15 Things You Should Never Store in Your Garage

If you want to keep your home pest-free and your belongings in good condition, never store these items in your garage.

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seal pet foodPhoto: FamilyHandyman.com

Pet Food

Storing pet food in your garage is basically like inviting pests into your home for a delicious snack. But if you must keep pet food in the garage (or even when it’s inside your house), be sure that it is inside a tightly sealed plastic or metal container. Rodents can easily chew through paper or cardboard packaging. Check out the 10 most disgusting house bugs—and how to get rid of them.

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Oily Rags

An oil-soaked rag is something you should never store in your garage. Spontaneous combustion (and a devastating fire) can occur when oily rags are stored where the internal heat that is generated isn’t allowed to escape. Find out the top 10 causes of house fires in Canada.

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Books

You want to save your favourite books from childhood to give to your kids or grandkids someday, but storing them in the garage isn't the best solution. Silverfish are insects that thrive in dark, damp environments such as garages, basements and crawl spaces and the bugs love to feast on starchy substances, such as the glue that binds books.

Got too much stuff? Here's how to declutter your home, room by room.

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Firewood

While firewood may be an important year-round staple in your home or backyard, it's also a magnet for pests that will happily make the jump into the house. So store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house—that includes the garage—and only bring in as much as is necessary. Find out which pests could be hiding in your attic.

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Sleeping Bags

Fluctuating temperatures and humidity are not ideal conditions for storing fabric. It can get moldy, and rodents love to chew it. It’s tempting to stash sleeping bags with other non-fabric camping supplies in the garage, but don’t do it! Store sleeping bags, clothes and other fabric items inside your house.

Find out the 13 things your exterminator wishes you knew.

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frozen paintPhoto: FamilyHandyman.com

Paint

Extreme heat and extreme cold can alter paint formulas. So if the temperature in your garage is a rollercoaster throughout the year, it’s not an ideal place for storing your leftover paint. Check the paint can label for recommended storage temperatures. But if your paint happens to freeze during the winter, it’s not necessarily ruined.

Find out the 10 most popular paint colours in Canada.

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Toys

Your child's favourite toys—especially stuffed animals and other plush toys—should be stored in an area other than the garage. Dust mites, other insects and even mice may have their way with the toys if given the chance. If you must store toys in the garage, make sure they are secured in airtight containers.

Got a musty stuffed animal that could use a thorough cleaning? It's just one of the surprising items you can put in the washing machine.

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propane tankPhoto: Shutterstock

Propane Tanks

A propane tank is usually safe, but if it happens to leak in an enclosed space such as your garage, any small spark—even starting your car—can cause a fire. So never store your propane tanks in your garage.

Discover the 10 things in your home that could explode without warning.

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shutterstock_605370098 old computer laptopPhoto: Ari N/Shutterstock

Old Computers

Humidity and temperature ups and downs can cause computers and other electronics to short out. Always store electronics inside your home. Don't miss these other mistakes that shorten your laptop's life.

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restore old print photos photographs polaroids memoriesPhoto: SUSAN LEGGETT/Shutterstock

Printed Photographs

Printed photos (especially those that don’t have digital copies) should never be stored in the garage; heat, cold and humidity will quickly ruin those cherished memories. These Marie Kondo organization tips will change your life in minutes.

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passportPhoto: Nancy Catherine Walker/Shutterstock

Important Papers and Files

Don't risk keeping those important papers such as medical records, passports and birth certificates in your garage. Same goes for photos as they could be damaged by water and excess moisture in the air. If you need to keep some paper items in the garage, store them in an air-tight plastic container. While you're at it, take these 15 things out of your car—stat.

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cabinet wine rackPhoto: FamilyHandyman.com

Wine

Fluctuating temperatures and humidity can actually alter the taste of wine. Here are more thrifty ways to make everything you own last longer.

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Old Clothing

Consider storing your old clothing—whether your favourite dresses, winter coats or sweaters—some place other than the garage. Clothes are prone to moth infestations. Fur and leather also don't hold up well when stored in damp areas. Keep clothing in sealed plastic bags and store in another area of the home. Don't miss these other tips for storing your summer wardrobe.

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Canned Food

Contrary to what you may think, canned foods are not spoil-proof and should be stored at temperatures between 10 and 21 degrees Celsius. Humidity in a garage can also cause cans and metal lids on glass jars to rust, potentially causing a chemical reaction with the food inside. In addition, food attracts pests, which you don’t want anywhere near your home! Here are six expiration dates you should never ignore.

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rugPhoto: Zmaj88/Shutterstock

Rugs and Carpeting

Rolled up rugs and carpeting make great homes for insects and mice so they're things you should never store in your garage. The rug and carpet fibres will also absorb moisture and odour, which may ruin them if left for long periods. Next, check out 11 genius DIY storage tricks that make your garage work harder!

Originally Published on The Family Handyman