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I was always told to let the wardrobe doors open sometimes, so "let the air circulate". And I wonder, does the wardrobe actually need to have doors? What would be the problems (other them visual) of let it always open?

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Hey Tom, is there any information you are looking for specifically beyond what has already been answered? –  Steven Dec 19 '11 at 21:34
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5 Answers

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+50

The main reason for having doors that I can think of is that UV light will fade clothes and degrade some materials over time. As a commenter said, this might more of a problem depending on what direction the rooms window faces.

Having doors also will help to some degree with smells from cooking or smoking.

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Note: UV in this way can come from direct sunlight, to a much lesser extent reflected sunlight (off a mirror, or even wall), and from some florescent bulbs. In other words, this consideration is much more important in a closet that gets direct sunlight during the day and not all that important in a dark-painted room with a north-facing window and incandescent lighting. +1 though, I can't think of any other non-aesthetic reason for closet doors. –  gregmac Dec 12 '11 at 23:06
    
I doubt doors are much protection from smoke or odors. When the doors are opened then closed (presumably daily), the odors in the room at that moment are shut into the closet, even if the room is then aired. Your wardrobe interiors likely smell like your bedroom, in the end, regardless of doors. The only way to keep odors out of clothes is to seal in plastic clothes bags immediately after washing or dry-cleaning...or masking the odors by lining your wardrobe interior with bare cedar. –  hobs Dec 23 '11 at 12:50
    
You can tell if UV is a problem if the exterior edge/side of clothes that you habitually hang in one direction ever seem faded relative to the shadowed interior side. Likewise for furniture or carpeting in the room. Otherwise, any uniform fading you're noticing is simply due to outdoor wear, where you get much greater exposure to UV. –  hobs Dec 23 '11 at 12:54
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For someone that has toddlers, doors to any room are requirements.

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In addition to the points already raised... your clothes are going to get eaten more easily by clothes moths if you don't store them in a closed cabinet.

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Do doors really discourage moths? Don't moths like crawling into dark places to lay eggs? –  hobs Dec 22 '11 at 3:52
    
@hobs - They're going to spread more easily without doors. –  UpTheCreek Dec 23 '11 at 11:26
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Aesthetics.

Open doorways and large cabinets or closets without doors make a space seem public. They're an invitation for browsing (or toddling as someone else mentioned). If the stuff inside the open space isn't selected and organized artistically, it will look unattractive. Museums and libraries have shelves and display cases without doors or with windows. Bedroooms have cabinets with opaque, translucent (think rice paper), or slatted doors--for looks. The slatted or louvered designs clearly rule out the design intent of protection from moths or blocking clothes from exposure to air and odors. Though dust is effectively reduced by louvers.

Recently my wife and I "discussed" open bedside table furniture designs (tables without drawers or doors) and she helped me appreciate what doors and drawers are for.

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Tom,

I have 6 bedrooms with 7 closets, 4 of which are open. My experience says that the open closets get used more efficiently.

In our open closets:

  1. We can see everything so everything gets worn. Nothing gets hidden in the back corner.
  2. We end up organizing much better. We were not very organized before removing the doors. Now we have to be organized as everything is on display.
  3. One room with on open closet is a guest room, and the closet is kept completely empty for the guests. The guests really like the empty closet because when they stay with friends they usually have to live out of their suitcases due to no available closet space. None have ever mentioned having an issue with the open closet.
  4. We ended up getting a lot of new hangers. Because everything is on display it looked better if everything is on matching hangers.
  5. In our case we don't have an issue with UV light fading the clothes.
  6. One of the closed closets does not contain clothes, and it is jammed full. We have to open the door carefully. That is not really possible with the open closets.

We took the sliding doors off of our closets during a remodel. They never got reinstalled. We don't miss them at all.

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