What Not To Store In Your Garage

Just like your great-grandfather wouldn’t have stored his Model T Ford in a barn full of hay, there are certain things you shouldn’t store in your garage.

Your garage, often viewed as a catch-all storage space, can quickly become a danger zone if it’s housing items that don’t belong there.

It’s not just about clutter, but also about safety, preservation, and practicality.

From perishables to propane tanks, certain items pose risks or simply don’t fare well in typical garage conditions.

Want to know more? Stick around as we navigate the do’s and don’ts of garage storage.

What not to store in your garage

Perishable Items

You shouldn’t stash perishable items in your garage, as it’s not a suitable environment for their storage. The garage’s temperature fluctuates often, which isn’t ideal for food. When it’s hot, it can accelerate spoilage while cold temps might freeze your food.

Plus, garages aren’t typically as clean or pest-free as your kitchen. Rodents and insects are more likely to find your food, contaminating it. You’re better off storing such items in a pantry or refrigerator where conditions are controlled and cleaner.

Now, you may think canned goods are an exception. However, they’re also at risk. Extreme temperatures can cause the cans to rust or burst open, spoiling the food inside. And don’t forget about the potential dents and damage that can occur amidst the clutter often found in garages.

Paint and chemicals

While it may seem convenient, storing paint and chemicals in your garage isn’t a smart move. These substances can be highly hazardous and when stored improperly, they pose significant risks to your health and safety. Paint cans can rust and leak over time, potentially damaging your property.

Moreover, chemicals stored in a garage can become unstable due to temperature fluctuations. The heat can cause chemicals to degrade or become more volatile, increasing the risk of a fire or an explosion. You mightn’t realize it, but even a small spark from a power tool can ignite chemical vapors.

In addition, some chemicals emit harmful fumes that can build up in a poorly ventilated garage, posing a risk of toxic exposure. This can lead to a variety of health problems, including respiratory issues and chemical burns.

It’s crucial to store paint and chemicals properly. If you can’t avoid keeping these items in the garage, make sure they’re secured in a locked, fireproof cabinet away from children and pets. Better yet, dispose of old or unused chemicals safely. Remember, your safety should be your top priority.

Valuables

Storing valuable items in your garage isn’t just risky, it’s a downright invitation for trouble. While you might think that your garage provides a safe and convenient storage solution, it’s important to remember that this area is often more accessible to thieves than the rest of your home. Plus, garages often lack the environmental controls found in other parts of your house, exposing your prized possessions to harmful conditions.

You may feel like you’re out of storage options, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. You wouldn’t want your grandmother’s vintage jewelry or your collection of rare stamps to fall into the wrong hands or get damaged, would you? These items are irreplaceable and deserve a safe, secure place in your home.

Consider investing in a safe or renting a safety deposit box for your most valuable possessions. Or, if you’re storing items with sentimental value, consider creative solutions like under-bed storage or dedicated display cases. Remember, your garage is for your car, tools, and other less valuable items. Don’t risk losing something you can’t replace. Keep your valuables safe, secure, and out of the garage.

Propane tanks

Believe it or not, propane tanks are another item you should never store in your garage. You might find it convenient to keep them there, especially if you’re an avid griller, but it’s a dangerous habit you need to break.

Propane tanks, even when empty, can pose a significant risk if stored improperly. They contain propane gas, which is highly flammable. In the event of a fire, a stored propane tank can explode, causing a disaster that’s far worse than a regular garage fire.

Temperature fluctuations in your garage can also lead to leaks, especially in older tanks. You mightn’t even know there’s an issue until it’s too late. Even a small spark from static electricity can ignite leaked propane, leading to a fire or explosion.

Instead, store propane tanks outdoors in a well-ventilated area. Keep them off the ground on a non-flammable surface like concrete, away from any potential ignition sources. Also, be sure they’re out of reach of children and pets.

Paper and documents 

Just as you’d reconsider storing propane tanks in your garage, you should also think twice about keeping paper and documents there. Paper is incredibly susceptible to the elements. Moisture, heat, and pests can quickly ruin your documents.

You might think that storing old tax records, important documents, or cherished letters in a box in the garage is a good idea, but it’s not. These items can easily become damaged from humidity or extreme temperature fluctuations. Moisture can cause the paper to degrade, warp, or encourage mold growth. Heat can dry out paper, making it brittle and prone to crumbling.

In addition to the elements, pests are a significant issue. Rats, mice, and insects like silverfish, are attracted to paper. They may chew through your documents, leaving you with nothing but shredded memories and ruined records.

Avoid the heartache of destroyed documents. Instead, opt to store your papers inside your home in a dry, temperature-controlled area. And if you’re concerned about space, consider going digital. Scanning documents and saving them electronically is a safe, space-saving solution.

Clothing and Fabrics

When it comes to clothing and fabrics, your garage isn’t the best storage option. You might think it’s a great space saver, but it’s not beneficial for your belongings. The reason is pretty simple. Garages are known to be damp and humid, prone to temperature variations, and notorious for attracting pests.

These conditions can be disastrous for your clothes and fabrics. Humidity can lead to mold and mildew, ruining your items permanently. Extreme temperature changes can cause fabrics to shrink or expand, affecting their quality and fit.

Moreover, pests such as moths, rats, and bugs love nesting in piles of clothing. They can easily chew through your clothing, creating holes and leaving behind unpleasant odors.

Instead of risking damage, store your clothes and fabrics indoors where it’s dry and temperature-controlled. Vacuum-sealed bags are a fantastic option for saving space and protecting your items.

Household Appliances

In addition to clothing, your household appliances should also stay out of the garage, as it’s not the ideal environment for them. The garage’s fluctuating temperatures and humidity levels can cause serious damage. Think of your refrigerator, washing machine, or toaster. These appliances need a stable environment to function properly.

It’s not just about functionality, though. Safety is a big concern too. Storing appliances like heaters or dryers in the garage can pose a fire risk. They’re not designed to withstand the dampness or extreme temperatures that a garage can expose them to. Then, there’s the issue of pests. Mice, insects, and other critters often find their way into garages, where they can wreak havoc on your appliances’ wiring.

Lastly, consider the value. Many household appliances aren’t cheap, and storing them in a garage can shorten their lifespan dramatically. It’s simply not worth the risk. Instead, find a place inside your home for these items, or if that’s not possible, consider investing in a storage unit. Your appliances, safety, and wallet will thank you.

Do you need help to clear your garage or move some heavy furniture around? We can find the best house removal services local to you.

Wine and Liquor 

Moving on from appliances, it’s important to know that your garage isn’t a friend to your wine and liquor collection either. See, wine and spirits need specific temperature and humidity levels to keep their quality. Your garage, with its fluctuating temperatures and humidity, can’t provide that.

In the summer, the heat in your garage can cause your wine to age prematurely. It’s called ‘cooking’, and it will spoil the flavors. On the other hand, in winter, the cold can cause your wine to freeze and the bottle to crack. The same applies to your liquor collection. Extreme temperatures can cause the alcohol to expand or contract, affecting its taste and consistency.

Furthermore, wine bottles need to be stored sideways to keep the cork moist and prevent it from drying out. Your garage isn’t the ideal place for this kind of storage.

Firewood

Just as your prized wine collection, firewood also doesn’t fare well in the garage. You might think it’s the perfect place, keeping the wood dry and close at hand, but there are quite a few reasons why you shouldn’t.

Firstly, firewood can attract pests. Critters like carpenter ants, termites, spiders, and even rodents love to nest in woodpiles. They might see your garage as a free ticket to a cozy, heated home. You definitely don’t want these uninvited guests moving in.

Secondly, firewood can bring dampness into your garage. Even if you’ve got seasoned wood, it can still hold some moisture. This can increase the humidity in your garage, which can lead to mold and mildew problems.

Lastly, firewood takes up a lot of space. Sure, you mightn’t mind a bit of clutter, but why waste valuable square footage on storing wood?

Instead, consider storing your firewood outside, away from the house and covered. This keeps it dry, ensures it’s ready for use, and keeps your garage clear for its intended uses. Don’t let your garage become a playground for pests or a storage unit for damp wood.

Flammable Materials

While you’re rethinking the storage of your firewood, you should also reconsider keeping flammable materials in your garage. These include gasoline, propane, paint thinners, and cleaning supplies, which all pose potential fire hazards. You don’t want a simple spark to ignite a disaster.

Ponder this – it’s not just the immediate fire risk you’re dealing with. The fumes from these substances can also be harmful, especially in an enclosed space like your garage. Long-term exposure can lead to health problems.

Storing flammable items in your garage also puts them at risk of temperature fluctuations. Extreme cold or heat can cause these materials to deteriorate, leak, or even explode.

Artwork and Photos

Ever thought about the damage that could be done to your precious artwork and photos if you store them in the garage? It’s a risk you’re better off not taking. In the garage, these items are exposed to fluctuating temperatures and humidity, which can cause them to warp, discolour, or even grow mold.

Think about the composition of these items. Photos, for instance, are typically printed on paper, which can easily absorb the dampness in a garage. This could lead to the photo paper curling, the colours fading, and the images becoming unrecognizable.

Artwork, too, is highly susceptible to damage. Whether it’s a canvas painting or a delicate sculpture, drastic temperature changes can cause the materials to expand and contract, leading to cracking or peeling.

Furthermore, pests often find their way into garages. They can chew on, nest in, or stain your priceless pieces.

Musical Instruments

Much like your treasured artwork and photos, your musical instruments can also suffer serious damage if stored in the garage. The fluctuating temperatures and humidity levels can warp or crack your instruments. Wood, brass, and stringed instruments are particularly vulnerable.

Think about your guitar or violin. The wood can expand and contract with temperature changes causing it to warp. This can distort the sound and even cause the body to crack. Your brass instruments like trumpets or trombones aren’t safe either. They can tarnish, lose their shine, and the pads can dry out and deteriorate.

And let’s not forget about your piano. It’s a sizable investment that you’d hate to see ruined. The changes in humidity can cause the wood to shrink or swell, affecting the tuning and the overall sound quality.

Canned Paint

Storing canned paint in your garage may seem like a good idea, but it’s not the best place for it. You might think it’s practical because it’s out of the way, but stop and consider the conditions of your garage. It’s often subject to extreme temperature fluctuations, isn’t it?

Well, these conditions aren’t optimal for storing canned paint. The heat can cause the paint to separate or dry up. On the other hand, freezing temperatures can affect the paint’s consistency and color. So, you see, temperature does matter in this case.

Moreover, your garage isn’t as safe as you might think. There’s always a risk of accidental spillage, especially if you’re storing the paint cans on high shelves or stacked haphazardly. And let’s not forget the potential fire hazard. Canned paint is flammable and can be dangerous if stored improperly.

Family Heirlooms 

While it might seem like a practical solution, storing family heirlooms in your garage isn’t the best idea. These precious items hold sentimental value and can be irreplaceable. The garage, unfortunately, doesn’t offer the best conditions for their preservation.

Think about it. Garages are typically subject to fluctuating temperatures, not to mention humidity. This environment can wreak havoc on delicate materials such as paper, fabric, and wood, causing them to warp, fade, or even mold.

Then there’s the risk of accidental damage. Your garage is a hub of activity, isn’t it? You’re constantly moving things around, and it’s all too easy for something to get knocked over or crushed. Your family’s cherished heirlooms could end up damaged or worse, lost forever.

Lastly, consider pests. Mice, insects, and other critters often find their way into garages, attracted by the shelter and potential food sources. These pests can ruin your heirlooms, chewing through fabrics.

Pet Food

Just as with your cherished heirlooms, your garage isn’t the ideal spot for keeping pet food, and here’s why.

The garage is often subject to extreme temperature fluctuations, which can negatively affect the quality of your pet’s food. Heat can cause the food to spoil or become rancid, while cold temperatures can make it less appetizing for your pet.

Additionally, storing pet food in the garage can attract unwanted pests. Rats, mice, and even some insects are drawn to pet food. Once they’ve found a source, they’re likely to stick around, causing a possible infestation in your garage.

Lastly, dampness can be a problem in many garages. If moisture gets into your pet’s food, it can lead to mold growth, which is definitely something you don’t want your beloved pet ingesting.

Unlabeled Boxes

Shifting focus from pet food, let’s consider the potential issues with keeping unlabeled boxes in your garage.

You may think that storing boxes in your garage is a good way to declutter your home, but unlabeled boxes can create more problems than they solve.

Firstly, you’re setting yourself up for confusion in the future. Without clear labels, you’ll forget what’s inside each box. It’ll turn into a guessing game every time you need something, and nobody’s got time for that.

Secondly, unlabeled boxes can become a safety hazard. What if they contain hazardous materials, such as paint, cleaning products, or pesticide? You, your family, or pets could accidentally come into contact with these harmful substances.

Lastly, unlabeled boxes attract pests. Mice and insects love cozy, dark spots to nest, and your unlabeled boxes could be the perfect home for them.

Don’t let your garage turn into a chaotic and potentially dangerous storage space. Take the time to label your boxes clearly. It’ll save you time, protect your health, and keep pests away.

Bulk Items

Now, let’s tackle the issue of storing bulk items in your garage. You might think it’s the perfect spot for those oversized, infrequently used items, but it’s not always the best choice.

Firstly, consider the space. Bulk items such as furniture, appliances, or a year’s supply of toilet paper can quickly take up precious room in your garage. This could make it difficult to park your car or find the tools you need. It’s important to think about how you’re utilizing your space.

Secondly, think about the conditions. Garages aren’t usually climate-controlled, meaning they can get really hot or cold, which could potentially damage your items. That expensive wine you’re storing? It mightn’t age well in a hot garage.

Lastly, consider access. If you’re storing items you’ll need to get to regularly, a cluttered garage full of bulk items mightn’t be the most convenient option.

Tyres

Storing tires in your garage may seem like a no-brainer, but there are several factors you’ll want to consider.

The primary concern is temperature fluctuation. Your garage isn’t climate-controlled, so tires exposed to extreme heat or cold can deteriorate faster. It’s the same with humidity: high levels may lead to corrosion of the metal components.

Another factor is exposure to sunlight. UV rays can cause significant damage to your tires, resulting in cracks and other structural damage. If you’ve got windows in your garage, ensure your tires aren’t directly in the sun’s path.

Don’t stack tires too high. You might think it saves space, but it can cause the bottom tires to deform under the weight. Also, a stack that’s too tall can be a safety hazard if it topples over.

Lastly, consider potential pests. Mice and other rodents might use your tires as nesting material. A simple solution is to store tires in airtight plastic bags, which also help regulate temperature and humidity.

Vinyl Records

Just like your tyres, your vinyl records can also suffer if kept in the garage. You might think it’s a great place to keep them out of sight, but you’d be causing more harm than good.

Garages, typically, aren’t temperature-controlled. Records are sensitive to heat and can warp or even melt in high temperatures. In contrast, in super cold conditions, they can become brittle and crack. Either way, your prized collection could be ruined.

Humidity is another issue. It can cause the record sleeves to mold, and if it gets into the grooves, it can affect the sound quality.

The garage can also be a haven for pests. Rodents and insects can damage the cardboard sleeves and the records themselves.

And let’s not forget dust. It’s a record’s worst enemy. It can scratch the surface and disrupt the music.

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