Owning a house with a basement is often seen as a luxury, especially for those seeking additional storage space.
The foremost consideration, especially if you’re concerned about unwanted visitors like insects or rodents, is the storage of perishable food items.
These creatures can detect food and infiltrate flimsy plastic or paper packaging, leading to contamination. Moreover, food is more likely to spoil rapidly in unregulated basement conditions.
Similarly, avoid stashing vitamins, medications, and supplements in the basement. Wine, too, demands precise temperature and humidity control, making the basement an unreliable choice for storing bottles until they’re ready to be enjoyed.
Now, some food items can be safely stored in the basement if they are sealed airtight, such as canned vegetables or securely lidded containers.
However, for the most part, it’s advisable to create a separate pantry in your kitchen or optimize existing storage spaces.
Just like human food, pet food—whether it’s for dogs, cats, or any other furry friend—should not find a home in the basement, as pests can find their way into the packaging.
Furthermore, kitty litter can clump due to excess moisture.
Instead, aim to store pet food and litter in a temperature-controlled area, such as the kitchen, an upper-level laundry room, or even a mudroom.
Precious items like baby clothes, stuffed animals, wedding gowns, and garments made of fur, leather, or suede should be kept far away from the basement.
These materials are highly susceptible to mold and mildew. While you can store some clothing, especially off-season items (depending on the material), in the basement, they should be sealed in labeled bins and placed on shelves several feet above the floor to safeguard against potential flooding, moths, and dust mites.
In reality, the best course of action is to avoid storing any fabrics, including everyday clothing, in the basement, particularly if it’s an unfinished space.
Instead, focus on decluttering, optimizing closet storage, or using under-the-bed containers.
Continuing with the fabric theme, it’s advisable not to store any excess bedding in the basement for similar reasons as clothing.
Pillows, blankets, sheets, and even sleeping bags left exposed to elevated moisture levels are likely to develop mildew. Additionally, if some of these linens are intended for occasional guests, you wouldn’t want them sleeping on something that carries the musty odor of a basement, would you?.
If you have an extra mattress, educate yourself on the proper storage methods and consider investing in a climate-controlled storage unit if necessary.
*The information is for reference only.