Storing firewood for the winter is all about keeping your firewood protected from the elements and exposed to plenty of air circulation to properly season it. In order for firewood to burn and give off heat to its full potential, it needs to be dry and free of rot. Attempting to burn wet firewood is an exercise in frustration, and can cause damaging creosote to build up in your chimney. The seasoning process normally takes at least six months in proper storage conditions, but a few storage techniques exist which can cut the length of seasoning time by at least half.
To properly store and season firewood for the winter season, you'll need to have easily stackable, stove-sized pieces of firewood. The most common length for firewood is 18 inches. Before stacking, lay two long 2X4 boards on the ground, parallel to each other and spaced anywhere from twelve inches to fifteen inches apart. If the 2X4 boards are significantly long, you may need to place an additional shorter piece of 2X4 lumber under the middle of the two long parallel boards to prevent them from sagging and touching the ground.
Next, drive the pointed ends of four posts into the ground at both ends of the parallel 2X4s. These posts will hold the sides of the wood stack in, preventing it from collapsing out at the sides. The height of the posts used to contain the stack will depend on the amount of wood you'll be stacking, though an eight foot high post (at least one foot of which will be underground) is usually sufficient to contain most stacks.
Stack the firewood lengthwise across the two parallel 2X4s lying on the ground, and between the four end posts, completing a single layer before moving up to the next. The firewood should overlap the 2X4s a little on both ends. By stacking the firewood on these 2X4s, you'll be keeping it off the damp ground, where it would be subject to saturation, rot and insect infestation. Keeping the wood elevated by a few inches also allows air and wind to circulate underneath and up into the firewood stack, drying it out thoroughly for proper burning.
After you've stacked the last, uppermost layer of firewood, drape a large, rectangular and clear plastic sheet, three to four millimeters thick, over the top of the firewood. Adjust the sheet so that it it's roughly straight and drapes down to cover most of the firewood. The protective plastic sheet doesn't need to reach the ground, with air circulation actually being better served by a sheet which ends about a foot from the ground on all sides. The sheet will not only serve to protect the firewood from precipitation, but will also act as a sort of makeshift "greenhouse" in which the drying process is sped up due to heat from sun exposure. To prevent the sheet from blowing off the woodpile, drape pieces of twine sideways over the woodpile and tie weights to both ends of the twine. The twine should be long enough to clear the top of the pile and drape down with at least a foot of length to spare on both ends. If you follow these instructions, you should have dry firewood all winter long.