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15 Items That Should Never Be Stored in The Garage

When it comes to storing items in your garage, not everything is suitable for this space. While the garage provides convenient storage for many household items, some things should never be kept there due to safety concerns, potential damage, or other reasons. Here are 15 items that should never be stored in your garage.

Propane Tanks

Propane Tanks
Image Credit: Cantons-de-l’Est/WikiCommons.

Storing propane tanks in your garage can pose a significant safety hazard. Propane is highly flammable, and if the tank leaks or is exposed to heat or flames, it can lead to a potentially dangerous situation. Propane tanks should always be stored in a well-ventilated outdoor area away from heat sources and ignition points to minimize the risk of fire or explosion.

Paint

Old Paint Cans, copy space, background. Cans of colored paint. Oil-based enamel, lacquer, shellac and varnish leftovers. Household Hazardous Waste
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While it might seem convenient to store paint cans in the garage, extreme temperature fluctuations can affect the quality of the paint. Freezing temperatures can cause paint to separate or spoil, while high temperatures can cause it to spoil or even ignite under certain conditions. For optimal paint preservation, store cans in a climate-controlled area away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures.

Gasoline

An image of two red plastic gas canisters.
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Storing gasoline in the garage poses significant safety risks due to its highly flammable nature. Gasoline vapors can ignite with even a small spark, leading to a fire or explosion. Additionally, gasoline can deteriorate over time, especially if exposed to heat, moisture, or sunlight, potentially leading to engine damage if used in vehicles or equipment.

Propane-Powered Equipment

Horizontal photo of a large barbeque cooker on concrete outdoor patio with woods and deck in background
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Similar to storing propane tanks, keeping propane-powered equipment such as grills, heaters, or generators in the garage can be hazardous due to the risk of propane leaks and ignition. It’s best to store such equipment outdoors in a well-ventilated area, away from flammable materials and heat sources, to reduce the risk of fire or explosion.

Electronics

HiFi system with turntable, amplifier, headphones and lp vinyl records in a listening room
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Electronics are susceptible to damage from temperature extremes, moisture, and dust, all of which are common in garage environments. Fluctuations in temperature and humidity can cause electronic components to degrade or malfunction, leading to costly repairs or replacements. To protect your electronics, store them in a climate-controlled indoor space free from moisture and temperature extremes.

Important Documents

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Storing important documents in the garage puts them at risk of damage from moisture, pests, and temperature fluctuations. Documents such as passports, birth certificates, and financial records are best kept in a secure, climate-controlled environment indoors to ensure their preservation and protect them from potential theft or damage.

Food

Closeup of Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese in a cardboard box from McDonalds fast food restaurant.
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Storing food in the garage can attract pests such as rodents and insects, increasing the risk of contamination and spoilage. Fluctuations in temperature can also affect the shelf life of perishable items, leading to foodborne illness or food spoilage. To ensure food safety, store perishable items in the refrigerator or pantry indoors and non-perishable items in a cool, dry place away from pests.

Clothing

Levi's 501 Original jeans from Levi Strauss and Co. Photo Jeppe Gustafsson
Image Credit: Jeppe Gustafsson/ Shutterstock.

Garages are not suitable for storing clothing due to the potential for exposure to moisture, pests, and temperature extremes. Moisture can promote mold and mildew growth on fabrics, while pests such as insects and rodents can damage or soil clothing. Additionally, extreme temperatures can cause fabrics to degrade or become musty. It’s best to store clothing in a climate-controlled indoor space to ensure its preservation and longevity.

Wine or Liquor

Various of alcohol empty bottles. Glass bottles of alcohol on the floor.
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Storing wine or liquor in the garage exposes it to temperature fluctuations and sunlight, which can affect its flavor and quality over time. Heat can cause wine to age prematurely and spoil, while sunlight can degrade the taste and color of both wine and liquor. To preserve the integrity of your beverages, store them in a cool, dark place indoors away from heat sources and sunlight.

Refrigerators or Freezers

Frozen food in the refrigerator. Vegetables on the freezer shelves.
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While it might seem convenient to have an extra refrigerator or freezer in the garage, extreme temperatures can affect their efficiency and lifespan. Freezers and refrigerators are designed to operate within a specific temperature range, and exposure to heat or cold outside of these limits can cause them to malfunction or consume more energy. It’s best to place refrigerators and freezers in a climate-controlled indoor space to ensure optimal performance and longevity.

Canned Goods

A box of donated canned goods and non-perishable foods for a food pantry for the poor sitting on red, wood panel background.
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Storing canned goods in the garage exposes them to temperature fluctuations, which can affect their shelf life and safety. Extreme heat or cold can cause canned goods to spoil or become contaminated, leading to foodborne illness. To ensure the safety and quality of your canned goods, store them in a cool, dry place indoors away from direct sunlight and temperature extremes.

Family Heirlooms

Wooden box with a crystal handle. Chrome-plated handle. The handle on the front of the cabinet. Decor and interior design. wound in a beautiful chest of drawers.
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Family heirlooms are often treasured possessions with sentimental value, and storing them in the garage puts them at risk of damage from moisture, pests, and temperature fluctuations. Items such as antique furniture, photographs, and artwork can deteriorate over time if exposed to these conditions. To preserve your family heirlooms, store them in a climate-controlled indoor space where they are protected from environmental hazards.

Firewood

Firewood
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While it might seem convenient to store firewood in the garage, it can attract pests such as termites, ants, and rodents, increasing the risk of infestation. Additionally, firewood can introduce mold and mildew into the garage if it becomes damp or wet, leading to indoor air quality issues. To prevent pest infestations and mold growth, store firewood outdoors in a dry, well-ventilated area away from the house.

Pet Food

Cat eating from a bowl on white wooden planks
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Storing pet food in the garage exposes it to moisture, pests, and temperature fluctuations, which can affect its quality and safety. Moisture can cause pet food to spoil or become moldy, while pests such as insects and rodents can contaminate it. Additionally, extreme temperatures can degrade the nutritional value of pet food. To ensure the health and safety of your pets, store their food in a cool, dry place indoors.

Musical Instruments

A electric guitar body on graduated background with copy space
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Musical instruments are sensitive to changes in temperature and humidity, which can affect their tuning, tone, and structural integrity. Storing instruments such as guitars, pianos, and violins in the garage exposes them to these environmental factors, increasing the risk of damage or deterioration. To protect your musical instruments, store them in a climate-controlled indoor space where they are shielded from temperature fluctuations and humidity.

Author: Madison Cates

Title: Managing Editor

Bio:

Research journalist, Freelance writer, Managing editor

  • Expertise: automotive content, trending topics.
  • Education: LeTourneau University, Bachelors of Science in Business Administration.
  • Over 400 articles and short news pieces published across the web.

Experience: Madison Cates is a journalist located in the great state of Texas. She began writing over eight years ago. Her first major research piece was published by the Journal of Business and Economics in 2018. After growing up in a household of eight brothers and a dad who was always restoring old Camaros, she naturally pivoted her freelance career into the automotive industry. There, she found her passion. Her experience paved the way for her to work with multiple large corporations in automotive news and trending topics. Now, she now finds her home at Wealth of Geeks where she proudly serves as Managing Editor of Autos. Madison is always down to geek out over the latest beautiful cars on the market, and she enjoys providing her readers with tips to make car ownership easier and more enjoyable.

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