Adopting a Hygge lifestyle four years ago helped Shannon Harrington find an ideal organization technique she has kept up.
Harrington was looking for an organizing method to clean out her closet. Still, most techniques seemed too rigid until she learned about Hygge (pronounced Hooga), the Danish concept which embraces the quality of coziness.
"The main focus is on coziness and making your space comfortable, but also eliminating clutter and chaos," Harrington said.
Read on to learn how Harrington and other experts use Hygge to organize spaces.
What is the Hygge Lifestyle?
Hygge is a concept popular in Denmark where it gets dark early in the winter months, says professional organizer Ashlyn Fuller. It's a way to endure winter by being able to feel cozy in your home.
"If we organize with hygge in mind, it contributes so to the overall feeling of hominess and coziness," Fuller said, launched Hygge Organizing in the Utah area last year.
Fuller and Mari Gagon, also with Hygge Organizing, offer five tips for incorporating hygge into your life and create more organization.
Hygge Organizing Embraces Imperfection
Adopting a Hygge lifestyle means you shouldn't be afraid of embracing imperfection when organizing your space, Fuller said. That means opting for more open shelves that display your items.
"I know a lot of people are afraid to do that. They want to hide everything," she said. But this method can help add more storage and organization to space, said Fuller, who just helped Gagon redo the kitchen in her 400-square-foot Utah apartment, see picture above. The duo wanted to optimize the empty wall spaces by adding some open shelves and displaying items that bring joy.
"You don't want to feel super trendy and go out and buy random items to fill up your shelf," Fuller said. "You want to put things that are personal to you and embrace the imperfection."
Hygge Calls for Using's Food's Natural Beauty
When implementing Hygge at home, you must also be mindful of using Food that has natural beauty, natural colors, and you can use those colors and show it off through with the right placement, Gagon said.
Organize your pantry or open shelves using glass jars to store everyday items such as your oats, flour, sugar, and almonds.
"It's not only better because you can see how much you have; you can see if you need other things," Gagon explained.
Making this Hygge transition invites lighter and more neutral tones, and as a result, she explained, less chaos in your space.
Hygge Brings Personal Touches to Unexpected Spaces
To have that Hygge lifestyle Fuller adds personal touches to the most unexpected spaces. One way she achieves this is by adding art in a closet, laundry room, or pantry. For example, she places a framed photo from a past trip or just an art piece that makes her clients happy.
"It's just something that can bring you joy and add a more personal touch," she said, adding it could be hung on an open wall or framed and placed on a shelf.
Other elements include adding wallpaper to a closet, using French baskets to store potatoes, or wire baskets to store eggs in your refrigerator.
"Using these unexpected items really personalizes and often organizes mundane spaces in our home," Fuller said.
Hygge Uses Different Textures
Organizing using the Hygge lifestyle emphasizes using different textures rather than rushing out and buying the latest trend in plastic organizing bins. Gagon suggests you break up the monotony by using baskets or neutral tone boxes.
For example, in her bathroom, she uses woven containers and wooden crates to store items, or consider using a basket in your closet.
"You want to add warmth to the space you are organizing, so you don't want to choose the same container," Gagon said.
Embracing Enough for a Hygge Lifestyle
Fuller recommends going through your home and deciding how much is enough. For example, ask yourself how many coats do you own versus what you need to be comfortable?
"It's about being intentional with numbers in your home and how many items you need," Fuller said.
We're all guilty of collecting 20 mugs and running out of cupboard space, let alone keep them organized.
"Why take up awesome space in your home by holding on to all of these mugs?" Fuller asked.
Fuller allows her clients to pick the threshold but encourages them only to keep what they love and what's most useful.
"It's about deciding how much enough is and pairing down," she said. "When you surround yourself with things you love and use often, then that just takes away so much stress from your home atmosphere."
Maintaining a Hygge Space
Harrington said she's always been interested in organization and has even gone the minimalism route. She once paired down her closet to five shirts and five pairs of pants. But for Harrington, that just wasn't a practical lifestyle to maintain.
"Then you end up, especially in a place like New England, and fall comes around, and I realize I should haven't gotten rid of all my sweaters," she said.
This is why she found Hygge qualities a very approachable method of organizing. Minimalism can be challenging for others to maintain because it might feel too extreme or overwhelming.
Her suggestion is to start in a small space or a room you spend the most time, eliminating anything taking up space that doesn't get used frequently.
"Eliminate any clutter that causes chaos in your mind," she said. "But keep the things you love and keep things that make your space feel warm."
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