Storing fresh potatoes/onions/garlic

I cannot for the life of me figure out how to store potatoes. My mom used to store them in the fridge, but somewhere along the line I heard that that was too cold, so it causes some sort of change in the texture/starch/sugars/whatever. But no matter where I put them, my potatoes go bad within a week. Either they turn to mush (which smells really, really bad) or they turn into trees. Is it just that my kitchen isn't cool enough? Isn't dark enough? Needs a magic potato charm?

I have a similar problem with onions and garlic...onions get soft spots and go bad, garlic sends up sprouts and gets all rubbery.

I'd really like to be able to keep these staples on hand...any advice?

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