Two of the most populous states in the country, Texas and California, are among the growing list that now require residents to wear face masks when they leave their homes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and other public health organizations, this is an easy and effective way to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus causing Covid-19.
If you live in one of those states, or are wearing masks without a mandate, where are you keeping your growing stock? This isn’t a storage challenge most of us have encountered before 2020, but it’s something many of us are considering now. We want to keep an organized home, but we also want our masks to be convenient so we don’t forget them when we head out the door.
The challenge exists in different forms for those buying cartons of disposable masks and those storing reusable types. Here are eight suggestions from design and storage professionals on what’s working for them and their clients.
1. For some individuals – especially those still working outside of the house – the ideal spot is with the rest of their work wardrobe. “Drawer dividers are perfect for keeping masks next to other essentials you wear each day,” advises Derrek Holland, co-owner of The Closet Doctor in Lincoln, California. “When placed in your closet drawer, you won’t forget one before you leave your house,” he adds.
2. Wendy Stites Scott also favors the bedroom closet for many of her High Bridge, New Jersey-based Boutique Closets and Cabinetry projects. Her female clients often care about coordinating their reusable cloth masks to their outfits, she notes. “We started hanging them on valet rods, but now that they are looking to be a permanent part of our lives, I think the trend will be to put them in small jewelry-sized drawers with dividers.”
3. Scott Koehler, owner of Whispering Pines, North Carolina-based Dream Kitchen Builders, says, “We keep our face masks on an antique cabinet by the front door so we always remember to bring one along.” If your entry has an attractive table, built-in shelf or cabinet, this is an ideal spot for a bowl or basket to hold your mask collection.
4. Scott sees a use for entry storage, too: “The front coat closet is typically for guests; there should be a shelf and a box of disposable face masks. The back coat closet where the household coats hang would have a drawer or basket for facemasks the family uses.”
5. If your home has one of these rugged rooms, as many larger residences in four season climates do, this is also a good storage spot. “We use mudroom hooks to hang our masks,” shares Maria Martin of Design Appy, a design technology firm.
6. “I also suggest if they have a locker set up in the mudroom, designate a hook for each person’s masks,” Scott recommends.
Laundry Room Ideas
7. “We keep a bowl filled with filters for the cotton masks,” Martin says of her laundry room.
8. “When we come home, our masks go right into the LG Styler for sanitization at 212 degrees,” Koehler says of his clothing refresher. Refreshers are a relatively new laundry appliance with practical applications like this one, but limited selection. Many steam dryers also have refresher settings that do the job if you don’t have room or funds for this appliance. A pair of baskets or bins for clean and dirty masks nearby can be a good mask storage spot.
It’s possible that if disposable masks become widely used in the near future, they might spur development of decorative dispenser covers for standard-sized boxes, similar to those available for facial tissues. That would present one more storage option that looks a heck of a lot better than a medical supply box sitting out on your table.