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Items You Should Never Store In Your Garage

Elke Peeters
Garage Door
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The early years of the 20th century brought some amazing advances in technology in America. One of those inventions is the automobile. With car sales rising, Americans sought out to find appropriate storage solutions for their cars. Early garages were very similar to sheds, equipped with a barn door that would be swung to open and closed. Today, garages are a staple in almost all homes, along with automatic garage door openers. It has also become a storage hub, from everything to Holiday décor to old furniture. However, because this area of the home is exposed to outdoor elements such as moisture due to rain, or extreme temperature drops with the changing seasons, the garage should not be considered as storage for common household items. The list below contains the top items that should not be stored in your garage.


1. Paint

Paint formulas are known to be very temperamental and can change with extreme heat and cold. These elements can cause leftover paint to become chunky or thick. Check the back label for its recommended storage temperatures.


2. Children’s Toys

The damp and moist conditions of your garage are the perfect breeding ground for insects, mold, or even mice. These are the absolute worst conditions for your children’s toys, especially stuffed animals and other plush toys. Bacteria and mold can grow spores within the toys and be potentially dangerous.


3. Old Computers

Being that computers are electronic, these need to be stored in a cool, dry place for safekeeping. Imagine trying to plug in a damp computer and having it short-circuit. Any important information should be stored on an external hard drive and kept in your home for safekeeping.


4. Books

Even if placed in plastic storage containers, books will be exposed to moisture if left in the garage. Every time your garage door opens during a rainstorm, a flood of moisture will enter in the air and into the pages within the books. Also, insects such as silverfish, thrive in dark and damp areas and are known to eat the glue that binds books. If you are attempting to preserve children’s books, textbooks, or a favorite novel from your teenage years, think about investing in a bookshelf to store somewhere inside your home.



5. Printed Photographs

Most families would agree that photographs hold some of life’s most precious memories. Whether the photographs are from Weddings to Birthdays and celebrations or hold memories of loved ones that have since passed, photos should be stored in the utmost of safe places in your home. Heat and humidity from your garage will quickly damage photos and may be lost forever.  


6. Important Documents and Files

From Passports, Birth Certificates, and Medical Files, we all have them and may only need them a few times a year. However, due to the gravity of these documents, the last thing you would want to happen in a time of need is not to have them at all. Water damage in this type of environment is very likely which could cause irreparable damage.


7. Canned Foods

Surprised? Contrary to common beliefs, canned foods should not be stored in the garage and should remain at the temperate between 50 and 70 degrees. Humidity in a garage can also cause cans and metal lids on glass jars to rust.


8. Clothing

If you would like to preserve the clothing you are storing, perhaps for the next season, consider places other than the garage. Specifically, fur or leather goods do not hold up well if left in a damp room for long periods of time. Even if sealed in storage containers, moisture can seep in, causing a musty smell in the fabric that will be difficult to wash out. 


After your garage has had a full deep clean, and the items above have been removed, consider climate-controlled storage for safekeeping. If you reside in the Pittsburgh or surrounding areas, STORExpress will even provide a free truck for moving your belongings from your home to storage.

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