Organizing and entertaining outdoors | Organizing Made Fun: Organizing and entertaining outdoors

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Organizing and entertaining outdoors

A couple of weeks ago I showed you our outdoor patio cover and our deck. I wanted to show you how I keep things organized out there. We have a lot of people over almost every week (sometimes more) we're having some kind of "party" and entertaining people, so I have to stay organized and I have a lot of "equipment" that needs to be kept organized!

buffet entertaining

Last year I came up with the idea of making an outdoor rolling buffet out of my son's old dresser. It has worked marvelously for us on our deck and we use it ALL the time! It's on wheels so I can move it around the deck, depending on what kind of "shin-dig" we're having or if it rains we can move it into the garage!

What I've done is use this buffet to serve as my go-to zone when I need stuff and don't want to run inside and get more, if necessary! I have a drawer for table linens, one for plastic {fun} outdoor plates in various colors,  miscellaneous paper plates {usually leftover from other parties}, a drawer with lemonade and iced tea along with marker pens for their cups and other extras, and a drawer full of "cheap" silverware {I got all of it on our freecycle and use it just outside}. I even have a drawer with {red bag} food tents and some fun decor in our patio colors {red, white, and blue}.  I just try to keep it filled with stuff that's necessary to grab up quickly. The buffet has served us well as a place I put all our drink jars - aka, water and lemonade beverage jars for when we have a bunch of people over. If you want to see how we made this buffet, go HERE for a full tutorial.

stainless steel BBQ cabinets

My Hubby spent several years building the deck and outdoor kitchen. And, since we took our time, we tried to be thoughtful about storage and details. For instance, we have very tall and deep counters outside. He was able to buy the brand of grill he wanted by buying it as a "dent and ding" on Ebay and driving to pick it up. He also purchased our outdoor burners as "dent and ding" and fixed the small ding himself {invisible to most people} saving us at least half the cost and getting a brand new set of burners. He worked hard and had help along the way, learning how to do stone work, carpentry, and much more!

So, now that it's done and we have a fully functioning outdoor room, we use it often and I must keep it pretty organized. The first area is under the sink - we had built a small outdoor BBQ area at our first house and realized having a sink was essential and GREAT for letting all the little kids wash up before dinner, especially. We even keep a little fold-up stool for the kids to be able to reach the sink!

Under the sink area I have a couple of beverage dispensers {from Costco for cheap} and behind them an ice maker {I found this on Ebay for a great price}. I also have a plastic slide out bin - since it is so deep in there and things could easily get lost, this helps to contain things that we use most often along with the stainless steel drawer bins.

utensils trays

We have a couple of drawers between the sink and the BBQ area. The top drawer holds utensils of all sorts - it's amazing how many different kind of them we use when people come over and often when there is a potluck they forget to bring a utensil - so, that's fine because we have extra of everything! Under the utensils we have several trays {similar to this in white} which we use for all kinds of stuff - I got those at Ikea for about $1.99 each and they fit in the drawer perfectly! The other drawer has hand towels, potholders and a couple of aprons for my grilling Hubby {have you seen what the grill does to your clothes?}. 

Under the grill I keep a BIG chrome slide out drawer. I used this one because it needs to be heavy-duty to handle the heavy things on it and also to go back deep - I don't want to lose precious storage space and it really pulls out far {BBQ griddle, fish basket, skewers, rotisserie equipment, and even a s'mores maker}. On the right side is a storage bin that I use to hold pillows, blankets, and other things in the "winter" so they don't get wet and I can still easily get to them by grabbing out from under the counter.

Next to the BBQ is a neat paper towel holder and a cutting board in a drawer! Very useful and love that it is hidden. 

On the other side of the "kitchen" is another set of doors that opens to hold another chrome slide out drawer {a bit narrower} that holds a double coffee pot and then beside it I have an extra beverage dispenser {I couldn't pass up the $17 Costco price} and two warming trays stacked underneath.'s a lot of entertaining but we love it and it's fun to be able to use all of this for the wonderful people who come over and enjoy fellowship here! I wish I could have you all over for dinner sometime because we would be up to it! I hope this gives you some great ideas for your cabinets and organizing, too! 

{I have inserted links for some of the containers I use that are in my Amazon shop, should you wonder where to get them}

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