How to Stack and Store Firewood

Updated: Feb. 16, 2023

Want to keep your firewood organized and dry? Here's how.

Firewood becomes more and more of a precious commodity the closer we get to winter. If you’re planning on burning any wood during the long, cold months ahead, make sure you have plenty of firewood on hand and ready to go.

The key to keeping firewood ready is to keep it dry, which can only be accomplished through proper stacking and storing. Here are the best ways to stack and store firewood and keep it free of moisture.

Tips for Stacking Firewood

Stacking firewood properly is essential to ensuring the wood is properly dried and seasoned. Estimates for how long you should dry firewood assume that the wood is stacked and stored properly. If you keep your firewood in an unorganized pile, chances are high at least some of the logs will remain damp, waterlogged and mostly useless. While there are many variations of firewood stacking methods, all tend to follow the same basic principles:

  • The cut ends should be left out in the open and exposed to the elements.
  • The wood should be kept off the ground and at least a couple of inches away from any walls.
  • The wood should be stacked loosely enough that it can breathe and dry, letting out any remaining moisture.
  • Position the stack in direct sunlight.

How to Store Firewood

pile of firewood on wooden plank covered with a tarp for the winterAngelica Corneliussen/Getty Images

Keep the bulk of your wood outdoors. All kinds of bugs and other small critters take up residence in firewood. Bringing a large amount of firewood into your house is basically asking for some sort of pest infestation. Instead, keep the bulk of it outdoors and only bring about a day’s worth inside at a time.

Pick a storage location close to your home so your trips out to grab more wood aren’t too much of an inconvenience. If you plan on burning a lot of wood and making frequent trips to your woodpile, consider investing in a wheelbarrow.

Don’t pile your firewood on dirt or grass. If you have to, you can always elevate the firewood by laying two to four parallel boards as a solid base for your stack. You could also buy outdoor firewood racks or even build your own.

You’ll also need to cover your firewood stack to keep it dry and safe from the elements. The simplest way is throwing a tarp over it. To keep the tarp from flying off with a gust of wind, tie it down or anchor it with bricks or spare logs. Make sure you leave the sides of the stack uncovered so that air can flow through.

Check with your city or county for any regulations concerning firewood storage. City codes can be pretty strict, so be sure you’re following those guidelines before you start stacking.