Keeping clothes fresh & ready to wear for months

lov2gardenJune 21, 2014

My son will be working overseas indefinitely. He gave up his apartment here. He will have the months of May & October off. I cleared out a bedroom for him in my house. He will keep all of his winter, suits, and some of his casual clothes here.

How can I keep the clothes fresh, the suits moth free and all of it ready for him to wear during his time back here? I don't want to have to re-launder or re-dry clean everything twice a year. I have had moths eat tiny holes in suits before. Would storing them in zipper suit bags protect them?

The clothes can be stored in the bedroom closet & dressers. The closets aren't vented but the house is heated or has A/C on year round. If things stay in closets or drawers for 6 months or more they have a stale smell. I do put freshly laundered sheets & towels in big ziplocs or spacebags & fluff them in the dryer before guests stay. But clothes that need ironing is a different story!

How can I pull this off without a whole lot of work?

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Keeping the air circulating is important. You could leave the closet door open with a fan pointed at it. If you used a fan with manual buttons instead of electronic ones, you could put it on a wall timer so that the fan turns on for an hour or two per day, rather than running all the time. A $20 box fan would be good.

Personally, I don't find that clothing stored in closets or drawers for six months necessarily have a stale smell, but maybe my nose isn't that sensitive. My summer and winter clothes sit for months unused, and seem fine to me.

Bagging the suits does not sound like a good idea due to the lack of air flow, but you might want to look into the paper or plastic shoulder covers to avoid dust settling.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 9:52AM
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I have never had a smell on clothes that I don't wear often, but have never stored them either. Call the cleaners and ask for their opinion.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 5:13PM
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The suits can be stored in a closet with a Fuller Brush moth cake hanging on the closet wall. This will keep moths from eating the fabric. Keep door closed to contain the moth cake fumes inside.

A day or two before your son arrives home, remove the moth cake and place a fan blowing into the closet to freshen.

A few minutes out of the closet and there will be no smell. Not like the old moth balls people use/used.

No, I have no connection to Fuller Brush, this is what I use with success.

Drawers where clothes are stored can be left open an inch to allow air flow.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 8:25PM
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You might google search "Cedar balls" or "cedar flowers" These are little cedar balls that one can pop into drawers. There are also hanging cedar boards available for closets. Cedar will help with the odors and probably moths. I don't want to post a link, but a popular retailer sells closet kits for just this situation with the balls and hanging pieces.

I often use a lightly scented fabric softener sheet and place it with linens or blankets that are not used often. It prevents that smell you're referencing.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2014 at 11:44AM
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After having a problem with carpet beetles - similar to moths in that they eat wool. I started storing items in an airtight storage bin during the off season. I make sure they are clean before they are stored and they are fine after 4 - 6 months. I think they would still be fresh even longer than that, but that's as long as I've needed to store them.

I don't like all the chemicals in the moth balls and my research on cedar suggested just using a few balls or hanging items wasn't sufficient.

We had an exterminator out and haven't seen any carpet beetles since, but I still keep them in the bins to be safe.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2014 at 9:37PM
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