Spring Cleaning: What Not to Store in Your Garage

A cluttered garage with packed storage shelves, a bicycle, a ladder, and a load of other equipment.Looking to declutter your garage this spring? For many, a garage can quickly turn into a catchall for storage. While this may be fine for some items, some things don’t fare well when tucked away in the corners of your garage. Lack of insulation and fluctuating temperatures, additional exposure to the elements, and ease of access can lead to damaged property or hazardous circumstances for loved ones. If you’re looking to reorganize some of your belongings this spring, make sure you understand what not to store in your garage.

What Not to Store in Your Garage

When you run out of storage in your home, oftentimes the go-to alternative is your garage. However, given your garage is likely not built with the security and temperature control measures of the rest of your home, it can be unsafe to store certain belongings in it. Some items you should not store in your garage include:

  • Extra Fuel: Gas canisters, propane tanks, and old motor oil are often stored in garages, but these items pose a leaking risk, especially with children having easy access to the space. To prevent the likelihood of a house fire, store combustible liquids in a shed away from your home.
  • Paint and Other Household Chemicals: Some hazardous household chemicals freeze at low temperatures, potentially damaging their containers. Store these items in a temperature-controlled environment, and check the manufacturer’s guide on proper storage.
  • Household Furniture: More often than not, garages aren’t temperature-controlled, so the interior is subject to swings in heat and humidity. These wildly fluctuating temperatures can cause furniture to warp. Furthermore, rodents will tend to nest in the fabric and upholstery.
  • Food and Clothing: Food and clothing can potentially absorb the fumes from vehicles stored in the garage, and they’re an open invitation for pests and rodents. Also, think twice about having a second refrigerator in the garage, as poor climate control can damage the appliance.

You should also not store anything you consider valuable in your garage. Not only will the items be susceptible to temperature changes and pest damage, but seeing at garages typically don’t have the security of a house, the items within are more at risk for theft.

What Can You Store in Your Garage?

Fortunately, the garage is still a reasonable place to store a lot of your belongings. Lawn care tools, equipment, and gardening supplies that are designed for outdoor use can withstand the fluctuating temperatures in a garage, but you should be wary if you have children, as there’s a risk of harm should they have access to the garage. Patio furniture is also made out of weather-resistant materials, making them ideal for garage storage. If you must use the space to store fragile items, it’s best to use sturdy plastic storage bins that are resistant to the fluctuating heat and moisture levels.

Investing in Insurance to Protect Your Belongings in Your Garage

Fortunately, if you have a garage – attached or detached – the structure and the items within are covered by your homeowners insurance. If the garage and the items within incur damage from severe weather or fire or are stolen, your homeowners coverage can help pay for the replacement and repairs. However, for the cars stored within the garage, you will have to rely on auto insurance to cover any of the damages it incurs as a result of a mishap.

Understanding what not to store in your garage can help protect your family and your possessions from harm. When spring cleaning this season, it’s also wise to perform some policy maintenance to ensure all of your assets are protected. At TJ Woods Insurance, we can ensure you’re protected with homeowners insurance and auto insurance policies that meet all your needs. Contact us today if you wish to ensure you’re protected on all fronts.