First there was Hygge, now there is “Live Lagom”. It’s a Swedish word that means just the right amount – not too much, and not too little. It comes from the phrase “Lagom är bäst” – the right amount is best.
In essence, it is a call to use just the right amount of what you need – whether it’s food, energy or water – and leave the rest for the planet. Moderation and balanced living, in other terms. The middle road of minimalism and wasteful lifestyles.
Quietly, for the past 3 years, IKEA has been running the “Live LAGOM” project. It’s a unique project that explores the challenges and benefits of a more sustainable life at home. It gives IKEA customers and co-workers the chance to test IKEA products that help save energy and water, reduce waste and promote a healthy lifestyle.
As always, be it recycling or tidying, it starts with a mindset to want to create a better future. The steps taken towards lagom living need not be huge. It could be as simple as setting a timer for shorter showers (to reduce the use of water) or turning off the lights when no one is in the room (to save energy). Or giving used items a second life (yay for hacking!) instead of discarding them at first signs of wear. That’s the beauty of it, small simple steps do add up. And because they are so simple, it is easier to be consistent. Over time, live lagom becomes a way of life.
I checked out some of their projects and stories and came away feeling inspired. It’s definitely doable. And very common sense. In fact, it’s the kind of life my grandmother is a pro at. No waste. And squeeze the last drop out of everything.
Here are a few live Lagom hacks from IKEA GB.
#1 Tea Towel Curtain
Gather old tea towels, clothes and bits of fabric you no longer need and stitch them together in a patchwork to create one-of-a-kind curtains. Curtains also help lower energy bills when you draw them in the evenings to keep heat in.
#2 Upcycled utensil holders
Don’t throw food cans away. Clean them and paint on your favourite colour to create pots for kitchen utensils, fresh herbs or pens and pencils.
#3 Home made trellis
Got a bunch of old kitchen utensils? Tie them with string in a rope-ladder style. Then, hang the trellis above a planter, with climbing vines like tomatoes or green beans. At the same time, you’ll get to grow your own food.
#4 Picnic blanket with the IKEA blue bag
The IKEA Blue Bag (FRAKTA) makes a great base for a waterproof picnic blanket. Line it with a comfortable top made from old tea towels or any old fabric like bed sheets, curtains or duvet. The full instructions for the picnic blanket here.