Your garage is probably filled with the odds and ends of your life: various knickknacks from old relatives, dusty exercise equipment, boxes of baby things, and the like. But while the garage might seem like the perfect place to keep all the junk that doesn’t have a home, there are a surprising amount of things that actually shouldn’t be kept in this seemingly all-purpose facility. Check out these 13 items that should never be stored in your garage.
The reason that wine sometimes taste sour after opening and closing the bottle a few times is because the fluctuation of temperature causes wine to expand and contract, resulting in oxidation. To keep wine tasting the way it should, wine should be kept in a special cabinet or refrigerator inside the house.
Shopping at bulk stores might be a smart move, but then storing your haul in the garage is less-than-wise. Food can invite pests inside, and the exposure to heat and humidity can cause your groceries to spoil. Even the non-perishables! A closet or cupboard in the house is a better choice.
Keeping cardboard in your garage is basically asking for trouble. Spider, insects, and rodents can easily penetrate the walls of a cardboard box, putting the contents of boxes at risk, too. Instead, choose waterproof, pest-proof plastic bins.
Lisa Mark, certified professional organizer at The Time Butler in Los Altos, Calif., notes that the garage is best for infrequently used belongings. “Items accessed all the time should be stored in the spaces in which they are used,” she says, “and overflow items like paper towels can be stored on shelves in the garage and moved into the home as existing items are used up.”
You might think that you’re saving your cherished memories by storing them in the garage, but you’re actually ruining them by doing so. Moisture and extreme temperatures can cause photos to stick together and even grow mold. A closet inside your house, as long as it’s not in the basement, is a better choice.
Artwork is very delicate, especially depending on the medium used. Temperature and humidity changes can make paint flake and crack and cause the canvas to expand and contract. Try stowing artwork in a painting rack in the house, away from heaters or fireplaces.
Special clothes that were worn on special occasions, such as a wedding dress, a graduation gown, or a baby’s first outfit, are important to keep. But they can also easily be ruined by heat, humidity, and cold that penetrates the garage. Place cherished clothing in an acid-free box in a chest or closet in the house.
These are the kinds of things you really need to keep in good condition. Spoiler alert: the garage is not the place to do that. Passports, birth and marriage certificates, and other difficult-to-replace papers can be damaged by moisture. Store these in a fireproof box in a home office or bedroom instead.
To avoid wood from warping or getting ruined, keep furniture out of the garage. Expansion and contraction caused by fluctuating garage temperatures can damage wooden furniture. Keep it in good condition in the house or in a climate-controlled storage unit.
Fridges control the temperature in your food, but as heat rises, your fridge works harder to keep food cool. Just by keeping the fridge in the garage, you will see an influx on your energy bill. One that you won’t love.
Electronics are very sensitive to extreme changes in temperature, making the garage not the best place for them. The DVD players, phonograph players, televisions, and computers you’ve been meaning to donate to charity? Get them out of there before they’re damaged beyond repair.
Is there anything you refuse to store in the garage? Why? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.