Sign Up For Our Newsletter

Search the Blog

Customer Testimonials

  • “Immaculate and secure. A real pleasure.”

    ~Susie Farber
  • “Guardian has the highest quality storage space”

    ~Alan Ctiron

8 Items You Should Avoid Storing in a Garage

Published On: May 21, 2024By

8 Items You Should Avoid Storing in a Garage

Essential Guide: What Not to Store in Your Garage and Why

For at-home storage, many people opt to use their garage. While a garage is a great place to store cars, bikes, and outdoor equipment, it’s not an ideal solution for general storage. The fluctuation between extreme temperatures and exposure to humidity can cause damage to so many different household items. Instead of storing in a garage, many people turn to self-storage as an alternative, as you can opt for a climate-controlled storage unit to avoid temperature shifts and humidity. Not sure what is safe to store in your garage? Check out our list of items you should never store in your garage.

8 Items You Should Never Store in Your Garage

Vinyl Records

Vinyl records are not a good candidate for garage storage. If the heat in your garage reaches a high enough temperature, your vinyl records will warp and no longer be playable. When not stored properly, they may also be exposed to dust and dirt that can scratch your vinyl and make it skip. For more in-depth details on proper vinyl record storage, check out our blog post.


Over time, artwork left in a garage can become damaged. The fluctuations in temperature and humidity can cause the art to discolor. Canvases will loosen with constant temperature fluctuation. Plus, any wooden frames will warp due to the constant expansion and shrinking caused by humidity and temperature changes. Instead of storing artwork in your garage, properly pack your artwork and store it in a cool, dark room.


Similar to artwork, photos can become discolored if left in your garage for too long. The humidity may also cause the photos to warp or stick to their frames. For the best photo storage, you should place photos in a dark, acid-free box in a cool room. To protect against water and humidity, your photo boxes can be put into plastic storage bins.


Storing furniture in a garage is an absolute no-go. Leather furniture is the worst furniture item to store in your garage, as it is very susceptible to temperature fluctuations. Cold temperatures could cause the leather to freeze and crack. High humidity in your garage could also ruin the leather. Wooden furniture is also not safe for your garage, as heat and humidity could cause it to warp. Anything with stuffing like couches and chairs may attract animals in the winter looking for somewhere warm to burrow. For best results, furniture should be stored in a climate-controlled environment.


Most electronics are not meant to stand up to the outdoors, and that’s essentially what your garage is like. Not only will your electronics collect dirt and dust, but they will also become damaged. Humidity and temperature fluctuations will destroy batteries and other operating pieces in your electronics. Climate-controlled, clean spaces are best for storing electronics.


High humidity in your storage unit will cause book pages to wrinkle and stick together. Hot temperatures can cause the binding of books to come apart and cover to warp. Check out our blog for the proper book storage tips.


Storing clothing in a garage is not recommended. Any bugs that get into your garage will nest in your clothes, and some will destroy the fabric. Moisture can build up from temperature fluctuations which can cause mold and mildew in your clothing. For the best long-term clothing storage, you should keep your clothes somewhere sealed and temperature-regulated.


Mattresses are far too expensive (and porous) to be stored in a garage. They are very susceptible to mold and mildew, especially in humid and damp environments. Long-term storage can also cause the springs to shift and the mattress to collect dirt and dust. The best method is to wrap your mattress in a mattress protector and store it in climate-controlled storage.

Why Proper Storage Matters

When it comes to storing personal belongings, many people overlook the importance of the storage environment. Proper storage is crucial for preserving the condition and longevity of your items. Incorrect storage conditions can lead to deterioration, damage, and ultimately the loss of valuable possessions. By understanding what should and shouldn’t be stored in certain environments, you can ensure that your belongings remain in good condition for years to come.

Understanding Garage Storage

Garages are commonly used for storage due to their convenience and space. However, garages are typically not climate-controlled environments. This means they are subject to extreme temperature fluctuations and varying humidity levels, which can have detrimental effects on many items. While garages are excellent for storing items designed for outdoor use, they are not suitable for many household goods.

What Can You Store in Your Garage?

While garages are unsuitable for many household items, they are perfect for storing tools, garden equipment, bicycles, and other outdoor gear. Items designed to withstand outdoor conditions can handle the temperature and humidity variations typical in a garage.

Tips for Maximizing Garage Storage

If you decide to use your garage for storage, here are some tips to help you maximize the space and protect your belongings:

1. Use Shelving and Cabinets:

Install sturdy shelves and cabinets to keep items off the floor and organized. This also helps protect them from potential water damage.

2. Label Everything:

Clearly label boxes and containers to make it easier to find items when you need them.

3. Utilize Wall Space:

Hang tools, bicycles, and other equipment on the walls to free up floor space.

4. Regular Maintenance:

Periodically clean and declutter your garage to prevent dust buildup and keep the space organized.

Alternatives to Garage Storage

If your garage is not suitable for storing certain items, consider these alternatives:

1. Self-Storage Units:

Renting a self-storage unit, particularly one that is climate-controlled, can provide a safe environment for sensitive items.

2. Attic or Basement Storage:

Depending on the climate control and insulation of these spaces, they can be suitable for certain types of storage.

3. Under-bed Storage:

For smaller items, under-bed storage bins can be a practical solution.

4. Closet Storage:

Closets inside your home often provide a more stable environment than a garage.

Self-Storage Solutions: Why They’re Worth It

Self-storage units, especially climate-controlled ones, offer a superior alternative to garage storage for many items. These units maintain consistent temperature and humidity levels, protecting your belongings from the damaging effects of extreme environmental changes.

Benefits of Climate-Controlled Self-Storage Units

1. Temperature Regulation:

Keeps temperatures within a safe range for sensitive items, preventing warping, cracking, and other temperature-related damage.

2. Humidity Control:

Maintains a low humidity level, reducing the risk of mold, mildew, and other moisture-related issues.

3. Enhanced Security:

Most self-storage facilities offer enhanced security measures such as surveillance cameras, gated access, and on-site staff, providing an extra layer of protection for your valuables.

4. Clean Environment:

Self-storage units are typically cleaner than garages, reducing the risk of dirt, dust, and pest infestations.

Choosing the Right Storage Unit

When selecting a storage unit, consider the following factors to ensure it meets your needs:

1. Size:

Determine the size of the unit you need based on the volume of items you plan to store. Many facilities offer a range of sizes to accommodate different storage needs.

2. Location:

Choose a facility that is conveniently located, making it easy to access your belongings when needed.
3. Climate Control:

Ensure the facility offers climate-controlled units if you plan to store sensitive items.

4. Security Features:

Look for facilities with robust security measures to protect your belongings.

5. Accessibility:

Check the access hours and whether the facility offers 24/7 access if you need frequent access to your stored items.

Organizing Your Storage Unit

Once you’ve selected a storage unit, organizing it effectively can help you maximize space and keep your belongings accessible:

1. Create an Inventory:

List all items going into storage to keep track of what you have.

2. Use Uniform Boxes:

Standard-sized boxes stack easily and help maximize vertical space.

3. Label Boxes Clearly:

Label each box with its contents and consider numbering them to reference your inventory list.

4. Store Heaviest Items on the Bottom:

This provides a stable base and prevents lighter items from being crushed.

5. Leave a Path:

Create a walkway within your unit to access items easily without having to move everything around.

Seasonal Storage Tips

Different seasons can bring different storage challenges. Here are some tips for storing items seasonally:

Winter Storage Tips

1. Store Summer Items:

As winter approaches, store summer gear such as lawnmowers, gardening tools, and outdoor furniture to protect them from the elements.

2. Protect Against Cold:

If storing liquids, make sure they are in containers that can withstand freezing temperatures to prevent bursting.

Summer Storage Tips

1. Store Winter Gear:

As summer approaches, store winter gear such as snow blowers, snow shovels, and winter sports equipment to free up space in your garage.

2. Humidity Control:

Use desiccants or moisture absorbers in your storage unit to combat high summer humidity levels.

Final Thoughts

Proper storage is essential for preserving the condition and longevity of your belongings. While garages are convenient for storing certain items, they are not suitable for everything. Understanding what can and cannot be safely stored in your garage can help you avoid unnecessary damage to your possessions. For sensitive items like vinyl records, artwork, photos, furniture, electronics, books, clothing, and mattresses, climate-controlled storage is the best option. By taking the time to store your belongings correctly, you can ensure they remain in good condition for years to come.

For more storage tips and detailed guides on preserving your valuable items, be sure to sign up for our once-monthly blog newsletter. Stay informed and keep your belongings safe with expert advice and practical storage solutions.