Living simply with a minimalist Hygge lifestyle

Elisabeth Simard, from the blog Ruban Cassette, shares her path towards an uncluttered lifestyle.


With the arrival of spring-cleaning, aren’t most of us looking for a sense of well-being, enjoyment and comfort in our lives? There is a deep desire in all of us to embrace what the Danish call hygge. Hy-gee huh? The word hygge describes a feeling or sense of being that flows from the comforts and simple, genuine pleasures found in daily life. It is sometimes defined as the art of creating and connecting with intimacy. A warm, cozy atmosphere, quality time, rich moments spent with family and friends, letting yourself relax whenever possible – all of this is hygge.

Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? But difficult to attain. We live in cluttered homes, every day is packed with activities and there’s so much work to do that we don’t even know where to begin. In 2016, a modern family has little time for hygge.


For us, we had our “aha” moment when we were expecting our first child. I was always good at collecting things, yet the expectation I would need a whole lot of things felt oppressive to me. To escape this feeling, we decided to welcome our child into a simple, uncluttered world.

Adopting a gradual and thoughtful approach to the process has been a helpful strategy for me. Some may want to go at it full tilt – it’s simply a question of personal preference. Now that I have been at it for a while, I have gained a sense of ease and detachment with regards to material things. I had to work at it though! I began with easy areas (clothing, toys and kids’ stuff, drugstore products, kitchen), instead of going straight for things with sentimental value.

The upshot is that I deeply love what remains in our home. I see what I own and I like what I see – a reflection of my contemplative state.

In order not to slip back into old ways, we are conscious of what we bring into our home. No more receiving or buying without asking: Do we really need it? Will it add something to our family life? Do I have room in my home, my head, my schedule for one more object?


This decluttering has gradually transformed every area of our lives. We keep to our simple daily schedules. We make sure our kids have lots of free time and room for boredom each day. For them, and for us. So we never feel out of breath. I have come to realize that living this way is key to our happiness: having room to think, create, talk with one another and act spontaneously. Free from the weight of having countless things that need to be put away and organized. Free from having so many activities to get through that we don’t even have time to appreciate the moment.

Living according to hygge is a very personal lifestyle choice. It has worked for us. There are many ways to be happy in life, and it is up to us to listen to what we want in order to create a way of life that fills our hearts and minds with happiness!