Cleaning out your (messy) closet

The egg nog and rum hangovers, pine needles in your living room and long lines at the mall have finally disappeared. It’s safe to say that the holidays are finally over. But a problem remains:

The egg nog and rum hangovers, pine needles in your living room and long lines at the mall have finally disappeared. It’s safe to say that the holidays are finally over. But a problem remains: Where do you put all your new stuff?

My post-holiday closet is a war-zone, with last season’s military style armed and ready to battle this season’s up and coming spring safari look. If you’re like me and can hardly see your closet floor, take a word from the wise: don’t go running to Old Navy to pick up their signature flip flips just yet. Now that the gift giving season is over, it’s that “other” time of year. It’s time to clean out your closet.

Clothes from ninth grade are so not cool

– Get rid of anything that you haven’t worn for the past six months. I don’t care what you say: Clothes from ninth grade are not considered vintage, so please lose those circa 1998 Gap overalls.

– Toss any items that are no longer their original color. Get rid of faded white tees and black turtlenecks dotted with fuzz balls.

– Please part with anything that you know is not in style and will never be in style again. For five years I kept a pair of Nine West three-inch platform shoes that screamed Spice Girls just because I thought they might make a comeback. I would have been better off donating them to a museum.

– Guys should clear their closets of old sneakers, Hawaiian-themed anything and those penny loafers from the tenth grade.

– Most guys probably have enough sports shirts to wear one everyday for a year, so only keep athletic shirts with true sentimental value. Keep the homecoming ’01 tee, ditch the youth size large YMCA shirt.

– Girls, remember those cheap American Eagle and Abercrombie & Fitch logo shirts? Well, forget them now because unless you’re 12, no one wears them anymore.

– Ladies should also clear their closets of dress shoes with thick heels, box shaped dresses, and those hideous sweaters grandma buys you from JCPenny year after year you never have the heart to return.

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure

– Be charitable and donate your clothes to Salvation Army or Goodwill. Drop off your clothes to the Goodwill in South Philadelphia on Front and Oregon streets or in Fishtown on 33 W. Girard Ave., or leave your used duds at the Salvation Army at North Broad Street and Fairmount Avenue.

– Sell your threads! The used clothing store Buffalo Exchange at 17th and Chestnut streets buys fairly in season and stylish clothes during all store hours. The seller receives 50% of the selling price for store credit, or 30 percent for cash. Check out for more information.

An organized closet is a happy closet

You say you have nothing to wear? It’s probably because your closet is a mess. The well-organized are the most stylish because their entire wardrobe is at their creative fingertips.

While your closet may never be like Cher’s computer-operated one from Clueless, you can at least make room for a clear view of everything you own.

– Organize dress shirts from casual shirts, party skirts from suit skirts, athletic gear from underwear. This way, when you need something for a particular event, you can turn to that particular area of your closet and evaluate your options.

– Throw away all metal hangers and make an investment in plastic ones. Plastic hangers help keep a shirt’s shape and are made with grooves to easily hang tank tops.

– Shoe racks are a blessing from the fashion gods and so are shoe bags that hang over the door. Buy one of these wondrous inventions and voila! No more searching for a lost shoe ten minutes before class.

So gather a few trash bags, put on some good music and start picking through the raff. Your closet, and fashion sense, will thank you.

Sammy Davis can be reached at

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