14 Genius Ideas That Will Make Your Backyard The Best Place To Hang Out

Whether you use your backyard for entertaining, gardening, playing with the kids, relaxing, or a little bit of all of those, it’s a much more enjoyable space when it’s organized. Toys laying all over the place make it hard to mow the lawn, gardening tools without a place to live tend to get ruined in the rain or lost forever. Save your money and your sanity with these genius ideas for making your backyard into a place you can truly sit back and enjoy!

Related:  The 9 Things You Should Never Leave Out In The Yard

Tips For An Organized Backyard

1. Covered Kiddie Parking Garage by MomEndeavors.com

I just love this idea! As cute as these kid-sized “vehicles” are, they can quickly become an eyesore when left strewn about the back (or front) yards.

Tips For An Organized Backyard

2.  Poolside Storage by HowToDecorate.com

Think outside the planter box! These versatile containers can be used for much more than just plants. Here they make great poolside towel storage.

3.  Outdoor Feet-Washing Station by HGTV

This is a great idea even if you don’t live by the beach. As someone who tends to spend a lot of time barefoot in the backyard, I’m often wishing I had a way to clean my feet off before going back inside. This is such a simple, and attractive option.

4.  Backyard Hand-Washing Station by Country Living

Another simple but smart idea! Create a backyard “sink” by hanging a steel pail from an outdoor faucet to turn it into a hand-washing station. Much better than bringing the dirt inside to wash off.

5.  Outdoor Four-Panel Screen by Suncast

This is something I’m definitely going to be looking into either making or buying! Right now our big, ugly trash container is on the side of our house for everyone to see. I can’t believe I never thought of this!

6.  DIY Garden Shed by A Cultivated Nest

This is one of the cutest DIY garden sheds I have ever seen! Made entirely from discarded doors and windows, it’s just the right size for a small to medium sized garden. Not to mention adorable! :-)

7.  Metal Bucket Outdoor Coffee Table by A Place to Nest via Remodelaholic

Love this smart and attractive storage solution. A simple galvanized bucket becomes functional and beautiful backyard furniture.

8.  Broken Rake Tool Holder by DIY How To

A seemingly worthless broken rake becomes handy backyard gardening tool storage. Just big enough for the essentials. To build this simple tool hanger, all you need is an old garden rake, a little time, and a big nail or screw to hang it on the wall. I love a great recycling project! :-)

9.  DIY Cinder Block Bench  by Goods Home Design

Using cinderblocks to make a backyard bench?! Pure genius! I love a project that I can figure out how to do without ever having to read one line of instructions!

10.  DIY Cinder Block Potting Bench by Home.work

Another brilliant cinder block proj ect! Potting flowers can be back-breaking work if you don’t have a potting bench, and this one couldn’t be easier to make! All you need are boards and cinderblocks! Perfect for an herb garden.

11.  DIY Grill Cart by The Virtual Weber Gas Grill

You can usually find old gas grills for cheap at garage sales. All you need is some some paint and some scrap wood to make your own movable cart to organize all your summer grilling stuff.

12.  Outdoor Toy Organization by Domestic Charm

Once again it’s galvanized buckets for the win! “A place for everything and everything in its’ place” is the concept behind this brilliantly simple organization system for backyard toys. I just love the oversized chalkboard stickers too. No excuse for kids (that can read) not to put their toys away. :-)

13.  Perfect Hose Holder by Red Farmhouse

If you’re looking for a hose (and sprinkler) holder, a smaller galvanized bucket turned on its’ side and attached to a wall, or a larger one simply sitting on the ground near the spigot are both nice ways to deal with this backyard necessity! I really hate having a garden hose just laying out on the ground, so I love this idea.

14.  Outdoor Storage Bench by Hayneedle

There’s no better way to add storage and seating for guests at the same time than a storage bench. There are lots of DIY projects you can find on doing a simple Pinterest search (if you’re handy like that!) but I really love this bench I found on Hayneedle. :-)

How do you stay organized in the backyard?

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Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee


Homekeeping Tips

  • Love a lot of these ideas but I’d think twice about that foot wash station because it would be a magnet for roaches & mosquitos. Same thing with all the cute bins. Living in Az our roaches are big enough to ride on & they love hiding in places like that. I’ve learned providing hiding places for critters is a no-no.
    But refurbishing that old grill cart? LOVE LOVE LOVE!

  • My brother recommended I might like this blog.

    He was totally right. This post actually made my day.
    Youu can not imagine just how much time I had spent for this info!

  • […] DIY Outdoor Bench – in reduction than an hour | The Basement around One Good Thing by Jillee […]

  • Get out your drill! I have learned to drill holes in the bottom of backyard riding toys and any open storage containers that might collect rain in the bottom. Also, I like to attach inexpensive plastic-coated metal shower caddies to the fence in my backyard for small items, like bubbles for the kids or extra balls for the dogs.

  • […] DIY Outdoor Bench – in less than an hour [The Basement via One Good Thing by Jillee] […]

  • We just got a storage bench this year, and it has been great for keeping the kid’s toys where they can easily get them, but also keep them out of site. All of their bigger toys (like ride in cars) have to be put back on the patio when they are done playing with them. That way, when I look out the window, all I see is uncluttered grass.

  • We have a shoe problem in my house. So I got a basket and all shoes go in the basket! Kids come in the house and put them in the basket so I don’t have to search the house for that missing shoe every time we leave.

  • The garden shed is something I just have to make next spring, so cute. I use a heavy duty garden cart to transport everything back and forth. Especially my newly potted plants from planting table to destination, they get very heavy when filled.

  • In the front of our house we have a nicely covered open air porch. On the inside of the porch rail I mounted a 6 hook coat rack. It holds my garden crocs, DH’s mowing shoes and the dog’s leash & grooming tool. They are out of sight, yet handy. The best part is that our dirtiest shoes never enter the house.

  • You are coming out with the best ideas!! I have a couple of those metal buckets that will be filled with hoses tomorrow!!! Thank you :)

  • Thank you for all of the tips! I just wanted to comment and add a tip for your lawn. Epsom salts are great for a lawn; I use them instead of fertilizer that can seep into the ground water. I just sprinkle them on the whole lawn (much as you would grass seed) before the first snow. After doing this last fall, my lawn looks beautiful!

  • This was our first summer in new house with a small back yard, so I didn’t get the organizing done. Some good ideas here, that I hope to use. Our porch and patio are nice, but could certainly use the cooking area shelves pictured above. Ideas for finding the wooden crates???

  • We use a laundry basked to corral the boy’s sand toys. DH drilled some holes in the bottom though so it doesn’t hold water and become a mosquito breeding ground.

    We also removed our deck railing this summer. Our deck is pretty low to the ground so falling isn’t really a concern. We LOVE the openness of it now. We can see everything so well without it being broken up by the railing…I hadn’t realized how much visual clutter the railing was causing.. And we are LOVING the accessibility from every side of the deck. If you’ve always thought a deck had to have the traditional railing, think again!

  • these are some of the best backyard tips EVER ! I love the hose sprinkler with bucket attached on bottom to house…………the old rake end re-purposed as a holder for garden hand tools and my favorite, the cinderblock bench. You’re so right, it doesn’t get any easier than that. Now, on to my tip, I put decorative hooks (like butterflies, bees) on the side of the house to hang towels after using the pool (granted it’s only an above ground pool, but when you’re hot – It’s so cool………Thanks for all the great tips this week and every day. Some of them I use and some I pass on, but it’s always appreciated and informative………………

  • We have one of those big plastic bins with rope handles for all of our pool toys. It’s amazing how much better the backyard looks when all of the toys are in said basket and not strewn all over the place!! We drilled holes in the bottom so water doesn’t pool and give mosquitos a place to breed too. Works like a charm.

  • Thank you for putting together this organization series – LOTS of great ideas!! I love the hand and feet washing stations! We don’t have any little ones but we do have two dog-babies and we keep their outside play toys in a big clay pot on the patio.

  • I don’t have a backyard right now because we are in an apartment, but once we have a house I want to try most of these! I really love the kiddie parking garage. I saw somewhere a cool outdoor patio table that has a removable middle section with a bin you can fill with ice and keep drinks cold while dining or hanging out in the backyard :)

  • WOW! I will be using several of these great ideas in my backyard!! I will say, though, that you do not have to drain the gas from your outdoor yard equipment if you use a fuel stabilizer. Just be sure and use good grade fuel (no discount gas for a one-cycle engine) and use the proper amount of stabilizer. Happy Fall Ya’ll!!

  • Our back yard has been hideous for years, we’re just now doing a “remodel” – I’m planning on incorporating some of these ideas! This article was -so- well timed for us! Currently, my favorite back yard tip is that I do love the use of a “faucet extension” – where you have a very short hose and a faucet at the end so you can move the off/on function to a more convenient area. Faucets tend to be behind a bush or under a deck (ours) so having the ability to put the faucet in a user-friendly space for the summer is awesome.

  • I could definitely use many of these ideas. Just need some supplies( fingers crossed) I use baskets with lids and benches with a lower shelf outside doors to store unsightly shoes.

  • I get sooo hot working outside, me and my clothes are soaked with sweat, pure sweat, in less than an hour. My spray wand on “shower” setting is perfect for rinsing off and cooling down. I will add a foot cleaning tray today! I keep tea tree oil close at hand for treating bites, stings, scrapes, and other mishaps immediately. Also bathe with tea tree infused soap after gardening.

  • I went to a convenience store & got one of their empty Ice Cream containers..I use it to store the bird feed. Fits one large bag perfectly & no animals can get inside it.

    • An old hammock, hammock chair, or net for securing stuff on a car works very well. I hung one on the garage wall, and toss in bike helmets also.

  • I make sure the kids put their toys away before coming in. We typically have a clean yard, it’s a good thing you didn’t ask how to keep the back patio clean. That’s where I need to find some solutions

  • What nails were use to make that bench? I can’t bring up the picture or the link. Really cute stuff on here , I’m going to develop making stuff on my own to spruce up my yard! Thanks Jillee, going to Walmart today to buy some stuff to work on my yard and house.! U have showed me that a woman can be handy outdoors too. I’m married to a man who thinks women only do housework lol!

  • Storage: Use a large ice cooler as a storage trunk. I use for hose and other gardening gear. The cooler helps pace and prevent drastic temperature fluctuations so it can help prevent cracking and lengthen life of the item.

  • I grew up in FL, and we don’t have to put our garden things away. This was a pretty interesting and informative post. Now that I live in TN, seems like I’ll have to do a few of these!

  • The back yard is where we let ourselves be lazy. We have all weather furniture on the deck, so we don’t have to worry about leaving it out all winter, the kids’ bikes/toys fit perfectly under the deck or behind the shed, the hose is tucked under the deck stairs, and we have one of these:


    Which we keep the trash in. It’s handy for larger items that need to wait for a monthly pick-up (old mattress, broken chair, etc.), as well as some of hubby’s larger garage items.

  • Putting things away instead of letting them languish outside makes for a much more organized backyard space. Plus, having beautiful flowers planted makes you want to keep it neat so the colorful yard can be the star not your clutter!

  • I love the backyard ideas. My back yard is a 3 1/2 foot wide x 18 feet long deck. I live in a condo. Some of these ideas will help with organizing and all the other organizing ideas for around the house are good space savers. Actually have done some already and I did go to the container store.
    Love your site.

  • I don’t have to do any of these ideas as I live in FL. No snow or cold weather to contend with. We mow our yards year round so need on going maintenance of our tools and machines. We lose our leaves in spring so we have a yard vac for that. Have already put all hoses in boxes to store out of sight. My biggest pet peeve is I have no pets anymore so now I have wild animals (possums, raccoons, fruit rats, outside cats…) using my backyard as their toilet. What can I do to stop this? My mil suggests mothballs for everything but I really hate the smell of them they make me sick to my stomach.

    • Nadine, try getting some pet hair from a friend, or a worn out blanket covered in pet hair. Place bits of it around your yard and see if that helps. Also, a fake owl (some are very good looking) can help with even coons and smaller critters. Another thing I’ve used (in mole holes) is “used” cat litter, which seems to make the moles go away (wouldn’t you?). Try looking up organic gardening tips, and they have ideas.
      I live in Florida, too, so there is no such thing as putting it up for the winter — we grow gardens in the winter around here (greens, onions, etc.) I’d tried the hanging soap idea, but the fire ants ate the soap. They also eat any bird or pet food outside no matter how well it is stored, so I store it inside. We have to leave a squeeze jug of mechanic’s soap out, if we want to be able to use soap without being bitten. I like the idea of the bucket used both ways, to hold hose and sprinkler heads. Our idea for outdoors is to use our granddaughter’s old metal swingset frame as a trellis, with some leftover fence wire stretched across it. Filled with climbing flowers and veggies, it looks so cute and is useful, too.

  • Back yard for us consists of a few chairs around our fire pit and an old porch swing that my hubby built a roof over……so, not much to winterize……besides storing the chairs and swing, we need only clean our garden tools after cleaning up for spring planting……this has been a great week full of so many organizing ideas….I’m sorry to see it end…..thanks for helping myself and other, somewhat, disorganized souls…..

  • Love all the outdoor ideas. When storing my birdseed outside in a large tub with a locking lid, I keep a plastic measuring scoop in the birdseed box to help make it easier to actually get the seed in the feeder. I also put the feeder on the box lid to avoid making a mess with the loose seed.

  • I love the backyard ideas. I love turning the deck area into an outdoor room. I love it for when the weather gets warmer. The only problem is, it gets very hot and humid here in the Midwest in the summertime.

    • Me again. Yes with our humidity there are some months it’s too hot and humid to hang out, and it doesn’t cool off at night in the Midwest, like it does in Utah..

    • I really like the feet washing station,too. !I think I’ll try that for my yard. It would be so nice NOT to have dirty or wet footprints trailing from the door to the shower-Any idea where to get the rocks? I’ve never sen flat rocks like those, that wouldn’t hurt the feet:)

      • River Rocks!!!! No need to buy, just grab a bucket and go SMOOTH rock hunting on a public beach next to a river! Remember, what you gather, you must be able to carry! Those suckers can be HEAVY!

  • I love all of these ideas! I don’t have to worry about snow, but I do have lots of kids toys laying around, so I think I will be copying the shelves with labels on the bins!

  • I just spent all day yesterday organizing my garage. My next project is to build a bike rack so instead of kids bikes all over my driveway, there is a place to put them. I spent half the summer climbing over bikes to get in or out of the house, lol.

  • I love all these ideas!! I am still new to the backyard thing, so the only tip I have is to wrap your outside water faucet in cloth to help insulate it! It really helps to prevent the freezing of pipes!! :)

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