DIY Outdoor Storage Organization {Without a Garage or Shed}

This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with
Pollinate Media Group® and Rubbermaid, but all my opinions are my own. #PMedia #FallFixUp

One of the most difficult quirks about some older homes, is that they lack in adequate storage. Our home, is no exception, and one area where we especially struggle is outdoors. We have no garage or storage shed. We have a large covered patio at the back of the house and a smaller porch area off of the mudroom. And that’s pretty much it. 

Is there any hope for those of us in this situation to get our outdoor space organized?

Since we are constantly working on our home, the small porch area has sadly become a space for anything and everything. I have long wanted to create a designated trash and bottle & can storage spot, and finally decided enough was enough. With fall on the way, now was the time to do it! Cold weather will be here before we know it, so I had to take advantage of a warm summer weekend. Don’t you love when you finally get the motivation to do something you have put off for years?

First, I suppose, I have to show you the porch before. But I must warn you: It. Is. Scary.

Are you ready for the truth behind this blogger’s house? 

Yup, not the typical “styled” shot you are used to seeing. This is how we roll in real life. We have stacks of wood, my husband’s tools, kid’s toys, old doors, and well, “randomness” all piled up.

My husband is a big time griller, so he always has his things lying around without a home. And this is the super classy way that we had been storing our bottles and cans for deposit return:

Are you in the same boat as me? How do we get all of the stuff that piles up outside organized before fall and winter hit? And how do you even get the motivation to clean up a mess like this?

For me, it took a trip to Home Depot. Sometimes, you need to get “geared up” to work on a big cleaning overhaul. We desperately needed storage totes for all of the items lying around and a trash bin for those bottles and cans.
I told my husband I was done with the garbage bag on the ground.

The Rubbermaid Roughneck line available at Home Depot had just what we were looking for, and you can’t beat the prices. We got ourselves two storage totes: one 37 gallon and one 54 gallon. We also picked up a 32 gallon trash can that was on sale for under $10!

Here is a break down of my plans for the totes:

For the larger tote, I decided to store my husband’s grilling supplies, some of his tools that were taking up space on the patio and any of his miscellaneous items that I could fit.

Look how much room there is inside of these things!

For the smaller tote, I stored my children’s outdoor chairs, sports equipment, and our gardening supplies.

Next, it was time to tackle those bottles and cans.

I decided to spray paint the lid of the Rubbermaid trash can with “DEPOSIT”, so we could keep those easily separated from the regular recycling. It wasn’t a “perfect” paint job, but it works 🙂

This will be great for guests when we have parties and cookouts. And it will save me a lot of time from going around collecting them all in a garbage bag.

Of course, if you don’t need to separate bottles and cans for deposit in your area, you could easily keep your recycling in these trash bins. The Rubbermaid Roughneck trash can has the bag cinch sides to keep the bag in place. It definitely keeps it looking all neat and tidy…which I love.

Getting all of those things organized and out of the way felt great. Next, we had to tackle everything else. We went through all of the wood, dilapidated doors, etc. and put a lot of it to the curb.

The salvageable wood was stored in the only enclosed outdoor storage that we have: a crawl space above the back patio. Other interior doors and shelving that were worth saving were moved down to the basement. The chiminea and patio furniture were moved to the yard where they belong.

Slowly, but surely, we were making progress!

I had a lot of sweeping to do of all the old leaves, dirt and garbage. And finally the entire doorway was cleared out.

I could see the end in sight!

Okay, so are you ready to see the “after”? Cause, I’m kinda dying to show you!

Whoo hoo! Look at that space. I can’t even begin to tell you how good it feels to see this porch so organized. Basically, it feels like a million bucks!

I decided to put our large garbage bin and the Rubbermaid deposit can next to each other, so that I have easy access to them from the mudroom. Even my daughter Hazel found it fun to start putting bottles and cans in their new “home.”

I put the storage totes on the other side for easy access from the patio.

And you know I had to pretty it up out here. Having the totes to store everything and trash bin keeping random garbage bags from lying around, I got motivated to beautify this part of our outdoor space, which I have never done in all the years we have lived here.

I put a couple of plants on the side porch and created a small sitting area opposite of my husband’s grill.

More pictures from this area coming soon!

So what do you think? I have to say, I feel so good about it. I keep going out there to look at it. I am glad we didn’t put this off any longer and got ourselves those Rubbermaid containers!

If you have been putting off organizing your own yard, I highly suggest you get yourself over to Home Depot to take advantage of the great prices on Rubbermaid Roughneck storage totes and trash cans. You will feel like a million bucks once you tackle those ugly spaces. This whole transformation only took me two days to accomplish! So the answer is: Yes, there is hope for those of us without a garage or storage shed. We can get organized too! Hooray!

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Till next time…
~Alice W.
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  • Rita

    Your back door is so charming. Is it original to your home? I also really like your repurposed drawer as a planter.
    This post makes me want to go out and tidy up my back porch. If only it was not 100 degrees here today…
    Have a great day!

  • Vanessa Greenway

    Wow! Alice, this was a fantastic re-do! I'm speechless! I still need to work sharing more posts about my home, miss being part of Sundays at Home… Have a wonderful week! ~ Vanessa

  • Allysandra Murphy

    Nice job, Alice! It looks so cozy — I'm inspired to restyle my front porch:-) Quick question – what filter did you use on the photos of the porch…love they way it looks and am starting to play around with some of my old photos to make albums (now THAT'S definitely one of those projects that I keep procrastinating on!!!) Thanks and keep those great ideas coming!!