It’s a tall order to create a happy move, but now I’m upping the ante. I like a challenge now and then. I’m also a bit obsessed with the hygge craze that is hitting the U.S. Any philosophy that includes chocolate consumption is one I can get behind. Here are some tips on how you can make your move more hygge.
What is Hygge and How Do You Pronounce It?
Hygge (pronounced “HOO-ga”) is a Danish concept that cannot be easily translated into English. If we had to choose one word to describe it, the closest thing would probably be “cozy”. However, Danes would shake their heads and say that it is so much more than that. In The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living, Meik Viking describes hygge:
Hygge is about an atmosphere and an experience, rather than about things. It is about being with the people we love. A feeling of home. …hygge is about giving yourself and others a treat. It is about savoring the moment and the simple pleasures of good food and good company.”
Now you can see why making a move a hygge one sounds next to impossible. Moving may seem the opposite of hygge, but we can change that.
Incorporating Hygge Into Your Move
Start up a fire
When you start decluttering, you may find some spare candles that you hid away after the holidays. Put them to good use. Set them up on a nearby counter that will be close enough for you to enjoy, but not too close that you’ll get yourself into trouble. If your home has a fireplace, let the fire roar while you’re wrapping up your dishes.
Listen to music while you pack
Everything is better when you have music to keep you motivated. Put something soothing on. Nostalgic records or mixed tapes will make for a hygge afternoon as you go down memory lane while you pack.
Make dinner in the slow cooker
You’ll be getting lots of take-out and pizza in the last few days before you move. In the earlier days of the moving process, use a slow cooker. If necessary, find a recipe where you can make most of the dinner the night beforehand. Then, you only need to add a few more things in the morning and your meal will be ready at dinnertime. The best thing about a slow cooker dinner is that it feels like someone else made it. It’s like going to an all-inclusive resort where you think everything is free. The aroma of stew filling the house will feel quite hygge and you can enjoy a home-made meal between taping up boxes.
The best part of hygge – chocolate and cakes and cookies. Hygge is about appreciating the pleasures in life.
Treat yourself. Reward yourself after you reached your goal of packing up that junk drawer or getting the estimates from the movers. Or, do it just because.
Wrap your hands around a hot cup of coffee
Take a moment. Look around your home and think of everything you’ve created there. Now imagine all of the wonderful moments in your future. Envision your great new job or that running path near your new dream home. All you need is a little break to give you the motivation to get back to moving. You’ve got this.
Schedule a good-bye party with friends
Hygge is more than chocolate, hot beverages, and fuzzy socks, although that all sounds pretty good to me. Good company is the nexus of hygge. Make time for your friends before you move away from them. Ask a friend to plan something for you, if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the logistical details. Meet for a picnic or for a night dancing. A potluck dinner or a pantry clean-out party is also a great way to spend time together. Bring a guest book for your friends to sign and take lots of pictures so you can enjoy them later. Hygge isn’t fancy. It’s about keeping it intimate and low key.
Leave one nook untouched until the end of the move
Your house will soon look like a disaster. That’s inevitable when it comes to moving. So, keep one spot sacred. Put a fuzzy blanket at the end of your bed and your favorite book on your decluttered nightstand. This is where you can recharge at the end of the busy packing day. You can also place a chair overlooking the window with a small lamp and journal next to it. The good thing about moving is that you can set up your furniture any way you like, even if it doesn’t go with your whole arrangement motif. Pack around your hygge nook so that you have an oasis in the midst of the chaos.
 Wiking, Meik. The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living. New York: William Morrow, 2017.(p. iv).
 Wiking, Meik. (p. 215).