Overflowing Garage with Garage door open

What You Should and Shouldn't Store in Your Garage

Lockaway Storage | October 12, 2023 @ 12:00 AM

Storing items in your garage as a solution for the overflow from your house might seem convenient, but it can lead to unforeseen issues down the road. Moisture, heat, and pests can wreak havoc on the possessions occupying your garage shelves or tucked away in its concealed corners.

Before you put another box or unused item in your garage, make sure it’s safe to do so. We've compiled a comprehensive list of items that should never find their way into your garage storage.

What not to store in your garage


Storing any type of food in your garage is strongly discouraged. Fresh food is an open invitation for rats and other pests, as they can easily get into bags and cardboard containers. Even canned goods are not immune to problems in a garage setting. Temperature fluctuations can cause bacterial growth within cans, and humidity can lead to rusting of both the cans themselves and the metal lids on glass jars. This rust can trigger chemical reactions in the food, rendering it unfit for consumption.

Paint cans

If you store leftover paint in your garage, you're certainly not alone. However, it's important to note that the extreme temperature fluctuations in places like your garage, basement, or attic can have a detrimental effect on your paint, rendering it unusable.

If you plan to use your paint again it's recommended to store it in a utility closet or a dedicated space like a laundry room.


Propane tanks pose a potential hazard due to the risk of leaks, making them unsafe for storage in your garage. A single spark can easily ignite a fire when a leaking propane tank is close by. For safety reasons, it's advisable to store propane tanks in a well-ventilated area that is a safe distance away from your home. 


Never store photographs in the garage. The heat in the garage can cause images to fade, while moisture can lead to mildew formation.

Moreover, the harsh environmental conditions of the garage can cause the edges of your photos to curl. Find a place to keep them inside and be sure to keep digital copies if possible. 

Wooden furniture

The garage's harsh conditions aren’t kind to all types of wood. If you choose to store wooden furniture in your garage, you can anticipate potential damage over time. Changes in humidity can cause the wood to expand and contract, resulting in cracks that may be irreparable. 


The garage is not an appropriate place for valuables. Moisture can lead to tarnished coins, rust on Hot Wheels cars, and mold on trading cards. Heat can warp vinyl records, and dirt can damage autographed posters.


Storing your clothes in the garage is not a favorable option. Baby clothes may develop mold, winter jackets can absorb unpleasant odors, and sweaters are at risk of moth damage. For the best preservation of these items, it's advisable to store them inside your home. 


Old electronics, including computers, laptops, DVD players, game consoles, and TVs, are particularly sensitive to extreme temperatures, with moisture posing the biggest risk. Any condensation or moisture can cause electrocution. It is recommended to either store them indoors or explore the option of donating them.

What you can store in the garage

By now, you might be wondering what items are suitable for storage in your garage. While the list is short, you are welcome to store the following items:

Car supplies

Everything from motor oil to wiper fluid can make its home in your garage. Additionally, it's an ideal space to store car-related tools such as jacks and tire inflators.

For those with bicycles or roof racks, your garage can accommodate these as well, with the option to hang them on the wall or suspend them from the ceiling for efficient use of space. 

Tools and maintenance items

Your garage makes an excellent storage location for a wide range of tools, including hammers, saws, screwdrivers, and other essentials for basic home repairs. It's also a suitable space to store yard and gardening supplies such as shovels, hoses, extension cords, pots, and potting soil, helping you keep everything organized and easily accessible for your home maintenance and outdoor projects. 

Camping equipment

For outdoor enthusiasts, the garage can serve as a storage haven for camping gear like lanterns, coolers, and axes for wood chopping, among other equipment.

However, it's crucial to refrain from storing sleeping bags in the garage, sleeping bags are susceptible to infestations by rats and other pests, and moisture can lead to mold growth, potentially rendering them unusable. 

Outdoor toys

Your garage is a versatile space for storing a wide range of outdoor items. This includes bicycles, skateboards, pool toys, patio furniture, and various sports equipment. To optimize organization and maintain an open space, it's advisable to store loose items like toys in bins and hang items like lawn chairs on the wall, making the most of your garage's storage potential.

If your garage is overflowing and you’re ready to move those items to a storage unit, Lockaway Storage is your storage solution! Check out www.lockaway.com to find the perfect sized unit and price for your storage needs.

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