What is Hygge?

  • A cat curls up on a blanket next to a tray with flowers and a candle on it.
Simply put, hygge is the Danish art of getting cozy.

It means a cup of cocoa by the fireplace, a winter’s walk through the forest wearing a hand-knitted hat and gloves, and a simple dinner shared with good friends.

The Oxford Dictionary defines hygge as “a quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being.”

Pronounced “hoo-guh,” the concept has been around forever, but has only taken hold in the United States in the last year or so. At its core, hygge is a push to treasure the simple things in life and live in the moment—something we all aspire to.

Here’s how to get more hygge in your own home.

Hygge Décor

Pinterest may try to convince you that hygge décor looks a certain way—cream-colored couches, rustic hardwood floors, and minimalist art. But going out and buying stuff to make your house conform to a certain style is pretty much the opposite of hygge.

You already have everything you need to hygge at home. In fact, you may have too much. A hygge home is simple and uncluttered. It doesn’t try to impress anyone else. It should be comfortable for you and your family—whatever your definition of comfortable is.

Do you love how your twinkling Christmas lights look on the mantel? Then leave them up all year. Are you sick of the pale gray walls that are so in style? Then paint your walls orange or white, or green.

A hygge house is clean, uncluttered—and exactly as you want it to be.

The Hygge Workout

You can download the hygge workout for $9.99 at—just kidding! Remember, hygge is all about keeping things simple and enjoying the moment.

The most hygge way you can exercise is by heading outside for a long walk. In Denmark, there is no such thing as bad weather, as long as you can bundle up.

Hygge Yourself

Hygge is a distant etymological cousin of the English word “hug.” That’s fitting, because hygge is not about deprivation.

In our busy lives, few of us would think of taking 20 minutes in the middle of the day to just sit by the fireplace and read a book. And most of us are more likely to grab a candy bar at a gas station and gobble it down in the car than make brioche from scratch and enjoy it with a cup of tea and a friend.

Hygge encourages a bit of self-indulgence. If that seems like a waste of time to you, consider the possibility that you might end up feeling better and even more energetic if you give yourself these little breaks.

Hygge All Year

With all of the emphasis on candles, warm drinks and bundling up, one wonders if hygge is only for winter. Absolutely not. It’s so very hygge to grow flowers, sip lemonade on a porch, visit a farmers market, make jam, feel the sand under your feet, and watch the stars at night.

The Hygge House

It’s great if you’re able to unclutter your home and keep it organized. But if you find that a lack of storage space is holding you back, there is an easy fix for that.

At StorageMart, we offer affordable self storage units that range from about the size of a closet to the size of a garage—or even bigger. They can be rented on a month-by-month basis and are always clean and well lit. If that sounds like something that could make your life more hygge, check out our storage unit guide or rent a unit online today.

About Sarah Little

Sarah Little, Marketing Director at StorageMart, holds a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration. She serves as Vice President on the Board of Directors for the Central Missouri Foster Care & Adoption Association, a non-profit group dedicated to improving the lives of children.

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