I’ve been in the process of building a new house for me and my children. Our fresh start. My goal is for this house to be a safe place. A place of love, affection, and warmth as my kids wrap their little minds around having two homes, two separate parents, and two different routines.
I’m creating a hygge home for myself and my children.
Hygge, pronounced hoo-guh, is a Danish word meaning coziness. Hygge is truly more of a feeling or a way of life, rather than just some trendy style. It’s all about enjoying simple pleasures, making the ordinary more meaningful and special.
For me, it’s a fresh perspective for our new life and new home.
- Be present
- Balance home and work
- Have a wind-down routine
- Be thankful
- Spend more time with important people in your life
- Create a home environment that makes you feel good
The Danes are said to be the happiest people in the world. While you certainly don’t have to have a new house to give your home that hygge feel, there are several things you can do to live as the Danish do.
Simply put, they already have the things they need to achieve happiness. Their happiness comes from experiences, people, food, drink, environment – and not an ounce comes from technology. While these things seem obvious, for me, I know that I’ll really have to be purposeful in “hygge-ing” my home. I like structure, routine, to-do lists, and calendars neatly penciled in. To achieve hygge, you’ll want to adopt a “go with the flow” way of life. Calmness in all things.
Here’s how I’m going hygge in my new home:
1. Create a comfy hangout place.
Playing on the floor with my kids needs to be fun and not leave me as if I’ve fallen and can’t get up. Have throw blankets and pillows ready to make a pallet at any time. I got an extra large basket to hold mine. Blanket ladders are also a pretty storage solution.
2. Be present.
One of the biggest components of a hygge lifestyle is the relationships you keep with people. Actual, meaningful, authentic relationships, not the social media kind. Family dinner has always been important in my house. During dinner, I like to talk to my kids about their days. I often ask them what made them laugh, smile, what made them sad, and I always try to ask what their favorite part was. My oldest children, 3-year-old twin boys, are still so young, but I’m showing them that I’m interested in their day and modeling that conversation. Most of the time the conversation is diverted by their giggles, or lack of table manners (we’re working on it), but nonetheless, we’re talking.
3. Play board games.
In our house we love to do puzzles. Amazon has these amazing foam puzzles that have survived a teething little sister and the not-so-gentle hands of my toddlers. Sometimes games turn into coloring, painting, or “art” as my kids call it. My boys got kinetic sand for Christmas and have sat for nearly an hour, building and sculpting while we talked and laughed as a family.
(Editor’s note: Elysa just made a roundup of great puzzle ideas for kiddos. Synergy!)
4. Surround yourself with things you love.
Starting over in a new house was a huge eye-opener for me. Newly divorced, I had the daunting task of going through everything I owned. I found myself getting annoyed that I even kept some of the random things I trudged through. I made three piles: keep, trash, donate. This new house needed to be a fresh start, and I certainly didn’t want to bring things that got in my way or only cluttered the house.
This could be a way for kids to go through their stuff and decide to make donations of the toys they no longer play with. Great teaching moments can be had from cleaning out unused toys.
5. Hot drinks.
Now, I’ll be honest, I couldn’t understand how a hot drink like coffee or mulled wine could be considered hygge. But then, I made myself a hot cup, the delicious smell filled the house, I went to take my first drink and… I burned my mouth! It was then that I was reminded to s.l.o.w. down! Remember, hygge isn’t just an aesthetic, it’s a feeling. In order to fully enjoy my hot drink, I needed to slow down and take it easy. Savor the taste, enjoy the moment.
6. Hygge happenings.
Put down your devices and gather with friends and family. Make your favorite warm meal or soup in a slow cooker and let the aroma fill your house. Hygge is all about having real, authentic relationships, connections, and experiences. Have a game night, book club, or sit outside around a fire. Whatever you do, enjoy the setting and the people around you who contribute to your happiness.
While having three, young, energetic children can almost seem like the opposite of hygge, we’re challenging ourselves to be more thoughtful and intentional in out actions. Our house can often be crazy, but it is also a safe place for my child to learn, grow, and make mistakes. We are making memories that I hope will mean as much to them one day, as they do to me.