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Where You Should (and Shouldn’t) Store Things in Your Home as You Prep for the Winter

Taliah Karim October 19, 2022
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The changeover to fall and winter is often a little melancholy as we bid adieu to the fair weather months and prep for a strong winter. The storage battle is sometimes a challenge.
The garage, basement, and attic are all go-to seasonal storage solutions—we know this. In the crunch to get everything put away, it’s tempting to simply stick it where it fits. That could be, unfortunately, a setup for disappointment. The garage, basement, and attic are three distinct environments and the things they store best aren’t always interchangeable. To help you make sure everything in storage survives the winter, check out our recommendations below!

The Garage

Obvious contenders for storage space in the garage are anything car-related, from antifreeze and oil to bike racks and camping gear you’ll load up again in the spring. When there’s no shed, lawn and garden tools are another logical garage resident. Storing outdoor items is okay, as long as they can withstand cold temperatures and variable humidity. You’ll also need to be sure any appliances or machinery are stored according to the manufacturer. Some items may need to be stored with topped-up fluid levels while others, like a pressure washer, should be completely drained before being stored away.
Don’t store anything that might attract animals or insects. It’s virtually impossible to seal a garage, so pet food and birdseed are fair game. Anything that’s potential bedding, things like paper, books, bedding, or sleeping bags are at risk in a garage.


Basements are a bit of a storage game of chance. A finished, well-sealed, and dehumidified space may be no different than anywhere else in your home in terms of storage risk. The unfinished basement or utility room, however, is a different matter. Dampness and mold might be the biggest hazards here. Temperature swings can cause problems and the risks of sewer backups or a failed sump pump are a real issue in some parts of the country, particularly older and rural neighborhoods.
Family memories like photos and school crafts are often most vulnerable to damage in high-humidity locations. If you’ve sorted through the things you want to keep, treat them as the precious heirlooms they are and store them somewhere more suitable. Your basement probably isn’t the insect magnet to rival your garage but keep clothes out of the basement if you’re aware of these pests.
With a heating vent and/or dehumidifier, the rules for basements change; however, it’s still a good idea to keep things off the floor in case of flooding. Consider containers with tight-fitting lids and add silica gel packs and lavender sachets to further protect stored items.

Storage Unit

If you’re not able to store things in your home—maybe you live in a condo or apartment, or you’ve already maxed out your storage options—storage units and facilities could also be a good way to go. When it comes to what belongs in a storage unit, it falls in line with many of the things you would store in your garage. Tools, seasonal items, patio furniture, or even summer or winter tires could be good options for your out-of-home storage.
If you need to purge, consider a yard sale. A thorough decluttering will increase the availability of quality storage space. The same holds for things you’ve been hanging onto long past their best-before dates. You’ll not only make more room, but you have a head start on next year’s spring cleaning.

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