5 Outdoor Storage Mistakes that you Should Avoid

While outdoor storage is an excellent solution to storing camping gear, gardening tools, or even furniture, some mistakes may endanger your belongings. We share 5 common mistakes people make when storing valuables outdoors and how to avoid them.

Last Updated on June 10, 2022 by Jude Robert Caratao

Outdoor storage gives you the convenience of space and freedom that the garage, attic, and other indoor storage cannot provide. You can opt to use it for your camping gear, gardening tools, and even your garden furniture. But making the wrong choices in what you store at outside spaces can put your items in danger.

Some people pay no heed to the safety and security of their items outdoors. Others never clean their items before storage and assume that cleaning is only necessary when storing them indoors. Other mistakes are bad storage location choices, failure to use storage materials like containers and covers, and finally, leaving the items outdoors for too long.

There are various outdoor storage mistakes that people often commit and end up endangering their valuables. Here are some of the outdoor storage mistakes that you need to be wary of:

1.  The Mistake of Storing Your Items in Bad Locations

It’s a common occurrence for people to get careless with their belongings and leave them exposed. It’s as if they do not realize that breaking rules and transgressions can prove costly, especially when it comes to outdoor storage mistakes.

You should not store items under the shed or near the door because they could get wet during a downpour. Also, do not place items close to trees as they are prone to falling over, especially when you have high gusty winds. There is also a danger of fire outbreaks that could cause your item to go up in smoke if your storage item is too close to the woods or fields.

A outdoor storage under construction.
Avoid storing your items near the door as they might get wet.

It’s very discouraging when valuable items are stolen, and there is little you can do because it has already happened. You should, therefore, invest in a lockable storage container for maximum security of your belongings. Locks will protect them from thieves, animals, and other people with harmful intentions.

2.  Ignoring Proper Storage Materials

Storage materials are vital because they protect your items from the elements by providing a cover. If you make the mistake of not using storage materials, then your items will be exposed to various weather elements, and this could damage them.

You can use old tarpaulins, cedar planks, or metal sheets as storage materials. Ensure that you regularly remove them for cleaning purposes. These materials also keep your belongings dry and ventilated.

A box with a tape and pair of scissors beside.
Use moisture-resistant containers instead of cardboard boxes to protect your items when storing them outdoors.

You can also use storage containers that are moisture resistant as they help in keeping moisture out, especially if you keep your belongings near the shoreline. This is important as water damage is one of the top outdoor storage dangers you can expose your items to.

Lastly, storage containers protect fragile items from getting dusty and being exposed to damages. You don’t want to expose your valuable items to the elements and have them getting ruined because you left them outside unprotected.

3.  Leaving Your Items at Outdoor Storage Far Too Long

It is not advisable to leave things at an outdoor storage location for very long unless the weather is not favorable for the use of such items. Perhaps you will be embarking on a fishing trip, but until then, do not leave your fishing gear at the storage area.

Avoid leaving items at outdoor storage for long after you have completed using them. This is because they may cause infections to spread when you bring them back home. Do not forget that camping gear and other outdoor tools can be especially prone to bacteria and other types of fungi infections. It’s important to be careful about where you put them.

Long exposure to weather conditions can also lead to damage to your items. Leaving them at the storage place for very long will expose them to extreme temperatures and weaken them. You’re storing your items to keep them safe and not being able to use them at the end of the storage period is the worst experience you’d want to go through.

So, if you’re storing for winter, you should bring your items back home during the summer months, which will help keep them safe.

4.  Failing To Clean Outdoor Storage Area Regularly

Just because you’re storing your items outside doesn’t mean you ignore the need to keep them clean. Cleaning the place that you store your things is important because it keeps everything neat and away from dust, dirt, and insects. Cleaning protects your belongings from bacteria, fungi, and other harmful microorganisms that may ruin them.

After you have kept your items in outdoor storage for some time, it’s advisable to clean the area around the storage place. This way, you will keep insects and dirt away from the area where your things are stored. You also want to ensure that the cleaning materials you use will not harm your belongings.

A person cleaning.
It is essential to thoroughly clean the outdoor storage area before storing your items.

You can use a hose or water spray to keep everything clean. An old toothbrush can also help ensure that dirt is completely removed. Use safe cleaning products such as bleach and water to keep down the risk of fungi and bacteria attacks.

Once you’ve cleaned your items, make sure you dry them before placing them back in your storage area. This way, you will remove any water that may have accumulated on the place.  No water damage will occur to your items if you keep them in a dry place.

5.  Ignoring Security Measures

Do not disregard safety concerns for your items, as this will leave them exposed to dangers that could result in their loss altogether. Outdoor storage mistakes such as leaving keys inside the storage area or too hot temperatures can easily put your items at risk.

CCTV Camera.
Make sure your outdoor storage offers enough security to safely store your belongings.

It is crucial that you protect your outdoor storage from theft and intruders.  Leaving your valuables unprotected will put them at risk of being stolen by burglars while you’re away. For this reason, it is a good idea to invest in a reliable storage unit that has top-of-the-range security features.

If possible, go for outdoor storage units with monitored alarms and one-way doors or windows that allow access only from inside. This way, you will be able to ensure that your items are well-protected at all times.

Frequently Asked Questions

What items can you store outdoors?

There are some items that you can safely store outside. Such items include bikes, outdoor furniture, and garden tools. Just ensure that they are covered or stored in a place where they will not be exposed to the elements of nature. Outdoor storage is suitable for space-saving, especially if your home only has small living areas. You can also use an outdoor storage area to keep items that you do not use very often.

What’s the difference between outdoor storage sheds and garages?

Outdoor storage sheds are made of wood, but they have fewer features than a garage. Garages usually have insulation, lighting, heating, and other features that make them more comfortable and easy to use. Coming in different sizes, both shed, and garages are suitable for large items such as tools or garden furniture. Storing these items inside a garage will keep them safe from extreme temperatures.

How long can you store your items outdoors?

There is no definite time for outdoor storage. It totally depends on your intention to use the items in the future. If you are just storing them temporarily, it’s safe to store them outdoors for an extended period. However, if they’re meant to be stored permanently outside, this isn’t recommended.

Garden tools hanging outside.
If you are just storing them temporarily, it’s safe to store them outdoors for an extended period.

How can you cover items stored outside?

If you are going to store items outside, you should cover them using durable covers. This way, they will be protected from moisture and insects as well as extreme weather conditions. It’s also important to replace these covers if they get damaged, which will keep your items safe and secure at all times.


Outdoor storage is a great way of getting more space at home. This kind of storage is especially useful for people who live in houses that do not have large living areas. Outdoor storage is ideal for storing items that are hard to store indoors, even if you have a big garage.

Just ensure that you avoid mistakes associated with outdoor storage if you want to find your valuables in perfect condition. Never ignore security measures, and your items will remain safe outdoors for as long as you wish to store them.  You should also avoid trusting outdoor storage in a place where you are not familiar with and do not know if it has good security features.

Be extra careful if you need to store high-value or expensive items, as these can easily get stolen or damaged if you do not protect them. And finally, don’t forget to clean and cover the items you have outdoors.

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