Garage storage can be tricky and your garage probably stores a lot of your stuff. Besides your cars, you keep seasonal decor, lawn and garden tools, power tools, and all kinds of excess stuff out there. However, did you know that there are some things you should never store in your garage? Here are several garage storage no-nos that’ll make you think twice before stowing your stuff.
1. Seasonal Clothing
A lot of people rotate their clothing in and out of their closets in the spring and fall. This saves room in your closet, but you shouldn’t store those things in the garage. Why? Because gas and chemical fumes, fine dust, and more can permeate into your clothing (even if it’s in a plastic bin) and make them stink. And you certainly want to keep wool and other natural fibers moth-free. Just don’t chance it. Store your seasonal clothing in airtight containers inside the house, and for your own sake, ensure each bin is clearly labeled so you don’t have to hunt for things.
If you’re keeping them in the garage, are you reading them anyway? Humidity changes will curl pages and warp spines, and you could also get mold spores. Silverfish and spiders could also invade the pages, so books are best kept inside in a controlled environment.
A lot of people do this — myself included. But the extreme hot and cold temperatures can ruin your paint, even if you’ve never opened it.
4. Propane Tanks
Even if you store your gas grill in the garage during the winter, you’ll need to disconnect your propane tank and leave it outside. If your tank were to leak, it could cause an explosion. Fire experts recommend that you keep your propane tanks outside and at least 5 feet away from structures.
5. Wooden Furniture
You might think you’re safe to store wooden furniture in the garage if you cover it, but you need to worry about more than keeping it clean. Wood can be easily damaged by humidity changes, and can swell and crack over time.
It’s common for people to keep a spare fridge in the garage for extra food storage. However, these are meant to be stored in controlled temperatures, which most garages are not. In the summer heat, your garage will be working extra hard to keep food cold, and that will show on you power bill. They aren’t designed to withstand the cold of winter, either.
7. Documents & Photos
If you want to keep important papers, such as your birth certificate, passport, or medical records clean and secure, don’t store them in your garage. There’s a higher chance of water damage, and humidity along with temperature changes can take their toll. This is even more applicable to photographs, which can never be replaced. Be safe and keep them inside. For organization, try putting all your important papers in categorized binders with sheet protectors.
8. Canned Food
Actually, you shouldn’t store any food in your garage, but a lot of people feel like canned goods are safe. The truth? Canned goods stored in these extremely warm and cold conditions will have a much shorter shelf life, loose nutritional value, and will spoil much faster after it’s opened. Keep this in mind when thinking of garage storage ideas!