Creating a family-friendly yard doesn’t have to mean your outdoor space should resemble a playground. When baseballs, bats, hula hoops and plastic cars take over your outdoor space, it’s time to find a storage solution to keep the lawn tidy and your kids’ toys accessible. “The more stuff you have, the more drawers and storage bins you need,” says Kenneth Walter, a Chicago-based interior designer. Get organized with storage solutions for the family’s outdoor toys of all sizes.
Keep swimming gear and plastic toys safe in plastic totes. Storage totes come in a variety of sizes and allow you to organize like items together. Label one tote with goggles, floaties and pool toys; another could be designated for basketballs, tennis rackets and baseball gloves. “Small toys can be put in clear containers with art supplies,” says Walter, so your child can easily find his favorite toys (and know exactly where to put them away). Easily store these totes in a shed or garage.
If large yard toys won’t fit in plastic totes, consider shelving them. Simply purchase an inexpensive metal shelf at a local hardware store and put together the adjustable shelves (make it a family project). “Although I am not really mechanical, I’ve built quite a few in my life,” says Walter. “The shelves still stand and work well for almost anything.” From sports equipment to pool accessories, metal shelves tucked away in a shed or garage conceal yard toys yet keep them accessible for easy use.
Keep the best toys within reach via hanging mechanisms in the garage or carport. Purchase “S” hooks drilled into wood or concrete walls to hang hula hoops, sleds, large pool toys and bike helmets. If you have a shed or garage with a slatwall, create a toy wall easily with hooks to put the family fun on display while storing during the off season. Keep safety in mind at all times. If the toy is wobbly, it's best not to hang it on a hook. (Overhead storage hooks work well for hanging bikes and yard tools, too.)
In the off-season, conceal large toys in a section of your basement that is unfinished. Make storage time fun by creating designated parking spots for motorized cars and bulky bikes. Line an area with bright orange cones or let your children draw parking lines with sidewalk chalk or paint. Install wood shelves to store helmets, hockey sticks and soccer balls so that when spring arrives, your children can access these yard toys easily.
Large Storage Containers
Just as you would store outdoor furniture cushions in large containers, utilize these simple storage bins for outdoor yard toys, recommends Deanna Radaj, interior designer and author of “Designing the Life of Your Dreams from the Outside In.” Containers come in a variety of sizes and styles, such as wicker, wood and plastic, that can add a sophisticated look to your yard and match your existing outdoor furniture.