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Why you shouldn’t store canned goods in the garage

The USDA recommends storing canned goods in a cool, dry location.

Stockpiling food and water is like a little insurance policy: Hopefully you never have to rely on it, but if you do, if could prove to be priceless. Whether it’s the threat of natural disaster or the fear of a pandemic, having a safety stash of food and water can give you a little piece of mind. However, if you’re planning to store your stockpile in the garage, you may want to reconsider.

While it may be a neatly out-of-the-way option, the garage isn’t necessarily the best place to store your excess canned goods. The USDA recommends storing canned goods in a cool, dry location — and most garages fail on both accounts.

Damp garages can cause cans to rust rather quickly. Rusted cans can have tiny holes that will allow bacteria to enter. (If the rust is light enough that you can rub it off with your finger, and no rust is present inside the can, the food is still safe to eat.) Cans stored in a hot garage — or one that, even on occasion, exceeds 85ºF — have a high likelihood of spoiling.

The USDA also recommends never storing your canned goods — emergency or otherwise — near the stove or under the sink, for similar reasons.

If any canned goods are bulging, rusted, leaky or deeply dented, they should be thrown out immediately. Also, going through canned goods every month or so and eliminating cans that have expired can help make room for newer items.


While your extra cans may take up kitchen space, the safest place to store your stockpile is in the kitchen pantry or other dry interior home temperature-controlled closet or pantry.

If you’re having trouble finding space for your stockpile, it might be time to do some spring cleaning. Or, if you’re stockpiling for something like hurricane season or possible health pandemic, you could also stock up on canned goods, store them in your home temporarily, then make a nice donation to your local food bank should those items end up going unused.

Meghan Rodgers is editor of Everybody Craves. Reach her at 412-380-8506 or See other stories, videos, blogs, recipes and more at

6 Easy DIY Garage Projects to Complete While You’re Stuck Inside

If sheltering in place is taking a toll on you, get out of the house and tackle a task or two in the garage. “This spot tends to be where clutter gathers—where we throw the stuff we’ll just deal with later—so consider giving it a good cleaning out,” says Julie Coraccio, an organizing professional and author of “Got Clutter? 365 Journal Prompts.”

If you have a garden, spring is the perfect time to organize all those pots, tools, and other gear so you’re ready to plant flowers and veggies when the time comes. Grab some work gloves and check out this list of six easy ways to spruce up your garage with all that extra time on your hands.

1. Create wall storage

A jumble of wrenches, pliers, and random screws does not make for an efficient workspace. Look for ideas on what kind of organization systems you can setup. You could also install a pegboard. This easy DIY chore can be accomplished in mere minutes. Amazon has a great selection of pegboards in a variety of colors. To determine how big of a board you’ll need, lay the tools you’d like to hang on the floor or a piece of paper and measure the length and width around them.

2. Organize sports gear

Aren’t you tired of tripping over soccer balls and hockey sticks rolling around on the floor every time you unload groceries from the car? Put an end to it! Stock up on mesh bags for all those balls and order wire bins for other equipment.

An over-the-door plastic shoe holder is ideal for sneakers, golf shoes, tennis sweat bands, and other small items. And you can drill a couple of heavyweight hooks into your ceiling or garage beams to hold bikes that are taking up precious floor space.

3. Scrub garbage cans

Banish odors from your garage by cleaning your garbage cans. Take your containers to the yard and spray them with a hose. Next, scrub tough interior stains and sticky spots with a wire brush and then use a big sponge and liquid cleanser to clean the inside and exterior. Allow the cans to dry in the sun or wipe them with an old towel.

4. Detail your car

Now is the perfect time to give the interior of your car a good cleaning — vacuum the interior, wipe down the steering wheel, dashboard, door handles, turn signals and clean the windows.

Don’t forget about your car’s exterior. Enlist your kids to help you wash the outside too.

5. Designate recycling and donation bins

Make sure you have separate containers for items that need to be recycled and donated.

Many donation locations like Goodwill or the Salvation Army are not accepting items at this time, so designate a spot in your garage for any items you clean out of your garage. That way you’ll know exactly what to grab when you’re able to drop off your wares.

6. Add a home gym

You may not have the resources to make over your garage into your personal workout haven, but if you have the space, dedicate a corner of the room to your Peloton or yoga mat. An accent wall or bright floor covering is a quick way to designate a sweat zone—and you can add a cushioned exercise mat for more comfort.

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Source: “6 Easy DIY Projects To Take On While You’re Stuck Inside,” by Jennifer Kelly Geddes