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What Not to Store in Your Garage

By: Kim Hildenbrand

Garages can't hold everything. Here's a list of items you should store elsewhere.

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Decluttering Your Garage

The garage is a great storage spot, but don’t let the space become a cluttered catchall. Organizing and cleaning expert Donna Smallin Kuper recommends taking stock of belongings and donating what isn’t needed. “Most of the stuff people store in the garage is stuff they decided they no longer want in their everyday living space,” she says. “So they get it out of their house — out of sight, out of mind — and there it sits.”

While you’re editing your belongings, keep in mind three rules of thumb for appropriate garage storage: Don’t store items that could be damaged by extreme or fluctuating temperatures, belongings that could be ruined by moisture and humidity, or hazardous materials that could damage your home. Click through our list of other items you should keep out of the garage.

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Shopping at bulk stores can be cost-effective, but the garage is not an ideal place to stash your staples. Food can invite rodents and other pests. Plus, exposure to heat and humidity can cause your groceries to spoil. An unused closet or cupboard in the house is a better choice.

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Photo: Sawhorse Design & Build. From: Sawhorse Design and Build.


Fluctuating temperatures can cause wine to expand and contract, which leads to oxidation. A better bet is a wine cabinet or wine refrigerator inside the house.

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Photo: Photo courtesy of Jennifer Jones

Daily Used Items

Lisa Mark, certified professional organizer at The Time Butler in Los Altos, Calif., notes that the garage is best for infrequently used belongings. “Items accessed all the time should be stored in the spaces in which they are used,” she says, “and overflow items like paper towels can be stored on shelves in the garage and moved into the home as existing items are used up.”

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