Wish your garage was better organized? Join the club. In a garage industry survey, 1 in 4 people reported being frustrated with the state of their garage — and these frustrations had little to do with garage door repair. Most people use their garages for storage, and the mess gets out of hand, fast.
This summer may be the perfect time to get the mess under control. There are some things you simply shouldn’t store in your garage: they may be too hazardous and pose a safety issue, may be bulky and take up extra space, may be just plain useless, or could get in the way of a closing garage door, causing your door to go off track and need expensive repairs.
Here are 8 things you really shouldn’t be storing in your garage. Clean them out, and you’ll be amazed how roomy your garage suddenly feels. Who knows? Maybe you’ll actually get all your vehicles to fit safely inside, with room for a lawn mower.
We sometimes don’t think about the things we put in our garage. That can be a mistake, especially when it comes to hazardous materials like flammables and toxic materials. Take that propane tank you use for your grill. That’s practically a bomb waiting to go off. Other things like rat poison really shouldn’t be stored out in the open (especially if you have pets) , even if you’re trying to fix that rat problem. Keep propane, gas, and other flammable materials stored safely outside. Rat poison should always be stowed in a place pets won’t be able to reach.
Anytime you paint something, you’ll probably have a little left over paint. Let’s face it. That paint can come in handy when you need to do touch ups if you burst a pipe in a wall, a kid destroys the paint in the living room, or the paint on your garage door is starting to chip and could use a touch up or repair. But extreme temperatures like what we often see during the summers in El Dorado Hills, California can ruin the consistency of paint. In fact, if it gets hot enough, you might even ruin the unopened cans. Always store paint in a cool dry place. If your garage isn’t temperature controlled or you don’t have an insulated garage door installed, you’ll need to keep that paint stored safely somewhere else where it’s dry and cool.
Do you store tax records, banking statements, and financial documents in your garage? Keep in mind you are exposing these documents to vastly changing temperatures, potential leaks and mold issues. The last thing when you pull out an important document or treasured photo memory is to see it warped, chewed up by mice, or soaked with water and mildew.
Store these documents inside where it’s cool and dry. Buy yourself a filing cabinet where you can not only store it safely but it’s much easier to organize.
If your garage isn’t temperature and humidity controlled, you’re playing a risky game by storing wooden furniture in your garage. Extreme temperatures can cause the wood to crack, warp and mold.
Are you planning to refinish that chair, bookcase or dresser? Keep the item stored in a cool dry place like an extra bedroom or basement. Otherwise you’ll be hauling that item to the trash because your garage absolutely ruined it.
Got some old electronics — TVs, computers, stereo equipment you’re holding onto just in case that new one suddenly dies on you? Because of the fluctuating temperatures of a garage, those electronics may turn out to be pure junk when you’re ready to use them. Always store electronics inside, perhaps in a closet, attic or basement.
Wine is a sensitive thing of beauty. Extreme heat or cold can cause wine corks to expand and even pop, ruining the precious wine inside. That expensive wine you’re saving for a rainy day may be a pure mess by the time you decide to treat yourself to a special occasion. Always store wine in a cool dry place like a closet, wine rack, or basement.
We get it. A second fridge comes in handy, especially if you have a family. But if you store your fridge in a hot garage, that fridge will have to work extra hard during El Dorado Hills intense heat waves. You’ll see it in your electric bill. To avoid paying out the nose, always store the fridge inside your house in an out of the way place like a basement.
Canned food may seem perfectly safe, but the temperature fluctuations in your garage can do a number on expiration dates. Anything over 85 degrees can make the food go bad — even Grandma’s canned peaches. Keep food safely stored inside. If you have too many cans, it might be time to donate to a local food bank.