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10 Important Items to Keep Out of Your Outdoor Shed

What kind of items do you keep in your outdoor shed?

If you’re lucky enough to have a lovely backyard with an outdoor shed, you probably use a large part of it for storage. While it can save you a ton of space from your home or garage, unless your shed isn’t properly insulated, some items shouldn’t be stored there.

The combination of moisture, extreme temperatures, and potential pets puts your belongings at risk. We’ve compiled a list of items you should never store in your outdoor shed unless you don’t want them to get ruined, and we’ll share everything with you. So, without further ado, let’s see what things you should probably leave inside or in your garage!

outdoor shed
Photo by studiomiracle from

1. Batteries

If you have many devices that function with batteries, you probably need a stash. However, you’d better keep them inside and not in your outdoor shed because heat exposure or severe temperature changes cause a chemical reaction that will shorten their lifespan. As a result, they’re ineffective.

In other situations, they might expand and even explore due to temperature and moisture fluctuations. Rather, try to keep batteries carefully stored inside your home, where the temperature is under control. You can keep your power tools and their charges and batteries in your basement, garage, or any other area where they will be stored at a lower temperature.

2. Spare tires

You probably think that spare tires can safely be deposited in your outdoor shed, but think again. Just because they’re out of the way and out of direct sunlight doesn’t mean there isn’t any potential damage in there.

Your tires can be affected by unstable weather conditions, rodents, and improper storage conditions, and they can suffer deterioration. For instance, hot weather can cause dry rot, while cold weather might cause the rubber to freeze.

Since tires are pretty expensive and they’re supposed to last you a good couple of years, you don’t want to put them in a moist place. This could shorten their lifetime, and they’ll not be as effective as they should be. You can avoid all these problems by putting your spare tires in a climate-controlled storage unit or your basement (as long as they’re away from heat sources).

3. Furniture or upholstered items

You surely want to use your outdoor shed and make the most of it, but furniture or upholstered items in general shouldn’t be in there. Not only is fabric not recommended for outdoor use, but heat and humidity can also cause wood to bend and leather to crack. To avoid any potential problems, you should keep your furniture pieces indoors and leave the outdoor furnishing in the garden or your outdoor shed.

outdoor shed
Photo by FabrikaSimf from

4. Canned goods, food, or bird seed

If you leave any sort of food in your outdoor shed, you might meet a curious critter who can’t wait to have a feast. If you’re not willing to entertain, you’d better keep pet food or bird seed out of your shed.

Even if these items are packed and sealed, fluctuations in temperature could cause them to spoil. According to the USDA, canned foods exposed to temperatures over 100 degrees Fahrenheit or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit aren’t safe for consumption. Speaking of food items you shouldn’t keep in your outdoor shed, make sure your wine bottles are safely placed in your pantry because temperature can destroy the quality of your beverage.

5. Musical instruments

Musical instruments are another thing you should never store in an outdoor shed. Similar to furniture, wooden instruments are prone to deformation due to high temperatures, which can also melt the glue holding them together.

But that’s not all. Moisture can also cause mold or mildew to grow within the fabric linings of storage containers and corrode or rust metal instruments. If you don’t play your instruments very often, put them safely in an indoor storage closet or create a music corner in your home. It will look better, and maybe it will motivate you to pick up music again.

6. Paint

As you can already tell, many things on our list don’t do well in extreme temperatures, but the list doesn’t end here. Paint is another item that loses its properties when it comes into contact with severe weather. Unless your outdoor shed is insulated, you shouldn’t keep your cans of stains, primers, and spray paint in there because you might not be able to use them afterward.

The best way to store them is in a dark and cool place, such as your basement. Make sure they’re not too close to a heating or cooling source, and they should be fine.

7. Electronics

Just like batteries, leaving your electronics in an outdoor shed where every tiny temperature change is noticeable won’t do them any good. Moisture can corrode internal wiring and short-circuit your gadgets. Moreover, an LCD or LED panel’s liquid might freeze in extremely cold circumstances, which can cause an irreversibly damaged screen.

Unless your shed is properly insulated, make sure all of your electronics are safely in your house or an indoor garage. Storing your devices properly will ensure a longer life span, so don’t neglect this tip!

outdoor shed
Photo by melissamn from

8. Anything that’s made from fabric

We’ve already touched on this subject a few moments before, but this time we’ll dive deeper into the subject. You shouldn’t leave your sleeping bags, clothing, upholstery, blankets, or anything similar in your outdoor shed, because they might not end up good.

Moisture can easily seep into your shed when it snows or rains, and this could cause mildew and mold to grow on your belongings. And here’s the thing: even if your items are safely stored in plastic bins, moisture can go in there, and the results will be just as unpleasant. But that’s not all: insects, such as moths, could go into the folds of fabrics and eat away at them.

9. Propane

As you already know, propane should be stored outdoors and never inside your home. Considering that most outdoor sheds are detached from the house, it might seem wise to store a few extra propane tanks in there. But think again: when propane is in an enclosed space, such as a shed, it can cause a fire with the tiniest spark or leak.

To avoid a disaster, experts recommend storing your propane tanks in an open and shaded area outside of any structure, regardless of how big or small. Better safe than sorry, right?

10. Photos, books, or paper goods

Paper is similar to linen, meaning it can retain moisture and attract annoying pests. If you store books in your outdoor shed and leave them there for a long time, the pages might stick together, and particular bugs, like silverfish, love to have a paper feast and eat the glue used in bindings.

Moreover, your photos are more likely to get damaged due to high humidity, so if you want your physical memories to last forever, I recommend you get a photo album like this one. And if you store important documents outside, your confidential information might not be confidential anymore, so be careful. The best way to avoid a problem is to store your documents, photos, and books inside, where the temperature is constant and there’s not much humidity.

What do you think about these items you shouldn’t store in your outdoor shed? Let us know in the comments below! Did you find this article useful? If you enjoyed reading it and you’d like to check out something else from Wipe and Organize, here’s a good post for you: 8 Genius Empty Nester Tips You Didn’t Know You Needed

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