Judy Kucharuk: Gettin’ hygge with it


Have you jumped on the home renovation bandwagon yet? Stuck at home plus not having anywhere to go plus having nothing to do equals home renovation time.

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And not always a big renovation — for some of us, it’s simply making our home more ‘livable’ because we have realized during self-isolation that our homes are not conducive to comfort and relaxation.

Many folks are going old school and getting ‘Hygge’ with their nests!

What is Hygge? It's a Danish term (pronounced "hoo-gah") that basically means cozy. It’s that blankie that sits on the end of your couch, the candles burning on your dining room table, the milk frother you purchased so that you can make your own London Fog.

I say Hygge is old school because it trended out of popularity when Marie Kondo ever so politely edged her way into our psyche. The Kondo Method meant you were to get rid of possessions that do not ‘provide joy’, downsize, fold your clothing in a square, and organize your plastic bags into wee triangles. I actually did that once and it was oddly satisfying.

When the pandemic arrived and we began spending weeks on end confined to our homes, some of us realized that we had Kondo’d our way out of comfort. The minimalist nature was feeling a bit clinical and lacking in warm and fuzzies.

Don’t get me wrong, the clean and tidy kitchen drawers are amazing and so are the plastic bag triangles, but there were some second guesses about getting rid of the Espresso machine. Remember? You got rid of the machine because, a) Starbucks is on the way to work, and b) You only used it on weekends, and c) it took up too much space on the countertop.

Stuck in isolation and unable to access our precious Starbucks, that espresso machine would have come in handy.

Likewise with getting rid of the fondue pot – now that you had time to actually fondue, the pot and the multi-coloured sticks were long gone at the last garage sale.

Ditto for the foot massage thingy and the paraffin wax dip machine – both had been sold on Facebook during the Kondo frenzy because they were deemed non-essential.

We certainly change our tune when we must sit at home for weeks on end. Things began to pop up. For instance, we never noticed that the kitchen table leg wobbled until we began sitting down to eat dinner as a family. The linoleum that was coming up in the bathroom wasn’t a big deal until we found ourselves tripping on it constantly while we worked at home.

Thank goodness for the gift of additional data given by our service provider because between watching Tik Tok’s of renovations and growing our Pinterest makeover board, we have begun to create Hygge lite:

Embracing the ideals of creating an oasis of the Hygge lifestyle with an eye to keeping our relationship with Marie Kondo intact. Organized comfort, with an overwhelming sense of PTSD about not having access to any creature comforts outside the home if the pandemic wave rises once again.

Judy Kucharuk is a community columnist living in Dawson Creek. 

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