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The Cull: 10 Inexpensive Garden Storage Products that Do Double-Duty Indoors

Here at The Organized Home, we’re all eyes, all the time for products that serve double duty—as whatever the object was originally designed for and as a covert storage container. (Examples? A stainless steel fustis as a Laundry Detergent Dispenser, a pine crate as a File Cabinet, and a towel bar as a Slipper Rack.)

In today’s edition of The Cull, we take our organizing-freak eyes to the garden nursery. Here are 10 easy-to-find outdoor items that we’re constantly bringing indoors:

Leaf Bags

You can find reusable lawn and leaf bags in a variety of materials, but most have a few things in common: They’re waterproof, durable, and collapsible, making them perfect for indoor chores like collecting recycling or storing garage gear.

This Canvas Fabric Lawn Bag in military green is 18 inches tall and $17.99 at Amazon.
Above: This Canvas Fabric Lawn Bag in military green is 18 inches tall and $17.99 at Amazon.

Garden Trugs

Quintessentially English, the garden trug was designed in the early 19th century for gathering vegetables, herbs, and flowers in the garden. Two hundred years on, they’re as popular as ever, and as useful indoors as they are outdoors. In the kitchen, it can hold fruit, onions, or garlic; in the entry, it can hold mail and keys. It can even hold babies.

Above: A set of three wooden Sussex Trugs is $74.24 at Amazon. (See 10 Easy Pieces: Garden Trugs for more.)

Garden Tool Bags

You don’t have to spend much time in the garden to know a carryall for your tools is a necessity. What’s not immediately obvious is the multipocketed bag’s myriad uses around the house: Turn yours into a kit of cleaning supplies or use it to stash and carry your kids’ portable art supplies. (My mom used hers to store dog grooming gear—go figure.)

The Apolis Garden Bag has six outer pockets, a waterproof lining, and holds up to 135 pounds; $78.
Above: The Apolis Garden Bag has six outer pockets, a waterproof lining, and holds up to 135 pounds; $78.

Trug Tubs

Let’s get this out of the way: They’re plastic. But Fiel’s classic garden trugs are made in Spain of 100 percent post-consumer recycled plastic, and we like them for rounding up your household’s less delicate items, like firewood or recycling, with aplomb. (They’re virtually indestructible.)

A 10.5-gallon Trug Tub is $14.99 at Garden Artisans.
Above: A 10.5-gallon Trug Tub is $14.99 at Garden Artisans.

Terracotta Pots

Think of these as cheap, plastic-free, general-use vessels that always look good, indoors or out. I use a few four-inch pots (I painted them in Farrow & Ball colors) to keep spare flatware handy in my kitchen for extra guests.

A four-inch Terra Cotta Clay Pot is $0.78 at Home Depot.
Above: A four-inch Terra Cotta Clay Pot is $0.78 at Home Depot.

Plant Stands

These come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and we like them because they tend to be more compact than a typical bookcase or shelving unit.

This Bamboo Plant Stand with Hanging Bar could be used in an entryway for hanging jackets, holding shoes, and dropping mail; $119 at Gardener’s Supply Company.
Above: This Bamboo Plant Stand with Hanging Bar could be used in an entryway for hanging jackets, holding shoes, and dropping mail; $119 at Gardener’s Supply Company.

Garden Markers

The stick-style markers might have limited application inside the house (except, perhaps, in houseplants). But the hanging kind has any number of uses indoors: Write directly on them to label trash and laundry bins, assign storage to individual family members, and identify pantry contents.

 Cole’s Aluminum Plant Tags are $10.99 for a box of 50 at Grow Organic.
Above: Cole’s Aluminum Plant Tags are $10.99 for a box of 50 at Grow Organic.

Plant Trays

If you’ve followed us for more than a day, you know we can’t stop talking about trays. (Our latest sermon: In Praise of Trays: 10 Trays in Fiberglass and Enamel.) They’re undeniably useful for corralling just about anything, and plant trays tend to have deep sides.

Terrain has the most robust collection of plant trays we’ve seen. The brand’s in-house line comes in zinc, brass, aluminum, and copper, and in rectangles, squares, and circles. Rectangle Trays, shown here in zinc, come in seven sizes, ranging in price from $14 to $48.
Above: Terrain has the most robust collection of plant trays we’ve seen. The brand’s in-house line comes in zinc, brass, aluminum, and copper, and in rectangles, squares, and circles. Rectangle Trays, shown here in zinc, come in seven sizes, ranging in price from $14 to $48.

Plant Caddies

Buy yourself some flexibility indoors by putting heavy storage items (such as toy chests, tool cabinets, and dog food containers) on wheels.

This Cedar Wood Plant Caddy can hold up to 200 pounds on its four plastic casters; $18.25 at Hayneedle.
Above: This Cedar Wood Plant Caddy can hold up to 200 pounds on its four plastic casters; $18.25 at Hayneedle.

Steel Buckets

Though I’d like to imagine myself using steel buckets to feed my (nonexistent) horses, I’m really using them as trash cans, for hand-wash laundry, and to keep drinks cool during parties.

Made in Mexico for US company Behrens, this Hot Dipped Steel Pail starts at $9.22 for the two-quart size at Amazon.
Above: Made in Mexico for US company Behrens, this Hot Dipped Steel Pail starts at $9.22 for the two-quart size at Amazon.
For more storage inspiration from the garden, see:

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