As more and more of us move outdoors once that thermometer begins to rise, we start to take stock of the things we have, what may need some repairs, cleaning and throwing out. 

A good old fashioned winter can take its toll on our outdoor furniture and accessories.  Covering them is always the best option but they still need to be cleaned and ready for that next season.  You may have decided it is time to replace the patio chair cushions or add a few pillows and accessories to your space, but where do you put them when not in use?

Just inside the door was where everything congregated in my house.  After a great day outside, we always took the cushions and accessories back in the house to avoid dew and storms, but with not having a really clear place to store them indoors, it became apparent that we needed something a bit more user friendly outdoors.  I really wanted outside stuff to stay outside.

You can just purchase an outdoor cabinet and stuff everything in there, or use your shed, but what I am loving about the outdoor bench with storage, is that it has two purposes.  Perfect for extra seating and yet perfect to throw those extra cushions and other things in at the end of the day.

If it is easily accessible then it is more likely to happen.  We were using an old fashioned large tote box for a long time, but it didn’t work as a seat and took up extra space.  So, this year I would like to invest in an outdoor bench that also doubles as storage.

We do not have a covered patio, so we make a habit of removing cushions and seat pads after we are done on the back patio and putting them away.   These chair pads have either ended up stacked in the kitchen (always in the way) or in this old larger plastic tub with a lid that was a pain to get off and on, so this year I will look at benches.

outdoor bench with storageCredit:

Resin Outdoor Bench

This type of material is super resistant to bugs and mold, and can easily be hosed down to keep clean.  It would fit well on the patio or out in the yard and is great for extra seating.  I want a simple style but also like the idea of a good looking back on it for great extra seating.  It looks like wood and is a nice colour.

outdoor bench with storageCredit:

Extra Large Deck Box - Simple Design

If you are not bothered about having side arms and a back piece, then this one is great because it is an extra large storage box.  It is still made from resin that will resist bugs and mold but can also hold the weight of people.  It could sit up against a wall or used as a separation between areas in your yard.  This could also be used for garden tools, almost like a mini shed.

outdoor bench with storageCredit:
Suncast SSW1200 Mocha Resin Wicker 22-Gallon Storage Seat
Amazon Price: $49.99 $34.99 Buy Now
(price as of Mar 8, 2016)

Outdoor Storage Seat

If you have a smaller area such as a balcony or townhouse yard, then instead of using benches with storage that can take up room, you could use a few of these as your chairs around the table.  They could store the seat pads and pillows and have the double use of a chair as well as storage.

outdoor bench with storageCredit:
Suncast ELEMENTS® Coffee Table with Storage, Java
Amazon Price: $64.95 Buy Now
(price as of Mar 8, 2016)

Coffee Table and Storage In One Piece

If storage is your main goal, then some of the more simple designs like the plain deck box would work best as they have larger storage capacity, but if instead of seating you actually need more table space, then this is another option to create storage.  Use all your square feet wisely on your patio and you will be amazed just how much you can fit.

outdoor bench with storageCredit:
Pillow Perfect Indoor/Outdoor Westport Bench Cushion, Teal
Amazon Price: $53.99 $39.03 Buy Now
(price as of Mar 8, 2016)

Outdoor Bench Cushion

Any of the above benches would look perfect with their own cushion so that you can quickly make this storage option extra seating.  If you don’t use a cushion this surface could get pretty hot in that summer sun.  You could then quickly open the seat and throw it in the bottom when not in use. 

Double Duty Your Patio Furniture

It is nice having friends and family over to spend time in your oasis with you.  Accessories for sure make it more comfy.  I purchased many seat pads last year to make older chairs more comfy to save on replacement.  A bit of paint and they looked brand new, but I also needed more seating, so also needing a place for the seat pads to go got me researching outdoor benches with storage.

I didn’t want to pay too much but if it could do double duty in my smaller space then it was still cheaper than buying more chairs, pads and then storage.  I was tired of the pads and pillows ending up in my kitchen and I didn’t want them thrown in the shed with the lawnmower.  So this year I want to utilize the space more and make it feel homier.

If you can set yourself up so that everything has its place, almost like stations then things run smoother and there is not this constant searching or spreading outdoor accessories to the indoors.   You can use smaller clear containers for outdoor utensils and smaller accessories and keep them in the benches ready for your next barbeque instead of trying to find them all in your kitchen.  The dollar store is a great source for small plastic clear containers.

You could get stacking smaller clear plastic containers with lids and stack them in these benches.  There are all kinds of ways to keep things outdoors where they belong and yet neat and tidy and ready.  Enjoy your oasis this year and spend more time outside and soaking up the ambiance than racing around trying to find everything.

If you don't like the idea of resin, teak is another great outdoor wood but a much larger investment.  Enjoy!