If you’re a “snowbird” and headed south for the winter, there are some considerations you’ll want to make for your place up north. Below 10 things to remember to do before
Going Gaga for Hygge
If the holiday season is the “most wonderful time of the year”, for many the winter season itself seems to be the most dreaded. The shorter days, the colder temperatures, the snow, slush and freezing rain, all make for a strong case to look right past winter to the longer, brighter days of spring. While we can’t skip over winter all together, we can instead embrace the season around us by incorporating the lifestyle concept of Hygge into our lives. Hygge, (pronounced hoo-ga) is a Scandanavian concept roughly translated to creating a cozy and intimate contentment and feeling of well-being and enjoying the simpler things in life. For starters, it is certainly one way to make the winter more bearable.
What is Hygge exactly? Well, if you’ve ever enjoyed a cup of hot chocolate on a snowy winter day or whiled away a Sunday afternoon reading a great book, you’ve experienced it. The warm and cozy lifestyle that Hygge promotes has been part of the Danish culture since it first appeared as a word in the early 1800s. It is this concept of coziness that is credited to contributing to many Scandinavian countries being at the top of the “happiest countries” list according to Forbes magazine, despite their notoriously long, miserable winters. Incorporating Hygge into our daily lives is meant to be no-fuss: appreciate the simple things that bring joy into your life.
Hygge can make you, and your wallet, happier. Turning your thermostat down a few degrees will save on heating costs and you more reason to slip into your coziest stuff. The US Department of Energy recommends setting your thermostat at 68 F and turning it down 7-10 degrees when you’re not at home or while you’re sleeping for the most cost savings. Wearing your favorite sweatpants, opting to light some candles and turn off the big overhead light, and curling up by a fire for a warm night in all are Hygge concepts. A big chunky blanket, or heated throw to wrap yourself in is a must. Bulky sweaters, thick socks (really anything knitted) all contribute to the feeling of comfort. A warm mug of tea or hot chocolate to drink completes the picture.
Adding some natural decorations to your Hygge home is another component of this lifestyle. Certain houseplants will not only add to the ambience they can also improve the air quality in your home. If a green thumb isn’t your thing, you can make arrangements with simple things from the back yard like pinecones or cut branches, or even smooth stones or seashells from your last vacation.
Hibernating indoors alone all winter, staring at your phone or laptop, isn’t the idea here. TV in moderate doses would be ok, and because togetherness is another huge component of Hygge, why not make it a family movie night with some popcorn and pillows and blankets? Getting outdoors, (yes even in winter) and enjoying a long walk and nature is certainly another example of the concept.
Hygge is keeping at the forefront the appreciation of the simple things in life. This winter instead of complaining about the dark days and weather, why not cuddle up with a cup of tea and that book you’ve been meaning to read? Or maybe a game night with some friends, some chili, and some chocolate chip cookies if you’re feeling more social? While we can’t make the winter days go by faster, we can find the joys in the simplest elements of them while we await the warmer days of spring.
Melissa Rolland is a Real Estate Salesperson and Realtor®, Accredited Home Stager, and author of the book Straight from the Kitchen Table: Every Day Real Estate. She lives in Tolland, CT along with her husband Todd, an Associate Broker and Realtor®. Together they manage the Rolland Realty Group powered by eXp Realty of CT, LLC. You can connect with them at www.RollandRealtyGroup.com or (866) 408-8059.“The statements and opinions contained in this article are solely those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect the positions or opinions of EXP REALTY INTERNATIONAL, INC. or its subsidiaries or affiliates (the “Company”). The Company does not assume any responsibility for, nor does it warrant the accuracy, completeness or quality of the information provided.
Melissa Rolland is a real estate salesperson, accredited home stager and has been a real estate investor for over a decade, helping hundreds of homeowners buy houses, sell houses, and invest in real e....