The garage is a great storage spot. However, many homeowners will turn the garage into an onsite storage unit as they continue to accumulate more things over the years. Prevent the garage from being a catchall for clutter and eliminate safety risks and hazards along the way.
Many of the items stored in a garage are no longer needed. Homeowners should first take inventory of what is being stored in their garage and consider donating items that will no longer be used. While downsizing your belongings, consider the following as a good rule of thumb:
- Never store items that can be damaged by fluctuating temperatures.
- Remove all items that can be ruined by moisture or humidity.
- Don’t store hazardous materials or items that may damage the house.
With that in mind, here is a list of specific items that should never be stored in the garage.
Leftover color from the last time you changed your wall color won’t be available for touchups very long if subjected to high heat in summer (or falling temperatures in the winter). Plus, cans kept on cement floors will rust faster than those stored on a shelf. The cans should be stored cool spot, away from freezing temperatures. Storing them upside down will create a tight seal around the lid.
Extra propane tanks ensure you are well prepared for a summer of cookouts. However, keep propane tanks for your gas grill outside, in a well-ventilated area to prevent the risk of igniting the fumes when you start your car.
3. Open stacks of linens or paper goods
Mice and other pests love to make nests from a collection of fabric or paper (think of that pile of cardboard boxes from your recent move). Keep paper cups and plates in your pantry instead, store linens in plastic bins and discard your recyclables often.
The fridge controls the temperature of your food, but when the heat rises, your fridge has to work harder to keep your food cool. If it’s in the garage, you’ll notice it on your energy bill.
5. Important Documents
Moisture can severely damage your passports, birth and marriage certificates, and other difficult-to-replace papers. Store these in a fireproof box in your home office or bedroom.
Moisture and extreme temperatures can cause photos to stick together and grow mold. A closet inside your house (excluding the basement) is a better choice to protect these cherished memories.
7. Wooden Furniture
Fluctuating garage temperatures cause wood to expand and contract, which will damage wooden furniture. Throwing a cloth over the items will not protect it from this type of damage. Keep it in good condition in the house or in a climate-controlled storage unit.
Bulk stores can be cost-effective for many homeowners; however, the garage is not the best place to store your staples. Food can invite rodents and other pests. Also, exposure to heat and moisture can cause your food to spoil. An unused closet or cupboard in the house is a better choice.
Keep your home and personal belongings safe by properly storing items in the correct place. For more tips on how to keep your property protected, be sure to read “Tips to Improve Your Home’s Security” on our blog.