11 Things That Don’t Belong on Your Windowsill


Let’s talk about things that don’t belong on the windowsill!

When decorating or organizing your house, a windowsill may seem like a great use of space. However, in reality, they can end up looking cluttered, and there are a bunch of things that should never be stored on them because they shouldn’t be exposed to heat, sunlight, dampness, or cold.

Although it can be tempting to put into practice every home organization idea you can think of, particularly when organizing small spaces where windowsills offer a handy extra surface, lots of common household items require specialized storage. Otherwise, they can quickly be damaged.

Even in a small space, some smart decluttering will free up room in your house so that you can relocate stuff from your windowsill that shouldn’t be there. Read on to discover 11 things that don’t belong on the windowsill and where to store them instead.

things that don't belong on the windowsill
Photo by DimaBerlin from Shutterstock

1. Items with a reflective surface

Never underestimate the power of a mirror. While they look nice and are very practical, they can direct sunlight and even make it more intense. The result can be a very plausible fire hazard. That’s why mirrors are among the things that don’t belong on the windowsill.

Instead, you should consider hanging them next to or opposite windows. This positioning can also help to make a space look bigger.

2. Anything edible

Foods are also things that don’t belong on the windowsill. There are several food storage hacks to extend the life of your groceries, and keeping food exposed to sunlight isn’t one of them. In fact, leaving food on or near a windowsill (do fruits in a basket sound familiar?) is one of the main causes of premature ripening and rotting. Before you know it, you have flies in your house.

Moreover, storing food in a spot like this will also change its taste, texture, and quality due to temperature fluctuations. Instead of doing that, put your food on a table or the countertop if it doesn’t easily spoil.

3. Candles

While the best candles can quickly fill empty space and spruce up a windowsill, leaving them there during the summer months can cause them to melt, thinning the fragrance and wasting the wax.

Some of the things that don’t belong on the windowsill, like candles, can even ignite in direct sunlight, posing a fire hazard. They should be stored in a cool, dry place away from heat sources and direct sunlight. A drawer or cupboard is a good idea when they’re not in use, or a side table or bedside table otherwise.

4. Anything fragile

You likely wouldn’t store fragile things on the edge of living room shelving, so why would you risk having them on a thin windowsill? Not only can they easily be knocked off, but they can also be easily damaged by sunlight and changing temperatures.

According to professional organizers, fragile items are among the things that don’t belong on the windowsill. The same rule applies to valuable stuff. Valuable collectibles should be kept in a specialized cabinet away from direct sunlight. Other collectibles should be stored in a bookcase or on built-in shelves around the house, again away from direct sunlight.

5. Aerosols and flammables

Even if a windowsill seems like a harmless storage place, keeping the wrong items, such as lighters and aerosol cans, can quickly increase the risk of a house fire. This is why flammables and aerosols are things that don’t belong on the windowsill.

Aerosol cans are highly pressurized and can quickly combust or explode when exposed, even a little bit, to the sun. Similarly, lighters and matches left in direct sunlight can become tinder dry and ignite when near a hot window.

These items should be stored in a cool, dry place away from heat sources and direct sunlight. A tidy kitchen cupboard or drawer can be a good option.

Keep reading to discover other things that don’t belong on the windowsill!

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6. Shower gels and body products

When organizing a bathroom, a common storage mistake is leaving shower products on the windowsill.

According to professional organizers, frequent exposure to heat will cause soaps to change their texture and become slimy and ineffective over time. A simple opaque soap dispenser that fits your bathroom style and is placed directly to the side of the windowsill will quickly solve this issue.

Soap caddies come in several different configurations. Styles include caddies that attach to the corner of the shower with suction cups, that hang on the shower head, and that sit on the floor of the shower in the corner.

7. Cleaning products

Certified house cleaning technicians suggest that cleaning products, including common items like dish soap, are also among the things that don’t belong on the windowsill—even if it is a convenient spot.

Cleaning supplies shouldn’t be stored in a place like this because they can be exposed to humidity and temperature fluctuations, which can affect their effectiveness and quality. For instance, cleaning products may lose their potency, making them far less effective at killing bacteria and cleaning.

When organizing cleaning products and a kitchen sink, consider sorting them in a laundry room or the cabinet beneath the sink.

8. Perfume and makeup

Perfumes and makeup stuff are also among the things that don’t belong on the windowsill. Organizing makeup generally takes up a lot of space, and it might be tempting to leave some lying out on your bathroom windowsill when you use them every day.

However, doing this will quickly degrade the makeup’s quality, which will cost you more over time than investing in makeup organizers (here are plenty of options at very affordable prices). This is because sunlight can melt products and ruin their texture.

Perfumes are also among the things that don’t belong on the windowsill. Exposure to sunlight and heat can cause them to spoil or change in scent, so make sure you keep them in a cool, dry spot, such as a dresser or a makeup vanity.

9. Books

Windowsills can provide the best book storage, especially in the kitchen, where cooking books should be easily accessible. If the windowsill is close to the stove or countertop, that would sound even better. However, like other things that don’t belong on the windowsill, books can fade in sunlight, making them look tatty quickly.

Moreover, extended sunlight exposure can cause books to disintegrate over time. There are two better solutions to store those. You can hang kitchen shelves in an unused corner, or you can reclaim some space in kitchen island storage to keep your most used cooking books within easy reach.

Photo by Prathankarnpap from Shutterstock

10. Excess clutter that makes it difficult to clean

One of the most overlooked cleaning tricks is planning your home decor to make it easier to keep it tidy and clean in the first place. The best way to keep windowsills clear is to find a spot for everything and follow the one-touch tidying rule to avoid storing stuff on a sill rather than putting it away.

Chances are you don’t want your windowsills to turn into clutter magnets, so do your best to keep them clutter-free, find a proper home for all of your miscellaneous items, knick-knacks, and other belongings, and enjoy the lovely view instead.

11. Medications

Since medicines are one of the many things to get rid of from a medicine cabinet, you may think a windowsill is an easy alternative. However, this place is generally even worse for ensuring your medications remain effective and usable.

Medications are among the things that don’t belong on the windowsill, as exposure to sunlight and heat can cause them to become ineffective or even harmful. Antibiotics and insulin are particularly sensitive to temperature and should be kept in cool and dry places.

A good option could be a bedside table drawer, for instance, where they’re easy to access if you need to take them in the morning or before bed.

If you liked our article on things that don’t belong on the windowsill, you may also want to read 10 Home Improvement Projects That Are Not Worth It And What To Do Instead.