From seasonal sports equipment and appliances to clothes that you’re just not ready to part with, the garage often becomes the resting place for those ‘occasionally used’ or ‘sometimes’ needed items.
However, without the same insulation and ventilation as inside the house, these items can be at risk of damage from heat or moisture.
Here are six tips to help make sure your belongings are stored safely, so you can get the most out of your garage.
Deal with dangerous items first
When storing anything that’s potentially dangerous, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Never keep propane tanks in the garage (or any other enclosed space), as they can leak and ignite.
Flammable materials such as gasoline can be kept in the garage, but should be kept away from concrete floors or ignition sources.
Chemicals, pesticides and other toxic items should always be stored away from other items in the garage. Put safety first by storing these items in a locked cupboard where they are out of the way and can’t be accidently knocked over or disturbed.
A second fridge or freezer
Space wise, it might seem like a brilliant idea to keep a second fridge or freezer in the garage. However, garages are prone to high temperatures during summer, which means your fridge or freezer will have to work harder to keep your food cold, driving up your energy bill.
If you can’t give up your garage fridge, but are still worried about those electricity bills, consider insulating the garage walls and roof to help control those summertime temps.
Bats and balls up and away
The garage can quickly become piled up with sports equipment as competitive seasons end.
From runaway balls to shin pads and gloves, storage cubes could be the end of your sports gear woes by keeping these items neatly tucked away for the next season of play.
A peg board is a great solution for storing bats, rackets or hockey sticks while bungee cords can help lift larger items, such as surf or bodyboards, up and out of the way.
As temperatures rise, it will soon be time to pack away the casserole dishes, slow cookers and heaters in exchange for barbeques and fans. Rather than keeping these seasonal items in the home, save space by storing them in the garage.
When storing kitchen goods, remember to store with care; use original cases where possible, and keep cloth or paper towel between layers to prevent scratches when stacking.
Heaters and fans can both be safely stored in the garage and should be placed in a dust-free environment (such as a box) when clean.
Storing fabric items in the garage
For those without an attic or internal storage, the garage can seem like a simple solution to store clothing. However, the garage can be home to small insects and rodents who may take refuge in fabric. Plus, the garage can be a prime breeding ground for mould.
If you’re going to store soft fabric items in the garage, start by getting a pest control team in to prepare the building.
Invest in a good quality airtight container to keep your items fresh and be sure to keep the container off the ground to avoid water damage. Add a few natural cedar wood balls to keep away moths and bugs.
While you probably wouldn’t think of your luggage as linen, the fabric is still susceptible to mould, insects and rodents. Before storing it in the garage, ensure you remove any dust and debris and place them in luggage covers in a cool dry place.
Remember to check these items periodically for mould or damage.
Never store these items in the garage
Any items that are fragile and sensitive to rapid changes in temperature and moisture should not be stored in the garage. For example, paint, furniture, art, canned food, wine, fine clothing items and electronics may be susceptible to damage if stored in extreme conditions.