UHeart Organizing: Covered Patio Organization

This summer, I challenged all of you to head outdoors and take on a project or two.  Ashley, from 7th House on the Left, went way above and beyond with her outdoor project.  Her carport transformation is stunning and jaw dropping and incredible all at the same time.  I was already in love with it, and now she is stopping by to throw some organization into the mix, sigh...  Here she is now to share more.

For the past few months, Greg and I’ve been working on turning our carport into a covered patio.  Since we have adequate driveway space behind our house for parking cars, we rarely parked in the carport simply because we liked the openness and how it gave us a sense of an “outdoor entry”.

Although, the main problem was the space was a long way from being remotely inviting and not to mention, completely lacking personality. Here’s what I’m talking about...

Yeah, it was pretty depressing. After a few months of elbow grease, DIY/SemiDIY projects and an ample amount of patience; here’s what the space is looking like now...

We gave our existing patio furniture a facelift (with some spray paint and pillows), spruced up a roadside find to use as a large console table, planked the ceiling, painted the floor, replaced the lighting, installed patio lights around the perimeter of the ceiling, installed wall to wall curtains, brought in an area rug to define a seating area and dressed everything up with fun wall art and accessories (you can find a full run down of the projects and their links in this post).

There are still a few more things we’d like to do to the space (like get new seating and maybe lengthen the curtains just a tad), but we’re extremely excited to enjoy the area in the Fall once the weather gets a little nicer and bugs aren’t so... “persistent”, haha.

My favorite area of the new covered patio is the wall with our huge console table. We actually found this table on the side of the road for $20 (more on that story here). What we really love about this table is that it’s so versatile. It comes in very handy for working on projects that are too messy for the kitchen counter but can also be used as a buffet table when we’re entertaining outside. Regardless of how we’re using it, it also serves the purpose of storing some outdoor essentials.

To add some extra storage to the console table, I picked up two of these lidded baskets from Michael’s. They were originally $39 a piece, but luckily, Michael’s was having one of their beloved “40% off baskets sale”. Score! I love these baskets in particular because the lids are great for keeping dirt/dust/pollen off of what’s inside. The table could easily house 4 baskets (if I turned them long ways), but I wanted to keep things simple and uncluttered. In my book, the less “stuff” you collect, the better. We decided to use one basket for outdoor grilling essentials and the other for outdoor kids toys/games. No, we don’t have kids, but there’s a method to our madness and I’ll get to that in a bit.

In here, we have... an Ove Glove (really handy for grilling skewers/kabobs), the lighter for our charcoal grill, some meat markers (to mark the “doneness” of meat), and some “burger papers” (that actually come in handy for a lot more things than burgers). Greg wants to add a meat thermometer to the basket as soon as he “finds the right one”.  Men and their grilling.

Now for the outdoor fun basket. Last Fall, we had an afternoon with seven kids under the age of 6 in our house at one time. Not having kids ourselves, we realized we didn’t have any toys, games - not even a ball for them to play with. I had some coloring books (because I’m one of those weird girls in their 20‘s that likes to color once in a while, haha!) but that only kept them occupied for... oh, I don’t know, 2 minutes! I ended up going to Bentley’s stash of new dog toys and giving them to the kids to play with. Yes, that’s how desperate I was. Note again: they were *brand new* dog toys, haha. Giving children used dog toys would totally wreck my inner clean freak.

Since then, whenever I see a fun game or puzzle in the Dollar Spot at Target, I buy it and stash it away in a basket in our guest room closet. Now that I’m on my way to having the indoor fun covered, we thought it would be a good idea to have some outdoor fun options as well - after all, most of our friends’/cousins’ kids love playing outside and I remember how bad I felt when I had to tell my freakishly adorable 3-year-old cousin, Elliott, I didn’t have a ball for him to play outside with.

Luckily, I was able to stash a bunch of outdoor fun in this basket. In here, we have sidewalk chalk (since we have a large blacktop driveway that wraps around the back of our house that’s the perfect canvas for temporary masterpieces), bubbles (what kid doesn’t have fun with bubbles?!), a few plastic dinosaurs (outdoors is the best backdrop for dinosaur habitats, duh), a few foam finger rocket launchers (a good idea until the neighbor’s dog gets a hold of one), a Velcro toss and catch game (I had one of these when I was a kid and remember loving it), and, yes, a ball for Elliott!

Having these baskets stored in the covered patio is so convenient - especially since Fall is on the horizon and we’ll be spending much more time out there.

Thanks, everyone, for letting me share our outdoor patio storage solution with you today. As Jen always closes... Happy Organizing!

"I'm Ashley from 7th House on the Left - a blog where my husband, Greg, and I talk about renovating, decorating and living in our first house here in Hanover, Virginia. I’ve been an interior design enthusiast and a long-time fan of all things organizing. Yep, I was the kid with the perfectly arranged Disney stuffed animals, alphabetized coloring books and the categorized and color-coded sticker book. When I'm not busy writing or doing projects around the house, I love classic TV shows (particularly I Love Lucy) and curling up with Greg, Bentley (our 9-pound Pomeranian), a blanket and a good black and white classic movie – I’m a complete sucker for Audrey Hepburn, Doris Day, Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant films. I'm thrilled and honored to be a part of the IHeart Organizing team and excited to get to work!"

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