How to store lumber in garage?

How to store lumber in garage?


Storing lumber in a garage can be a convenient solution for those who work with wood or have a woodworking hobby. However, proper storage is crucial to ensure the lumber remains in good condition and is easily accessible when needed. In this article, we will explore the best practices for storing lumber in a garage, including tips on organization, protection, and maintenance.

Organizing the Lumber

Categorize by size and type: Before storing lumber in your garage, it is essential to categorize it based on size and type. This will make it easier to locate specific pieces when needed. Separate different sizes, such as 2x4s, plywood sheets, or hardwood boards, and keep them in designated areas.

Use racks or shelves: Investing in racks or shelves specifically designed for storing lumber can greatly improve organization. These racks or shelves provide vertical storage, maximizing the use of space in your garage. Ensure they are sturdy enough to support the weight of the lumber and are properly installed to avoid accidents.

Keep smaller pieces in bins: For smaller pieces or cutoffs, consider using bins or containers to keep them organized. Label the bins according to the type of wood or size, making it easier to find the right piece when needed.

Protecting the Lumber

Keep away from moisture: Moisture can lead to warping, mold, and decay of the lumber. To protect it, ensure your garage is dry and well-ventilated. Avoid storing lumber directly on the floor, as concrete can absorb and release moisture. Use pallets or blocks to elevate the lumber and create airflow underneath.

Shield from direct sunlight: Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can cause discoloration and damage to the lumber. If your garage has windows or skylights, consider using curtains or blinds to block the sunlight. Alternatively, cover the lumber with opaque sheets or tarps to prevent direct exposure.

Prevent insect infestation: Insects, such as termites and beetles, can wreak havoc on stored lumber. To prevent infestation, inspect the lumber before storing it and remove any signs of insect activity. Consider treating the lumber with appropriate insecticides or storing it in sealed plastic bags or containers.

Maintaining the Lumber

Regularly check for moisture: Even with precautions, moisture can still find its way into your garage. Regularly check the lumber for any signs of moisture, such as dampness or mold growth. If you notice any issues, take immediate action to address the problem and prevent further damage.

Rotate the stock: Lumber stored for extended periods may develop uneven moisture content, leading to warping or twisting. To prevent this, periodically rotate the stock by using older pieces first and replacing them with fresh lumber. This will ensure that all the lumber gets equal exposure to the environment.

Inspect for damage: Regularly inspect the stored lumber for any signs of damage, such as cracks, splits, or insect activity. If you identify any issues, address them promptly to prevent further deterioration and potential safety hazards.


Properly storing lumber in a garage is essential to maintain its quality and usability. By organizing the lumber, protecting it from moisture and sunlight, and regularly maintaining it, you can ensure that your stored lumber remains in good condition and readily available for your woodworking projects.


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