Creating a Life Free From Chaos

How to Bring Hygge into Summer

Hygge is a state of contentment and simplicity many people in America and other parts of the world never come to know. “Hygge” is a Danish word that describes a feeling of contentment, comfort, and indulging in the simple, good things in your life. A lot of people associate hygge with winter and find it hard to bring this feeling into the summer. The Danish ritual of enjoying life’s simple pleasures takes on a completely new life in the summertime. Here is how you can bring hygge into the summer:

Host a barbecue

Hygge is about spending quality time with people you love and care about. Summertime is a great time to host a barbecue in your backyard. Invite some of your friends or a few neighbors, and host a cook-out at your home. Serve some easily prepared food and drinks, or ask friends to share sides, as you catch up and play simple board games in your backyard.

Declutter your home

To enjoy hygge, you need to remove the things you consider clutter in your home. To truly enjoy a “hyggeling” lifestyle, discard everything that doesn’t bring joy into your life (Marie Kondo anyone?) Sort out your clothes and get rid of those clothes you don’t like or don’t fit, tidy your drawers, clear off the kitchen shelves and cupboards, removing what you do not need. Tidy up your home so it feels peaceful and brings you feelings of joy and contentment.

Display fresh flowers

Bring in the cheerfulness of the summer season inside your home by bringing in plenty of bright flowers. You can bring in simple bouquets of tulips, daffodils, or other simple flowers to add to your table settings, add to bookshelves, or decorate your bedside table. This elevates your mood and will make you feel relaxed and connected to the outside world. Adding in some houseplants are perfect way to purify the air and can leave your home smelling fresh and natural.

Burn a pleasant-scented candle

Some people think that candles are only meant for darker, colder nights; however, you can find pleasant-smelling candles in bright colors and burn them to bring that hygge feeling to your home during the summer season. They will make your home cozy and leave your room smelling nice and fresh. Opt for natural, beeswax candles with natural fragrances whenever possible!

Have simple picnic

Now that the temperatures are up, you can decide to take your hygge experiences to the outdoors. Choose a hygge-worthy area in your backyard and lay down a soft rug for coziness, bring out some throw pillows, and enjoy a simple picnic with a loved one or a few friends. Or pack a picnic basket and a frisbee, and visit a local park. Enjoy a glass of wine with homemade foods and savor the summertime season.

How can you bring hygge into summer? Let me know in the comments!

Have you read my free ebook, 101 Ways to Simplify Your Life? Get it here!


7 Steps to Create a Simple Lifestyle

Summer is here, and with kids home from school, many parents are feeling the crunch of crazy-busy, trying to keep the kiddos occupied while also managing their normal jobs, bills, housekeeping, and of course, the daily “what’s for dinner” debacle. Maybe there’s even a bit more money stress than usual, between extra childcare costs while you’re working, or that amazing summer vacation you want to take with your family.

Even if you don’t have kids, you might be feeling that summer longing of “wanna chill but got too much to do.” Plus the stress of higher summer gas prices (and a/c costs!), and the realization that you  forgot to do the spring cleaning. (I know I did. Oops.)

Maybe it’s time to take a look at how you can redesign your life a bit to alleviate the time crunch, the hurricane o’stuff, and that overwhelming feeling that comes with too much month at the end of the money. Here are 7 steps you can start taking today towards creating the simple life you’re craving.

What’s Your Why?

Why do you want to simplify? Is your home a chaotic mess? Do you feel like you need to reduce waste and put a stop to overconsumption? Is your calendar shrieking under the pressure of too many commitments you don’t even care about? Are you longing for a more intentional life that puts the focus on what matters most? Write down your why, and refer to it often. It’ll serve as a reminder of why you’re putting in the effort to simplify and make it easier to focus on your goal.

Decide What Simplicity Looks Like to You.

There’s a misconception that the simple life is somehow less. It’s not — simplicity is about cutting out what doesn’t matter to make the space for what does matter. It’s not a competition to see who can have less stuff. Find ways to make simplicity work for you, and don’t compare your simple to someone else’s simple. My husband’s idea of simple is to cut out commitments so he can spend more time with the Boy Scouts — hanging out with our sons and being out in nature. It also involves more camping gear and additional “stuff” than I prefer, but it’s what makes them happy, so it’s all good. I have a chronic illness, so my ideal simple life involves minimizing tasks that aren’t necessary and keeping a decluttered, organized home so I can spend my limited energy on the things that really matter to me. Each person’s simple is going to be different, and that’s perfectly OK!

Start a Snowball Effect

No matter how big your goals are, you’ve got to start small. Drop one commitment off your calendar. Clear out one closet. Pick one new organic veggie to try. Spend 15 minutes doing some yoga. Recycle a box of paper. Spend 10 minutes reviewing your calendar and to-do list each evening. Create a snowball effect of small actions leading to bigger changes.

Create Joy

If you’ve read Marie Kondo’s “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” you know all about the concept of keeping what sparks joy. You can apply this to your stuff, but you can also apply this your time commitments, to-do list, and spending habits. No, paying bills may not “spark joy,” but not bouncing checks and having enough in the bank to fill the car with gas goes a long way to making me happy. Think of ways you can create joy in your life, whether it’s removing or delegating a task from your to-do list that you’ve been dreading, getting rid of that shirt that just doesn’t quite fit right, or adding in a coffee date with a good friend.

Make a Distinction Between “Want” and “Need”

You need less than you think. I learned this the hard way after a house fire in January. As you’re decluttering your home, or whenever you’re out shopping, ask yourself, “can I live without this?” Chances are good the answer is yes. Needs are needed — they’re the necessities. Wants are discretionary. You can pick and choose what brings you joy now, what you can use, what you don’t need anymore, and what can wait until another time. Learn not to confuse a want with a need.

Be Intentional with Your Schedule

A simple life is about more than just how much stuff you have. Creating your ideal life also involves being intentional with your schedule, and cutting as much fluff as you can. Are there tasks or commitments you need to let go of? Unnecessary meetings that can be canceled? Getting rid of the excess in your schedule can make your days much more peaceful. It’s not just about deleting though. Would a standing date with your significant other bring you joy? Schedule it. Has it been too long since you’ve seen your BFF? Set up a lunch date. I work from home, and I was getting into the habit of working all the time. I recently starting blocking off Sundays for family time — few chores, no work, just rest and fun stuff with my husband and kids. Do you need to block off time for yourself too?

Create a Culture of Gratitude

Less stuff, more time, the freedom to do what matters most to you — creating your ideal simple life can be amazing! But what truly makes it wonderful is cultivating an authentic sense of gratitude, from being thankful for good health and great friends, to appreciating a well-made item that earns its spot in your home and having the margin to volunteer for a cause close to your heart. When letting go of things you no longer need, spend a moment in gratitude that you had those things in your life, and then let them go. Then look with a grateful heart toward what you’re building next.

Have you read my free ebook, 101 Ways to Simplify Your Life? Get it here!