Stockpiling: What to keep in the garage

When you live in the south, unfortunately  you do not have a basement, attic or garage that you can keep food or stockpile items in. You have to be creative and organized in the ways that you can store items.

A friend of mine asked me to post what I store in my garage. I am NOT an expert on this at all, it is mostly trial and error. Who knew deoderant would melt?? Well, I do now! It was also nicely pointed out to me by a friend that I was killing my batteries by keeping them in the hot garage. Honestly, I had forgotten my basic 11th grade science class about how batteries work and that I really needed to keep them in the cold if possible.

Also, there is the issue of the cement, the chemiclas from it will leach into your food products so you have to store everything up off the ground. This also goes for anything you are storing water/liquid in. Do not store your food or other products near gasoline, insecticides or other chemicals. The plastic that these chemicals are stored in is porous and can leach into your food and products also. These items should be in a separate cabinet on the other side of the garage.

Most people have the same problems with garage storage. Either your summers are too hot or the winters are too cold. I am not sure there is a perfect climate for all year long non-climate controlled garage storage.

These are the things that I store in my garage:
Laundry Products
Cleaning Supplies
Liquid Hand Soap
Shampoo and Conditioner
Paper Products
Air Fresheners
Toothbrushes and Toothpaste
Body Wash

Things that I don’t store in the garage anymore or never have

Lotion ( it all separates in the heat, even shaking it something happens to it!)
Diaper’s ( they smell milldewy to me… call me crazy!)
Candles (obvously these melt!)
Make Up (I never kept this in the garage, but the heat will ruin it)
Food, canned or boxed or otherwise!

Although I do not keep food in my garage out in the open, I do have a refridgerator and chest freezer in my garage.

What do you keep in your garage?



  1. Amber Davis says

    My cats. :)
    JK. Only keep extra drinks and water in the garage. And then of course we have a freezer out there for all the frozen stuff that won’t fit in our freezer in the house. I need to storey stuff out in the garage (since I’m running out of room inside the house) but we need shelving!

    • Jan says

      We learned the hard way that a freezer should never be in the garage due to the temperature fluctuations. The compressor in ours overheated, caused an electrical fire, and our house burned. The adjuster who came gave us a brochure that showed that the best place for the deep freeze is in our basement or at least in the house where the even temperature keeps the freezer also at an even temperature and therefore keeps the compressor from overheating on hot summer days. Just a warning so no one loses everything the way we did!

      • says

        First, I am very sorry for your loss. Was your freezer an automatic defrost? After, our house burned down (Ours was old wiring in the wall), we were in the market for a new freezer. Our research indicated that if it is a manual defrost, you can keep it in the garage. That was important because it was in the garage where we rented.

  2. Rachell says

    I keep nothing in the garage… I have to lock my pantries because the kids will sneak food in the middle of the night. I forgot to lock it one day last week and found an empty frosting container!

  3. Carolyn Green says

    Just starting with couponing so haven’t got a stockpile going yet. I am looking forward to filling my 2 pantries to the roof. In the process of digging out our basement to have a tornado shelter in light of recent outbreak in my state of Arkansas, after it is finished I will have room there too..YEAH

  4. michael russell says

    I have a questions about how do you organize your collection of daily coupons. What type of book do you keep them in or do you keep them in a box.

    • Maricela says

      She keeps her’s in a binder that I got to see during one of her classes. Her’s is way bigger and has double rings so you can fill it in on both sides but for us newbies a ZIPPER BINDER works really well. Insert some baseball card holders to put your coupons in and presto!

    • Donna says

      I use 3 ring binders for all my coupons, 3 different ones for 3 different months and rotate coupons out :) for example: may, june and july, when may passes I will start with august

  5. says

    Lotion can go watery if we keep it in our bathroom…right now we don’t have a garage(it’s getting close on our “to build” list but not at the top yet) but in a unit on our back porch I’ve stuck to just laundry stuff…what the 100 degree heat won’t get the humidity on the back porch will…well whenever we are blessed with rain again lol

  6. MAlissa says

    I live near Savannah in southern Georgia with heat indexes sometimes up to 120 degrees so I only put in the garage (we don’t have basements here) paper products and liquid laundry detergent, light bulbs and that’s about it. Exteme heat or exteme cold can ruin alot of things. With razons can’t the plastic melt? Wouldn’t the heat hurt the consistency of the toothpaste?

  7. Emily says

    What is the reasoning for not leaving canned or boxed food in the garage? Is it just the heat/cool factor or is there another reason?

    • says

      It is the extreme heat to cold. Plus with all the BPA and other issues with containers keeping them at a constant temp. means less leaching of chemicals from the container to the food. I don’t leave water out in the garage anymore for that reason.

      • Anonymous says

        Keep in mind that the warehouses that store these items, before the store gets them, are not temperature controlled. My husband works in one and in the summer it is extremly hot and frezzing in the winter.

        • Sam says

          Canned goods, stored off cement, Rice, Wheat, water, soda, dried beans, cleaning supplies, cereal in plastic bag-lined boxes, crackers or boxed mixes packed the same way are all okay for garage storage…just remember that high heat will shorten their NUTRITIONAL value somewhat, as well as their SHELF LIFE. But if you STORE WHAT YOU EAT AND EAT WHAT YOU STORE, you should be using it before this happens. Things that should be stored in temperature controlled areas, other than what has already been mentioned, are: oily foods like mayonaise, oil, chips, nuts, precooked bacon. Also dry pasta, because they are not packaged well, and will attract weevil.
          Hope this helps!

  8. Amber says

    Ok what if I have cereal, bags of chec mix and boxes of noodles in a plasitc box with a lid in my gargage on the middle shelf?? Whats your opinion on that???I could move it in my pantry it just takes up so much space I see some people with cereal out on a shelf?? I assumed it was ok

    • Tiffany says

      I have not tried it that way! If you have not had any problems I would think it would be fine. We have so many little bugs here I would be scared to try it!

    • anna says

      Ok so u say no food in the garage. I planted a garden this year and planned on canning a lot of my veggies. I have no storage space in my house to keep these things. I planned on putting shelving in my climate controlled mini storage so I would have a place to put it all…would this be ok? I live in southeast texas and in july and august it does get a little warm in my storage but nothing like it would be if it weren’t climate controlled? Am I safe to do this?

      • Sam says

        If the jars don’t freeze, you’ll be fine. Heat may affect the color of the fruit, but if the jar remains sealed you should be fine.

  9. Tracy says

    We can’t store ANYTHING in our garage…We live in rural west TN and we get field mice in our garage all the time…Not taking any chances on mice getting into my stockpile…I’m new to couponing, but have already started to fill up one closet in my utility room…Soon I will need another closet and that’s when my hubby may get angry with me…We’re pressed for space as it is…

  10. Joie says

    The beauty of wipes drying out is, when you need them, just add 1/4-1/2 cup of warm water to the package, and voila, no money lost. you can also add a tsp or two of rubbing alcohol to the water and make disinfectant wipes for your hands, or the car. Ive even added a few drops of essentental or natural oil for a nice scent. Just dont use them to wipe down counters, etc cause it will leave a film as wipes usually have aloe, lotions in them and a mild soap.

  11. Jennifer Anderson says

    Just a note that some body washes will seperate in the heat of a garage. I learned hard way:( The womens Nivea seperated on me.

  12. Jamie says

    Great list! My husband recently was medically retired from the military so we’ve lived in alot of different climates. As of right now were in Illinois and the weather here has all four seasons from cold winters to hot summers.

    – Wipes need to be in a stable climate places, cold will freeze the them and then if you thaw them out it will just be dry and the heat will suck out moisture in them also.

    – Laundry products in the cold will freeze but stay good if they thaw out.
    * This will happen w/ any liquids in the winter.

    But, same as somebody else I have to keep my stock pile in a small walk in closet we have next to our laundry room so that my kids dont raid it and my daughter who’s only 2 will get into everything if I keep it out. I keep a freezer in our garage to store the extra frozen foods in.

  13. Kayla says

    I should have read this an hour ago!! I litteraly just re-aranged my cabinents in the garage and moved all my deoderant, toothpaste and bodywash out to the garage to free up space in the bathrooms!! My thinking on why it was o.k. for that out in the garage was, when this stuff is delivered in trucks…they are not in climate control trucks, and sometimes on these trucks for days…and then when they get to the stores, most backrooms are not air conditioned…some are but not to often. We live in CA. and we do get to 105 in the summer, so the garage is going to get hot…I may leave the stuff out for a few more weeks, then bring it back in, maybe leave one of each and see what happens! I also have another seprate cabintent for food and only keep dry food, canned food and drinks in it. I also do cereal & crackers, my cabinent has doors…but we go thru cereal and crackers like crazy in my house so it is never out there too long.

    • says

      While they are shipped in non-climate control trucks often, there are issues with them separating before delivery. I’ve bought peanut butter recently that was gooey like it had been in 100degree heat. Had to almost freeze it to make it firm up for use. Peter Pan confirmed it was most likely compromised due to heat fluctuations. Most likely a freeze/thaw cycle. I live up north so we store everything inside currently. No garage if I wanted, but I worry about the heat/cold and I don’t have time to check stock for texture.

  14. Theresa Hutson says

    First of all, in the 15 years I have been married I have NEVER put a car in the garage. My hubby is a wood worker–and sisters let me tell you–he has STUFF!! I did manage to get some stoare area for myself. My area is lined with shelves and I keep offseason or next size up clothes for my six kids–all in plastic bins with mothballs. When our local borders went out of business I snaged some of the tall shelves to put future groceries on. Right now I have all my cleaning and paper products in the garage. I also have all my cans, jars and comdiments out there. I recently started putting all my Quaker cereals out there on the top shelves. We go thru so much cold cereal around here that it all stays in the kitchen. What I need is a HIDING PLACE for all the goodies so my kids don’t stuff it all down like its a contest.
    I have had a self defrosting freezer and extra frig outside for five years now.

    I didn’t know about the deoderant and makeup–since I just have a few in the garage–but thanks to your info I will pull it all in. Thanks ladies for all the info.

  15. Michelle says

    I am very new to couponing. Just started ! I really could use some help. Could someone please e-mail me a list of sites ? I have no clue were to start. Thanks so much for your time.

    • Margo says

      I use or You will be able to get all the information you need at these two sites and also make printable grocery lists. Good luck!

  16. Latoya says

    I am glad I found this. We are investing in buying a deepfreezer and take the refrigerator out of the storage building!

  17. says

    What a great post! The only thing (besides my saw’s and framing equiptment) that I keep in the garage is 1 (of my 2) freezers! It was the only place left for it.

  18. Judy says

    Pepsi and other sodas should not be kept in the heat. The flavor will change, and it’s pretty disgusting. I bought some canned and 2 liter sodas from a store that had been out of power for a few days after a twister, and the sodas were bad!

  19. ms. coupon says

    My stockpile is on shelving units and in cupboards in the basement. When my sister remodeled her kitchen. I took 2 of her base cupboards to put in my basement. So I store most of my stockpile in them. Laundry Detergent and Fabric Softener is stored on a shelf near the washer and dryer.

    The best thing about living here is we have basements to store our stockpile. So it stays at a constant temperature. Mine stays about 60 degrees year around. I also have two insulated bins in the basement. One is for potatoes the other one is for apples when we buy them in the fall. I go pick my own apples by the bushel. They last in the insulated box for 6 to 9 months.

  20. betsy says

    i’ve learned the hard way to use up gel deoderants … i had to throw many away since they eventually turn to water if not used right away !!!

  21. Gabrielle says

    This is so useful to me! I don’t have my own place yet but I will soon. Right now I have a small stockpile at my mom’s of laundry soap (amoung other cleaning supplies) I’ve been collecting for a while. I’m getting a place soon and this will help. Thank you guys so much!

  22. Jennifer says

    So i am very very new to couponing (as in i just started collecting them and havent really shopped with them yet) So any advice that you have for me will be very helpful :) also i live in California so i dont think that leaving food in my garage would be a problem? Thanks and i look forward to saving lots and lots of money :)

  23. Dianna says

    Down here in Texas, garages just get too hot for food and some supplies. We are also in a small house. So I talked my husband into sharing the garage. We built a wall with a door, separating his work area from the food storage area. (workroom is smaller) His area goes to the outside, food storage is attached to the kitchen side. With that door in between. We cut a hole in the brick wall, added an outlet and plugged an A/C unit in. The room stays most of the time at 70 degrees or cooler. We have used others old cabinets and hung them for bottled foods, crackers, cereal etc..and got creative for the can goods and #10 can storage. It is really working for us.

  24. Julie says

    This is all great stuff to know. I too am pretty new to Couponing, but am beginning to grow a mini stockpile mostly soaps, shampoo, deodorant, detergent ect. anyways I have been storing them in my linen closet and want to move things down to the garage. I store food in the pantry but that is getting cramped.This site has been very helpful. Now I know what I can put in there and what I shouldn’t. Thanks!

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