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.
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
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 to 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 covers 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.
While garages are not a great storage location for the above items, they can be great for other things. Anything that is used to being outdoors is well-suited for your garage. If it is meant to be in your home, it likely needs a more controlled storage environment. For more storage tips, make sure to sign up for our once-monthly blog newsletter.