Tailored Living (Burnaby, Coquitlam, Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, BC)

Your Home, Tailored to the Way You Live


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Eleven Closet Crimes You Might Be Guilty of Committing

mug shotIt’s almost the end of summer, and that means a wardrobe transition will be happening in the next month or two (depending on how long the hot weather holds out). If you find yourself looking at your closet and dreading that transition every single season, perhaps it’s because you are guilty of one of these ten closet crimes:

1) Disorderly conduct: You can’t complain it’s too hard to find stuff in your closet if you’re not taking the time to properly store items therein. If your closet always looks like a Tasmanian devil just passed through it, you need tohandcuffs work on creating, and then maintaining, order.

2) Forcible entry: Is your closet so jam-packed that you have to bodily wrestle with your closet doors to open them? Does your closet rival Fibber McGee’s, with its contents spilling out and onto the floor like an avalanche when you DO manage to get the door open? Is it like putting together a very complicated and precise three-dimensional jigsaw puzzle to return said items to the closet in just the right configuration so that you can fully close the closet door again?

3) Mayhem: Has your closet mate ever been injured by said items falling out of the closet? (May also fall under “Assault and Battery.”)

4) Criminal negligence: Do you continue in your dangerous closet storage habits in spite of the ongoing risk it poses to your closet mate?

couple fighting5) Terrorism: Do you regularly harass and/or threaten your spouse, partner or roommate with retaliation because his or her half of the closet continually encroaches on yours? Do you constantly nag him or her to pare down their wardrobe, stop collecting and storing “junk” (parenthesized because one man’s junk is another’s treasure) and generally to quit being a total slob?

6) Invasion of privacy: Do you go through your closet-mate’s possessions behind his or her back and arbitrarily decide what your closet mate should or shouldn’t keep in  their half of the closet? Do you ever get rid of those items without telling him or her (see Theft, next)?

7) Theft: Do you surreptitiously remove and give away, donate, sell or otherwise discard said items to try to make more room in the closet?

8) Fraud: Do you then lie and say “Honestly honey, I have no idea where your oil-stained, holey, ugly green flannel shirt went.”

9) Seditious libel: Do you complain to your friends and family about how slovenly, disheveled or chaotic your partner’s half of the closet is?

10) Disturbing the peace: Have you ever pitched a tantrum over the state of your closet? Have you ever slammed your closet door out of utter frustration, cursed or thrown things out of sheer indignation?messy closet

11) Corruption of a minor: Have you ever looked inside your children’s closets and realized with dismay that they have picked up on your closet crimes and are destined for a life of self-imposed storage imprisonment if some serious intervention doesn’t occur, and fast?

While this blog has been written tongue-in-cheek, living with a closet that you hate is no laughing matter. The good news is that, while you probably can’t change the size of your closet and make it bigger, there are certain things  you do have control over. Taking back that control is the first step toward rehabilitation and release from the prison that has become your closet.

The first step is to purge, even if you have to take everything out of your closet and start from scratch. (No one ever said that the road to living a crime-free life was easy!) We’ve written a number of articles and blogs previously that offer some excellent advice and tips on how to purge, how to decide what to keep and what to discard, and where to take both usable and unusable items you’re getting rid of. Again, and not to sugar-coat it: this could end up being an onerous task, depending on how serious and cumulative your closet crimes have been over the years. However, the results will be well-worth the effort that it requires.

The next step will be to take stock of what is left after your purge and begin planning on how to put it back, and whether some of it needs to be kept in your closet at all, or could be better stored elsewhere in your home. (This would free up even more space in your closet.) Again, we’ve published a number of different articles on how to arrange things in your closet in a way that maximizes available space.

Closet shelving.

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If it’s within your budget to do a complete closet overhaul (and it’s probably not as expensive as you might think), Tailored Living has hundreds of products and accessories (which can be mixed, matched and configured into an almost unlimited number of customized designs) to make all the space in your closet into useable space. In fact, we can actually increase the storage capacity of this space by 30 percent or more. With many of our clients we have been  able to double it. Even just adding a few strategically-placed shelves, cubbies or drawers and a few clever accessories can make a significant difference, and cost under $1000.

If a custom closet remodel isn’t in your budget, there are still inexpensive things that you can do that will make better use of your closet space. Check out Mike’s web article, Seven of the Most Common Closet Problems That Are Super Easy to Fix for some very practical, easy-to-implement ideas that are also cheap.

 

 

 

 

 


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9 Insightful Tips for Designing a Wheelchair-Accessible Closet

wheelchairAs a society and culture, we have come a long way since the days when people had to fight just to get curbs lowered and stores and restaurants to install wheelchair-accessible entryways. Today, no one even thinks twice about leaving disabled-designated parking spots available for those who need them, because people know it’s the right thing to do.

Yet even in this age of heightened awareness, few able-bodied people understand what it’s really like to live an ordinary day with a mobility-limiting condition. Simply getting out of bed and getting dressed in the morning is a challenge, particularly for those who live in a space that has had few, or no, modifications. The standard-designed home simply does not accommodate many of the daily living challenges that people with mobility issues face.

That’s why we thought it would be fitting to talk about the wheelchair accessible closet. Just imagine how difficult it would be to try to reach a shirt hanging from a standard-height closet rod when sitting in a wheelchair. Fortunately, making changes to an existing closet to render it more wheelchair-friendly isn’t as hard and probably not as expensive as you might first think. The designers at Tailored Living are pros at creating flexible closet solutions, and our proprietary 3D design software, D’Vinci, lets clients see their potential wheelchair-accessible closet in three dimensions before it is even built. Whether your closet is walk-in or reach-in, we are full of ideas as well as the hardware and accessories to bring those ideas to life in your home. Here we will share a few of our best tips for planning your wheelchair accessible closet:

1) Enlist the perspective of someone who uses a wheelchair for day-to-day living. The best design advice you’ll ever get is that which comes from a person who has had firsthand experience navigating a closet from a wheelchair. You’ll undoubtedly hear things that you might not have read on the Internet or seen in design magazines.

2) When calculating where to place rods, drawers, shelves, etc., consider not only the distance of the seat of the wheelchair from the floor, but also the distance from the floor to the height of the person when he or she is sitting in the wheelchair. The idea is to strive for personal comfort and avoid strain on muscles, joints, etc. Therefore, a child in a wheelchair will need a closet rod positioned much closer to the floor than, say, a six-foot tall, fully grown man. There is no “one size fits all” for anyone, and that includes people in wheelchairs.

closet drawers 23) Always keep maneuverability in mind when planning your design.  For a wheelchair accessible walk-in closet, a wheelchair must have enough room to roll in and turn around comfortably without hitting walls, drawers or anything that sticks out of the wall, like hooks or rods. If placing drawers inside the closet, the person must be able to access them easily, preferably from the side. Accessing drawers from head on is difficult because the person will have to reach over his or her lap first. Often this means that the deepest parts of the drawer will become inaccessible. Side-reach makes it easier to access the entire drawer, as long as there is enough room to maneuver the wheelchair in the same space. For drawers in a reach-in closet, the person must have enough room to maneuver the wheelchair within the room and still be able to access the drawers from the side. Also, remember that it’s not just high drawers that are difficult for a person in a wheelchair to reach, but low ones too.

4) Install sliding doors instead of conventional hinged doors. This eliminates any need for door clearance space, leaving more room for a wheelchair to maneuver.

5) Make sure flooring inside the closet is wheelchair-friendly. That means either a smooth, non-slip finish, or, if carpet, one with a low pile.

6) Use reach-tools to help maximize all of the space inside the closet. If you were only able to place hardware like hanging rods at wheelchair height, you would miss out on using all of the space above that. Fortunately, there are practical tricks and tools that someone in a wheelchair can use to access items that are out of his or her usual reach so that all space can be utilized. One such handy piece of hardware that Tailored Living installs in all kinds of closets (not just wheelchair accessible ones) is the pull-down rod, which is pulled down when access is needed, and pushed up against the wall when not in use. A garment hook (basically a long metal stick with a hook at the end) is a must for reaching hanging clothes that are otherwise out of reach, and can also be used to access a pull-down rod.

shoe fence7) For shoe storage, tilted shoe shelves sit at an incline with the lowest point at the front of the shelf. This allows an unobstructed view of what is on the shelf, even high ones.

8) Install a built-in ironing board at wheelchair height. The board slides away when not in use.

Pull-out belt rack.

9) Install pull out belt racks, tie racks and pants racks. They can be both excellent space-savers and practical accessories for making clothing easier to access from a wheelchair.

These are just a few ideas. For a personalized wheelchair accessible closet solution with your own customized design, contact us for a free, on-site consultation.

Do you use a wheelchair, or do you live with someone who does? If so, you are the true expert. What design suggestions and ideas would you offer?  What has and hasn’t worked for you in the past? Share your tips on our “leave a comment page,” or on our Tailored Living Coquitlam Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/tailoredliving.coquitlam/


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The Logistics of Custom Walk-In Closet Design or “You Can’t Put Those Drawers There!”

walk in closetDesigning and installing a custom walk-in closet is a dream-come-true for many homeowners. The wrong design, however, can turn into a nightmare. Sometimes homeowners and even professional designers focus so much on the aesthetics of a closet design that they forget about some of the basic logistics, and end up with drawers that smack into each other when opened, shelves that can’t be accessed unless you close the closet door behind you and other common closet problems.

Tailored Living’s expert designers are trained to spot such issues and adjust plans accordingly. The last thing you want after spending your hard-earned money on a custom-designed closet is to be unhappy with it for the rest of your years in your home, or until you shell out more money to fix the problem. We run into these issues frequently, so we wanted to cover a few that we encounter most often so that you can start thinking ahead of time about a design plan that really works for you (one without crashing drawers and inaccessible shelves) and one that you’ll be thrilled about when your custom closet is finally finished.

closet drawers.jpgPlacement of drawers and sliders: Anything installed inside a walk-in closet that slides out when in use (drawers, slide-out racks and baskets, etc.) or needs to be pulled away from the wall to be accessed can be problematic if not placed smartly. We often work with clients who already have a basic layout in their minds of where they want drawers and sliders to be placed within the overall system. However, people often forget to think about how these drawers and sliders are actually going to interact with the rest of the system and with one another, when opened.

For instance, what if your walk-in closet is fairly narrow, and you want to have drawers placed on opposite each other on the side walls of the closet, his-and-hers style? This mirror-image type layout seems to make sense and might sound logical. However, what will happen if both of you are trying to access drawers on opposite sides at the same time? Will you be able to open both sides of opposing drawers at the same time without them bumping into each other? Would you be able pull it open a drawer on one side all the way and still have room to stand in front of it? Although such a layout might work with all drawers and sliders retracted, it will be problematic if there isn’t enough room to open them without doing an awkward dance around them inside your closet. The novelty of your new closet will wear out pretty quickly.

How your closet door opens and closes: If your closet has sliding doors, then you don’t closet doors.jpghave too much to worry about in terms of your door interfering with shelving, etc., inside the closet. If you have a traditional hinged door that opens into your closet, you’ll want to think about what you install in that space behind where the door will open. Will you still be able to push the door in far enough if there is shelving behind it? If your closet is on the small side, will you have to perform awkward maneuvers to get inside the closet and then get behind the door to access whatever is stored there? Is it plausible to change the design of the closet door (change the door from inward opening to outward opening or install sliding doors instead)?

girl wearing boa closetThe age and size of the closet’s main user(s): This is something you’ll especially need to keep in mind if you are designing a closet for a child, or a closet that is going to be used by two or more people of significantly varying height, or if the closet is going to be accessed by someone who uses a wheelchair. A standard closet in a new build usually has a rod that is placed about 68 inches from the floor. Double rods are generally installed at about 43 inches and 84 inches. This would be considered ideal for the “average” user.

Of course, everyone knows no one is actually “average” in height. A slight majority of people fall somewhere just above or just below that, while the rest of the population is usually significantly above or below that, height-wise. What this means is that the “average” closet rod really only serves just over half the population well. The rest of us either have to reach down or reach up to hang clothing. Not only that, but the “average” closet rod height really cancels out a lot of otherwise usable space in your closet.

If you’re going to design a custom walk-in closet, please for the love of all things sane, DON’T have it designed for the “average” person. If you’re spending the extra money to get something tailored exactly to your lifestyle, you might as well place drawers, closet rods and any other spaces you plan to access frequently at a height that makes sense for you. If you’re reluctant to do this because, say, you’re over six feet tall and you’re worried about the resale value of your home if a prospective buyer is 5 feet 2 inches tall, you can work your design so that pieces like the hanging bar can be height-adjusted.portrait-1160487_960_720

The same goes for children’s closets. Hang rods and install shelves at child-height, not adult-height. This encourages independence in picking out clothing and in putting clothing and personal belongings away. However, children grow, so make rods and shelving adjustable so that they can grow with your child.

Consider other “hacks” that can help you access less-frequently used closet space: In order to make the most efficient use of the space in your closet, you should plan to utilize all of it, from floor to ceiling. Of course, doing so means that the very highest components, whether shelving, cupboards or otherwise, are going to be more difficult to access. These spaces are ideal for storing items that you rarely have to access. However, at some point you will have to access them. Hacks like extendable clothing rods, high-reach hanger hooks (a long stick with a hook at the end, great for reaching high-hanging clothes), step-stools / step ladders (with their own dedicated space in your closet) will make getting to those out-of-the-way spaces less frustrating.

 


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The Kid-to-Teen Closet: Designing a Closet That Grows With Your Child

girl with teddy bear and closetStandard closets are built with a “one size fits all” mentality. In reality, the “standard” closet isn’t really a great fit for anyone, but especially for children. If you have the budget to makeover your children’s closets, you’ll find that they’ll be far more functional.

However, although we can work with just about any budget when it comes to doing a closet upgrade, it may not be a reno that you’ll want to do all over again when your children get older and taller. Instead, Tailored Living can work with you to create a children’s closet design that can be adjusted and re-adjusted so it grows with your child.

1) Adjustable height rods. Placing hanging rods at a level where a child can reach her clothing herself helps to foster a sense of independence. She can choose her own outfit to wear and access it on her own. She can also hang up her clean clothes by herself.

Eventually,  she will grow and become a teenager.  Hopefully by that time she’ll have the self-sufficiency thing nailed. However,  it won’t be very convenient if the closet rod is still only 2 feet off the floor. That’s why it’s a great idea to plan ahead when they’re little. Pre-installing closet rod hardware at varying heights will allow you to move the rod girl wearing boa closetprogressively higher as your child grows.

2) Adjustable shelving. The same principle applies to shelving. What’s the point of a shelf in a closet if your child can’t reach it? You’ll be able to teach your child to get organized and manage his own possessions if you create a storage system he can access on his own, even at a very young age. Then, when he’s bigger, you can readjust shelving to better accommodate his height.

3) Accessories that transcend age. Baskets, sliding baskets, drawers, drawer dividers and shoe racks/shelves are the kinds of accessories that will be useful throughout your child’s entire life (although their contents will undoubtedly change from Hotwheels or Shopkins to sports gear or makeup).

4) Paint the closet walls white. We suggest painting the rear wall of the closet some shade of off-white, now matter what color the rest of the walls in the room are painted. It’s not easy to paint a closet wall once all the hardware is in place, so a neutral white shade will match any wall color. This way, if you paint your little girl’s room pink and she gets older and decides she doesn’t like pink anymore, at least you won’t have to re-paint the inside of the closet too.

Here are a few more general tips for organizing a grow-with-your-child closet:

boy closet* Instill a habit of organization while they are young. Teach kids what goes where (and let them help decide where to put certain items as they are capable). Re-visit your closet organization scheme periodically, as your children’s storage needs will change as they get older.

* Labels are your new best friend. Label bins, drawers, shelves, etc., with what belongs in that particular spot. (For children who are not yet readers, label with pictures instead of with words.) This will make it exponentially easier for your child to put items where they belong.

* Make sure to re-label when you make storage changes. Even if your child is 16 years old, labels are still an excellent visual reminder to stay organized.

Tailored Living has endless options when it comes to ideas, designs and configurations for a closet that will grow with your child. Our skilled designers and craftspeople can work with any budget and any size space and create a closet that works for your child and your family’s lifestyle.

One more thing: we’d like to wish all of our readers and clients a very safe and happy weekend celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday!

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Three Ways to Organize the Clothes in Your Closet

clothes-2150834_960_720When hanging clothing in the closet, many people simply place items on hangers and throw them haphazardly onto the closet rod. They do this because organizing their hanging clothes seems like a task that will take too long. What they don’t realize is that organizing hanging garments need only take minutes to perhaps an hour, and that it won’t take long for you to see returns on that effort in the form of time saved desperately hunting for that shirt or pair of pants you wanted to wear on a given day.

The point of a system is to simplify your life by saving you time and making it easy to find what you’re looking for. If you’re not sure how best to find a good system, we have three of the most popular ideas for you as suggested by professional organizers. Organize clothing:

1) By item type. Split up your rod into sections or “zones.” (You don’t literally have to separate the sections if you don’t want to, but some people find it helpful to do so. One easy way to do this is to put a colored hanger or piece of duct tape between each section.) Put like garments in their own sections. You may have one section for shirts, one for pants, one for skirts, one for suits, etc. You can break it down even further if you want (like having one section for short-sleeved shirts and one section for long-sleeved shirts).

seasons-158601_960_7202) By season. Hang Autumn clothes in one section, Spring in another, and so on. You can have a fifth section for clothing that transcends all seasons, like the short-sleeved shirt that you wear by itself in the spring and summer and under a heavy blazer in the Fall and Winter.

colorful-620520_960_7203) By color. This is a great system for people who are highly-visual and color-conscious when it comes to their wardrobes. Each color goes into its own section. If you like, you can break it down further by putting like garments together within their corresponding sections. For instance, your “blue” section could be divided into pants, shirts, jackets, etc. in blue, and so on.

There’s no “right” or “wrong” way. The point is to find a system that makes sense and works with your lifestyle so that you aren’t wasting time (especially those elusive and fleeting early morning hours) trying to find that one blouse or your favorite pair of pants.

Here are a few more closet organization tips that are helpful no matter what system you use:

clothes-hangers-582212_960_720* Use the same type of hangers for everything in your closet. This may sound trivial, but it can be very frustrating to have three or four (or more) different kinds of hangers in one’s closet. The problem is that different hangers mean your clothing is hanging at different heights, making it harder to condense the clothing in your closet to maximize space. Additionally, some types of hangers are not made for certain rods. If the crook is too big, hangers (and clothes) may fall to the floor. If the crook is too small, you may end up having to jam the hanger onto the rod to get it to fit.

* Avoid wire hangers. You probably have tons of them; most people do. Wire hangers, like the ones that the drycleaner sends your clothes home with, are abundant because they are cheap. However, they aren’t the greatest when it comes to everyday performance. They are too flimsy for heavier garments and often end up on the floor. They also tend to make the shape of your clothes look weird, leaving little points and creases in your clothing (especially conspicuous places like the shoulders of your shirts). Wire hangers (even coated ones) rust and may leave permanent stains on your garments. Opt instead for wood, durable plastic or cloth padded hangers. You can even find “low profile” hangers in a variety of sturdy materials than not only treat your clothes more gently, but also help to maximize the space in your closet and on your rod.

FullyFunctional-1* Employ a two-tiered rod system. We’ve never, ever heard a home owner say, “I have more than enough room in my closet to hang my clothes.” Almost everyone could use more hanging space, but few have the luxury of making a bigger closet. However, with some clever manipulating and efficient hanging techniques, you can create a two-tiered rod system that essentially doubles the space that you have to hang clothing.

* Perform regular surgery on the clothes in your closet. In other words, remove items that you no longer wear. If you haven’t worn it in a long time, but you’re not sure you want to get rid of it entirely, create a section or zone in your closet for those “maybe” items. If it hangs there untouched for months, it’s probably safe to get rid of it. Regularly paring back and removing clothes you don’t wear will keep your system of organization running smoothly and save you loads of frustration as well as some of those precious morning minutes.

Still need closet help? Tailored Living has solutions for every closet problem. We can help you come up with a customized closet system that is affordable and works with your unique lifestyle and limited space.


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Closet Dreams: Top Seven Closet Mods Moms Must Have

TL walk_in_closet2_organization_by_tailored_livingWe hope all you Moms had a beautiful Mother’s Day this past Sunday and that you got spoiled by your kids and grandchildren. There’s no one else on earth who can fill your shoes, but if you’re a Mom whose shoes fill most of your closet, we have the right solution for you. After all, doesn’t every girl dream of having a walk-in closet with a mirror, dressing room lighting, room for a hundred pairs of shoes (or more), and a section for every season of clothing?

For a lot of women, the ultimate walk-in closet is but a dream. However, no matter what size her closet is, it CAN be tailored to meet some of those personal dreams. In honor of Mother’s Day, we have decided to dedicate this post to all of those Moms out there who tirelessly give of themselves to make sure that their children and grandchildren are cared for and loved unconditionally. However, these mods are really for ladies of any age, with or without children. Check out the top seven closet mods that Tailored Living installs in women’s closets:

1) Shoe shelves: Shoes are an obsession that most guys will just never understand. Just because she already has ten pairs of black shoes doesn’t mean she doesn’t need another black pair because they’re all different and they all have very different purposes, right girls? However, accumulating shoes can eventually become a problem because you only have so much floor space in your closet, and even over-the-door shoe holders fill up fast. That’s why Mom will love Tailored Living’s shoe shelves. Individual shelves tiltshoe fence downward so that you can easily see what’s on it, even if it’s up high. A built-in fence keeps shoes from sliding off. Each shelf typically holds two to four pairs of shoes, but the design can be adjusted to accommodate more or less, depending on how much space you have to work with in your closet.

spiral-shoe-rack2) Spiral shoe rack: An alternative to the shoe shelf, the spiral shoe rack can hold up to 25 pairs of shoes. Shoes hang from specialized hooks on a spinning carousel device so they’re not only easy to access, they retain their shape better.

3) Pull-out mirror: A full-length mirror is mounted on a sliding rack. This allows her to pull out the mirror when she needs it. It slides back against the wall or inside a cabinet, depending on how it’s mounted, so that it doesn’t take up space when it’s not in use.

4) Spiral clothing rack: It’s kind of like having her own personal shopping boutique right in her closet! The spiral clothing rack allows for hanging up of typical clothing items, like dresses, and is ideal for funky closet corners where space might otherwise simply be wasted.

5) Custom drawer dividers: These are really simple and inexpensive to install, yet they ACC0 make a big difference when it comes to maximizing space and efficiency. Drawer dividers ensure that small items like socks, undergarments and accessories don’t get all mixed up in her drawers.

accessory hook6) Accessory hooks: This is another simple mod that can make Mom’s closet SO much more organized. Tailored Living’s accessory hooks come in a variety of shapes and configurations, and they are ideal for things like necklaces, scarves, hats, belts, purses and many other small to medium-size items.

7) Valet rod: Yet another simple and relatively inexpensive closet mod that is perfect for the working professional. It’s a clothing rod that’s housed in a track mounted on the side valet rodof cabinet or shelf. It takes up virtually no space when not in use. To use, she simply pulls the rod out. There’s just enough room to hang up tomorrow’s outfit so she doesn’t have to waste time hunting for it in the morning.

These seven closet mods are only a very small sampling of the incredibly-useful ones that Tailored Living installs in closets every single week. And don’t worry, Tailored Living can transform the guy’s closet, too. You can view some of the closets we’ve transformed and check out the accessories that can make your closet fabulous on our closet customization page.


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Got Moths?

clothes-moth-1492608Ever get a kick out of those cartoons you watched as a kid where a character would open up a closet door or storage trunk and a hundred moths would fly out? We laughed then, but it’s not that funny in real life. If you’ve ever pulled your favorite sweater out of storage, only to find it ridden with holes, and felt like crying, this advice is for you.

It might already be too late for those woollens and cashmeres you boxed up for storage last spring. But these de-mothing tips will help you avoid getting your most expensive suit chewed up over the winter and will be in you mind next spring when you de-winterize your closet once again.

What the Heck is the Deal with Moths Anyway?

There are hundreds of different kinds of moths, but clothes moths are the only kind that eat holes in your clothes. Some people have the misconception that they will eat any kind of fabric. In reality, they only like fabric that is made from animal fur, such as wool and cashmere. So don’t blame clothes moths for the holes your favorite cotton or synthetic fabric shirt.

Another misconception is that adult moths eat fabric. It is actually only clothes moth larvae that eat your woollens and cashmere. What happens is that the moth looks for a woolsdark, cool, secretive place with lots of access to animal material to lay its eggs. That’s why closets are popular, but they will also lay eggs in places where there might be lots of animal hair (like inside your doghouse) or in enclosed spaces in your barn. There, the larvae can eat to their heart’s content and probably not bother anyone. But chances are good that you don’t want to sacrifice your expensive wool suits to raise baby moths.

However, a lot of people have a strong aversion to mothballs, and we don’t blame you. Our advice is not to put mothballs in your closet. There are a few good reasons for this. First, mothball fumes are unpleasant at best and noxious at worst. Plus, they smell awful, and the scent is very difficult to get rid of, even after washing. Mothballs contain toxic chemicals, the main one being naphthalene, which is what gives mothballs their distinctive smell. They kill moths by giving off toxic fumes. Not only that, but they’re dangerous for children, especially little ones who might mistake them for candy or playthings.

Besides, mothballs are not doing any good in your closet anyway. In order for the vapors to effectively kill moth larvae, they have to be in a controlled and tightly enclosed space where they can’t evaporate. As confining as your closet is, it’s not enclosed enough to contain the fumes of mothballs.

Get Rid of Moths and Moth Larvae This Way Instead

Since you’re not wearing your wool and cashmere over the summer anyway, the best thing to do is store them in an airtight container, like a Rubbermaid tote bin. Instead of tossing mothballs inside, add some cedar. Cedar fumes have a similar effect on moths as mothballs, but without the toxic chemicals. Not only that, but the scent is much more pleasant, and it is easier to wash out after summer is over if smelling like cedar isn’t your thing. Plus, they aren’t noxious to humans AND they’re 100 percent natural.

That being said, cedar balls can be pricey, especially if you need quite a few. However, you may be able to get cedar waste if you happen to live near a cedar mill, such as board ends or shavings. If not, you can probably get cedar shavings at your local pet store in the form of animal bedding. It is often marketed as bedding and habitat liner for small rodents like hamsters and guinea pigs as well as for rabbits. Ounce for ounce, it is much cheaper than cedar wood planks or cedar balls and a big bag will go a long way.

For now, if your clothes from last winter smell like mothballs, it might take two or three washings to get rid of the scent completely. Adding an oxygen-booster like Borax to your regular laundry detergent may help. For those wardrobe items that are not machine-safe, a trip to the dry cleaners is probably your best bet. Make sure you mention the mothball smell. Dry cleaners have great tricks for getting out unwanted scents.

Need more closet storage space for those bins of off-season wardrobe items? Tailored Living offers free closet upgrade consultations, and you can even see your plans in virtual reality 3D before any demolition or construction begins.

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This could be your new closet, with plenty of room for storage bins.