The Dos and Don’ts of Basement Storage

Hopefully your basement is better organized than this government warehouse in RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK. Courtesy Paramount.

Have you ever had a flood in your basement? So many of us rely on our basements for storage that such an event can be disastrous. We often move things downstairs to make room upstairs, eventually forgetting that we even owned the items in question. So, along with the things that matter are quite a few that we should have parted with a long time ago.

Here’s a New Year’s Resolution every homeowner should undertake: clean out the basement. Once that task is accomplished, here is a list of things that should never go back down there:


We often put old TVs, radios, and computers downstairs to get them out of the way. However, if you want to ensure they are functional at some point in the future, this is a bad idea. Moisture and heat will combine to take a toll, so unless you have consistent temperature and humidity in the basement, put electronics somewhere else or donate them.


As we mentioned, a basement flood can ruin many precious things. Some of those can be replaced, while others are much more difficult. Important papers may be the only form of documentation you have for some notable matters; if they’re lost, it could cause you considerable trouble. At the very least, prolonged heat exposure can cause paper to yellow and warp. Keep them upstairs or, better yet, in a safety deposit box.


Certain fabrics do not do well outside of a controlled environment. Delicates, in particular, can easily fall prey to mold, as well as other basement threats, such as moths, mice, and other vermin.


These will be reduced to lumps of messy wax if left in a hot basement. Unless you make weird art pieces, don’t put them downstairs.

Natural Wood and Musical Instruments

Moisture can really wreak havoc on these. Instruments can no longer be used if they are warped, reducing expensive guitars and violins to useless junk.

Puting the basement on your to do cleaning list is a great way to keep things organized on a regular basis. This helps to ensure that everything precious remains intact and your basement is clean and organized at all times.