You are going to hate my answer.
Hygge isn’t minimalism isn’t hygge…. but the two go well together. They’re good bedfellows, with neither being intrinsically better or more worthy than the other. You don’t need to be a minimalist to have hygge in your life, but you don’t need to hygge to be a minimalist.
There are minimalists who are quite happy shedding their possessions, making a list of their belongings and then being competitively minimalist about anyone who has a spare mug or plate because… duh… minimalism is an extreme sport to them. That’s not hyggely.
Likewise, there are hygge lovers who will never shed a book or trinket because every one is special and means something to them. That’s not minimalism.
And yet, in my mad pursuit of hyggely moments, I find myself returning again and again to the need to be conscious of what I own and how I own it. I will never be a 100 Things minimalist, but I am a conscious consumer. I think, in a half-arsed way, I want to have a home that Sparks Joy, as in Marie Kondo’s book. If I can hold an item and it gives me joy, then I can keep it. It’s the deadwood that needs clearing, the stuff that holds no memories or gives me nothing. That’s the stuff I’m going to prune. I think I’ll call it midimalism. The middle way.
This weekend I took the opportunity to clean and clear my kitchen. I have a box of spare cutlery and a bag of plates, mugs etc that we have gained over the years ready to go to the charity shop now. I kept a load of mugs in my mug cupboard, but the mugs that are there now actually have stories behind them. There are the mugs that Sarah and I painted for Christmas the year before last, the mug that Sarah got as a present from her friend for her birthday, the mugs that 2 of my children bought from Harry Potter World (massive efforts, good for holding a hot chocolate plus cream plus marshmallows)
I can now take you on a walk through my mug cupboard and every piece has a story or a reason to justify their presence. But there’s still at least 5 mugs for every person in the house… way more than we’d need in a day. Not minimalistic, but very hyggely.
I intend to keep doing the same with everything in my house, judging it as to whether it deserves a place in our lives. My aim is to have a curated life, an examined life… and along the way to make the space to gather, to love and to enjoy. Hygge has made my life a happier experience for me. My personal midimalism will, I hope, make sure that my belongings spark joy.
And talking about sparking joy.. I am loving watching my book on Amazon. Thank you to everybody who has bought it so far. I keep looking online to check I’ve really got a book on Amazon. This was my delight this weekend:
There I was, sandwiched between two of my uber-heroines. Now if only my book could get a Best Seller label….
If you’d like to help me achieve impossible things, then click through these links, 50 Ways to Hygge the British Way on Kindle or in paperback to help me get the Bestseller tag. And if you’ve got it already and like it, please do leave a review. Every star counts!
And please click through to this link to find entry for my first giveaway, with a Joe’s Toes slipper kit and a copy of my book available to win!
****How to Hygge the British Way Blog isn’t monetised. I have taken the decision that I want to remain neutral and not to promote things just because. I don’t carry adverts and I will only ever review items that I have bought myself, or that I think will help to promote hygge in a busy life. To do this, I need support. Even just the price of a coffee adds up to a book over time, and it means I can stay independent. Would you help? Please consider clicking through to paypal.me/HyggeJem and leaving even a small amount. I’d be very grateful. Thank you.***
Lastly, the footnotes. I read a few good articles on hygge and minimalism in writing this post. Read, enjoy and let me know what you think in the comments below!