When it comes to lawn mowers and garbage cans, snow blowers and shovels, ladders and rakes, and wheelbarrows and bikes, the amount of stuff a typical family can accumulate is just staggering. Add in gear needed for outdoor activities like fishing or hunting, and storage space just disappears.

That means you need to keep your cornhole boards under the bed and use ice chests as coffee tables. Or, you can buy an outdoor storage shed, as so many of those families have. These plastic marvels are simple to erect, can withstand various temperatures, and keep your belongings protected from the weather and thieves.

What size shed to get? That’s usually the biggest question, but there’s more to sheds than simply storage space. Here’s a list of considerations to mull over before you buy.

This model has double-wall construction for added strength. Rubbermaid

Check Price

You’ll need a level place to put your shed that provides adequate drainage, so make sure you can provide a foundation—a concrete slab, paver blocks, a gravel bed—of the proper size. If your space is limited, or you don’t have the ability or desire to put in a large foundation, look for a shed that’s tall and narrow.

This model has steel reinforcements for added durability. Keter

Check Price

If you’ll be storing small items—tools, paint cans, gardening equipment—in the shed, look for one that can accept shelving. Some sheds also have cutouts for racks and pegboards.

This product has skylights and windows to let in natural light. Suncast

Check Price

If you’ll be in and out of your shed often, choose a shed with windows so you can find what you’re looking for without using a flashlight. Some sheds have skylights as well as windows—a plus if your shed isn’t in a bright spot.

If your shed will be located in a sunny spot, or if you live in a region with a warm climate, make sure your shed has adequate ventilation so trapped heat won’t damage your belongings.

The lid on this model is hinged and offers corner-to-corner access. Suncast

Check Price

Some small sheds have a hinged lid as well as doors. If you’ll be using your shed to store garbage cans, a hinged lid makes it easy to toss a bag of trash into a can without removing it from the shed.

This product is constructed with UV-resistant materials. Lifetime

Check Price

A shed is an investment in both money and space. Once you get your shed, you may want to store more goods in it than you realized, and there’s nothing worse than investing in a shed and then finding out it’s too small for your needs. Some outdoor storage sheds are very spacious, and can even double as a work shed or a play house.