When space in your home is at a premium, and you need a place to stow rarely used household items, such as sports equipment, camping gear and holiday decorations, what’s the first place that comes to mind? The garage, right? Not quite so fast! Many item are not meant for inhabitable conditions such as those found in the garage.

These items can become damaged by extreme or fluctuating temperatures, ruined by moisture or pests, or damage your home. Remember: An uninsulated garage in Arizona can go from pleasantly cool to sweltering in a matter of minutes. Insulating your garage door can keep it 20˚F cooler during the summer.

Here are just five items you should never store in your garage.

Propane Tanks

This is a big no-no! Due to the danger of ignition, caused by leaks often the result of half-open valves, propane tanks should never be stored in the garage. It’s best to leave them outside or in an outdoor storage shed away from the house. Always make sure the tank’s valve is fully in the ‘off’ position.

Canned Food

Shopping with coupons may be cost-effective, but the garage is not an ideal place to stash your stockpiles. The USDA recommends storing canned goods in a cool, dark, dry place. Do not store in an uninsulated garage or in direct sunlight. Under these conditions, food will lose quality in a few weeks or months, causing it to spoil.

Pet Food

Open or unopened, bags of pet food and birdseed are an open dinner invitation for rodents and other unwelcome pests to invade your garage and possibly, your home. The FDA recommends storing dry and unopened cans of of pet food (birdseed included) in a cool, dry place to avoid the breakdown of vital nutrients.


Storing your photos in the garage can encourage mold growth and can also cause the pictures to stick together as they get moist and the ink runs and fades. Protect your cherished memories by storing them in an area that consistently stays below 75˚F. Under your bed or at the back of an interior closet are good storage options.


At any given time, the garage may be 20˚F hotter or cooler than outside temperatures. In these conditions, the consistency of your leftover paint will change, rendering it unusable for future touch-up projects. It will then require special disposal. For best results, store leftover paint in a low-moisture, climate-controlled room.


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