A neat garage that’s crawling with pests is not a neat garage at all! And if you store your stuff neatly but improperly, you could face a disaster. Avoid garage organizing mistakes and keep these items safely indoors.

Climate-Sensitive Items

Things that are affected by extreme heat, cold, or humidity belong inside your home, or in a climate-controlled storage unit. These include:

  • Important documents. Don’t lose your marriage certificate (or your rare vintage Pokémon cards) to water damage. High humidity or floods can render valuable items useless.
  • Photos. Heat and damp can cause them to fade prematurely.
  • Vinyl records, which can warp at high temperatures.
  • Wine, which needs a consistent temperature.
  • Delicate clothing that can mold and rot.
  • Paintings, which don’t do well in fluctuating temperatures.
  • Old house paint. Heat can make it unusable.
  • Wooden furniture, which absorbs moisture.

Pest-Affected Items

Don’t store food for humans OR pets in the garage. Mice and rats are expert chewers, and can gnaw through packaging in a heartbeat. Storing food in the garage is basically offering free room and board for anyone who can crawl, sneak, or chew their way inside. Don’t give the mouse a cookie!

Mice and bugs don’t affect only food, either. They can chew up documents and clothing, too—and do you really want to wear something that only probably didn’t have little bug feet on it? Not for me, thanks.

Hazardous Materials

Drop off things like e-waste, old paint, used motor oil, sharps, and medicine at designated drop-off points or events. For more information on hazardous waste disposal in Los Angeles, click here.  

Propane tanks must be stored in a well-ventilated area. A closed garage is not the right place for them.

No Cardboard!

Don’t store anything you truly value in a cardboard box. They’re inexpensive and convenient, but offer zero protection from water. If there’s a leak or a flood, your items will get wet. Use metal or (preferably recycled) plastic containers for more security.

Did I miss any garage organizing mistakes? Let me know in the comments below!

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