Thursday, July 17, 2014

Closet Clean-Up: Clueless Edition

8:17 PM

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“I need more shorts,” she says with furrowed eyebrows and a frown on her face as a skewed pile of shorts looking quite similar to the Leaning Tower of Pisa tilts towards her. Somewhere else on the globe, a girl, as if petrified by the basilisk in Harry Potter, stands frozen with a grimace in front of her closet as she is met with the sight of all her clothes in disarray – everything strewn about like a sales bin ravaged by bargain-hunters in a retail store. 

Be honest, we all have been either one or both of these girls at some point or another. It’s perfectly okay to admit it, as long as you acknowledge that these current closet state of affairs cannot remain the way it is! If you find yourself in either of these situations, then you betcha, it’s time for a closet cleanup! 

Don’t be scared by the sound of it; I know the word “clean” (maybe just used as a verb, not so much the adjective) sends teenagers hiding under their beds in fear – well, that is, if they don’t already have stuff shoved under there, but it’s one of those things where the end result is a much bigger payoff than the amount of work you have to put in. You don’t want to abandon your closet like the mines of Moria in Lord of the Rings – the next thing you know, it’ll be completely taken over by orcs and Gandalf will die trying to defend you from the beast in your underwear drawer (“YOU SHALL NOT PASS”...your final exam if you don’t find that one pair of lucky underwear. Where did it go? Tsk, should have organized your closet.)

However, if you set aside time to execute these following tips, then guaranteed, you’ll have a more pleasant experience the next time you take a trip to your closet! 

 1. Keep/Donate/Throw 

Have you ever played that game with your friends, “F***, Marry, Kill”? Well, just like that game, you’ll be given three choices and no matter how tough it is, you have to make a decision. Some of the answers will come easy, but some will take deep, honest thinking to arrive at a conclusion. 

With each article of clothing, first ask yourself “Does it still fit me?” If it doesn’t, then without any further thought, it doesn’t deserve to occupy space in your closet! (Why insist on squeezing into those skinny jeans if it clearly takes the same amount of energy needed in an aerobics class to put it on? This isn’t Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, girl!)

If it does fit, then the next thing you should ask yourself is “Do I still see myself wearing this?” If you find yourself naturally thinking of a bunch of cute outfits to incorporate the piece with, then that’s a sign that you should keep it! Otherwise, I don’t suggest keeping things just because they’re okay, in the sense that you might wear it with stuff in the future. If the future is that hazy for you, then I suggest parting ways and donating or handing it down to someone else – it could work perfectly in someone else’s closet! Trust me, I’ve had clothes collecting dust in my closet simply because I rationalized that they still fit me. If you don’t love it, don’t keep it! 

Lastly, sometimes you have to throw away clothes. If there’s a huge stain that can’t be removed or it’s visibly in tattered conditions, then you shouldn’t donate it – clothes for donation should be in acceptable conditions and wearable for others’ use.

 2. (Outer) Space is a vast place, but not in your closet's case 

Wouldn’t it be nice if we had endless amounts of space in our closet – constellations of shoes lining the walls and basic pieces orbiting around the bolder ones? Sure, it’s all nice and poetic-sounding now until you realize that your closet resembles a black hole more than anything else. Even Paris Hilton has a finite amount of closet space to work with, so the key here is to maximize your space through organization. 

By this point, you should have completed the first step and ended up with clothes worthy of a place in your own little space! Now you have your troops – it’s time to strategically place them in their proper locations for the smoothest, quickest victory when it comes to conquering the land (aka your closet) and seeking out specific articles of clothing with sniper-like precision. 

 • An aesthetically pleasing and most obvious display of organization is through color-coding. Putting families of similar colors together, especially with the juxtaposition of various textures, definitely ups the ante for Instagram-worthy pictures. Feel like wearing a pop of neon to the clubs? No problem, the neon pieces are here to the right, next to the whites and beiges. 

 • Closet-ception. No, this does not mean being led by Leonardo di Caprio and entering someone else’s closet to steal their most coveted pieces! Have you been to a bazaar or the tiangge lately? Nowadays, there are stalls selling a variety of organizers from the smallest of things such as your rings and other accessories, on to bigger things like drawers and trunks for storage. There’s even a hanging variety which are perfect if you have a hook behind your closet door! These organizers will allow you to hold more pieces in a small amount of space, without making your closet feel cramped or overflowing. It’s like creating mini-closets within the one you already have – think of those Russian nesting dolls which are encased within one another. Seriously, you can have your shoes hanging behind the door now – how great is that! Check out this enviable closet for a little girl doing just that:

 • Think outside of the box. Look around the house. Got some empty bookshelves in your room? Use those to store and display hats, your prettiest pairs of shoes, and any bits and bobbles you wish! Take a pointer from fashion blogger, Aimee Song of Song of Style, and use empty wine bottles (from your parents of course if you’re not of drinking age) and stack bracelets around the bottleneck. Already have a corkboard in your room? Hang some of your favorite necklaces on the pins. Heck, hang it on anything hook-like. Utilizing stuff you already have around the house will save you some money if you don’t want to go out and buy organizers.

Well there you have it! Closet cleanup is not a once-in-a-lifetime event – you’ll find yourself doing this periodically when you start to outgrow certain things or you end up petrified by a basilisk or overrun by those darn orcs again. Hopefully you’ve found these tips helpful, so that you can unleash your inner Cher from Clueless because my gosh, didn’t she look like she was having so much fun in that closet scene? Wearing that yellow plaid outfit around in Manila's humid, tropical climate though?
Artwork by Mich
Article by Sammi

Mich is a 19-year-old Animation student (who doesn't actually want to animate anything). She draws a lot of comics. Her two favorite things are sleep and pizza.

Sammi is a walking Studio Ghibli character in her imagination, in search of a hidden kingdom of cats and/or the next greatest panini sandwich to enter her life. Her fantasies may include being a can’t-touch-this hot tamale hip-hop dancer or the lead in a magical girl anime. Regardless, style is an essential, in both fantasy and reality.


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