For many of us the garage is a catchall for stuff that refuses to fit neatly inside our houses. The problem is most garages are neither climate controlled nor dust- or pest-free. Here are five items you should think twice about before keeping them in the garage:
Paint cans left on cement flooring will rust faster, and the extreme temperature fluctuations can ruin the color. Store unused cans in a temperature-neutral room, donate to charity, recycle at a transfer station or safely dispose of them in regular garbage with paint hardener additive from the hardware store.
Refrigerators operate efficiently at surrounding temperatures between 67 to 77 degrees. In warmer or cooler temperatures, refrigerators need to work harder, wasting energy and increasing costs. And, if temps reach below 30 degrees they may not work at all. Place extra fridges and freezers in the basement or insulate your garage, so temperatures stay consistent.
Canned goods have a shorter shelf life when subjected to temps above 70 degrees, costing you money and potentially making you ill if consumed. More efficiently organizing your pantry can help eliminate the need for outside storage.
Electronics are sensitive to temperature fluctuations. Repeated expansion and contraction can loosen contacts, glues and soldering. Humidity can also be a problem.
Propane tanks should never be stored in inside spaces where they can leak, accumulate gas and cause a fire. Always keep propane outdoors where gas can safely ventilate.
The garage isn’t the most ideal place to store many items. The bright side is, this knowledge can encourage you to be more organized elsewhere in the house.
Sources: Reader’s Digest, Good Housekeeping