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Most experts agree that adding a cedar closet adds value to any home. They are a throwback to a time when clothing was purchased and expected to last a generation (or more). But does that mean they’re obsolete? Yes. And no.
A few years ago an article in the Chicago Tribune noted that the preferred material for building a cedar closet was the ¾ inch board, which had become a special order item at most retailers. Alternatively, customers could purchase the sheets of cedar (which are not as attractive) or the thinner boards, which are, presumably, less effective. Toward the end of the article, however, even though it states that cedar’s “aromatic oils (will) repel moths, cockroaches, and silverfish, … cedar is not insect proof.”
So, why do we love cedar so much? And does it work? Well, we love it because it’s what our parents and grandparents used to do. It has nostalgic significance in our lives, and it seems more eco-friendly than the alternative. And, as it turns out, it does work… some of the time.
However, if you truly want your clothes and linens to be protected through the winter, the best solution is to take them to the dry cleaner and have them sealed in plastic. From there, you can hang them in your closets, or fold them neatly and place them in stackable, inexpensive plastic storage bins for the season. This is the most effective way to keep the insects at bay. And if you want to add a block or two of cedar, go ahead. We won’t tell. (We do it, too.)