10 Things You Should Never, Ever Store In Your Garage


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Garage Storage Non-Starters

While garages are generally intended for car storage, there are plenty of folks out there ready to use their garages to store just about anything you can think of. We’re talking bikes, chairs, couches, free weights, freezers, fridges, etc. 

So yes, sure, garages are an efficient space to store belongings. But you want to make sure that you’re not storing stuff in your garage that can cause unnecessary hazards, attract pets, or invite other dire consequences.

Dirty greasy fabric, matter olorless. Fabric stained texture. Contaminated textile or canvas
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1. Oily Rags

Absolutely never store rags that are oil-soaked in your garage. In the instance of a spontaneous combustion, oily rags can increase the risk of a catastrophic fire that will likely spread to your home.

Related: 10 Costly Home Repairs Your Insurance Might Not Cover

Dry kibble pet food. Dog or cat food on old table.

2. Pet Food

You’re not alone if you’re someone who prefers to store dog, cat, or other pet food in your garage. However, if you choose to do so, make absolutely sure the pet food is stored in a tightly sealed plastic or a metal container. Otherwise, you’ll run the greatly heightened risk of having unwanted rodents easily chewing through the paper or the cardboard packaging. 

Two blankets in blue and green for outdoor events

3. Sleeping Bags

As a general rule of thumb, changing temperature as well as humidity fluctuations are in no way optimal when it comes to storing fabric. Mold can generate quickly, and rodents will love to feast on that fabric as well. Resist the temptations to store your sleeping bags and other camping supplies in your garage,. Instead, err on the cautious side, and store those items elsewherein the home.

Laptop with a blank screen on a white background
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4. Old Computers

Just as fluctuating temperatures in a garage can unleash damage upon camping supplies, so can they alter the functionality of older computers. Too many temperature climbs and dips can result in your older electronics shorting out. Nobody wants to deal with the costs associated with replacing electronics in these pricey times.

US Passport on white background
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5. Essential Papers And Files

Never store your important paperwork and files like medical records, passports, and birth certificates in your garage. The humidity levels as well as the overall moisture in there can result in damage to those documents. Documents, mind you that are very hard to replace.

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Closeup shot of wineshelf.

6. Wine

Especially around this time of year, when plenty of folks are stocking up on a surplus of wine for the holidays, it’s particularly ill-advised to keep those wines stored in your garage. The culprit? If you guessed temperature and humidity fluctuations, you'd be correct. Those things can affect the quality of the wine and even degrade corks.

Instead, consider investing in a proper wine rack or fridge where you can store your wines safely inside your home. As an added plus, that’ll save you the extra steps necessary to venture outside to grab more bottles when the time calls for it.

Large assortment of canned foods

7. Canned Goods

This one might seem counterintuitive, as canned goods are by their very nature built to sustain all kinds of formidable external conditions. However, were you to stockpile canned goods in either a very hot or very cold garage (or both throughout a year), you run the risk of your canned goods literally exploding. That’s just a waste of money and a complete mess that nobody wants to deal with.

Pressure Cleaning with High Pressure Washer Karcher in Garden Park
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8. Pressure Washers

Pressure washers are an invaluable and occasionally pricey investment made by many homeowners. The last thing you want to deal with is having your pressure washer be taken out of commission due to the water in the pressure washer’s lines freezing over. So, if you can't find a temperature-controlled space in your home to store your pressure washer, make sure the water line is fully cleared out.

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9. Lithium Ion Batteries

Many modern appliances run on pricier rechargeable batteries (thank goodness), but it’s essential to not store those batteries in a garage with fluctuating temperatures. Whether the temperature climbs to scorching heights or dips to a bone-chilling cold, you can rest assured that your lithium ion batteries will not survive such an expedition.

Related: 5 Things to Know About Your Car Battery

Group of classic musical guitar instruments on display in a music shop. Classical vintage acoustic guitars or  instruments made from art wood hanging on a rack in a new indoor local store.
Dean Mitchell/istockphoto

10. Musical Instruments

For many, musical instruments can become deeply sentimental attachments that one would never want to run the risk of losing. So, consider just how big of a no-no it is to even think about storing your prized guitar, bass, etc, in your garage. Too much humidity and/or extreme temperatures can ruin those stunning finishes or otherwise degrade your favorite musical instruments.