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Why ‘lagom’ living should be your new best friend

calendar13 January 2017

Joseph Allison's avatar Joseph Allison

Why ‘lagom’ living should be your new best friend

Although some people might see putting up flat pack furniture as their personal idea of hell, many in the UK are in love with Scandinavian furniture and design. Indeed, if you’ve been hanging around certain social media spheres in the last twelve months, you’ll probably have noticed the word ‘hygge’ cropping up on your news feed (I’m told it’s pronounced ‘Hue-ugh’).

Hygge is a Danish and Norwegian word and can be most easily translated as ‘cosy’, the essence of the interior design trend that swept the nation in 2016. Its popularity got us all painting our rooms in warm and comforting shades, and buying as many scented candles, hot chocolates and knitted jumpers as we could carry. Let’s face it, we’re all at least a little glad that wearing comfy jumpers and drinking sweet, yummy drinks is ‘in’, especially in a wet, cold and windy January like this.

Recently, however, a new Scandinavian way of living has been catching people’s attention. Lagom (lar-gom, slightly easier to pronounce) is the Swedish word for ‘enough’ or ‘in balance’ and is based on clearing out the clutter in your life and focusing on what you really need. The ethos behind this trend – on ignoring the push to consume and fill your life with more and more stuff – is something Christians Against Poverty can get behind. Especially if it means we can embrace gratitude for what we already have.

Even better, getting on board with the lagom trend and decluttering could earn you some pennies back, which is always a welcome bonus. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. Firstly, have a good look around your house for things you no longer use, or perhaps have a surplus of, like plates and cutlery for example. Rather than gathering dust in your cupboard, someone else could be using them, so why not sell them on?
  2. Make the most of social media selling. Loads of people are now selling their unwanted items online (Facebook has even added a ‘marketplace’ section so you can check out what’s for sale in your area with one swift click). Use sites like Facebook or apps like Shpock to advertise your stuff locally – that way you won’t have to travel as far to deliver or shell out for postage.
  3. You could even sell on your items the old fashioned way and see if there are any car boots sales happening in your area that you could take your old stuff along to.
  4. Importantly, avoid the irony of buying something new and trendy because it says it’s ‘lagom’. That’s really missing the point. If you’re crafty, why not try your hand at upcycling? Repair your old things or make them into something else entirely – upcycling is all about giving them a new lease of life rather than scrapping them. See upcyclethat.com for all sorts of ideas.

So whether your 2017 is going to be all about hygge or lagom (or you're going to steer clear of Scandinavian terminology altogether), the main thing is to know what you can afford and not go overboard. For advice if you're struggling with debt, call us for free on 0800 328 0006.

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