What to Avoid Storing in the Garage

Cathy's Tuesday Tip

There are two types of people in this world: those who keep an immaculate, well-organized garage and those who use their garage as a catch-all storage space which may or may not include a vehicle. Either way, our garage is bound to have household goods that shouldn’t be stored there. It may be hazardous to keep certain items in the garage. Let’s examine the top items that should never be stored in the garage, no matter how convenient. I hope you enjoy Cathy’s Tuesday Tip! ~Cathy

Propane/ Fuel Tanks

Who doesn’t love to barbecue? Most of those who do love to cookout use grills that require propane as fuel. Storing cooking tools in the garage is quite common, including propane tanks. This is actually quite dangerous. Often times, the valve isn’t closed completely allowing propane to seep out. A leaking propane tank can cause a deadly explosion. It is much safer to store the tanks outside or in a well-ventilated space with no chance of sparks. If fuel cans must be housed in the garage be sure they are in designated leakproof containers, away from water heaters.


We often store soft items such as sleeping bags and blankets in the garage. When spring and summer come around we sometimes have to store coats and blankets as well. This is a welcome mat for pests to nest. Rats and raccoons love clean, plush areas to build their nests. Be sure to store these items in storage containers inside the house.


With the increasing popularity of recycling, more and more recycling bins are being housed in the garage. Paper bins can attract pests quickly and cause an infestation.

Fresh Food

Any food that is stored improperly, inside or out, will attract vermin. It is common for pet food and birdseed to be stored in the garage, you should rethink that. It is best to keep food in airtight containers inside.

Temperature Sensitive Items

Items such as paint will become ruined if left in extreme temperatures. Paint will separate or curdle, leaving it useless. When in contact with concrete floors, over time, cans will rust.

canned foodCanned Food

Storing canned goods in the garage shortens their shelf life. Wine will also spoil in fluctuating temperatures. The composition and color change, leaving wine undrinkable.

Good Housekeeping states that “A stockpile of canned tomatoes, beans, and more has a shorter shelf life in a room that gets hotter than 70 degrees (and when temps reach 95 degrees, the food will spoil quickly). If your canned goods freeze in the winter, they can be thawed, but the quality might diminish.”


Having a fridge in the garage will affect the power bill greatly. As the summer heats up, the fridge works harder to maintain a constant temperature.

Records and Film

Mice and other pests will nest within the film. This leaves you with scratched, gnawed, and shredded film. Heat will cause records to warp, leaving them useless.


Electronics may go bad if exposed to extreme temperatures. Donate them before this happens so that someone else can use them!

Do your research before leaving other items in your garage. You would hate to ruin a family heirloom or create a hazardous. Next time you decide to declutter the garage try to limit the contents to lawn and gardening supplies, sports equipment, plastic storage bins (instead of cardboard boxes), and cars, of course.

I hope you enjoyed Cathy’s Tuesday Tip this week. To view more of Cathy’s Tuesday Tips, visit our blog.

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