We all know that garages are big spaces. Big enough for cars, even, if you have room to store them there. Around our parts, people use garages for a whole host of things, from sport storage to graduation parties to workshops. While a garage is perfect for all of those things, there are a few things that you should never store in your garage.
Make sure these 10 things are kept out of your garage to make sure whatever it is you store behind your garage door is safe from pests, destruction, and harm.
If you keep documents and cardboard boxes in your garage, be prepared for a headache. Mice and other pests love the sweet cellulose found in paper products and can make quick work of photo albums and important documents. Also make sure your recycling bin can be properly latched and locked.
If you love to grill, chances are you use charcoal. But if you love convenience, a propane tank is the way to go--just make sure to keep it outside in a well ventilated area. Propane tank valves aren't always the easiest thing to close, so a slow leak there, coupled with a garage's confined space, could result in a deadly and explosive situation.
Paint, and any other refinishing solvents and stains, need to be kept in a temperature stable environment to prevent or delay separating or spoiling. Not only will it prolong the life of your paint, but it will also save your garage floor from unsightly rust stains and spills.
Bedding, Outerwear, and Clothing
If you thought your bedding, coats, and clothes were soft and comfortable, just imagine what a family of mice or squirrels (or raccoon or skunks) will think. Plastic bins, even those with firmly fitting lids, are no deterrent; it doesn't take much of a hole to open the front door to pests who really want in. You may not have a lot of room in your home to store these things, but you'll be glad you made some.
We know you're probably not going to store your apples and bread in the garage, but storing your pet food and bird seed there is almost just as bad. Stockpiling any reasonably accessible food like this is an open invitation for pests, bugs, and the general heebie-jeebies that follow you all the way back into your house.
Canned food, arguably safe from animals, comes with a different predator: time. Canned vegetables have a shorter shelf life when stored in a garage (or anytime they are stored in a room warmer than 70 degrees), and they can freeze over the winter if exposed to harsh enough temperatures.
We know this is a tough one for a lot of you. Lots of people have a secondary beverage or overflow fridge in their garages. While having a fridge there won't necessarily hurt it, its lifetime could be shortened due to the stress it undergoes in the summertime as it fights rising temps. You'll also feel it on your energy bill in the summer as well. If a secondary fridge is necessary, consider putting it in a more climate controlled spot.
Vinyl Records and Tape-based Film
If you possess anything of personal or historical significance, like vinyl records or 8mm movies, keep these items as far away from the garage as possible. Pests love the cardboard, vinyl warps in the heat, and 8mm film gets moldy and degrades in extreme temperatures. Do yourself a favor and digitize as much as you can. Mice and other pests nest in celluloid, and vinyl records become ruffled like Grandma’s doilies in garage heat.
If you have extra DVD players, televisions, laptops, and game consoles, you are better off donating or re-gifting them than you are storing them in your garage. Both will guarantee that you'll never play them again--so why not let someone else have a turn?
This should be a given. Unless you like your wine vinegared and chunky, wine should never be stored in your garage. Extreme fluctuations in temperature do a number on the delicate chemistry of this type of alcohol, so do yourself a favor and keep it in the house.
You've put a lot of thought into your garage and your garage door. Now put a lot of thought as to what you store in it.
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