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Spring Cleaning à la Française

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Spring is a time of renewal, and what better way to welcome the season of growth and fresh beginnings than by decluttering and organizing your home? In France, spring cleaning goes beyond simply tidying up; it’s about embracing a lifestyle of simplicity and elegance.

Decluttering and Organizing Tips for Your Spring Cleaning List

From chic Parisian apartments to quaint countryside cottages, the French approach to decluttering and organizing is rooted in timeless principles that prioritize beauty, functionality, and a sense of joie de vivre.

It’s amazing how effective a spring cleaning day can be for your peace of mind and productivity. When my home, closet, or office space feel cluttered, my mind feels cluttered.

This is why I always look forward to this time of the year, when it feels like everything gets a refresh and total cleanse.

The following are some helpful tips to guide you in your spring cleaning endeavors, à la Française.

candle and soap dispenser with vase of flowers next to sink

Start with Simplicity

The French believe in the power of simplicity when it comes to decluttering. Take inspiration from Marie Kondo’s philosophy of keeping only items that spark joy.

For example, in the spirit of French minimalism, consider paring down your wardrobe to classic pieces. Create a capsule wardrobe that contains essentials and versatile pieces you actually enjoy wearing.

Donate the excess pieces in your closet that only serve to take up room because you never seem to want to wear them or they just feel old and over-worn.

clothing rack with wardrobe essentials

Embrace Elegant Storage Solutions

In France, organization is as much about aesthetics as it is about functionality. Invest in chic storage solutions such as acrylic shoe boxes or rattan baskets, reminiscent of those found in a glam Parisian pied-a-terre or, in the case of the latter, traditional French country homes.

french market tote hanging on a wall hook

Incorporate elegant hooks or wall-mounted racks for hanging coats and accessories, keeping clutter off the floor and adding a touch of French charm to your entryway.

One of my favorite, chic storage solutions for my dog’s leashes and harnesses is a French market tote hanging on a hook by my front door. It’s so convenient and stylish.

I also love to utilize decorative items as practical storage solutions, such as glass candle holders for q-tips or copper shot glasses for culinary ingredients.

copper shot glasses for kitchen ingredients

Prioritize Quality Over Quantity

French interiors are renowned for their emphasis on quality craftsmanship and timeless design. When decluttering, focus on keeping items of exceptional quality that exude French elegance.

One of the first things I did when I moved into my first apartment as an adult was buy a full set of beautiful ceramic plates, bowls, and mugs.

set of French style plates and bowls

In college, I had a mix of dishes that were accumulated from my mom’s hand-me-downs as well as my sister’s, and they weren’t my style or aesthetic.

So, I invested in a uniform set that had the artisanal, French look I was going for, and proudly displayed them on open shelves in my kitchen.

Create Intentional Spaces

Each space in your home should serve a purpose and evoke a sense of harmony. Take cues from French interior design by arranging furniture thoughtfully to create inviting areas for relaxation and conversation.

cozy pillows and throw on a sofa

For instance, adorn your sofa with quality, plush pillows and cozy throws to create a warm and inviting space.

Decorate your coffee table with thoughtful books that reflect your unique interests and personality, then add a bouquet of flowers for a touch of French romance.

Cultivate a Sense of Joie de Vivre

In French culture, the art of living well is celebrated, and this extends to the home environment. Infuse your space with elements that bring you joy and reflect your personal style.

artwork and family heirlooms

Showcase cherished artworks, family heirlooms that hold sentimental value, or just a gallery wall of family photos, adding a sense of joie de vivre and authenticity to your home decor.

My favorite tip for photos, by the way, is to get them printed in black and white, then use metal frames (either gold, champagne, or silver) that have thick, white matting. Instant elegance!

Refresh with Greenery

Bring the beauty of the outdoors inside by incorporating greenery into your home decor.

Consider placing potted lavender plants or fragrant herbs like rosemary and thyme on your windowsills, evoking the scents and sights of a French countryside garden.

potted plant

Arrange fresh flowers such as tulips or daffodils in vintage-inspired vases to add a burst of color and vitality to your living space.

And if you don’t have a green thumb, then a realistic-looking, faux olive tree set in a rattan basket is always a great way to go.

olive tree in a rattan basket

Infuse Your Space with Fragrances

In French culture, the sense of smell is highly valued, and fragrances play a significant role in creating a welcoming atmosphere at home.

Once your home is decluttered and organized, use scents to enhance the refreshed vibes in your living space.

Diptyque paris candle

Invest in high-quality French candles with sophisticated scents such as lavender, jasmine, or fig, which evoke the essence of Provence’s countryside or the Mediterranean coast.

Place reed diffusers infused with citrus or herbal fragrances in key areas of your home to create a subtle and continuous aroma.

Additionally, consider incorporating natural elements like dried lavender sachets or potpourri made from dried flowers and herbs to add a touch of French charm and fragrance to your drawers and closets.

Diptyque roses candle

Regular Maintenance

Once you’ve decluttered and organized your home, make it a habit to maintain a tidy and organized environment. Embrace the French concept of “mise en place” by keeping everything in its designated place.

Invest in stylish storage solutions such as linen-lined baskets or handwoven market bags for stowing away everyday essentials, ensuring a clutter-free and effortlessly chic home.

woven basket for blankets

French-inspired spring cleaning is about more than just getting rid of old things—it’s a lifestyle that celebrates simplicity, elegance, and the art of living well.

By incorporating these French-inspired tips into your decluttering and organizing routine, you can create a home that is not only beautiful and functional but also reflective of your own unique style and joie de vivre.

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