5 Things You Should Never Store in the Basement—Plus 5 You Can

Hint: This is not the best spot for cherished family photos.

One of the most exciting prospects of owning a house is all the storage space that comes with it. Gone are the days of stuffing an extra closet with items you want to keep but don't have space to display. Now you've got an attic and a basement for all that! But before you carry your storage items down there, hold up, because not everything belongs in a damp basement. Here are five things you should never store in the basement, along with five that will be just fine.

01 of 10

Don't Store: Books

Moisture is the enemy of paper. Keeping books in the basement makes them more susceptible to water damage, mold, or mildew. Plus, the binding can attract bugs and pests that can take up residence in your collection.

02 of 10

Don't Store: Family Photos and Keepsakes

Humidity can also destroy photos. Moisture can cause them to stick together and creates mold. Any special clothing or keepsakes that aren't stored properly also don't belong in a basement; water damage is impossible to reverse.

03 of 10

Don't Store: Wood and Upholstered Furniture

Moisture from your basement can cause wood furniture to warp and crack, especially if it's not properly finished. You don't want to lose any priceless family heirlooms or antiques. Wood can rot, or delicate details like caning could decay.

04 of 10

Don't Store: Rugs

Rolled-up rugs can become a haven for mice and bugs—yuck! Plus, all of the humidity in the basement can also form mold or mildew inside, too. Laying them out flat on the floor also creates problems, as moisture can get trapped underneath, leading to, you guessed it, more mold.

05 of 10

Don't Store: Electronics

Anyone who's dropped their phone into water knows firsthand that electronics don't do well with moisture. Humidity in the air can permanently damage TVs, phones, DVD players, and more. Keep these items somewhere drier.

06 of 10

Store This: Holiday Decorations

Christmas, Halloween, or Fourth of July items are perfectly safe in the basement. Pack them with additional bubble wrap or paper and place them in airtight plastic containers to keep bugs, dirt, and moisture out of these accessories. Again, just avoid stashing any priceless family heirlooms here.

07 of 10

Store This: Sports Equipment

Extra rackets, basketballs, footballs, and helmets can all hang out in bins in your basement. Just give sports padding or helmets a good cleaning before putting them down there. Dirt and grime can lead to mold or mildew growth.

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Store This: Vases, Dishes, and Glassware

Place extra dishes on a shelf in the basement–out of reach of kids and pets, so nothing gets broken. If you don't plan to use this dishware often, avoid dust by wrapping each item in paper.

09 of 10

Store This: Paint

While you definitely don't want to put flammable spray paint or stains near the dryer or furnace, you can keep properly sealed wall paint in the basement, away from all sources of heat. In a finished basement, the cool but not freezing temps may actually help preserve the paint longer than a spot in the garage or an outdoor shed.

10 of 10

Store This: Extra Cleaning Products

For those without a broom closet, stashing brooms, cleaners, a cleaning caddy, and a vacuum in the basement will save valuable space. Since they get used often, there should be no issue with them collecting dirt or dust.

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