Your garage is a great storage spot, but remember to be careful about what you stash there. Look out for these common items—paint, canned goods, and plywood—that can quickly become unusable (and even hazardous!) when stored in the garage.

By Katie Bandurski

Prepping for a yard sale or a run to your local thrift store? Don't stash those donations in the garage. Moisture and heat can wreak havoc on electronics, while mice and other rodents can make a nest out of clothes and linens. Instead carve out space in a cool, dry closet inside.

Canned Food

We understand that it's convenient to store extra nonperishables in the garage—especially if you buy in bulk. But temperature fluctuations can cause bacteria to grow in canned goods. Plus, little critters can easily work their way into cereal boxes and other cardboard packaging. Find room in your pantry instead. 

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Paint Cans

Paint becomes unusable when left in extreme temperature conditions, and cans can rust if exposed to moisture. So unless your garage is climate-controlled, opt for storing these leftovers in the basement.


That 24-pack of beer takes up a lot of space, but don't be tempted to stash it in the garage. Although they contain alcohol, beer and wine can easily freeze in cold climates. On the flip side, beer turns foul when exposed to light, and wine can turn to vinegar if heated. Your best bet is to store alcohol in a cool, dark place.


No one wants to run out of gas in the middle of a barbecue, but it's not worth the risk of storing propane tanks in the garage. Find a well-ventilated spot away from the home, and make sure the tank is in working condition. In the winter months, simply cover the tank and leave outside with your grill.


If you're working immediately with wood for a project, you can get away with storing it in the garage. But if you're holding onto pieces for a later project, be careful. Wood can easily warp—especially if it's exposed to temperature and moisture—or if it's not supported properly.


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