When it was coal fired heat all that was down there was the furnace and a coal bin and all you did down there was feed the furnace. Maybe store some garden tools or something. Sometimes there was a root cellar for the canned goods and taters and such but that was the way it was on the farm. One of the neatest cellars I have been in the guy painted and cleaned everything and just left it the way it was. Of course he was a bit OCD about it and he had shelving that he had his stuff in. A TV and couch, reefer and lazy boy. I went over there a few times for a football Sunday and admired the trophies his son had gathered from racing.
I have tried most all of it and now do what is known to work..