I live in a Scandinavian country, so I’m constantly inundated with the concepts of minimalism and hygge. In a nutshell, these two concepts usually go hand-in-hand no matter the circumstance. With that being said, in this article, I’ll show you how to make your space cozy and uncluttered, and what exactly hygge means for Danes.
Some people believe a minimalist home is similar to a museum: lacking warmth, being too clean, and being impersonal. When in reality, it is quite the opposite. Thanks to the focus on simple pleasures and the lack of clutter, a minimalistic house can actually be quite cozy.
You see, minimalism and hygge have one big thing in common: intentional living.
- When you live minimally, you focus on what brings you joy and what is truly essential. This helps to get rid of the unnecessary clutter in your life, both physically and mentally.
- As for hygge, it is about making your home a space of joy, comfort, and warmth. This can be done in many ways, but it usually includes simple pleasures like spending time with family and friends, lighting candles, and eating comforting foods.
So intentional living is at the heart of both minimalism and hygge. And when you combine the two, you can create a cozy home that is free of clutter so that you can focus on what is essential for your soul.
Minimalism and hygge
Let’s dive more into these two concepts.
What is minimalism?
In its simplest terms, minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of anything that distracts us from them. It is a lifestyle that encourages us to live more simply and intentionally.
So what does that look like?
For some people, it might mean living with fewer possessions. It might mean decluttering your home and removing anything that doesn’t bring you joy or serve a purpose. It might mean simplifying your wardrobe or your diet.
For others, minimalism might mean eliminating unnecessary clutter in order to create space for more important things. It might mean taking on fewer commitments, saying no more often, or making more margins in your schedule.
At its core, minimalism is about living more intentionally. It’s about removing the things that distract us from what is most important, so we can focus on what truly matters.
What is hygge?
Hygge is a Danish concept that can be difficult to translate. It is often described as a feeling of cozy contentment and well-being.
Hygge is about creating a warm, inviting atmosphere and enjoying the simple pleasures in life. It is about slowing down, being present, and savoring the moment.
Hygge is about intangibles like atmosphere, mood, and connection. It is about feeling like you belong, feeling comfortable, and feeling safe.
I have lived in Denmark for three years now. And what I can say about hygge in my personal opinion is that Danes love hanging out with friends. They don’t associate hygge with a space but rather with people. They can’t feel hygge without someone to share the moment. Danes are some of the world’s happiest people, and I believe hygge has a lot to do with that.
How can minimalism and hygge work together?
Certainly minimalism and hygge go in the same direction. These questions summarize why minimalism and hygge work together:
- How do you want to get hygge if your house is messy?
- How can you make energy for being hygge if you have so much stuff around?
- Why would you want to be constantly cleaning and decluttering when you could just be enjoying your life?
- What is the point of filling your life with material things when you can get much more fulfillment from simple things?
So, in short, minimalism and hygge go hand in hand because they both promote a lifestyle that is simple, clean, and enjoyable. If you want to maximize your hygge, minimalism is the way to go!
Similarities between minimalism and hygge lifestyle
When it comes to living a cozy life, both minimalism and hygge have a lot in common. Here are some of the similarities:
- Both emphasize simplicity and getting rid of excess.
- Both promote a focus on experiences over things.
- Both consider most material possession unnecessary.
- Both emphasize the importance of quality over quantity.
- Both encourage living in the present moment.
- Both emphasize the importance of community and connection.
- Both promote a healthy relationship with material possessions.
- Both encourage creativity and resourcefulness.
To summarize all of these similarities, both minimalism and hygge are about living a life that is simple, and meaningful.
Differences between minimalism and hygge lifestyle
While minimalism and hygge have a lot in common, there are also some key differences. Here are some of the ways they differ:
- Minimalism is more about simplicity and getting rid of excess, while hygge is more about creating a cozy and comfortable environment while being around others.
- Minimalism is more about striving to live with less, while hygge is more about savoring the simple pleasures of life.
- Minimalism is in most cases about self-reliance and independence, while hygge is about finding comfort in the company of others.
In conclusion, minimalism and hygge are both about living a simple and cozy life. However, minimalism is more focused on living with less, while hygge is more concerned with creating a comfortable environment in the home and surrounding yourself with people you love.
The difference between visual clutter and hygge elements
There is a fine line between visual clutter and hygge elements. The key is to find a balance that works for you.
Visual clutter is anything that feels like it’s taking up space without serving a purpose. It can be anything from clothes that you never wear to knick-knacks that you don’t really need.
Hygge elements are things that make you feel good and add to the overall coziness of your home. They can be anything from candles to blankets to plants.
Keep in mind that it is possible to overdo the hygge elements so the space doesn’t feel inviting but rather heavy and full. So, as with everything in life, moderation is key.
Now that you know the difference between visual clutter and hygge elements, it’s time to get rid of the former and add more of the latter to your home.
Tips to make your space less cluttered
The first step to minimalist hygge is dealing with clutter. Here are some ideas to help you get started:
- Get rid of anything that you don’t use or need. This includes clothes, shoes, books, knick-knacks, etc. If you haven’t used it in the past year, chances are you don’t need it.
- Donate or sell anything that you don’t want or need. Not only will this declutter your space, but it will also make someone else’s day.
- Try to be ruthless when it comes to decluttering. It can be hard to let go of things but remember that material possessions are not worth your happiness.
- Organize your space. This will help you see what you have and make it easier to find things when you need them.
- Keep your space clutter-free. This means regular decluttering and only bringing things into your home that you really need or want. Things on sale, or that are free, are no exceptions to this rule.
How to add hygge to your minimalist home?
If you live pretty minimally, it is quite easy to add in some elements of hygge without going too far off the deep end. Here are some ideas that won’t add to the clutter in your house but rather would add some value and enjoyment to your life, plus some aesthetics:
Cozy blankets and pillows
Blankets and pillows are definitely hygge. They make your home more comfortable and inviting. You probably know this already: cozying up under a blanket, with a cup of tea and a good book is one of the best things in life.
So why not make your home even cozier by adding some blankets and pillows? Doesn’t have to be many: just an extra comfy blanket and a few pillows to make your furniture more inviting.
Wool and cotton are great materials for cozy blankets and pillows
Fancy tea cups
There is nothing quite like sipping on a cup of tea in a beautiful cup. It just makes the experience that much more special. If you don’t have any fancy tea cups, now is the time to get some! Again, just enough of them for you and some of your friends that usually come over, so that everyone can have their own cup.
Candles are such a simple and easy way to make your home cozier. They create a warm and inviting atmosphere.
Candles are calming. If you will ever come to Denmark during the autumn or winter, you will see almost every single window with a lit candle in it. That is how we deal with long and dark evenings.
If you don’t want to burn candles all the time, you can also get electric candles. They look and feel exactly like the real thing but without the hassle of having to light them.
Fairy lights are another great way to make your home cozier. They are also very versatile. You can put them almost anywhere: in a jar, on a piece of furniture, around a frame… the possibilities are endless.
And they don’t have to be expensive either. You can find them pretty much anywhere these days.
What I like about them is that they don’t need any care or attention. You just hang them up and enjoy the soft light they provide.
Plants are great for adding some life to your home. Not only do they look good, but they also purify the air.
Although I call myself a minimalist, I have about 10 plants in my house. I just can’t help it, I love having them around. They are the only decor that I have in my house.
I would recommend getting plants that are easy to take care of, like succulents. That way, you won’t have to worry about them too much.
Books are the perfect addition to any home, but especially to a minimalist one. The good thing about them is that they don’t only work as a nice hygge decor but are also useful.
A few quality books on a bookshelf would never add to the clutter but only will enhance the feeling of coziness in your minimalist home.
Related: How to create a minimalist library?
The key takeaways about minimalism and hygge
Clutter and hygge can’t coexist
If you want a cozy ambiance and atmosphere, you need to get rid of clutter. Actually, that is why this article combines both terms minimalism and hygge: because only by living a minimalist lifestyle you can get hygge.
The feeling of hygge comes from having a cozy and comfortable home. But if your home is full of stuff, it will never be cozy. The more things you have, the more you have to worry about and take care of.
It is not about buying things
A lot of people think that they can buy their way into hygge. And while it is true that there are material things that can make your home more hygge, the true nordic coziness comes from people around you, from being personal and private with others. From being in the moment.
The idea is that you can’t get hygge without all the candles and blanket, but you need the right people around you. So don’t think that buying a bunch of stuff will make your home cozier.
It is about simple things
Having a cup of tea with a friend while doing some watercolor together, or some yoga, or just talking. That is hygge. It doesn’t need to be anything fancy, it can be very simple things. Even taking a walk in the park can be hygge if you are with the right people.
Minimalism fits in here because it is about enjoying the simple things in life and not having too much stuff. So enjoy your life, be hygge, and don’t let stuff get in the way.
I hope you found this article helpful and that you understand a bit better how these two concepts go together.
Remember that minimalism and hygge are two very different things. Minimalism is a lifestyle choice while hygge is more of a feeling or an atmosphere.
But they do go hand in hand because only by decluttering your life and getting rid of unnecessary stuff, you can make room for what really matters: people and experiences.
So go out there and enjoy your life, in a cozy and comfortable way!