The 9 Things You Should Never Leave Out In The Yard

things you shouldn't leave outside

During the summer, I spend the majority of my time out in the backyard. You can even find me out there during the heat of the day, long after the others have retreated inside insisting that it’s “too hot outside.” (As long as I’m sitting in the shade and there’s a breeze, it’s never too hot for me!)

But there is at least one drawback to treating our backyard like my own outdoor living room. When I’m ready to go inside, it’s all too easy to forget to bring all of my stuff back inside with me!

So in hopes that writing about it will help me change my ways, today’s post is all about things you shouldn’t leave out in the yard. From yard equipment to bicycles, here are 9 things you should never leave out (and why!)

9 Things You Should Never Leave Out In The Yard

things you shouldn't leave outside

1. Bikes

Bikes are one the most frequently stolen items anywhere, and a lot of it has to do with availability and opportunity. A lot of people lock up their bikes outside or even leave them out in the yard, making them a relatively easy target for a would-be bike thief.

The best place to store your bike is inside a locked garage or shed. Not only will covered storage make your bike much harder to steal, but it will protect it from inclement weather, animal activity, and other outdoor threats too.

If you don’t have a garage or a shed you can store your bike in, consider investing in a storage tent like this one! Made of heavy duty vinyl, this tent was designed to withstand even severe weather conditions. And although it isn’t as secure as a garage or shed, anything that keeps your bike out of plain sight will help reduce the chances of it getting stolen.

things you shouldn't leave outside

2. Spare Key

Hiding a spare key outside can be useful in cases of accidental lockouts, but it can also make it laughably easy for someone to break into your home. Instead of just tucking the key under your doormat or a rock, invest in a weatherproof lockbox.

Set up the lockbox somewhere outside your home and only give the combination to people you trust. If you’re interested in a high-tech solution, consider upgrading your locks to smart door locks.

To learn more about smart home locks and other smart home solutions, check out this post.

things you shouldn't leave outside

3. Packages

At this point, if you haven’t personally been the victim of package theft, you probably know someone who has. Many of us are doing a lot of our shopping online these days, and with so many packages sitting out on doorsteps unattended, it’s all too easy for thieves to make off with them.

Luckily, there are several simple ways to help protect yourself against package theft. Learn about 7 smarter ways to get your packages delivered here!

things you shouldn't leave outside

4. Lawn & Garden Gear

From large equipment like your lawn mower right down to small hand tools, you shouldn’t leave your lawn and garden equipment out in the yard. The main threat from outdoor exposure is moisture, which can collect on metal parts and lead to rust and corrosion.

When you’re done using your garden tools, be sure to store them in your garage, shed, or at the very least, under a tarp to protect them.

things you shouldn't leave outside

5. Toys & Games

Nothing wears out toys and games faster than getting left out in the yard! Even if the toys and games in question were designed for outdoor use, that doesn’t mean they’ll hold up well to rain, bugs, animals, and allergens.

Bring toys and games inside at the end of the day, or stash them in a weatherproof storage container to keep them safe and dry.

things you shouldn't leave outside

6. Shoes

While it makes sense to slip off your muddy gardening clogs before heading back inside, it’s not a great idea to leave them outside. Apart from being vulnerable to rain, mildew, and dust, they can even make an attractive shelter for insects and reptiles!

Designate an indoor spot where you can store dirty shoes and work boots. Because personally, I’d much rather deal with a bit of dirt inside than slip on a pair of shoes that a spider or snake has crawled inside!

things you shouldn't leave outside

7. Hoses

Coiling up the hose after using it can be a dirty job, or even a tiring one depending on how heavy the hose is! But it’s a job worth doing, because leaving your garden hose out in the yard can be downright hazardous.

Most hoses are green, which makes them hard to spot when they’re lying out in the grass. Someone could easily trip over it, or even run over it with the lawn mower!

To keep everyone safe and protect your hose from the elements, coil it up after using it. You can do it by hand, or invest in a hose reel to make the job easier.

things you shouldn't leave outside

8. Sunscreen

Nearly every bottle of sunscreen states that it should be stored somewhere cool and dry, which means leaving it outside is not a good idea! Make sure to bring your sunscreen inside with you when you’re done working in the garden or playing in the yard.

things you shouldn't leave outside

9. Towels & Clothing

Bringing towels, clothing, and linens outside to dry in the sun is a great option, as long as you don’t leave them outside overnight or during inclement weather. I know all too well how frustrating it is to realize that the clean clothes you set out to dry are now covered in dust because the wind picked up!

To avoid such a fate yourself, leave yourself a note or set an alarm on your phone as a reminder to collect your laundry in an hour or two. :-)

Have you ever learned the hard way that you shouldn’t leave something outside?

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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee


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