Fight Moths and Musty Smells in Stored Clothes

Storing clothes in the off-season opens up precious closet space, but sometimes unpacking the clothes a few months later isn’t very pleasant. To avoid a nasty whiff of mothballs the next time you unpack, try one or more of these tricks.

1. Fill bags with lavender.

Keep moths at bay by adding a small, breathable cotton or linen bag of dried lavender to your storage containers. Not only is lavender a natural moth repellant, it’s also antibacterial and antifungal.

2. Add a few dryer sheets.

When you fold your clothes, leave a couple of dryer sheets tucked in between layers to keep them smelling fresh. For more ways to use dryer sheets around the home, read: 7 Unique Uses for Dryer Sheets.

3. Hang mothballs.

Your grandmother had it right! Mothballs are a tried-and-true way to keep moths and must from damaging your off-season clothes. Place them in an old sock so that they don’t touch your garments, and hang them as high as possible in your closet – the vapors are heavier than air so they’ll float downwards and protect your clothes. Note: Avoid putting mothballs in drawers or bins (even if they’re wrapped in socks) because they might damage your clothing.

4. Add a bar of scented soap.

Place a bar of perfumed soap with your clothes to keep them fresh. When you pull them out from storage next season, they’ll be full of your favorite fragrance.

5. Include a few cedar chips.

Cedar naturally repels moths and carpet beetles and absorbs abrasive odors. Plus, it’s safe for pets! Use cedar blocks or cedar oil to keep pests away from your wardrobe. Tip: You can reuse cedar! When the scent fades, rub it with sandpaper to coax it back to life.

6. Tie a string around a bundle of chalk.

Reduce dampness in your closet by tying a string around a bundle of chalk and attaching it to your ceiling or hanging rack. The chalk will absorb excess moisture from the air that can lead to mustiness. Replace the chalk when it feels damp. Tip: You can also add chalk to a bin or drawer to keep its contents dry!

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