9 Things Not to Store in the Garage
Temperature fluctuations, moisture, and humidity can wreak havoc on certain items kept in your garage. Think twice before putting any of these items in your garage for long-term storage:
Plywood. We know you really meant to get to that project a week ago, but procrastination (and 1,000 other things that come up) can quickly turn the hefty price tag on that sanded hardwood plywood into wasted money. If not properly supported, plywood will warp and lose its pristine condition, especially sitting on a cold concrete floor and soaking up moisture from its outer edges into the layers of wood and adhesive. If you can’t use it right away, and you can’t take it back for a refund until you have time to work on the project, consider making spacers to store it more carefully.
Alcoholic Beverages. Extreme temperatures can ruin alcoholic beverages. Wine can turn to vinegar in heat. Beer cans can explode when frozen. (Plus, it can be more difficult to keep under-age hands off of certain temptations if they are left unattended and not secured.) Best to keep adult beverages out of the garage altogether.
Paint. Unless your next project calls for lumps and clumps of paint blobs of varying tints and colors, it’s best to keep your paint in a temperature controlled environment like your basement.
Firewood. Chopped wood harbors many pests that you do not want to share your clean, comfortable garage with.
Extra Fuel. Propane, gasoline, and other fuels should be in a shed away from your home if at all possible, as they pose a leaking risk. If the garage is your only option, use only approved containers in good condition out of the reach of children and pets.
Clothing, Sleeping Bags, Plush Toys, and other Fabric. Rodents are always looking for nesting material; don’t make it too tempting for them to set up a new home in your rafters or shelving while you sleep.
Food. Fresh food, canned food, pet food, and even wild bird seed are a no-no for garages for the same reason as number 6 above: attracting pests and vermin. A few spilled pieces of dog kibble or a handful of seeds trickling from your bird seed scoop can lure unwelcome guests into your pristine space in short order… And good luck getting them to go once they’ve set up residence!
Paper and Photos. Humidity in a garage is notorious for ruining keepsakes, even when sealed in airtight plastic storage bins. Better to keep those treasured memories inside your temperature-controlled home.
Electronics. Moisture can corrode batteries and cause serious damage to electronic components. If you want to keep your old devices, store them inside your home. Or, if you’re only stashing them in the garage because you’re not allowed to put them out for trash collection, find an electronics recycling option in your area.