Items to Never Leave Outside Your House
Put your property inside! Even if these things are just a few feet from your house, know that items left outside can attract pets, thieves, or become a safety hazard. Here are things people commonly leave outside but shouldn’t:
- Your spare house key! Under your mat, under a fake rock, under a decorative garden gnome. Everyone knows, even would-be burglars, to check these. Even if you have an armed security system, a burglar with key access can grab things and will be long gone before police shows up. Even worse, they can make copies and return at another time, endangering yourself and your family.
- Bicycles. Bicycle theft statistics is in the hundred thousands in the U.S. this year alone! 184,000 in 2016. An ideal spot for your bike is in the garage, or in a backyard shed, or tucked in a corner inside the house, protected from rain and snow that can cause rust or your tires to lose air.
- Kids’ Toys. Rain-soaked toys can grow mold, serve as breeding ground for pests like mosquitoes, and break down faster over time. If a person on the sidewalk trips over them, or a person on a wheelchair is blocked by them, you could be liable for any injury or damages. A skateboard, scooter, soccer ball, or a baseball glove swiped by some stranger would have to be replaced which is an inconvenience.
- Packages. It’s been said that thieves sometimes follow UPS and Fedex trucks leaving packages out on people’s front doors, and swiping them as soon as the carriers are gone. In 2017, 25.9 million Americans have had a package stolen around the holidays – the busiest time for package deliveries. Start using Amazon lockers, have your packages sent to your office, a UPS drop-off/pick-up location. Explore other options and save the headache of trying to replace your lost or stolen packages.
- Indoor furniture. Leave the indoor furniture inside, and use outdoor furniture for outside. Upholstered furniture meant for inside isn’t equipped to handle outdoor weather. They can mold, break down, rot, deteriorate, wear and tear quick, or even serve as a perfect nest for rodents and other pests. They aren’t designed for the outdoor elements, the wind, the rain, and different seasons.
- Shoes. You could be in for a slimy surprise if you leave your shoes outside for too long. Bugs, mice, and other small creatures have been known to make homes out of sneakers’ comfy soles, nibbling holes and leaving feces behind inside. Sun, rain, and snow can wear your shoes down and cause them to grow foul-smelling mildew. To extend the life of your favorite footwear, place them on an elevated surface in a closet, along with the rest of your clothing.
- Electronics. It’s surprisingly common for homeowners—especially those with a covered deck or patio—to leave stereos, televisions, and other equipment outside for the next balmy evening. But these electronics are sensitive to severe fluctuations in temperature and could be damaged in the rain or sun. This goes for any other appliances, too, such as a blender or mini fridge; even if they’re covered, you might find that insects and mice have made a feast out of the wires. Keep it all indoors, so you won’t have to replace it.
- Your pets. While it’s not as common practice today as in previous decades to leave a dog chained up outside, and cats to roam the neighborhood until it comes home, there are some pet owners out there still doing the same. Outdoor cats are more likely to contract diseases, get worms, parasites, get in fights with other aggressive animals, and get injured or run over by traffic. Also, the American Humane animal rights organization says a dog that stays outside all day doesn’t get the care most dogs need. Chained up, they cannot move to comfort, shelter, or have companionship.
- Herbicides and Pesticides. Although these may be a great way to get rid of unwanted pests, herbicides and pesticides can be extremely harmful to people and other animals who could get into them by mistake, especially house pets and children. After applying them where needed, repackage the leftover chemicals, seal tightly, and store in a place that is out of reach from tiny paws or hands.
- Bags of trash. Even though you may want to get your trash out of the house before it spills over the bin, it’s probably not best to leave the bags sitting outside for long periods of time. On a hot day, trash can produce a stinky smell and sprout airborne bacteria, which poses a health risk to unsuspecting passersby, especially children and the elderly. Plus, leftover food attracts bugs and wild, nocturnal animals like raccoons and bears looking for an easy meal. Keep trash bags in bins inside your garage or out of sight in the backyard until it’s time to put them out for the garbage truck—you’ll be doing yourself and your neighbors a huge favor.