Picture yourself walking towards your wardrobe after spending several hours brainstorming, trying to figure out what the ideal outfit for that special event may be. You finally get to your closet and as you open it and reach for that section of the clothes placed right towards the end of your wardrobe, you are met by a musty smell. This unpleasant smell is not only clung to your closet but it is stuck onto your clothes too.

While finding the source of this musty and unpleasant smell can be difficult, do not assume the worst. The source of such smells often stems from a buildup of dust and sweat-soaked clothes, with the worst case often being a nearby water leak. When moisture becomes enclosed in small spaces then it may result in an unpleasant odour.

Service Master Restore – a company that offers commercial disaster restoration services – states, “To identify the source of this moisture, look for any water leaks around walls and ceilings. If the closet is often humid due to its location beside a bathroom or your basement, investing in a dehumidifier may help improve airflow and reduce the odour.”

A drawer with clothes


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A frequent mistake that many make is not allowing fresh air to enter into their closets. While our closets are constantly kept closed, this may cause the stuffy and smelly air to circulate the entire wardrobe and cling onto your clothes.

To break the poor ventilation cycle be sure to regularly open your wardrobe. According to Innovative Home Storage – a manufacturer of custom closet systems and home organisation systems – they advise you to, “Open windows to allow fresh air to come inside. Also, avoid packing clothes tightly together on hangers. This will not allow for proper airflow between them and can cause an unpleasant odour.”

Baking soda and coffee grounds make great natural odour neutralisers. The baking soda will absorb bad odours from old produce and can even get rid of that musty smell! Simply fill a small container with baking soda or coffee grounds, poke a few holes in the lid and pop it in the cupboard.

After instilling the habit of frequently leaving your closet open to remove the stench, try this quick and easy hack:

Take several pantyliners and stick them in different areas of your closet. After sticking them, spray a generous amount of your fragrance onto them and allow your clothes and closet to smell good.

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How to keep a well-organised and clutter-free closet

Feature image: Pexels

Written by Dideka Njemla for BONA.