Allergy help… please?

I’m allergic to my closet. No, seriously. Not in the “I’m allergic to swimsuit shopping” sort of way, which is totally legit and I 100% agree is a real thing. No, I’m straight up ALLERGIC TO MY CLOSET.

As soon as I step foot inside our walk-in closet I share with my husband, I have an immediate reaction. My nose gets stuffy, my eyes start to water, and I all of a sudden feel like I can’t breathe.

Why, you ask? I HAVE NO IDEA!


This is how I get dressed every morning. Each night I run in and grab what I want to wear the next day and then I hang my outfit on the outside of my closet so I can grab it in the morning without having an allergy attack. Trust me, it’s not an awesome system.

What really funny is that I don’t think I’ve had allergies in any other space (at least not that I’ve noticed), but I’m most definitely allergic to my closet. Before you ask, no my closet isn’t some dark, dank space with dirt, dander, and other noticeable allergens. I pop some (PTPA-winning) Claritin and vacuum and clean it regularly, just like the rest of our house.

Some facts about our closet:
•    It’s a fairly new house, and we are the first owners. I noticed I was allergic to it during our first few months in the home.
•    It’s been checked for mold and water damage and given a clean bill of health.
•    I have way too much clothing, as does my husband. It’s a walk in closet that is almost the size of our son’s room, and it’s FULL.

So, anyone heard of anything crazy like this before? I can’t be the only one, right?… Right? Is there anything I can do aside from moving to a new home? Maybe this PTPA-winning bad boy from Healthway, which I’m sure is a little overkill, but at this point I don’t care.


I’m desperate and will try ANYTHING – especially now that the task of switching out winter clothes for summer clothing is looming and I can’t bear the thought of spending any longer than 15 minutes in my closet.

Please help?

Comments (5)

  • I wonder if there was a different kind of carpet, paint, etc. that was used in there at one time that you’re allergic to? Very strange! I hope the symptoms go away in time. Sorry I don’t have any tips to offer other than taking everything out, cleaning it, cleaning every square inch of the closet, walls floor, etc. and hope that it works. What a pain! 🙁

    Janine Streiter
  • It could be that you are sensitive to a “detergent” or dry-cleaning solvent in your clothes. Perhaps it doesn’t bother you as much in small batches but the entire your “forest” of clothes are too much for your senses….

    Christine C.
  • What are the shelves made of? In many new houses the shelving is MDF which could be off gassing. If these materials are used in the rest of the house it could be that the air is getting circulated and so there isn’t as much of a concentration, but in the closet the fumes would have nowhere to go. I know with our clothes if they sit on the shelves for very long there is a terrible smell to them that gives me a headache – and we’ve been in the house for 10 years. I know it would not be a cheap venture, but could you rip out the closet and replace the shelves with wire racks instead?

  • Wow, I didn’t think of detergent OR the shelving, I was thinking maybe I was allergic to a certain item like a sweater or something, but both of those make a whole lot more sense! The shelving is all from IKEA, so I’m going to see what’s all in them before I trash them all, but I’m switching detergents tonight and hopefully will start to see some change! Thank you!

  • You say you share a closet with your husband? It is quite possible that he is coming in contact with things that are remaining on his clothes and once hung up they linger. Have you tried separating his and yours for a few days? It is always best to allergy detect in stages like a detective.

    Start by placing all your items in plastic bags, not forever just until you identify the problem areas.

    don’t place any worn items into the area (your husbands suit jacket or pants, shoes etc) into the closet right away let them air and then do it one item at a time . you might want to take a sniff first.

    have you tried to remove everything and let it air.. then go in? it might not be the clothes at all but the room. and there are very inexpensive plastic sturdy racks you can buy.

    Jo-Anne Pfoh

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