Your typical American garage does double duty as a storage facility for cars and tools. The garage is ideal for yard tools, big power tools, and even the smaller hand tools that would otherwise be kept in a basement workbench. What do you do if you need a large amount of storage space but have no garage?
The number of storage solutions now on the market make storing your tools possible even without a garage. And if you cannot buy what you need, it is easy enough to make customized storage solutions. There is really no need to be at a loss for tool storage ideas just because your home has no garage.
This post has been written specifically for homeowners who are not lucky enough to have a garage. You know who you are. I will discuss a variety of popular tool storage ideas – no garage required! So if you’re ready, let’s get going.
1. Exterior Storage Sheds
he most obvious answer for yard tools like lawnmowers and hedge trimmers is an exterior storage shed. Considering all of the most practical tool storage ideas for homes with no garage, the exterior shed ranks at the top of the list. Sheds are so popular these days that you can buy them from home improvement stores, custom builders, and even online (this link points to shed solutions currently offered on Amazon).
Plastic is a pretty common material for exterior storage sheds. It is durable enough in terms of its overall strength and rigidity. Better yet, it stands up very well to the weather. Plastic will not rust; it is not bothered by cold or hot temperatures; it will not rot like wood.
If you are not into plastic, wood storage sheds are still an option. Wood sheds tend to cost a bit more because they are more labor intense to build. That being said, custom shed builders can do some amazing things with wood. A good builder can provide a unit that offers both storage and aesthetic appeal.
Local Zoning Ordinances
The one thing you have to worry about with an exterior storage shed is your local zoning laws. You may be able to install a shed without any prior approval. On the other hand, you might need to apply for a permit. In the most extreme cases, a zoning variance might be required.
Be aware that filing for a permit will probably require that you submit plans along with your application. Said plans will show the approximate size of the shed and its placement on your property. Additional details might be necessary if you plan to run electrical power to the shed.
2. Portable Party Tents
A good alternative to an exterior storage shed is a portable party tent. This sort of arrangement would be suitable for storing lawn tractors, push mowers, lawn rollers, seed spreaders, and the like. A portable party tent doesn’t offer much in terms of shelving or hanging things on the wall.
Portable party tents (here is a selection on Amazon) generally don’t require municipal approval because they are not considered permanent structures. You should still probably check to see if local ordinances limit the amount of time you can have a tent up in your yard.
3. Secured Tool Cabinets
The first two tool storage ideas for homes with no garage are mainly intended for those largest of yard tools. For smaller items, you have other options. Let’s start with a secured tool cabinet. This is a cabinet that can be installed outdoors or in. Outdoors, you would secure it to the side of your house with bolts. (If you’re interested, you can check out secure tool cabinets on Amazon by clicking here.)
Key to this sort of solution is security. You would want to look for a tool cabinet that is lockable – either with built-in locks or a fastener capable of accepting a padlock. Both options have their pros and cons. Built-in locks are harder to breach but can fail more easily. A padlock can be breached with a simple bolt cutter, but it is less likely to fail over the long term.
Individual Storage Bins
Inside your secured tool cabinet, you are likely to find multiple shelves. You can maximize shelf space by coming up with individual storage bins based on the size of the items you are storing. Cans and jars from the kitchen make great receptacles for nuts, bolts, hinges, etc. Otherwise disposable meat packages and butter tubs make for effective seed storage.
Cardboard boxes trimmed to fit will work as storage bins in a pinch. Just note that you may have to replace the boxes every now and again if your tool cabinet is outside. It’s not a big deal; cardboard boxes are fairly easy to come by.
4. Storage Bins Under the Porch
While your house might lack a garage, you may have a porch or deck off the back of the house. The dead space underneath can be utilized for storage. Assuming your deck is high enough, a typical push mower should fit underneath with no trouble. Just fold down the handle and you are good to go.
Storage bins provide additional space under the porch. A selection of airtight bins can be receptacles for smaller hand tools like pruning shears, hand-held spades, and garden hose nozzles. Just about anything you could put in your garage can be stored under the porch if it fits into a bin.
Whatever you do, make sure the storage bins you choose are air- and watertight. They are going to be stored outdoors, so you don’t want your tools exposed to the weather. An air- and watertight bin will also keep critters out.
5. Large Trash Totes
The same trash totes we use for garbage and recyclables can act as practical tool storage solutions for homes with no garage. For example, imagine a 65-gallon tote complete with an airtight lid and wheels. Now you have a storage solution that is both spacious and portable. Imagine how useful it would be to manage everything from your garden tools to your hoses and extension cords.
It is easy to keep smaller items separated in a garbage tote by putting them in fabric bags with rope ties. You drill small holes in the sides of the tote and install hooks in them. Then you attach the bags to the hooks with their rope ties. Whenever you need access to something, just pull out the appropriate bag.
Large trash totes even work well with those long-handled garden tools. Just cut holes in the lid large enough to allow the handles to extend through. Drill a couple holes in the bottom of the can to allow water to drain out. Your rakes and shovels will be just fine no matter the weather. Best of all, you can wheel the tote wherever you need to go, taking your hand tools with you.
Smaller garbage totes make good storage solutions for garden hoses and long extension cords. Either one will coil up nicely in the bottom of a tote. If you use a hose reel to store the garden hose during the summer, detach both hose and reel and put the entire thing inside the tote during the winter months. Just be sure to drain all the water first.
6. Storage in the Basement
You might be looking for tool storage ideas for a house with no garage, but you are not keen about leaving anything outside. Hopefully you have a basement. A basement with direct access would allow you to bring your lawnmower inside. Otherwise, you’ll need an outdoor storage solution for that. Everything else is fair game for indoor storage.
A series of cabinets fastened to the wall gives you adequate storage for hand tools, fasteners, small cans of paint, and so forth. The nice thing about cabinets is that they have doors you can close. Not everything has to be exposed, which might be important if you use your basement for other things.
Your basement might also be the home for your workbench. Assuming there are drawers built into your workbench, this is another option for your hand tools. But let’s say there are no drawers. What now? An upright tool chest with casters might slip under your workbench nicely (check some out on Amazon by clicking here). It will provide multiple drawers for your wrenches, screwdrivers, and the like. And because it’s on casters, you can wheel it around the basement if you need to.
Do you have stairs leading from the first floor of the house down to the basement? If so, there is probably plenty of untapped storage space underneath. Close off the stairs with walls if you want to keep things hidden. Either way, stairs provide a great structure for building shelves.
Having no garage is probably not the ideal situation in terms of storage. But there are plenty of homes that don’t have one. If yours is one of them, you might be looking for some storage ideas. Hopefully this post has pointed you in the right direction. Practical tool storage ideas for homes with no garage are out there. You just have to look around and be creative.