Ask Jennifer Adam: How is it my clothes closet is smelling up my bedroom?

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When clothes are stored in a closet or drawer without much air circulation, they get musty, even if they were clean and dry to start.

Q: My husband collects T-shirts from everywhere. Sports events, bars, beer companies, car and motorcycle companies, music concerts, you name it. He loves them all and wears a lot of them, but he has so many they simply just hang around in our closet. My biggest complaint is that even though his T-shirts are clean, they still smell musty — and our whole bedroom smells like that.

A: A lot of people have had this happen. Sometimes they are not even aware of it. If your washing machine smells bad, it could be that. But when clothes are stored in a closet or drawer without much air circulation, they get musty, even if they were clean and dry to start.

To solve the problem, get your hubby to store his shirts someplace other than your bedroom. He obviously needs more space, and you both deserve adequate elbow room in the closet you have. Maybe he can rotate out a week’s worth  or two of freshly laundered shirts from his collection into your closet. This might be a good strategy for anyone with too many clothes: I usually recommend clearing out clothing people don’t wear. Another idea is to have an open box of baking soda in your closet that will help absorb odors without adding a scent.

I love that you have a closet organizing system, but sometimes people think that gives them license to store even more clothing.

You might not realize the odor is permeating all your clothing, and perhaps the rest of your home. A good-smelling home is something a lot of people don’t really appreciate. And it’s hard to know what our own homes smell like because we live there.

What does your home smell like when you return from a vacation? What do you want your home to smell like? Eliminate all the odors you can. Shop for candles or diffusers you love, and, air out your house regularly, even daily. I love having all the doors and windows open in my home, and I can always tell when my house has been shut up tight for too long.

Have a design dilemma? Jennifer Adams is an award-winning designer, writer and TV personality. Send your questions to AskJennifer@JenniferAdams.com or on Twitter: @JenniferAdams. For more design ideas, visit Jennifer’s blog on her website at www.jenniferadams.com.