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Five items you should never keep in your garage

The garage is an essential storage hub in the home, but did you know, some items can spoil or become dangerous for your family when kept there?

Over time, the garage often becomes less of a space to keep cars, and more of an extra room for storage. Past relics, items you are not quite ready to throw away, tools and equipment build up, and eventually you forget what is in the boxes, containers or bags.

While the garage can be the perfect space for extra storage, its unique environment makes it susceptible to fluctuating temperatures, humidity and, though we don’t like to admit it, bugs and pests!

This environment can lead to some products or belongings becoming unsafe and potentially harmful to your family. A quick check of the garage will immediately tell you if you have any of these five items that should be stored elsewhere.

Pet food

If the only animal you want to feed is the one you intentionally bought the food for, then it’s best not to keep pet food in the garage! Open bags of pet food, especially in warm climates like the garage, can attract unwanted guests (rats!), bacteria and lead to food spoilage. If you want to keep your beloved pets healthy and happy, and your garage pest free, then it is best to store your pet food in an airtight container in the house.


Unless you are one of the lucky ones with a wine cellar or fridge, it’s likely that you have at least a few bottles sitting out in your garage right now. Wine should be stored between 12 and 14 degrees Celsuis, as too much heat can cause it to oxidize, or in other words, go sour!  If you are inclined to have a few bottles on hand, we recommend purchasing a digital thermometer to measure if your garage is the best place to keep them. If not, it might be time to find another spot to store your wine in the house.


Much like wine, differing temperatures in your garage throughout the year can ruin your paint. Extreme heat and cold will cause it to curdle, affecting the colour and consistency. Not to mention, keeping hazardous material in your garage is not the best idea. To avoid disappointment and a potentially dangerous situation, it is best to read the instructions on the paint can to understand the best way to store it.

If you are wanting to dispose of old paint cans, make sure you do not simply place these in your rubbish bin. Instead, you should take paint cans to your local hazardous waste collection site.

Kids toys

Like most families, you likely have a large collection of old toys in your garage. Dust mites, insects and even mice may infest your toys if they are kept in the open. To keep yourself and your children safe from unwanted pests, store toys in an airtight container. Or perhaps this is an excuse to do a bit of spring cleaning and reduce your toy inventory!

Printed photographs and documents

Though you might not think so, printed photographs, documents and garages do not mix well. Differing temperatures will ruin your photos, causing them to either fade, mould, discolour or stick together. Mould especially can be harmful to your family’s health, and think about the potential fire hazard of storing all of that paper in the garage? Cool, dry climates are best for protecting your printed memories.

So, which of these five things surprised you most? It is easy to forget the garage is not climate controlled like the interior of your home.  Now you know what not to keep in your garage, it’s time to get out there and make your garage safe for the whole family!

For more information about Merlin’s range of garage door openers and accessories, contact our Customer Service team on 0800 653 667 or visit our website.