Are you really decluttering your house or just simply switching places of your items’ storage? Let us be honest here. When we say decluttering the house, most often, we mean moving the things that we do not use on a regular basis to the garage. Whether we admit to ourselves that we habitually do that or not, it remains a fact that we see the garage as a repository of stuff. But should all kinds of items be stored in the garage? Maybe. If you would push through with it, who would question, right? But as in all things, there is a list of do’s and don’ts.There is a list of items for a reason. One, they can be causes of fire hazards. And the garage is susceptible to that because of the insulation (or lack of it). Second, the way the garages are built is different from the construction of the living space. Therefore, most garage owners do not really take into account securing the safety of the garage compared to the level of security you apply to the main house. We know it is somewhat irresponsible, but misinformation or lack of funds get in the way sometimes. But a word of warning is that always consult with professionals. It may cost you money now, but in the long run, it is proven to be cost-effective.And as much as we would love to maximize our garage as a space of storage, you should refrain from storing these items below.
Generally, propane tanks are safe to store. We get that you might need a spare tank in case you run out of gas while cooking and it would be such a hassle to call or drive to the nearest store. However, keep the tanks away from the garage, away from exposure to high temperatures. If the tank happens to have a leak in an enclosed space, chances are it can cause a fire. Even starting your car in the garage can be a trigger.
The same goes with paints and paint cans. They are highly flammable materials. Moreover, extreme low or high temperatures can change the quality of the paint formula. Thus, leaving a leftover paint in the garage throughout the year and changing seasons may mean a rollercoaster of temperatures for your paint. Also, check the labels because it is written at what temperature they should be stored in.
Wine, beer, and other alcoholic beverages are better off stored elsewhere than in the garage. Heat, light, humidity alter their taste. Unless you want your wine to turn into vinegar, then go ahead. Store these beverages somewhere cool and dark inside your homes. And if you would like a drink pronto, it is even easier to access them.
Stocking up on canned food is not a bad idea. They are our emergency food pile in case there is a calamity or situations where we cannot go out and buy food. However, storing them in the garage is a bad idea. Well, canned foods are not spoil-proof as we perceive them to be. And the temperature to store them should be between 50 and 70 degrees. Plus, metal lids on glass jars and tin cans can develop rust when exposed to humidity, which can cause chemical reactions with the food.
The extreme temperatures in the garage aren’t the main reason as to why they shouldn’t be stored there as it won’t affect the quality of the pet food. However, a snack is a snack. And before you know it, rodents and other uninvited guests would have their fill. But, if say, there is no other place to store them, keep them in a tightly sealed metal or plastic container. Remove the pet food from the cardboard packaging as it is easy for the pests to chew on it.
This type of mementos holds our most cherished memories. And as much as possible, we would want them to last a lifetime so we can always look back on these when the going gets tough or when we want to simply share these times with our loved ones. However, the humidity and moisture in the garage can get too tough on the photographs. It can curl up the edges, molds start to form, or worse damages beyond saving can occur. It would be better to store them neatly inside or better yet, digitize these prints to have a depository you can count on when you want to make a photo album or print in large sizes.
The same as the printed photographs, keep the important papers and files such as passports, any kind of certificates, medical records, and the like out of the garage. Excess moisture can permanently damage these documents. Store them elsewhere, and make sure to keep them in an airtight plastic container to prevent moisture from ruining your files.
Electronics such as computers, cell phones, and appliances are susceptible to temperature fluctuations and humidity. They can cause the electronics to short out. And if these devices are no longer of use or need simple repairs, it would be better to discard them safely (check your local community guidelines) or donate them to organizations that will be able to use them. You can also research on which organizations would accept a specific kind of technology.
Rugs and Carpets
These items seem ok to be stored in the garage, right? Apparently not. Why? Carpets and rugs make comfortable homes for mice, insects, and other pests. Moreover, the fibers absorb moisture and odor. And over time, the dampness can cause molds and mildews to form the rugs and carpets.
The first rule when storing items: Do not keep your valuables in the garage. First, when it comes to security, the garage is a security hole and would be the easiest access to any home. Second, heat and moisture build-up are sure ways to cause damage to your collectibles. Dirt, rusts, and molds will only tarnish collectible coins, warp vinyl records, mar posters, and photo cards, ruin toy car collections, and so on. If you would not want to cry over your ruined collectibles, better keep them safe inside the house.