Image of old photo albums
Photos are just some of the things to keep out of your garage

Can’t find a place for your extra paint, old photographs, food storage, or gasoline? Find somewhere, these are 4 things to keep out of your garage.

How often do we stick things in the garage just because we can’t find a place for them inside? A garage can hold a lot of items, but some items are best kept in other areas. Here are four things to keep out of your garage.

1. Loose Files, Photos, and Documents

Sentimental people can build up quite the collection of keepsakes. Drawings from children, notes, lose files, and photos are all things we like to keep. If you want to preserve these memories, don’t keep them in the garage.

Paper products are susceptible to water damage from floods or leaks. Stacks of paper also make wonderful homes for mice and other pests.

Instead of storing papers in the garage, store them in plastic or metal bins inside. If you happen to have a locked metal filing cabinet in your garage, your important documents should be safe from floods and pests.

2. Food and Wine

Food, like paper products, attracts mice and pests when stored in the garage. Exposure to extreme heat, cold, and humidity can cause food to spoil.

Even if you plan on storing canned food like tomatoes, beans, or pears, temperatures above 70 degrees will give canned foods a shorter shelf life. Watch out for winter, too. Canned food that freezes and thaws spoils faster.

After you shop in bulk, store food in a pantry or temperature-controlled basement. Keep wine in a cabinet or refrigerator inside your home. Extremes in temperature will cause wine to expand and leak oxidation.

3. Paint

How many of us finish painting a room and then stick the leftover paint in the garage? It seems like a great place to store paint that we can later use for touch-ups.

But, oil-based paint does not last if you stick it in the garage. Extreme temperatures in the summer cause paints to go bad. Also, metal buckets will rust in high humidity or if left on the ground.

Instead, store paint in a cool, dry place in your home. Many people keep paint in a basement or closet. When selecting a spot to store your paint, just make sure it’s in a temperature-controlled, low-moisture area.

4. Hazardous Chemicals

Never keep hazardous chemicals, such as propane and gasoline, in the garage. Gasoline is unsafe to store near cars and other sources of heat. Without ventilation, fumes can leak and build up in the garage.

Similarly, you might keep your propane-fired grill outside during the summer and wheel it into the garage for the winter. But, if you keep both propane and your car in the garage, you risk igniting fumes from the propane when you start your car. Garages are also dangerous places to store hazardous chemicals because children and pets can get into them.

Where can you store these hazardous chemicals? Store propane tanks in a cool, ventilated area outside the house. Tanks should be set in an upright position away from rain gutters to avoid getting wet. If propane does get wet, it can rust and damage the controls.

You can store gasoline in a shed away from your home. Just make sure the gasoline is out of reach of children.


Don’t worry, there are still things you can keep in your garage! Obviously garages are the perfect place to park your car. In the garage, your car is away from the elements, and it is less likely that someone will break into it. You can keep woodworking supplies, tools, workout equipment, and toys in the garage, too.

But, next time you’re looking for a place to store loose paper, food, paint, and hazardous chemicals, find a place other than the garage to keep them safe.


Image of movie clapper board
Many films feature epic garage scenes

More than one movie has made its name by emphasizing cars. The Fast and the Furious. The Italian Job.
The Cannonball Run. Cars. Although more people remember the dramatic car chases in these kinds of movies, the real story often lies with the garage.

Don’t believe us? Consider these famous films centered on cars (or a pair of best friends) and just how telling garage scenes can be.

Batman Begins

. . . in the Batcave.

The Batcave is where Bruce Wayne first faces his worst fear. It’s where he gets the idea both for his superhero identity and for his spotlight symbol in the sky. It’s also where he parks his car.

Granted, most of us can’t afford the sort of garage that Batman has (most of us don’t have caves under the southeast wing of our mansions). But our garages can still say a lot about us.

The most significant part of it, as Batman shows, may be the door. You haven’t reached the Batcave until you’ve burst through the waterfall-or another classy garage door of your choice.

The Batmobile may be more visible. It may be more iconic. But it’s not as symbolic or significant as the Batcave. Bruce Wayne becomes Batman in his garage:

“Why do we fall, Bruce? So we can learn to pick ourselves up.”

Back to the Future

How can any car compete with the DeLorean? Even if all it did was open its doors vertically, it would be tough to beat. The fact that it carries Marty McFly through time brings it to the top.

We learn this movie’s focus-time travel-from the garage as well as the car. The garage that doubles as a science lab for a certain wild-haired doctor is where the idea for time travel is born.

The DeLorean brings the adventure about only after the garage has made it possible.

Gone in 60 Seconds

“A brother’s love . . .” That’s why-at least in one movie-stealing cars is okay. Sometimes you have to in order to save your brother’s

There are dozens of cars certain to excite auto enthusiasts in this movie, from vintage to modern models. Admittedly, a lot of the action happens out on the streets or in car dealerships, where the chases and thefts occur.

However, we learn why the action happens from within the massive warehouse serving as a garage for stolen cars. Thieves bring cars through towering garage doors for the sake of saving Kip, Memphis’s young brother.

Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure

Sometimes a garage can tell a story even without a car. In Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, for example, two “most excellent” dudes don’t have a car of their own. However, they do have a garage band. And as it turns out, the foundation of the future world depends on the success of the “Wyld Stallyns.”

Unfortunately, Ted may be shipped off to military school in Alaska, wreaking havoc upon the band and the world it has to save.

If Bill and Ted can’t pass a history report, their band won’t be able to end war, align planets, or provide excellent dancing music.

The band destined to do all of these things begins in a garage.

The Place to Be

Whether you are facing your fears, “boosting” cars in 60 seconds, traveling through time, or saving the world without a car, chances are that you’re doing it from your garage. Even if you’re simply helping your neighborhood look classy, that’s “most excellent” too.

Garages say a lot about their owners. It’s true in the movies, so it must be true about you.