Close this search box.

9 Things You Should Definitely Keep Out of Your Garage

We can all agree that the garage is used by most people as extra storage space. But maybe it should be kept to its designed purpose!

If you can’t store as many things as possible in your garage, where else are you going to put them, right? While the garage seems like the perfect place to stash all sorts of items, from boxes to old appliances, clothes and whatnot, there are certain things that should never be stored there.

Why? Because the temperature in a garage cannot be fully controlled and things can deteriorate easily. Not to mention clutter attracts all sorts of pests like mice, ants or spiders.

As recommended by Aaron Traub, owner and lead organizer at My Professional Organizer Dallas, “a good rule of thumb is to keep items in the garage that can withstand its conditions”.

Ready to start moving things from your garage? Read on to find out what you should start with.

Photo by RossHelen on Shutterstock
  1. Books and important documents

Such items do not belong in the garage. That’s because the temperature fluctuations and dampness can cause irreparable damages to such documents, warns Raquel Kehler, an interior designer at RoomCrush. If you don’t want to have your important documents become unreadable or your photos to get discolored, put books, photos, and important paperwork in boxes and in temperature-controlled environments.

Speaking of important documents, check out why you should Never Store These 9 Items Under Your Bed!

  1. Furniture

Unless you have a stable temperature inside your garage, furniture should not be stored in there. This is especially valid when it comes to wooden furniture. According to Willow Wright, owner of Urban Redeux, wooden furniture should be kept inside, to prevent it from swelling because of humidity or cracking.

Apart from the way it looks, dampness and humidity can also affect the furniture’s structural integrity, so, it’s best to prevent this from happening.

Decluttering might sound like a good idea, but check out these 10 Cleaning Habits That Are Inviting Spiders Into Your Home first!

  1. Propane tanks

Gasoline or propane tanks are hazardous items and should definitely not be stored in your garage, warns Sebastian Jania, owner of Ontario Property Buyers, as they run the risk of being fire hazards. A tiny spark from your car, a lighter or any other source can immediately set them into flames.

Such hazardous materials should be stored in properly ventilated storage spaces such as sheds, says Aaron Cash, co-founder and president at Garage Living Franchise Systems.

  1. Auto supplies

Car maintenance supplies are also among the most hazardous items to be stored in a garage. These could pose a real threat to children and pets, if ingested. “Antifreeze, windshield washer fluid, carburetor cleaner, fuel additives, and similar products for cars have a wide range of formulations,” explains the Missouri Poison Center. Even a small amount can be extremely toxic, so, it’s best to keep them locked away and out of reach.

  1. Rugs or carpets

The garage is very commonly used as a storage space for rugs and carpets, not necessarily old, but that no longer match the design after a room renovation. It’s a good thing that they are now out of your way but if you keep them in the garage for too long, you won’t be able to use them …ever again.

According to Floss Kelly, co-founder of TileCloud, rugs and carpets can become perfect hiding places for mice and insects, even more so when kept rolled up. Pests aside (not that it’s of less importance), rugs and carpets kept in improper storage place can get damaged by moisture and start smelling really bad. There’s no way you will be able to use them again inside the house.

The best storing place is a properly aired closet, says Kelly.

Photo by CL Shebley on Shutterstock
  1. Paint

Similar to propane tanks, certain types of paint can catch fire easily. Therefore, keeping them in the garage might not be such a good idea. A better option would be to take old paint to a disposal or recycling center, suggests Cash.

Generally, fluctuating temperatures inside a garage can adversely impact a paint’s formula, damaging its quality but also making it more dangerous in terms of its flammability. Paint should be stored in airtight containers, in areas with stable temperature and no direct sunlight.

See also: 15 Ingenious Ways to Declutter Your Basement

  1. Food or compost

Nothing spells open buffet to all sorts of pests than food. Not to mention if food, and compost, for that matter, is left for everyone to grab. And by everyone we mean critters.

As explained by Jania, rodents as well as various insects, are particularly attracted to food (who, wouldn’t be, really?), in particular to items that keep degrading due to extreme heat or cold.

To avoid unwelcome guests, it’s best that you keep food in an outdoor freezer and compost in a bin, well away from the garage and house, such as the garden area.

You might also be interested in: Household Leaks: 7 Shocking Things That May Give You Problems

  1. Firewood

With the cold season just around the corner, the idea of sitting on a cozy couch, by the fire, while sipping on some hot chocolate seems perfect. For the picture to be complete, you’ll need some firewood, right? If you have conveniently stored logs in your garage, it might be time to move them. That is, if you want to turn the crackling fire dream into reality.

Otherwise, expect to find some mice well-sheltered between your logs. That’s because firewood is a great source of food for mice, with all the insects naturally inhabiting the wood, as well as a good place to build their fortress.

According to pest control expert Ryan Smith, firewood should be kept outside your home; and not only that, but as far away as possible, at least 30 feet away, elevated on pallets and covered by specific tarps.

  1. Pet food

It’s not unusual for pet owners to store pet food in their garages. But while it might not be unusual, it’s certainly not okay. That’s because pet food left in the open works like an open invitation to none other than snakes.

The invitation is not directly for snakes, but for rodents. And where rodents are, snakes will soon follow, warns Aqsa Tabassam, an experienced gardener and landscaper. Snakes might be lured in by pet foods that smell like fish, but only if the food is fresh and the odor is strong enough.

Apart from snakes, think about all the fleas, ticks, and bacteria rats and mice come with.

While we’re talking about garage, let’s admit it: it’s one of the dirtiest places in most of our homes. Whether you store your tools, gym equipment, bikes, or other miscellaneous items, this area can get beyond messy overtime. As a former hoarder, I can confirm it took all of my willpower to get out of this situation. On the bright side, I became an expert at what you should NEVER do when organizing your garage. If you’re curious, check out my in-depth post about 7 Mistakes When Organizing a Garage and let me know if you have any other tips in the comment section!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *