Storing Your Stuff Safely: Items You Should Never Store In Your Garage

Families and clutter go hand-in-hand, and many times, that "stuff" is something worth keeping. Now that all the extra closets are full and the basement and attic are packed to the rafters, you turn your attention to the last unused square footage on your property: the garage. However, before you start filling your garage with old baby clothing and electronics, it's important to learn about the items that simply cannot withstand the structure's erratic temperature changes. Don't needlessly ruin your stuff and instead, avoid storing these items inside your garage:

Opened Paint Cans

Walk into just about every garage in America and, chances are, you will see at least one half-empty paint can. The garage might seem like the logical place to store a dirty, messy paint can, but this seemingly-simple solution could wind up costing you money.

According to Good Housekeeping, storing paint in your garage is potentially disastrous because the pricey pigment simply cannot hold up against the constantly fluctuating temperatures.

In addition, Good Housekeeping also cautions against placing the paint can on your cement garage floor. The combination of metal, concrete and moisture can lead to nasty rusty stains.

Instead, the best place to store your opened or unopened paint is anywhere that is relatively cool or dry. This could be inside your basement or a closet. If you decide to toss out the paint, don't toss the can into the garbage and, instead, take it to a local recycling center.

Your Beloved Photos

Even though you probably have a digital camera or store all your photos on your smartphone, chances are there are still plenty of old family photos inside boxes and albums. Once again, your garage's constant change in temperatures will wreak havoc on your pictures.

In addition, if your garage is older, water damage can be another concern.

When it comes to storing your photos, having them scanned and placed on a zip drive or external storage unit is one inexpensive solution. However, if you love the look and feel of your old family photos, the best option is to store each individually in a plastic sleeve or wrapped inside a piece of acid-free paper.

Carefully place the photos inside a plastic storage bin and stack them inside a cool, dry space. Once again, your dry basement or a closet are your best options.


From the clothing worn by your babies, who aren't exactly babies anymore, to your favorite sweatshirt from high school, even though they won't be worn by anyone, anytime soon, it can be hard to part with old pieces of clothing.

Even though it might seem like a safe option, storing your clothing, drapes or linens in the garage is a bad idea for two good reasons: moisture and pests. Water, bugs and mice have a way of making their way into almost any type of storage container – from a cardboard box to a pricey plastic storage bin.

Instead, it's best to launder all your clothing and linens before storing them inside plastic bins with tight-fitting lids. Clean fabric is less likely to entice pests, and when it comes to the bins, make sure to secure the lids with a few layers of tape, just to be safe.

If you simply don't have the space to accommodate all those bulky, awkward plastic bins inside your closet or attic, a climate-controlled storage unit is the best option!

Many other items can also be kept in a self-storage unit. To learn more, contact a local storage company. If you absolutely have no option but to store any of the above-mentioned items in the garage, the best solution is to make it as hospitable as possible. For example, add some premium insulation and, if you have the money to spend, a heater and air conditioner.