Having extra storage space in a home is certainly a perk, but you have to be careful about which items you stash in rooms that experience extreme temperatures and high levels of humidity. Here are 8 items that should never be stored in an attic, basement, or garage:
- Flammables: Things like propane, kerosene, and cleaning supplies (especially those in aerosol cans) are highly combustible, and all it takes is one small spark. Plus, temperature fluctuations can weaken the effectiveness of your cleaning chemicals.
- Paint cans: If you’re keeping leftover paint for future touch-ups, you’ll want to store it somewhere climate-controlled. Hot temperatures can actually change the color of the paint!
- Fabric (clothes, rugs, kids’ stuffed toys, etc.): The higher humidity is attics, basements, and garages can cause mold to grow on fabric materials over time. Plus, pests like mice would just love to use those textile fibers for nesting material.
- Wood furniture & decor: If you have furniture stashed away in your attic, basement, or garage, don’t leave it for too long. Over time, humidity and temperature changes will cause the wood to expand and contract, leaving it warped and cracked. It’s best to either place the furniture in the main part of your home, using a climate-controlled storage unit, or donating it.
- Metal: Be careful with metal, too! While it’s pretty common to keep tools in a garage or basement, any metals that you want to keep in tip-top condition should be stored elsewhere, where humidity can’t cause them to rust.
- Electronics: Extreme temperatures and moisture are electronics’ worst enemies. Avoid storing things like TVs, computers, and game consoles in places that lack climate control.
- Photos: Your treasured photos should never be stored anywhere with extreme heat. Heat can fade the images and cause the edges to curl.
- Food: If you’re looking for a pest infestation, this is probably the best way to make it happen. Blegh! Keep food out of the garage, attic, and basement. If you absolutely must store food in these areas, make sure it’s all in a tightly-sealed, heavy duty plastic container.
If you have some temperature- and moisture-sensitive items that you really need to pack away, your best option might be a climate-controlled storage unit.