When you hear the word shed, you probably, like most people, associate it with storage. Garden sheds have long been seen as the kingpins of garden storage, and maintain that credibility to this day.
A wooden shed may seem like the ultimate place to store any item. It’s a great place to chuck old junk that you don’t need to use now, but might happen to in the future.
One of it’s great perks is the fact that it can almost act as a cheap house extension. At Garden Buildings Direct, our sheds start from as low as £219.
With that being said, however, a shed isn’t the perfect place for everything. There are some things that you should keep elsewhere.
Being mindful of what you put on your shed’s shelves is a great step towards reaping the benefits of the building all year round with no complaints. That’s why we decided to make a list of everything you should avoid storing in your shed.
Let’s begin first with a few factors that might influence your decision.
Three Factors to Consider
Before storing something outdoors, there are three variables that are worth keeping in mind:
Extreme temperatures are detrimental to some items, such as high-risk foods (e.g. dairy, pasta, eggs), and candle wax, for example, that can melt.
Moisture and condensation are another potential issue. They can lead to the growth of mould and mildew, which can pose a danger to health.
And finally, as much as we try to keep them out, sometimes, bugs and insects still manage to find a way in. Therefore, it’s advisable that anything that might attract creepy crawlies in the direction of the shed is better stored elsewhere.
Do’s and Don’ts
Before we jump into the specifics of which items aren’t suited to shed storage, we thought you might want to check out these do’s and don’ts of shed organisation. These tips will come in handy with helping you to figure out what and what not to store in your shed, as well as how to make the most out of your storage space.
DO invest in shelves. Adjustable shelves are a great modern invention, giving you the option of customising your space to maximum capacity. In addition, adjustable shelves are an ideal option for people who need flexibility, who are storing goods of various sizes, and who might be chopping and changing what they keep in their shed regularly.
Shelving creates extra floor space, meaning you can save the ground for bulky items and keep smaller stuff perched higher up. Vertical shelves are a perfect way to make the most out of the room you’ve got.
DO give pegboards a try. We’d never heard of these until recently, but they’re a fantastic invention. As a rival to shelves and racks, they’re a creative way of organising your stuff. To make the most out of a pegboard, perch hooks on there and items that can be clung to, so you can stack. This can save even more space!
Power tools, screwdrivers, hoses, sprinklers, paintbrushes, and gardening shears are among the many things you can put on a pegboard. The possibilities are pretty endless.
Not only are pegboards versatile, but they’re also cheap and incredibly easy to install. They’re an organisational tool made for the 21st century.
Now onto some don’ts.
The summer weather can be a bit harsh. Yep, even in England! The heat of hotter months is great for sunbathing and living outdoors, but an outdoor building like a wooden shed is bound to get very toasty inside as the temperature rises. Because of this, don’t store paint in your shed.
If paint is kept in extremely hot or cold temperatures, its consistency will change and it’ll eventually be rendered useless. Instead, like many household goods, keep them in your basement, a cupboard, or anywhere in your house that remains cool and dry all year round.
Remembering you’ve got a garden shed when you run out of space in your kitchen cupboards can be a lifesaver if you’re struggling for space. But if you can avoid it, don’t store paper goods, such as napkins, plates, and cups, in your shed.
It might look like a great place to store them safely, but in reality, paper goods can attract cockroaches and other creepy crawlies. Once the pesky little creatures are inside, your shed won’t hold up much of a defence, and you can’t guarantee their protection.
Although it can be convenient to keep pet food in your garden shed, it’s worth paying a second thought to potential scroungers who are hunting for a meal late at night. If they sniff out anything that might act as a potential meal, they’ll be in there as quickly as they can.
And, what’s worse – they’ll be a recurring visitor from thereon in, returning for more afterwards. Whether it’s foxes, raccoons, slugs or flies, you won’t want them hanging around in your shed.
So don’t store pet food in your shed. We suggest storing pet food indoors in a cool, dry place that’s out of the sunlight, so it lasts longer.
Things You Should Never Store in Your Shed
There’s a few ideas above about what not to store in a garden shed. But for a comprehensive list, look no further. There’s more than you might expect. And while they’re great for storing most items, there are some things that you should never store in a shed.
Let’s get into it!
FOOD AND DRINKS
Sure, buying in bulk is cost-effective, helping you save money in the long run. But leaving your kitchen pantry feeling a little cramped might tempt you to store some of your extra groceries in your shed.
Then again, an outdoor building is not an ideal place to store food, and we think you already know why.
Food can invite unwelcome pests, like rodents, into your shed. This means that these tiny intruders can eat your food, let alone destroy your other stuff.
Going back to the temperature, the exposure to heat—anything 100 degrees Fahrenheit and above—and humidity can cause your food staples to spoil. Other than human food and animal food, seeds should not be kept inside the shed as well.
Canned foods are not advisable, too. So avoid storing tins and cans, or any food container that contains metal as they can be subjected to rust, causing holes and spoiling the food.
Corrosion is another issue here; the food itself (e.g. acidic foods like tomatoes) will interact with the metal container. Not only this affects the taste and texture but also the nutritional value.
As for the drinks, you should never store wines inside the shed. You may think it is a clever idea to cool your wine in your shack, but the truth is that it will only clear them off.
When they are kept at inconsistent temperatures, wines will produce a metallic taste. If you have a cellar indoors or somewhere dark and cool, that is the best place to keep them.
Whether the artwork you have at home is painted by a famous artist or by a friend or you yourself—artwork is a work of art so it should be stored in a safe place. Also, bear in mind that artworks are vulnerable to heat and moisture; humidity and climate control are crucial.
If your painting is exposed to hot temperatures, this can cause it to expand as well as discoloration. As it cools down, the piece can contract. Over time, distortion is likely to happen, leaving flakes, cracks, and permanent warping.
And why would you store your artwork somewhere that cannot be seen and appreciated? Forget about your shed, instead find a place in your home, such as your living room, bedroom, or dining room to showcase your beloved piece!
Electronics like household appliances can take up a lot of space in your home, especially the bulky ones and those you do not use often. If you are thinking of storing them in your shed, you better think of storage alternatives.
Appliances and gadgets like microwaves, phones, computers, refrigerators, to name a few, can be subjected to moisture. When exposed to intense heat, this will result in rusted components, causing your appliances to fail.
Tip: You can designate one central storage location for devices and their corresponding cords, such a cabinet shelf or desk drawer. Prioritise convenience and accessibility when choosing where to store your electronics.
Going to your shed when you suddenly need your backup computer in the middle of the night is surely the last thing you wanted. It makes sense to store your backup device at your desk instead, or somewhere near your working space.
If you are thinking about keeping your beloved instruments in your outdoor building, we have one advice to you: they deserve a better place.
You are probably aware of the fact that instruments are delicately made pieces. If exposed to heat and humidity, their sound quality can be affected.
Moreover, as most are crafted from wood and brass, they tend to corrode when exposed to humidity. Wooden instruments, such as guitars and ukuleles, are especially susceptible to heat and humidity damage.
The humidity can weaken the glue in the joints, the wood to soften, and be more prone to deformation. Neck of guitars become more apt to bending, decreasing the neck projection which can result in off sounds.
Brass instruments like trumpets and trombones, on the other hand, can rust, corrode, and bacterial growth as they are exposed to moisture. Under no circumstances, you should also never store a piano in an exposed environment. Otherwise those thousand glued components will fall apart, let alone the rusted strings.
PHOTOS AND IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS
Humidity does not have a good relationship with paper. Just like with artwork, your photos and documents should be kept away from heat and dampness.
Moisture can cause photos to stick together and grow mould which eventually can destroy the photograph. As for the documents, storing them in a shed could also result in moldy, cramped, discolouration, faded, and even dissolved paperwork.
The best way to keep your photos is in a well-ventilated and humidity-free environment. The same goes for your important documents. Your closet or bedroom cabinets would make a better storage than your shed.
It is true that outdoor sheds make the ideal place for storing outdoor furniture like rattan. But when it comes to wooden and leather furnishings, you need to reconsider.
When wooden furniture is stored in a damp shed, discolouration will occur. The same thing could happen to leather when exposed to moisture. But with leather, it can develop mould, too!
CLOTHING AND BEDDING
Insects and moths can grab their chances to occupy your clothing and bedding if kept in your shed. Not to mention that the fabric could also end up smelling musty after prolonged storage.
Need extra storage for them? You can always rely on your wardrobe or drawer. Do not even think about your shed. You can do better than that.
Whether or not you own a car or works in a gasoline station, you can be certain that gasoline is a very flammable liquid. Storing a gas in your garage is highly not recommended, and you know the possible reason why.
You also definitely do not want to keep gas in your shed. It can ignite and explode, mostly in buildings or areas without proper ventilation.
As much as possible, avoid storing gasoline in your home. But if you do, make sure there is no ignition source, such as pilot light. And of course, make sure the area, mainly in the kitchen and garage, is well ventilated.
If you have something to store in your shed, be smart about it and make sure that you take the right steps to protect both of your items and the outbuilding. As long as you take proper precautions, you should have nothing to worry about.
We hope this guide will give you an understanding on what items you should not store, as well as give you an idea of what other options you can store in your garden shed.