Should You Keep Trash Cans in the Garage? (Do This Instead)

Should You Keep Trash Cans in the Garage

Trash cans are a necessary part of household waste management, but it can be difficult to decide where to store them. Some people prefer to keep their trash cans in the garage, while others prefer to keep them outside. Where’s the right place to store them?

Keeping trash cans in the garage can help to control unpleasant odors and protect them from the weather. However, it can also increase the risk of attracting pests and the attention of thieves. Whether to keep trash cans in the garage or outside depends on individual needs and preferences.

It’s vital you take proper care of your trash cans if you decide you want to store them in your garage. So, we’ve put together our best tips and tricks to ensure that your trash cans are in their best shape, no matter where you store them.

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Here’s a Quick Pro Tip!

Worried that your trash is going to become home for some creepy critters? Concerned that you’re about to experience an infestation of bugs? 

Don’t stress. We’ve put together our must-have for your trash cans to prevent pests and keep your garage in top shape:

1. Odor Eliminator for Trash Cans – You won’t even realize the trash can is in the garage!
2. Trash Can With Locking Lid – Deters pests and keeps your trash contained.
3. Sanitizing Spray – Kills germs and prevents odors.

Keeping Trash in the Garage

It’s common for people to keep their trash in their garage or shed until it’s time for pickup. Keeping your trash off your lawn but outside your home prevents odors from moldering trash, as well as prevents most critters from getting too interested. 

This is one reason many Homeowners Associations require you to keep your trash in a garage unless it’s garbage day. It’s often better to keep trash in a garage versus outside, as trash left outside attracts pests.

Pros of Storing Trash in the Garage

Many people enjoy keeping their trash in their garage, especially when the garage is attached to the house. Having the trash close by means you can easily dispose of items without going outside. 

Additionally, keeping your trash indoors lessens the chances of small creatures, such as mice, raccoons, and even feral cats, being able to access your refuse. This is just one reason HOAs tend to require you to keep your trash in your garage.

When it’s time to take your trash to the curb, it should be easy enough to transfer even a heavy garbage can from your garage to the street. Using your garage to access the road shouldn’t be an issue.

One other thing to consider. There are significantly lower chances of your neighbor putting their trash in your trash cans if they are held in your garage instead of outside.

Con’s of Storing Trash in the Garage

The biggest complaint most people who store their trash in the garage have is that it takes up too much space. If you only have a one-car garage and you are storing your vehicle there, the trash cans may take up more space than what’s available.

If you are going to try and store your garbage cans in the garage anyway, try and keep them as out of the way as possible. You may want to try keeping them close to the entrance to the house so that you do not have to step into the garage in order to throw things away. 

Keeping the cans close to the entrance can also act as a pest deterrent, as wild animals are unlikely to attempt to get that close to humans.

The other option is to keep the cans as close to the exit of the garage as possible in order to help eliminate odors and to minimize the distance you’ll need to move a heavy and full trash can come pickup time.

Another common complaint is the smell. Unfortunately, garbage cans tend to get a bit ripe, especially during hot or humid seasons. These odors may attract pests, but even if they don’t, no one wants their garage to smell like garbage!

What Will the Neighbors Think?

If you’re worried about nosy neighbors, like the type that might go through your trash, then it just may be in your best interest to keep your trash in your garage or somewhere not accessible by the street.

If you’re not comfortable keeping your trash in the garage, keeping it behind your house on a patio or other area that can be lit up can help prevent both humans and animals from getting into your trash uninvited.

How to Stop the Stink

Most people’s main concern when it comes to storing trash in their garage is that it will smell up the garage. While this can happen, there are steps you can take to prevent it. The first step is cleaning out your trash can weekly. You can even bleach it if you want. 

Taking the time to rinse out and scrub down your trash receptacle can go a long way to keeping them odor free. Another thing to consider is making sure you’re only placing bagged trash in the cans instead of loose objects.

This is especially true for any organic matter. If left unattended, rotting food and other organic materials will attract pests, grow mold, and harbor harmful bacteria like E. Coli and Salmonella

What Does Your HOA Say?

If you live within a Homeowners Association, odds are they have strict rules regarding your property. For example, it’s common for HOAs to insist that your trash cans be kept in a certain spot, whether it’s on your patio, in the garage, or in a shed. 

They do this for numerous reasons, including keeping the aesthetic of the neighborhood and preventing pest infestations. Be sure to check your HOA bylaws and the agreement you signed with the lease if you’re unsure what your HOA’s rules are.

While there are no state laws saying you can’t leave your garbage cans outside full-time, your HOA may have a binding agreement that says you can’t. If this is the case, they have the right to fine you if you do not cooperate. 

Pest Prevention

If your trash cans are left outside, especially during hot, humid weather, they can become a beacon for pests, including insects like houseflies, cockroaches, and wasps, as well as raccoons and mice.

Pests are attracted to trash cans because they can be easy sources of food. And, if you leave your trash in the same place all the time, animals will soon know that it is a consistent food source and will be back daily for sustenance. 

How To Discourage Animals From Your Trash

If you have to leave your trash outside 24/7 and you’re afraid that you’ll lure in pests, there are a few things you can do. For starters, only leave closed bags of trash in the cans, don’t leave loose items in there, as the smell will attract unwanted attention.

Next, if you have to leave your trash outside full-time, make sure you have a high-quality trash can with a locking lid. Having the lid locked severely lessens the chances of animals getting into your trash.

Getting Rid of Insects

If you’re more worried about small pests like maggots and wasps, locking the lid may not be enough to keep them out. Insects like to lay eggs in trash cans because they’re good food sources, especially if you’re not cleaning your trash can regularly. 

So, to start with, start cleaning out your trash cans at least once a week. You can use dish soap and a scrubber to remove all the visible grime, then use a sanitizing spray to kill germs and odors.

Finally, consider getting a pest trap to prevent further infestations. A light trap will encourage bugs to get trapped in the container instead of feasting on your garbage.

You might also enjoy our post on Can My Neighbor Move My Trash Can?

Final Thoughts

While it may seem irritating at first to keep your trash in the garage instead of outside, as long as you take care of it properly, you’re actually less likely to have problems. Start by keeping your trash bagged up and orderly, even in the cans.

Clean out your trash cans at least once a week to discourage pests from visiting them. Additionally, keep the lid on when not in use. 

Whether you’ve decided to keep your trash in the garage or outside, you have several ideas on how to keep your trash clean, tidy, and pest free. We hope this article helps you decide where you should keep your trash!

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