5 Things You Should Never Store in Your Basement or Attic

The basement and attic are usually filled with various things, as we tend to dispose of all the things we don’t use that often there. Now, even though this can make our life easier, there are certain rules one needs to follow even for storing things in the attic, so let’s go through the list of things you should never store in the attic.


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Many people think that storing important documents or old photos in boxes in the attic or the basement is a great way to save place in the house, but it is never a good idea. Namely, the boxes do not represent a great enough protection for the documents and pictures, especially if those documents are sensitive and have great value. Placing documents in boxes will perhaps protect them if those boxes are made out of wood, but in most cases, we use cardboard boxes for such things, and it is a great road to disaster. It is not something you should do, as the temperature in the attic can become really high during summer while the basement is susceptible to moisture, and these factors can easily destroy documents and photos after some time.

The same is with old magazines, newspapers, books, or, better said, everything made of paper. If you do not have any other room to put them in, try to use plastic containers that will protect them from external conditions, but choosing another room is definitely a much better idea. Another thing to consider is the rodent invasion, as the attic, just like the basement, represents a great place for rodents to hide and seek shelter. It’s needless to say that moisture will be the only thing to worry about regarding documents if there are rodents in the attic. Of course, problems like this and similar can easily be avoided with proper attic insulation, which can really be a lifesaver.

Flammable things

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Storing things that are flammable in the attic is never a good idea, regardless of their monetary or sentimental value. Yes, this gets even riskier if there is any heat source near it, but flammable things are not something to kid around with, and always make sure that you have placed or properly disposed of them. Cleaning products, propane, gasoline, and other hazardous chemicals have no place in the attic, especially near heat sources, as the safety risk increases by doing so. It’s best to dispose of such things, but if one has plenty of products with hazardous chemicals, then finding a storage unit can be the best solution. Safety always comes first, and this is no exception, which is why neglecting this as irrelevant is never a good idea.


Although most paintings are painted on canvas, not paper, and most people think they will be perfectly fine if stored in the basement or the attic, the truth is that constant temperature changes, moisture, and too much light can damage them. Even pieces of art made of other materials, such as wood, or metal, can be damaged if not stored properly, which surely decreases their value. Because of that, you should find a place in the house where they will not be exposed to sudden temperature changes and direct sunlight, as it is the only way to preserve them. If you do not have enough place, it is better to sell them or give them to someone who will appreciate that gesture.

On the other hand, art is made to be seen, which is why storing any paintings, regardless of their monetary value, in the attic or basement, shouldn’t be your to-go option, regardless of the circumstances. If one really doesn’t like some paintings and would rather store them than look at it every day, then it’s best to sell them or give someone as a gift. We all like different things and have different interests, meaning that there is always someone who would like to have a painting even though you personally are not fond of it.

Old devices

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Well, all of us probably have some old device that does not have any monetary value but has a sentimental one, such as an old phone or DVD player, that we still keep if we decide to revive the old times. Of course, we remove it from one place to another, one room to another, and eventually put it in the basement or attic because we feel sorry to throw it away but do not know where to put it. Since these devices have electronics inside, a humid environment can cause serious damage and even rust or mold growth, and it can make them impossible to fix. So if you want to use your old device at some point, you better store them in some other place inside the house. Of course, placing them and preserving them in the best possible conditions is the goal, which is why properly storing old devices can prolong their lifespan, and the attic is definitely the ideal place for that.

Various fabrics

It doesn’t matter how hard we try to keep the attic or the basement clean, those are usually rooms we do not enter every day, and it can easily happen that mice and molds enter without being seen for some time. Storing old clothes and stuffed animals can be a real disaster, as mice and molds can easily make holes all over them, and you can end up without clothes and without enough room to place other things that will not get damaged in the attic. If you want to keep your wedding dress or favorite baby clothes whole, try to find a closet because it will protect them. Besides the mice and molds, storing clothes in a humid environment can cause mold growth, and it is impossible to clean them, so the only solution is to throw everything away. Keep in mind that donating clothes is also an option, and it can be a great way to do some charity as well.