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Safety Tips to Get Your Garage Ready for Spring


(Family Features) When you throw open the windows to welcome spring breezes, you’ll likely be spending more time with the garage door open, too. Make access to your outdoor equipment safer with these tips to get your garage ready for spring.

Organizing clutter accumulated during months of lesser use is part of the process. Spring is also an ideal time to ensure your garage equipment and features are secure and functioning properly.

  • During the winter months, your garage floor tends to capture grime and grit from the outdoors, especially where your car sits. Take time to thoroughly sweep and mop, but also take stock of the floor’s condition for any chips or other damage that may grow worse over time and pose a risk for tripping or other safety issues.
  • Check your garage door performance. Ensure doors are rolling smoothly with no hitches. If you do happen to notice any abnormalities, it’s a good time to investigate. In some cases, a little grease or a minor adjustment is all you need to get things back on track.
  • Don’t forget to check your garage door sensors, too. Warmer weather means animals and children (and their toys) are more likely to find themselves in an automated door’s path when it begins to lower. Ensure sensors are operating properly to prevent injury or property damage.
  • Verify all outlets, lights and other electrical features are in proper operating condition and all wires are intact and free of damage or fraying.
  • Ensure any poisonous materials, such as paint, garden pesticides, cleaners and automotive fluids, are safely stored out of reach of pets and children that may have increased access to the garage during warmer months. Also check for spills or leaks of any potentially hazardous or flammable materials.

Taking time to safety-proof your garage can provide your family months of stress-free use all spring and summer long. Find more tips for getting your garage in order at eLivingtoday.com.

Photo courtesy of Adobe Stock

15 Things You Should Never Store in Your Garage

To keep your home safe and pest-free and your belongings in good shape, don’t ever store these items in your garage.

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seal pet foodFAMILY HANDYMAN

Pet Food

Storing pet food in your garage is basically inviting pests into your home for a delicious snack. If you must keep pet food in the garage (or even when it’s inside your house), be sure that it’s inside a tightly sealed plastic or metal container. Rodents can easily chew through paper or cardboard packaging. Check out these 28 additional tips for controlling pests in and around your home.

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dirty paint rags

Oily Rags


Never store oil-soaked rags in your garage. Spontaneous combustion (and a devastating fire) can occur when oily rags are stored where the internal heat that is generated isn’t allowed to escape. Find out how to dispose of oily rags here.

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gardening books _117426448_23GFDUNT/SHUTTERSTOCK



You want to save your favorite books from childhood to give to your kids or grandkids someday, but storing them in the garage isn’t the best solution. Silverfish are insects that thrive in dark, damp environments such as garages, basements and crawl spaces, and these bugs love to feast on starchy substances, such as the glue that binds books. These simple bookcase plans will give you more storage space for your books.

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While firewood may be an important year-round staple in your home or backyard, it’s also a magnet for pests that will happily make the jump into your house. Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house — that includes the garage — and only bring in as much as is necessary.

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Sleeping Bags


Fluctuating temperatures and humidity are not ideal conditions for storing fabric. It can get moldy, and rodents love to chew it. It’s tempting to stash sleeping bags with other non-fabric camping supplies in the garage, but don’t do it! Store sleeping bags, clothes and other fabric items inside your house. Plus: These 16 camping hacks will improve your stay in the great outdoors.

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Frozen paint chunksFAMILY HANDYMAN



Extreme heat and extreme cold can alter paint formulas. So if the temperature in your garage is a rollercoaster throughout the year, it’s not an ideal place for storing your leftover paint. Check the paint can label for recommended storage temperatures. But if your paint happens to freeze during the winter, it’s not necessarily ruined. Here’s how to tell if paint that’s been frozen is still good.

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Your child’s favorite toys — especially stuffed animals and other plush toys — should be stored in an area other than the garage. Dust mites, other insects and even mice may have their way with the toys if given the chance. If you must store toys in the garage, make sure they are in airtight containers. Check out these 12 awesome ideas for storing toys.


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propane tank

Propane Tanks


A propane tank is usually safe, but if it happens to leak in an enclosed space such as your garage, any small spark — even starting your car — can cause a fire. Keep them outside, in an area that won’t be subject to extremely high temperatures.


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shutterstock_605370098 old computer laptopARI N/SHUTTERSTOCK

Old Computers


Humidity and temperature fluctuations can cause computers and other electronics to short out. Always store electronics inside your home. And if it’s time to get rid of old computers, follow this advice instead of cluttering up your garage.

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restore old print photos photographs polaroids memoriesSUSAN LEGGETT/SHUTTERSTOCK

Printed Photographs


Printed photos (especially those that don’t have digital copies) should never be stored in the garage. Heat, cold and humidity will quickly ruin those cherished memories. Instead, here are the best ways to store old print photos.

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Important Papers and Files


Don’t risk keeping those important papers such as medical records, passports and birth certificates in your garage. The same goes for photos as they could be damaged by water and excess moisture in the air. If you need to keep some paper items in the garage, store them in an airtight plastic container. These 15 home office storage ideas will make your life easier.

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cabinet wine rack



Fluctuating temperatures and humidity can actually alter the taste of wine. Luckily, we’ve got this great indoor storage idea that you can build yourself.

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Old Clothing


Consider storing your old clothing — whether your favorite dresses, winter coats or sweaters — someplace other than the garage. Clothes attract moths, and fur and leather don’t hold up well when stored in damp areas. Keep clothing in sealed plastic bags and store in another area of the home. These 11 clothes storage ideas will transform your closet.

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Canned Food


Contrary to what you may think, canned foods are not spoil-proof and should be stored at temperatures between 50 and 70 degrees. Humidity in a garage can also cause cans and metal lids on glass jars to rust, potentially causing a chemical reaction with the food inside.

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Rugs and Carpeting


Rolled up rugs and carpeting make great homes for insects and mice, so consider storing them in a spot other than your garage. The rug and carpet fibers will also absorb moisture and odor, which may ruin them if left for long periods. Learn how to clean area rugs yourself.

Rachel Brougham

Writer and editor with a background in news writing, editorial and column writing and content marketing.

TO YOUR HEALTH: Packing up and moving – just part of life’s changes

Springing forward in time always spurs me into Spring Cleaning, and this year we have a colossal task in front of us as we prepare to pack up the house we’ve called home for the last 12 years.

Twelve years may not sound long to some, but for me, it’s been an eternity — in fact, the longest period of time I’ve ever stayed in one place.

I like change, and perhaps even weirder, I love moving. I love cleaning out closets, organizing shelves, re-organizing shelves, finding new places for my favorite things, and creating that “home” feel in a new place.

I know, I know … there should be a support group for people like me, but you must consider that as a Marine Corps kid I moved all the time. That was my normal. So, as an adult, I tend to survey my surroundings every two or three years and wonder why they are the same.

But I digress … spring cleaning. This year will involve quite a bit more than washing curtains and oiling cabinets, and I will admit I’m a little overwhelmed in some areas.

The garage, for example, seems like an Alice in Wonderland rabbit hole of WD-40, ant killer, fertilizer, butterfly nets, shovels, gloves, rainboots … the list literally goes on for days.

Think about your garage. It is the holder of all random objects — the things you save for “future use as needed.” Do I pack half bags of soil? I can imagine throwing away useful soil for my flowers! What about the scrap metal I’ve saved for future school projects? And, how many coolers does one family need? Six seems like an excessive number. What about a broken go cart? The engine works, but the frame is bent. We haven’t managed to repair it for a few years. Do we move it and repair it “later”?

And that’s just the garage.

Who wants to clean out their attic? Ours houses the crib, high chair, pool floats, Little People Toys, and my high school mums. Yes, my high school mums have moved with me throughout my entire life. It might be time to let those go.

Ironically, much of my social circle is embarking on this same spring cleaning project. One of my high school friends just bought a new house in Oklahoma. Another is helping to sell his dad’s house. My sister in Houston just sold her house and moved. My sister-in-law is developing ideas for a lake cabin in Nocona.

My friends and family have mournfully looked at our backyard as we prepare to say goodbye to what we’ve so lovingly referred to as “The Puddle” for so many years.

But, it seems 2020 is the year of change. A year of new perspectives. And a year of new views on new horizons.

Spring has sprung. Time to clean out the cobwebs, find the packing tape, and see what new adventures lie ahead.

Jones is the owner of Liz Jones Wellness LLC, offering yoga, personal training and corporate wellness programs in Hunt and Rockwall counties.

She can be reached at Liz@LizJones.co or through LizJones.co.






How to install a floor drain in your garage
February 10, 2020 0 Comments

How to install a floor drain in your garage

Q : I’m about to build a new home with both an attached garage and a separate free-standing three-bay garage. The house I grew up in had floor drains in the garage, and they were wonderful. My builder has never heard of garage floor drains and insists on sloping […]

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