Hygge and your Surroundings

Hygge and your Surroundings


There are many reasons why decluttering is such an important part of hygge. However, many people fail to start the process because the idea of going through all your possessions is utterly overwhelming. This is a reason why it’s a great idea to get into the habit of decluttering just five minutes at a time. You will be amazed at how much you will be able to achieve over a week, a month, or longer. 

With your five minutes, concentrate on one particular area. If you are in the kitchen, look at a counter. If it holds old kitchen gadgets that you no longer use, clear them off and put them in a cupboard. If you haven’t used them for many months, then they might be worth a few dollars to sell or you can just give them away. 

If you’re in a living room, then look at the coffee table or a shelf. Perhaps it has old newspapers or magazines or letters or dirty cups on it. Clear it all off so you have a fresh, clean surface to admire. Take a minute or two to allocate places for items you know you use often, but seem to move around all the time to wherever there happens to be a free space. Find the right space for them. Resolve to put these items back in that place every time you stop using them. 

If it’s papers or bills that are causing the mess, then take five minutes to label some folders and file them – one folder for bills for example. If the papers are old and won’t be needed again, throw them away. You could scan the bills into your computer or take a photograph and then throw the papers away. Now you will have an electronic record that takes up no physical space at all. 

Take five minutes to look at items in your wardrobe. If you’ve not worn items of clothing for months on end, then dispose of them. It won’t take long before your wardrobe is purged of items that were of no use and were slowing you down when deciding what to wear. 

In five minutes you could go through a drawer that always ends up with a load of junk in it. Somehow, all those little knick-knacks or old keys or mysterious items of hardware find their way into a drawer and reside there for years. In five minutes, you can throw anything away you know you will no longer use or need it again. 

There are many different ways you can start to declutter and great benefits in doing so. If you can get into the habit of carrying out a five minute declutter every day, you will very quickly find yourself reaping the rewards of a less cluttered and more welcoming and hyggeligt environment for the entire family. 

Lighting candles 

There can be little more that is true hygge than lighting candles. The Danes love candles for the beautiful light they cast around the room and the intimacy they can create. Any space lit by candles takes on a much warmer and more inviting atmosphere. Candles can take all forms of shapes and sizes, but it is best to opt for natural candles made from beeswax to avoid the soot and chemicals that paraffin candles can release into the air. 

Even if it takes just a couple of minutes to light four or five small tea-candles, you will find the room changes dramatically as other forms of lighting can then be dimmed or even turned off entirely. If you are looking for a fast and easy way to provide hygge, then spending a little time lighting lovely candles is one of the best available options. This is an easy daily habit to get into. It takes even less than five minutes and creates a wonderfully warming and relaxing atmosphere in any room. 

I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures.

Using effective lighting to relax 

The right lighting is critical in establishing hygge in your home. Get into the habit of switching to a cozier and more inviting lighting set-up as evening creeps in and you look to relax after the day is over. If you want to go high-tech, there are even light bulbs and entire lighting systems that you can connect to your home network that will dim or cast a different color at different times of the day. 

The overhead lights which you used during the day may illuminate the room brightly, however, the light may be white and harsh which makes relaxing in the room difficult. Take a minute or two to ensure lamps replace overhead lights with their softer and more soothing light. Check they are placed at points of interest in the room, perhaps on a table where you can read in peace. If you have dimmer switches you can also use these to set the exact lighting level that you find the most relaxing. 

Making it a habit to ensure living spaces are lit properly for the evening will create a more inviting atmosphere, where people will be keen to gather and share their stories of the day. This allows families and friends to spend time together and communicate effectively. It lets you relax more fully and rest your eyes, as well as creating a contrast between the harsher lights of the working day and the more intimate lighting of the evening.

Bringing Nature inside 

An essential part of hygge is ensuring there is more of the natural world into your life. You achieve this by bringing some of nature you find outside into your home. These elements of nature contain a vitality that can also make a room cozier and more inviting. This can be almost anything that you think would enhance the feel of your living spaces. 

It might be flowers in a vase or perhaps a particularly interesting piece of bark or some twigs that might find a place in your home. You could gather different sized and colored rocks or pebbles to make a beautiful collection in a bowl on a table. Perhaps a feather that you discover can be brought in. A collection of beautiful colored leaves can look stunning as a decoration. Not only do these items of a natural beauty look wonderful, but they also add different textures to the room. 

Take five minutes each week to forage in your garden or the street outside your home or a local park to see what features of the natural world can be brought inside. It will add an instant touch of hygge and prove to be a free and stunning decoration to any room. 

Imagination is the highest kite one can fly.

Watering your plants 

The importance of plants, at home, or work, for creating a hyggeligt atmosphere is difficult to overstate. Plants look beautiful and add to the ambiance wherever they are placed, but they have an even more important role. They purify the air and remove toxins and pollutants. NASA conducted a study where it concluded that house plants were invaluable for their purification service. The report cites the Peace Lily, Chrysanthemum, Red-Edged Dracaena, Chinese Evergreen, and English Ivy as some of the plants to consider for your home. 

Dedicate a couple of minutes in your day to look after your plants. This will take your thoughts away from other concerns or worries and make you focus on nurturing a living thing. This process relieves stress and boosts your mental performance. Caring for plants can also increase your feelings of empathy, making it easier to forge strong relationships with the people around you – a key facet of hygge. 

Having plants around, looking after them, and seeing them flourish has numerous beneficial effects, both physical and mental. Just five minutes a day spent looking after your plants will greatly increase your feeling of hygge as well as creating a beautiful home

Opening Windows 

Coziness and warmth are essential for hygge, but that doesn’t mean your home should be hermetically sealed with not a hint of fresh air allowed to enter. Allowing fresh air to enter your home will help prevent the build-up of possible condensation and allow dust, mold spores, and bacteria to escape. A home without fresh air coming in regularly will feel stuffy and stale. 

Getting into the daily habit of opening your windows, even just for five minutes a day, can make a big difference in improving your indoor air quality. It is refreshing and revitalizing, even in the colder weather, and you will feel much better for the cleaner and fresher air circulating your home. 

Watching wildlife 

One way to enjoy the benefits of nature and wildlife is to have a bird feeder which you can watch from inside your home. Simply place one given a window and add in seeds, peanuts, millet, or suet cakes that you can pick up from the shops. There are various types of feeders ranging from the hopper feeder which is simply a platform with walls and a roof that covers the seed, to tube feeders or ones that use a type of cage into which you can place the suet cakes. 

By attracting beautiful wildlife to your garden, you can have the benefit of enjoying the company of birds as well as helping to replace other food sources that have become more scarce over the years. Besides, there is the chance to interact with nature and learn more about the natural world. Five minutes spent looking at wildlife is a highly effective and enjoyable way to teach children about nature and can be a great experience for the entire family. 

Whether with friends or on your own, a picnic is a wonderful way to reconnect with nature. Pack a few items of food and drink, take time to stroll to a quiet spot and enjoy the fresh air and greenery around you.

Choosing photographs as decoration 

If you are looking to decorate your walls, then one of the most effective ways you can achieve this is through photographs. Photographs bring back memories of fun times with friends or family and can hold a strong emotional significance for you. I have photographs of various sizes and in different styles of frames scattered throughout my house. 

If you take digital photographs, you can add them to a digital photo frame which rotates the pictures at regular intervals. I prefer, however, to make a physical version of photos that I love, often blown up to a much larger size and printed on canvas, which I can then position on the wall wherever I choose. Adding lots of small photographs together to one portion of the wall or a shelf is also a highly effective way of decorating and can become an interesting talking point for guests. 

You can create a rectangle from your collection of frames and try and combine both horizontal and vertical pictures within it. You can use different sizes and styles of frames as well, within the same area. I have a friend who has an entire wall dedicated to photographs of her family on various holidays over the years making a highly attractive and interesting showpiece. 

There are many different ways in which you can show photographs. It is a quick and highly effective way of decorating your living space. Not only is it a form of beautiful art which will have a positive effect upon you whenever you see it, but the photographs tell a fascinating story about who you are and who came before you. This gives a connection throughout generations which reinforces a sense of belonging for the entire family. 

Spending a few minutes a week choosing new photographs to add-in is a great activity either alone or with others. It gives a chance to remember and talk about the places or gatherings around which the photographs were taken and perhaps provides an opportunity to plan even more. It’s a great hygge habit to get into each week and one everyone can enjoy.


It is difficult, if not impossible, to create a hyggeligt atmosphere when the environment around you is a mess. If you feel everything is out of its place, then you will be stressed and unable to fully relax at home or make progress at work. It can be difficult sometimes to fight the feeling of being overwhelmed when you look around an entire house. Nonetheless, you can do a great deal in a five-minute burst. 

In five minutes, it is easy to concentrate on just one thing. Don’t try to clean the entire house. Focus your attention on one room or even one aspect of one room. For example, you could remove any plates from a previous meal that might be on the table. You could sweep up any papers or letters that are left lying around into a single pile. You could arrange the cushions in the seating area and replace the candles from the previous night. Try and put everything back in its correct place. All this is manageable in a five-minute window. 

You can repeat this process for each room. The act of tidying not only creates an external environment of calm and hygge but internally you can feel the stresses that mess and chaos bring with them melting away. You know where everything is and are comfortable that everything has its correct place. 

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