Junk the Junk (Drawer)

A Hygge-lism How To

Everyone has a junk drawer.  More than one junk drawer is not out of the question either.  Junk drawers are great for hiding junk, a catch all for every small item that doesn’t have a place of its own, and for left over screws and those little Allen wrenches from your latest IKEA purchase.  They put all these little items out of sight, and out of mind.

The problem is that occasionally there is the possibility that there is an off chance there is an item that could be useful, quite possibly, one day, maybe.  All joking aside, there are typically a few items that you use regularly, or just that you should not throw away lurking in these drawers.

Push Pin Travel Maps

Your initial urge for cleaning out a junk drawer is likely to pull the drawer out and turn it upside down over your biggest garbage can.  While I don’t necessarily disagree with this method, I would hate for you to dump something kind of important.

Step #1

Remove the drawer or drawers, if you can without them getting stuck and jammed, and place them on a table with room for you to sift through them and lay items out.

Step #2 

Remove items that should be kept.  It is very important to define “important” here.  Most items that are important do not end up in a junk drawer because they are important enough to have a designated space.  There are a couple exceptions to this rule though:

Spare Keys – Be it house or car, this is possibly the only “Just-In-Case” item that I recommend holding onto.  If you can’t figure out what the key goes to, you don’t need it.

Tools – There is a good chance you have a few home use tools in this drawer, a small hammer, a screwdriver or two, duct tape etc.

Batteries – Let me specify, batteries that you know still hold a charge.

Step #3

Junk the junk.

Papers – Clear the paper clutter as referenced on my Clear the Paper Clutter Post.

Apply the 24 hour rule – Any items that remain, if they can be replaced within 24 hours, for less than $24 (roughly 22 Euros), throw/recycle/donate them.

Still skeptical?  Place all remaining items in a box, seal it and put it in your garage, basement, attic… If you don’t open that box back up in a month, drop it in the trash.

Step #4

Return the drawer to its home with its few actually useful items.  Take note of the smooth and easy glide of the no longer overstuffed drawer.  Along with that smooth motion you will literally feel the stress melt off of you.  Don’t believe me? Clean them out and see for yourself.

Step #5

Keep the junk out of the “junk drawer”.  The next time that you have leftover parts, or random items that you don’t know what to do with, consider the 24 hour rule, and deal with it right away.  If it takes less than 5 minutes to put something away, incorporate the do-it-now mentality and spend those 5 minutes or less.

Be completely honest with yourself, most junk drawer item candidates will serve the same purpose by simply dropping them into the trash can or recycling bin 

Just-In-Case items are just another way of saying, currently useless clutter, or junk.  Also known as, just-in-case you want to dedicate your valuable time, space and peace of mind and add stress to your life items.  

Check your drawer regularly.  Now that you only have useful items in this drawer, chances are you will use it regularly.  Whenever you look in this drawer, give it a quick once over and get rid of anything that doesn’t belong there.

Step #6

Now that the junk drawer is gone, do yourself a favor and rename the drawer.  Sounds silly I know, but referencing the junk drawer as a junk drawer is setting yourself up for failure.  Go ahead and name it after its purpose or location. Name it after your third cousin if you want, just don’t call it a junk drawer anymore.

Join 174 other followers

Clear the Paper Clutter Pt. 2

A Hygge-lism How To

You have attacked your paper clutter collection, it’s organized, accessible, safe and under control.  Yet everyday, more paper seems to find its way to your kitchen counters, table tops and every other open surface available.

Photo by Mike on Pexels.com

You got it under control, now let’s keep it under control with a few tips and tricks.

One of the biggest culprits of paper clutter is junk mail, and just the daily mail in general.  You get home from work, you grab the stack of mail on your way in and you toss it onto a counter to be dealt with later.  This is where you will need to make your first adjustment.  

Begin with a simple Act Now Mindset.

Open your mail next to your paper shredder – Have an area designated for incoming mail, in that area should be your paper shredder and a basket for items that require a response or action from you.  As you open your mail, immediately shred the junk and the empty envelopes. Items such as bills, RSVP requests and return service requested goes into the basket, to be taken care of that evening or that coming weekend.

School Artwork, Awards, Test Results – As children grow, these items tend to change.  In the early years though, nary a day will go by that they won’t come home with a piece or two of artwork.  If you display the artwork, limit it to just a few pieces at a time, then as a new one arrives take an old one down, snap a picture of it and then send it packing.  The same method can be applied for test results and awards. Report cards on the other hand should be scanned and saved prior to disposal.

Replacement Papers – These are items that get renewed periodically.  When new insurance policy or registration cards show up, or you get your license renewed immediately discard the old one.  This will actually become something that you look forward to; smile while you shred that old insurance policy or card and enjoy the sound of the old driver’s licenses and credit cards as they get crunched into tiny little squares.

Once you get a handle on the incoming paper clutter and you get used to the act now response to it.  Then it is time to focus on cutting back on it so that you don’t need to apply so much time to dealing with it.

Photo by Markus Spiske temporausch.com on Pexels.com

Embrace Paperless – I can’t name a business that doesn’t offer paperless statements or paperless bill paying off the top of my head, and even if I could, I guarantee it would only be one or two at the most.  Embrace paperless opportunities, scepticism about the internet security surrounding your water bill should be the least of your worries. All of your billing information is being stored on the internet at that company regardless of whether or not you receive a bill through email or snail mail.

Re-evaluate Subscriptions – It’s time to get honest with yourself.  Take a look at all of your magazine subscriptions and evaluate their importance.  If you love it, read it and can’t get it digitally on your tablet, then keep it. If otherwise, save yourself some money by canceling it, save yourself some time by not having to deal with it and save yourself some peace of mind by not having it add to your paper clutter.

Sweep, Sort and Purge – Make a regular habit of doing a quick sweep of your home to collect papers that have slipped through the cracks.  Occasionally sort through the paperwork that you do have filed away, to ensure it is still relevant. Then purge anything and everything that is no longer necessary…ah the glorious sound of a hungry shredder. 

Instill these quick and easy methods and enjoy a paper clutter free environment.  Kick your feet up onto a paperless coffee table, enjoy a quick snack on a paperless kitchen counter and place your coffee down next to your laptop on your paper free desk, on a coaster of course.

Join 174 other followers

Clear the Paper Clutter Pt. 1

A Hygge-lism How To

One of the key components of hygge-lism is bringing the outside in when it comes to design.  Having a forest residing on your desk, counters and in your cabinets in the form of paper doesn’t count though.

Balancing the necessary and the excess when it comes to paper clutter can be a daunting task, and the hardest part is getting to a place where a routine and process can be put in place as many of us are starting from a disadvantage and more paper clutter arrives every day.

So in order to do this properly, you have to start from “the now”, and the common current situation is dire.

Grant Yourself Amnesty

When starting out, it is important to capture the entirety of the undertaking in one fell swoop rather than starting the process over and over again with each space.

Photo by Digital Buggu on Pexels.com

Take the time to gather all your paper clutter into one working space, fill bags, baskets, tubs, whatever you need to gather all of your clutter together.  No judgements made. This way you will be able to sit down and focus a block of time to the project without having to run around and risk getting distracted by countless other tasks.

Gather Your Tools

I don’t typically recommend purchasing…well…anything, but this is a rare case where a few small items are recommended to not only get paper clutter under control, but to keep it under control.  If you know someone that has these items and they are willing to let you borrow them on a weekly or monthly basis, then perhaps you could go that route as well.  

Household Paper Shredder – A basic paper shredded will prove to be an invaluable investment and will likely be an everyday use item until you can pair down your paper clutter intake significantly.  These have become relatively cheap for a solid, reliable, worthwhile paper shredder – I recommend something such as this – 8-sheet cross-cut paper and credit card home office shredder.

Home Office Document Scanner and/or Adobe Scan: PDF & Business Card Scanner App. – A home office document scanner is an excellent way to convert any and all important documents to electronic files for storage.  This is a reliable, tried and true method, and it won’t break the bank to get a reliable scanner.  

A more updated, even cheaper method nowadays though, involves your smartphone and a quick download of the Adobe Scan App pictured to the right.  This process takes a little bit more know how, but is instantly available.

If you prefer the tried and true method of a home office scanner, I recommend one such as this – Epson Workforce ES-50 Portable Sheet-fed Document Scanner.

External Hard Drive and/or Cloud Based Storage Program – I recommend a two-fold storage method here, but one or the other would suffice if need be.  Computer and laptop life cycles have gotten shorter and shorter, and their reliability on a day to day basis is questionable.  Without regular data back-ups, anything stored directly on their hard drives is tentative at best.

An external hard drive is reliable, and requires very little maintenance if any to assure that it will work perfectly whenever you need it.  I recommend a decent quality hard drive such as this – Seagate Portable 1TB External Hard Drive.  1 TB of storage for documents is more than you will use in a lifetime, but it is better safe than sorry, and you could also double this hard drives function by storing photos and memorable home videos on it as well.

Cloud based storage is a perfect way to store important documents, it removes the risk of hardware failure and natural disaster such as a house fire or flood.  It also makes the documents available at anytime from anywhere, but…that security will come at a monthly or yearly fee, usually low, but a fee none the less. There is also the risk of the program going out of business or getting hacked.  So a proven reliable company such as Evernote – pictured to the right is where my recommendation falls.

You are all set up, now comes the fun part…

Sort, Sort, Sort

Whether you have 2 minutes, 10 minutes or 2 hours, sit down in your designated area and begin to sort your stacks of paper clutter.  Feel free to incorporate as many categories as you wish; receipts; medical bills; loan paperwork; insurance documents; tax records; birth certificates and social security cards; bank invoices; sentimental items like children’s artwork etc.

If you come across any obvious trash items, like junk mail, leftover paper scrap from coupon cutting or torn open envelopes, then shred them immediately.  I promise you, this will be a satisfying feeling and you will grow to love the sound of the paper shredder.

Put aside small blocks of time as often as you can to work your way through your collection.  If more paper finds its way into your house while you are sorting, which it inevitably will, sort it and add it to the appropriate pile as soon as it arrives.

Once your amnesty pile is fully sorted and the obvious junk has been shredded you are ready for the next step.

AudiobooksNow - Digital Audiobooks for Less

Attack One Category at a Time

Here is where you will really start to see a difference.  It may have felt like you were going backwards, all of the paper clutter that you had tucked away, was suddenly on display and your designated area was an overwhelming mess.  Well not for much longer.

I will reference some specific items and categories, if there are any particular items you would like discussed, feel free to bring them up in the comments.

Receipts – For items with warranties, keep these for the life of the warranty by scanning a copy of the receipt and then shred them.  If the receipt is for a work/taxes related item, scan it and shred it. For all other items, only hold onto the receipts until you know you won’t be returning the items, then shred them.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Tax Documents – You are required to keep the last 7 years of tax records for Audit purposes.  Anything older than that can be shredded immediately. Scan in the remaining years then shred away, and look forward to hitting that delete key once every year after tax season.

Vehicle/House Records – These should be kept until the car/boat/motorcycle etc. is sold and the loans if any for these items are paid off.  Scan then shred.  House records such as mortgage documents and home improvement receipts should be kept until the house is sold, the loan is paid off and you have done your taxes for the year that you sold the house.  Scan then shred.  Yearly insurance policies and cards on these items, only the current years should be kept, shred all previous years.

Bank Statements – Anything more than one month is excess.  You could scan these in, but I recommend you keep your last statement, switch to paperless statements with your bank, wait a month then shred that one too.  If you are a stickler for paper statements, keep the latest statement in a one drawer file cabinet and then shred it upon receipt of each new statement.

Credit Card Bills – Shred immediately once a payment is made, then switch to paperless billing.  There is no need to keep a history of these, so even if you prefer paper statements; receive the bill; pay the bill; shred the bill.

Investment Records – If you invest and I hope that you do, these are treated much like tax records.  Keep them for seven years past the closing of the account. Scan then shred.

Lease Paperwork – Keep until the end of the lease, and the return of the deposit if applicable.  Scan then shred.

Paychecks / Earnings Statements – Keep these for 1 year, until you receive your W-2 for the tax year.  Scan then shred.

Keep Forever Items

For items that you need forever, I recommend a three-fold approach.  Scan and save these documents on your external hard drive as well as in your cloud storage, then keep the physical item in a fireproof safe in your house or a safe deposit box at a bank.  Here is a list of common keep forever items:

Birth Certificates / Death Certificates

Adoption Records

Driver’s licenses – Scan these, but don’t lock them in a safe, carry them with you…I shouldn’t have to tell you this.

Marriage Certificates / Divorce Certificates

Medical Records

Life Insurance Policies

Military Records


Retirement / Pension Records

Social Security Cards

Last Will and Testaments

Academic Records / Diplomas

Sentimental Items

Photo by Inga Seliverstova on Pexels.com

Items with sentimental value such as your child’s first art project or homemade mothers / fathers day cards are very meaningful items.  Feel free to keep them if you like. You could also take a picture of them and have them added to a digital picture frame or screen saver rotation.  You will likely find that seeing a photo of the item is just as sentimental as having the physical item itself, if that’s the case you may be able to let go of the item after all.

Photographs are fantastic, and in this digital age photos of any and everything is readily available.  Scan copies of your most important photos for storage, add them to your digital picture frames and screensavers and place them safely in your fireproof safe or organize them into albums.

With all this done, you have successfully taken control of your paper clutter. Now you have to instill a process to maintain.  Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss part 2 of this post where I will spell out methods to keep your paper clutter in check.

Join 174 other followers

Hygge 3-Bean Chili

Vegetarian Friendly

I would like to share with you one of our all time favorite recipes.  In true hygge fashion, enjoying the process of preparing the ingredients and having the wonderful aroma fill the house while you slowly cook this chili, is nearly as rewarding as sitting down as a family to enjoy it.

While this meal can be enjoyed at any time on any day, if you were to prepare this meal on a cold snowy Sunday morning after your morning coffee or tea listening to some relaxing music, you will have all the makings for a complete day of memorable hygge moments.


1 – Red Bell Pepper

1 – Green Bell Pepper

1 – Yellow Bell Pepper

3 Tablespoons – Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 cup – Chopped Onion

2 Teaspoons – Ground Cumin

1 Teaspoon – Crushed Red Pepper

1 Teaspoon – Paprika

¼ Teaspoon – Salt

4 – Garlic Cloves, thinly sliced

2 cups – Organic Vegetable Broth

1 can (28 ounce) – No Salt Added Tomatoes, chopped and undrained

1 can (15 ounce) – Pinto Beans, drained and rinsed

1 can (15 ounce) – Cannellini Beans, drained and rinsed

1 can (15 ounce) – Red Kidney Beans, drained and rinsed

½ cup – Green Onions, thinly sliced


  1. Preheat Broiler.
  2. Cut the Bell Peppers in half lengthwise.  Remove the seeds and membranes. On a foil lined baking sheet, place the pepper halves skin side up.  Put the peppers in the broiler for 15 minutes or until the skin is blackened.
  3. Remove the peppers from the broiler and place the pepper halves in a zip lock bag for 15 minutes.  Afterwards, remove and discard the skin from the peppers. Dice the peppers.
  4. In a large pot, heat the Extra Virgin Olive Oil over Medium-Low heat.  Add the Chopped Onion; cook for 15 minutes stirring occasionally.
  5. Add and Stir in; Cumin, Crushed Red Pepper; Paprika; Salt; Sliced Garlic Cloves.  Cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
  6. Add; Bell Peppers; Vegetable Broth; Tomatoes and bring to a simmer.  Cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. Add; Pinto, Cannellini and Red Kidney Beans.  Simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  8. Remove from heat and sprinkle with Green Onions.

Serve with a freshly sliced loaf of french bread or freshly baked corn bread.

Wardrobe Hygge-lism

Men’s Addition – A “How To”

A minimalist wardrobe is often the first step when exploring the world of minimalism.  Opening your closet door and seeing your clothes packed floor to ceiling and wall to wall can both be daunting and inspiring.  Being overwhelmed with the sheer amount of items packed into this small space can be enough to kickstart the urge to minimise. It can also be discouraging to think about delving into this space with its unimaginable number of items.  

The inaccurate portrayal of a men’s minimalist wardrobe is usually one of two variations; that of a stark, colorless, half-empty closet.  Nothing but shades of grey and black, with one or two pair of shoes sitting on floor. Or, a line of five to ten of the exact same shirt, with two or three pairs of the exact same pants neatly hung and evenly spaced with the same one or two pair of shoes, sitting on the floor under them.

While this may be an aspiration for some, it is not an accurate or even practical representation for most.  Different situations, seasons, occasions and occupations all consist of different wardrobe needs. There are no rules about how many shirts you may own, or what colors you must wear.  Having more pairs of shoes than someone else doesn’t disqualify you from being a minimalist.

A minimalist wardrobe follows only a few guidelines:

  1. Only wear clothes that you like.  

If you don’t like the way an item feels when you wear it, or you don’t like the way it looks on you and it doesn’t instill you with confidence, then why would you wear it?  This may seem like a no brainer yet you will inevitably come across items in your closet with a pattern you don’t like or with a collar that is too large or small to be comfortable.  Maybe a t-shirt or two that have stretched out, lost their shape or are just the wrong size all together.

  1. Wear everything you own.  

This is pretty self explanatory, if you have clothes that you don’t wear, then why do you have them?  There are a couple caveats with this though of course. Season specific clothing, I don’t expect you to be slapping on sweaters and jackets in the middle of August.  On a cold February morning however… Secondly, the obligatory wedding/funeral formal wear. Minimalism is no excuse for showing up at a wedding or funeral in a t-shirt and ripped pair of jeans.  On the other hand, the occasional wedding or funeral is not an excuse to own five different suits either. One suit will typically cover both occasions, two at the most. In addition to this, if you are in an occupation that requires business attire, you may have killed two birds with one stone.

  1. When acquiring new clothes, do it responsibly.

A big part of minimalism is living intentionally and responsibly, peoples style and tastes change with time, clothes wear out, it’s inevitable.  Invest some time and thought into what you are buying, quality over quantity. Replacing a stretched out t-shirt with one made in the cheapest way possible, in a place with questionable labor laws, in an effort to save a dollar will only empower the cheap, disposable, fast fashion industry.

Now that we have covered the what, let’s look at the how.  Minimizing your wardrobe does not have to be an all or nothing approach.  In fact, it will be a longer lasting more rewarding experience if you approach it with patience and consideration.

Taking everything that you own, dumping it on your bed, trying to sort it all and deciding then and there whether or not it’s worth keeping may be how you picture attacking this project.  This path would result in a satisfying pile of clothes earmarked for donation and a dramatically more organized and roomy look to your closet, but will be immediately followed by remorse and second thoughts about your snap decisions.

I encourage more of a time release method.  I will reference everyday clothes for this example, if you have work clothes that are separate from your everyday clothes it will apply the same, you will just have two different pools of clothes to apply it to.

  1. Hang or fold and stack your clothes into two categories, shirts and pants.  Only include the clothes that you wear in the season that you are in.
  2. Every morning – put on the shirt and pants that are on the top of the pile, or hanging on the furthest right side of the closet if you hang your clothes. 
  3. Return washed clothes to the bottom of the pile or hang them at the furthest left side of your closet.

If you take an item off the top of the pile or from the furthest right hanger and you don’t want to wear it, ask yourself why.  If it doesn’t fit quite right, it’s worn out, it’s not your style anymore or you just don’t like it, then donate it.

If you wear an item, but by the end of the day you realize that you didn’t feel comfortable or confidant in it, or maybe you just didn’t like how you looked in it, then donate it.

If you wore it and you liked it.  Wash it, and return it to the bottom of the pile or the left side of the closet.

Continue this process indefinitely, with the exception of special occasions requiring specific articles of clothing.

It is that simple.

Duplicate the above process with your work clothes, jackets, shoes etc.  When the seasons change, inject the applicable clothing items.

The end result will be a minimalist wardrobe consisting of only clothes that you enjoy, feel comfortable in, and are confident wearing.  

Where does the Hygge of hygge-lism fall into this?  Warm colors, soft fabrics, comfortable fits. Every piece of clothing can spark memories of good times and inspire confidence.  Need I say more…?

Office Space Hygge-lism

A Lesson in Productivity

You have heard the excuses, “my desk is messy because I am busy” or “It looks messy, but I know where everything is” and of course “That’s how I work, don’t mess with my process”.

Despite popular belief – a messy work space is never more productive than an organized, minimal, hygge work space.  I challenge anyone to prove me otherwise. A desk should have room to work, not be covered in it.

Sitting down at  a messy desk is proven to instantly raise your stress level, and that is before you even start any actual work.  Vice versa, a clean, minimal, organised desk instills a sense of accomplishment and calm.

Waking up your desktop on your computer and phone can have the same effect.  We have all seen the desktops that are border to border app icons, notifications and file folders.  No rhyme or reason, just a random assault on your eyes and mind. You cringe as you watch and wait for someone to locate the file or app that they are searching for.  Precious seconds tick by…

Know what you have and where you have it.  This will make you more productive.

The time that you take now to organize your desktop as well as your desk will be repaid tenfold in small time saving increments over the course of your day.

At first it may seem a little unusual.  When someone asks you for something and you instantly produce it or are able to say you have it or don’t have it without even needing to look for it.  Your coworkers will without a doubt give you an odd look the first time or two they see your clean, organised work space. The inevitable wisecrack will be made about how it looks like you don’t have anything to do when they look at you behind a desk with little to no papers, strewn across every available space.

The same reactions will happen when you wake up your desktop and only one or two files appear on it, or when you unlock your smartphone and there are no app icons or notifications cluttering up the screen.

I warn you, the freedom of less mess and clutter is as addicting as it is beneficial.  Want to see instant results? De-clutter and minimize your most used spaces; office spaces, computer, smartphone.  These are the places that most of most people’s time is spent, unfortunately. You should do anything that you can in order to spend less time in these places and on these devices so that you can spend more time living life.  Improve your productivity so that you can stop working so hard.

Now add some hygge to improve the time that you do have to spend in these places.  Bring the outside in; a plant on your desk, a comfortable chair, a warm inviting memory as your desktop and phone wallpaper and a hot cup of coffee as you answer work emails.

The Travel Tree

Christmas Reminiscing

Souvenirs and trinkets are not my thing.  As you know, I don’t like accumulating and I don’t like clutter.  Traveling really opens you up to the possibility of collecting items in the name of memories and marking the moment.  A small item or two from each place that you visit can really start to add up though, and if you get into the habit of picking up a souvenir or two early in your travels it tends to stick and carry though to all of your future travels.

Nomatic Life on the Move

I have resisted.  Resisted the snow globes, spoons, shot glasses, coffee cups and little statues.  I have resisted the picture frames, refrigerator magnets, key chains, hats and t-shirts.

Children love souvenir shops though, so whether or not we plan on buying something we always end up walking through the shops.  On one of these many tours through one of these identical cheap trinket stores, my wife and I stumbled upon something that made too much sense to resist.  It satisfied the inner yearning to mark our travels with something small and next to useless, but it did not clutter up our shelves or inflict us with instant buyers remorse after purchasing it.

Figure it out yet?

Christmas tree ornaments.  We began to pick up ornaments from places that we have traveled, and it has turned into a wonderful idea.  Throughout the year we pick these up and pack them away without a second thought, no clutter, no dusting around them, no visual eye sores.

Every December when the time comes to decorate the Christmas tree, we break out the box of ornaments.  We put on some hot chocolate and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. One by one we pull ornaments out, each one with memories and locations that were nearly forgotten about.  We say the names as we look at each one and a memory inevitably follows the location. “Aruba!” I say, “Remember that place right on the beach, we could hear the waves from the room and we sat on the beach and listened to the Red Sox game!”

“Clark’s Trading Post!” my wife says, and my kids follow up with, “Scram you old Goat!”.  This one might need some explaining. Clark’s is in New Hampshire, and it has a train ride that gets chased by the “Wolf man” and whenever he gets too close to the train all the passengers have to yell “Scram you old goat” at him to get him to leave.  It was a lot of fun and one of those memories that gets renewed every December while we decorate the tree.

Each and every ornament comes equipped with at least one or two of these memories.  We get to end our year reliving our travels, and then we start the next the same way as we take the ornaments back down and pack them up again, no mess, no clutter.  Next Christmas they will be pulled out again and most likely there will be a couple more to add to the tree with a couple more memories attached to them.

Push Pin Travel Maps

Laundry Room Hygge-lism

Simple and functional.  The two adjectives could easily describe just about any aspect of minimalism.  The addition of comfort and outdoor accents transform it from minimalism to hygge-lism.

The laundry room is an often forgotten about space, more utilitarian than decorative.  Just a few simple items can make a world of difference to keep you from cringing every time that you walk into the room.  

A homemade stained wood shelf adds the outdoor element, helps clean up the visual clutter, keeps you from storing items on top of the washer and dryer which inevitably end up being shaken and vibrated off and serves as a folding area post drying.  A matching shelf higher up is pleasing to the eye and storage baskets are a warm addition to the decor. The always useful clock is a quick reference for laundry time management.

A wooden crate between the washer and dryer allows for quick access to the laundry essentials.  The glass on the shelf is perfect for the inevitable change and small toys that WILL be found in the laundry, especially when small children live in the house.  Over time quite a bit of money can accumulate as well, living in Europe where coins can value up to 2 Euro’s really speeds that process up. You can always find something fun to do with that money at the end of the month, or better yet, invest it and see how much you can turn that forgotten about change into.  Every penny counts.

Some would argue that baskets and wall decor are not minimalism, but this is an unfortunate misnomer.  Minimalism and Hygge are about calm, simple yet functional, stress free spaces, not stark walls and cold rooms.  The baskets are great for storing extra consumable items so that you do not find that you are out of detergent at the most inopportune time.  Simple pieces of art or photos on the wall are pleasing and calming to the eye and have a way of relaxing you.  

Having extra anything is not something that I am a fan of, but consumables have more leeway.  While buying 5 bottles of laundry detergent when they are on sale might be a little extreme, 1 or 2 is plenty.  If there is an item that you know will be used over time, does not spoil and can be found at a good price, go ahead and get an extra.  Store it in a basket to eliminate the clutter and keep the space clean and functional.


Less is more, less cleaning, less organizing, less worrying, less time wasted attending to your many many things.

More is the result of less, more money, more experiences, more time doing the things that you really love to do.

Let’s take this a step further, you have less stuff so let’s look at how the stuff that you do have makes you feel.  Having less stuff isn’t the goal, having the right stuff is the goal. Everything that you own should be something that you love.  It’s more that just having items that serve a purpose, your possessions should give you a comfortable, cozy, warm feeling. The Danish term for that feeling is Hygge.  The amount of things that I own is very minimal, the items that I do own are Hygge.

Physical possessions are just the start of Hygge-lism, when you start to apply it to all the other facets of your life is when you really start to feel and see the difference.  Weights are lifted off of your shoulders as your stress recedes. You begin to smile more, laugh more, you start to look forward to each coming day and whatever it will bring. You become closer with your friends and family.  Small annoyances disappear as you start to enjoy the process of daily tasks. The destination is no longer the goal, the journey itself is just as enjoyable. In the coming posts I will give you all the tools necessary to instill Hygge-lism into your home and life, how I apply them to my own and how they have added immeasurable joy to myself and my families daily lives.