pillows, a deck box or storage bench will be the best outdoor storage choice for you. Before you purchase an outdoor storage unit, measure the items you want to store and confirm they'll fit within the measurements of the unit.
Make sure to consider where your outdoor storage unit will be placed when deciding on a material, size, and style. For instance, most manufacturers recommend placing sheds on a flat, even surface, so you'll want to ensure your yard is prepped and ready before constructing a shed. If you go with baskets or units with open shelving, you'll want to place them in a covered area. Otherwise, the contents are vulnerable to damage from inclement weather.
Your Questions, Answered
What should you store outdoors?
Since outdoor storage units are designed to withstand the elements and protect your items, there's really no limit to what you can store in them. However, be sure to keep in mind that uncovered styles, like baskets and some shelving, may require more protection in inclement weather.
"Outdoor storage tends to be a catch-all for the pieces that get relegated to the garage," Goerzen says. "Think outdoor games and gear, gardening tools, workout equipment, entertaining goods, and extra cushions and blankets. As long as it won't get damaged by extreme temperatures, be it hot or cold, you make the rules on what gets stored outside."
What style of storage unit is best for your space?
As with any other piece of furniture, the style of your outdoor storage is dependent on your personal aesthetic as well as its intended use.
"Kiln-dried wood leans more naturalist, while iron feels classic, and fluted concrete is a modern and artful choice," Georzen says. "As for function, note how much you are looking to store. If it's lots of little things, you might benefit from a closed-door shelving unit that can even hold distinct baskets to organize."
Who We Are
Jamie Weissman is a commerce editor for Better Homes & Gardens. For two years, she's written about a variety of home products. To make this list, she spent hours researching outdoor storage, keeping in mind each style's material, size, weight, function, and storage capacity. She also consulted Heather Goerzen, a design editor for Havenly.