Closet-Hangers

6 Tips to Organize Your Closet the Parisian Way

It’s not quite Spring, but it just feels like the right time for cleaning. Parisians are MASTERS of the closet clean-out. When your apartment is the size of a closet, your closet is well… very small. You have to be very careful about what stays and what goes.

Here are a few tips from my Parisian friends on how they keep their closets efficient and tidy:

1. If it doesn’t fit, it doesn’t stay.

I know you’re hoping to fit into those skinny jeans again, but the jig is up. Keeping clothes that are too small will not make you lose weight, they will just collect moth balls and keep you from enjoying a full wardrobe.

2. Damaged goods go in the garbage.

If you haven’t been to a cobbler or a tailor in the past year, it’s time to throw out your worn-down heels and the sweaters with elbow holes. If you’ve got a very large pile of damaged clothes, this is a sign you need to start investing in higher quality pieces for your everyday wear.

3. Treasure your basics.

Basics are your buddies. No, they’re not flashy, but they’ve got an important place in your closet. Do NOT make room for a trendy H&M sundress by throwing out your white blouse.

4. Last year’s trends are for the trash.

If it was trendy last year, chances are it will look old and trashy this year. A Parisian wont spend too much money on her trendy pieces so that she can ditch them in a flash when new trends emerge. You’ll be done with peplum next season, but a v-neck cashmere sweater is forever.

5. Designers can stay… for now.

I have this pair of outrageously tall Louboutins that I will never throw away, even if I have to purchase a walker to be able to keep wearing them. A men’s Dior sweater I pulled off a thrift store rack 10 years ago? Still in my closet today.

Designer pieces just have that allure that makes them special and ever lasting. Even if they seem extravagant or a bit trendy, give them a bit more time than their generic knock-offs. Designer pieces seldom go out of fashion, even when the trends they embody do.

6. Organize by season and family.

This makes your closet seem a bit more like a boutique than a thrift shop. A Parisian never digs, she fashion edits.

Put your winter sweaters with your winter clothes, your spring dresses with your “spring collection.” “Rocker” items are separate from “boho” items are separate from “nautical.” Now picking outfits feels like shopping!

How do you organize your closet? What stays and what goes? Let me know in the comments!

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  1. Tina says:

    Great post. Can you you work on my closet?!

    Reply
  2. allison b-t says:

    great tips! i live in an old house without any closets so my clothes are out in the open on rolling racks. i love the last tip as it’s inspired me to organize my clothing in a more decor-inspired way!

    Reply
    • Emily Grossman says:

      That sounds awesome – I love exposed closets! You’ll have to share a pic once you’re done boutique-ing it out!

      Reply
  3. Murissa says:

    Ugh something I need to do! Great tips although easier said than done for me. Spring is coming though and I think it’s time to organize.

    Reply
    • Emily Grossman says:

      Right? Sometimes it helps to have some extra motivation. I make an effort to resell my discard clothes to consignment stores or offer them up to friends. Invite some friends over for wine and start throwing them some clothes out of your closet per the suggestions above – it’s more fun and you don’t even have to drive down to a Goodwill!

      Reply
  4. Liz says:

    Great article.
    I too organize by “theme or category” more than type and fit. I put almost outfits together; pieces that embody the same “vibe” and go from there.
    Instead of sorting by pants, shirts, t shirts, work shirts, skirts, dresses, etc. Define your wardrobe by 6 capsule collections that embody your current moods.

    Reply