Make Your Home Into a Hygge Haven

As readers may recall from previous wintertime posts, hygge (pronounced “HOO-guh”) is the Scandinavian concept of creating warmth, comfort and conviviality in spite of the frigid outdoor temperatures. With temperatures dropping into the single digits, we at The Organizing Blog thought it was time to offer a hygge update.

With the pandemic entering its third year, it’s worth noting that hygge jibes well with the stay-at-home ethic. It doesn’t require dressing up — just the opposite, in fact. Your most comfortable loungewear, flannels and woolen socks will be the height of hygge style.

A hygge home always includes flickering lights, according to Self magazine. Whether it’s a crackling fire in the fireplace, an arrangement of candles or holiday string lights, lighting should be muted, soothing and romantic.

You’ll also need a warm blanket to hygge-fy your home. Quiet pursuits such as a good book or jigsaw puzzle are extremely hygge, but practitioners are also welcome to binge-watch their favorite television programs. Calm relaxation is the key.

Eating in a hygge household should also be geared toward warmth: Coffee, tea and hot chocolate; hearty roasts and stews; and home-baked breads, pastries and cakes are definitely on the menu. Indulgent but fortifying, hygge foods might be called hearth-healthy.

Practiced most assiduously in the world’s happiest country, Denmark, hygge espouses #simplicity over #clutter. Too much #stuff, and hygge becomes difficult to achieve. After all, a #cluttered atmosphere is a hectic and stressful atmosphere.

Hygge and #decluttering are a match made in heaven,” says Do You. “While hygge by itself offers moments of comfort, you might be distracted or stressed by feeling that you are in an environment that is #untidy, cluttered or reminds you of things pending.”

If you’re stuck in a cluttered home, start by setting aside a small hygge haven; a single room can be your #sanctuary. Remove anything that doesn’t contribute to calm and cozy feelings, and #donate the things you won’t need again to  ClothingDonations.org.

Then, curl up with a good book, a cup of hot chocolate or whatever best warms your bones against the winter chill. You may just find that hygge is the #simplified lifestyle you’ve been missing!

Fall Cleaning: Just as Important as Spring Cleaning

Spring cleaning always gets the spotlight. Why? Because people feel like they need to make a fresh start after a long and grueling winter. But fall cleaning is just as important; after all, you’ll be indoors for three months or more, why not spend it a clean place?

The first and most obvious thing to do is get your furnace inspected if you own your own home, and change the filter even if you don’t. You’ll want to enjoy consistent heat throughout the winter, as well as clean air coming out of the vents.

Then, you’ll want to initiate a thorough cleaning. The first step — as always — is to purge some of the things you don’t need. The holidays are coming, and you can make space for new stuff — or all of the guests you’ll be hosting at your Thanksgiving, Christmas and Super Bowl parties.

Town & Country magazine has a list of 50 things that you probably don’t need to keep: condiment packets, outdated reference books, canvas totes, unworn costume jewelry, extra mugs, leftover paint and old phones. They’re just taking up space.

Bag up any lightly used clothing and household goods that might be of use to someone else and contact ClothingDonations.org for a contactless #donation pickup. A truck will visit your house on the appointed day to take that #junk away for good.

Then, start a targeted, room-by-room dusting and cleaning. Take as many hours or days as you need, but concentrate your efforts to make sure everything gets organized, dusted, wiped, mopped and sanitized.

Dust, pollen and insects such as moths probably blew into your home over the summer. Don’t let pests set up shop and overwinter in your basement or rafters. “See who’s hiding where and giving them a squish or kick to the curb before they start snacking on you or your clothes,” Apartment Therapy says.

Think of fall cleaning as a fresh start on a new season — one in which you’llbe spending a lot of time indoors. Don’t you want to live in a clean, sparkling and healthy home? Get started while you can still can!

Start Planning Fall Home Improvement Projects Now

One of the curious aspects of the #pandemic is that it forced people to stay home more — and all that staying at home helped many launch renovations and other projects to make their space more useful and livable.

With things are nearly back to #normal in many parts of the country some 16 months later, people are in a more celebratory mood, using their summers to travel, visit friends, go out to restaurants and generally do all of the things that the coronavirus curtailed.

There are likely a few household projects that still need doing, however, and you might want to plan ahead to get them done when the weather turns cooler and the kids return to (in-person) school.

Likely projects for areas with cold winters include upgrading your furnace, replacing single-pane windows and adding insulation, says Family Handyman. You should also clean the gutters and replace any missing shingles to protect your roof against leaks.

If any exterior painting needs doing, early fall is one of the best times to do it, the Spruce says; pick a dry week with temperatures above 50°F. You can paint interiors at any time, but it’s always nice to give your space a fresh new look ahead of the holidays.

Wait for the fall to do any projects that involve lumber — new building, flooring, decking, etc. — to give prices a chance to stabilize. Wood products continue to be in short supply, and costs are high as a result.

Upgrading your home office is a good project to tackle this fall if you’re one of those lucky people who will continue to work from home (#WFH) once the pandemic subsides. Consider a new desk, shelving, artwork or an attractive background for your Zoom call.

One household project you can tackle at any time of the year but is especially important to do ahead of DIY projects is #decluttering. Go through that room, closet or garage, weed the #stuff you don’t need, and contact ClothingDonations.org for a free #donation #pickup.

Your fall projects will be easier to accomplish once you get that #clutter out of the way. And once you complete your fall home #renovations, you’ll have an attractive, functional and clean new space to call home.

Lend Mom A Hand — Help Her Declutter

Sunday is Mother’s Day, and given the fact that the pandemic isn’t over, you may be planning to send a card or schedule a Zoom call. If you’re able to meet in person, you may have made brunch reservations or purchased a special bouquet to give her.

Whether or not you’ve made those arrangements, there’s one more thing you should consider giving your mother, and it’s a gift she’ll never forget: a day of your time. Volunteer to help her #declutter and #clean her home.

This blog’s author can tell you from experience how much a mother appreciates such a gift. Not only will she enjoy having a newly organized and spotless kitchen, garage or living room, but she will also appreciate the fact that you took the time to do it.

Many moms have a room in their home that they wish was a little more organized. It could just be a shelf or drawer that needs rearranging and dusting, but the chore is on her mental list and she hasn’t had the time to do it herself.

If you already know where her home’s #clutter trouble spots are, suggest that you take care of one during a visit. If you don’t, ask! Chances are that there is an overflowing junk drawer or overstuffed kitchen cabinet you can clean out.

Decluttering is just one of the chores you can take off Mom’s hands; she may need a wall repainted or a shelf fixed. There’s probably a light bulb to replace or a picture to hang. If you really want to show you care, give her a framed family picture and hang it on the wall immediately.

Many moms may be looking to downsize in retirement, but may not know where to begin. You can help her prepare for that next phase by sorting through some of the extra stuff that has accumulated over the years.

If you happen to find anything that she doesn’t want or need as you help Mom declutter and clean — and you will — schedule a #donation #pickup with ClothingDonations.org. That way, she’ll know that her extra #junk is going toward a good cause.

In addition to giving Mom a newly #organized, neat and #clean space, you’ll also get a few hours to catch up after a long year in lockdown. Make a day of it! It’s quality time, well-spent. And she will remember that day long after the flowers have wilted.

Create an Effective Remote Learning Area

COVID-19 has forced a lot of families to suddenly embrace remote learning. But even though it is largely performed on screens, remote learning can attract #clutter and will require a dedicated space to be effective. Organized by Heart says to start with the basics: Pick a desk or work surface that’s the right size and height for your children to stay focused; add a corkboard, clips or magnets so they can display their work; and add some easy-access storage space. Most importantly, “Keep things portable and easy to put away.”