The most convenient way we have found to store our firewood, is in outdoor firewood racks made from old IBC containers. The reason it is convenient, is because we are able to use our skid loader with forks to move it from our outdoor firewood storage area into our garage for indoor use in our wood stove. (Check out this article about us moving our storage shed with our skid loader.)
Your wood pile should not be stored near your home or garage, as it quickly can become a home for carpenter ants and termites. These pests will make their way to your home, and can quickly cause structural (and costly) damage to your home. The problem with finding the perfect place to store fire wood, is it needs to be far enough away to minimize damage from pests, but close enough for easy access to load your living room fireplace on wintery nights. Proper firewood storage requires adequate airflow and at least 2 years of time. Moisture content takes time and air to decrease enough for burning in a wood fireplace.
Our first year of burning wood as our primary source of heat, we quickly learned how much wood we would need per week. We would drive the truck out to the log storage shed, load the back of the truck with dry wood, drive to the front porch and unload the wood. Loading and unloading wood on a weekly basis became cumbersome, and the next spring we built a simple DIY firewood rack by constructing wooden crates out of pallets. This was an easy DIY project, which gave us creative ideas for firewood rack designs for proper storage of all the cords of wood we needed to cut. Pallets are cheap and accessible materials to build just about anything.
Our first outdoor firewood storage ideas worked very well. We were able to move the rack to the timber where we split the trees, load the firewood into the outdoor log holder, move it to the storage area for it to dry and season, and later move it to the garage for easy access to burn. Unfortunately, the pallets grew weak over time and did not last but a couple of years. We were able to load the firewood pallets a few times, and transport them around the property, but there were a few downsides to using the pallet firewood holder.
One of the best firewood storage ideas we utilized were repurposing IBC containers. Intermediate bulk containers are available for free in many rural areas. Check out your local co-op or agricultural services company, as bulk chemicals are often transported in these containers. They are designed to hold about 60 cubic feet and 1,000 – 2,000 lbs. (A cord of wood is 128 cubic feet, and weighs 2,000 – 4,000 lbs, making these containers perfect to store about 1/2 cord of wood.) They stack nicely, allowing us to double our stack of wood and allow plenty of room for airflow for green wood to dry. Our firewood shed now holds enough firewood for our wood-burning stove to primarily heat our home. (We still use our furnace, however it only runs about 15-30 minutes per day, according to our Nest thermostat.) We have found that burning wood is the best way to save money on our utility bills, while thinning out our over-grown timber.
The best part about the outdoor firewood storage rack, is that it is easily brought into the garage with our skid loader. We chose the garage as our temporary storage spot, because it is a convenient location to gather more firewood (all we need is slippers). We only bring in one simple rack at a time, because we want to minimize the length of time the wood is sitting in the garage. This is mainly to prevent carpenter ants finding their way into our home.
We also have an indoor rustic firewood rack, where we bring firewood in from the garage on a semi-daily basis. This has been a good firewood holder, but I modified it by putting expanded metal on the back. I immediately noticed that the open back allows the wood to hit the wall, so adding the expanded metal back is to prevent further damage to my wall (especially when the kids are bringing in firewood). After the modification, this is one of my favorite indoor firewood storage ideas.
One of the best things about having a wood stove, is being able to use it to cook on in power outages. We could easily cook some Venison Chili (recipe link), or even some Venison Stroganoff (recipe link).