The current trend in the lifestyle type or genre is the Swedish “Lagom” meaning “Just the right amount”. Before this, it was the cosy, comfortable Danish “Hygge”.
Your lifestyle type is?
Take some time and write down a few words to describe what you consider your type of lifestyle and its label to be.
Did you use any of the trendy names? Did you ever give any thought to what your type of lifestyle was or is? Is it important to know the label that is “your life”?
I would say my type of lifestyle label is…
The description would be; moderate, informal, pleasantly comfortable apartment living, warm and cosy, unassuming, humble, low key, somewhat rustic, nature-friendly, environmentally compatible, with natural and sustainable aspects, purposely reducing carbon footprint, growing whatever food you can, use of homesteading skills like sewing, knitting and scratch cooking and preserving food to be more self-sustainable, self-care. I would call my lifestyle type, “Simpler Apartment Homesteading.”
Is “your lifestyle type” all that important?
Is your “type of lifestyle label ” all that important? Or is it so others can define who and what we are, or is it because most things have labels and this is just one more? Is it so we know what the expectations are or is it a pecking order?
But why am I asking the question? Let me tell you a story that got me asking.
The need to furnish an apartment
Returning back to Canada after a year away we had the very real need to furnish an apartment. When my husband and I returned from Boquete, Panama in Central America we each came back with 2 large suitcases, a carry-on and laptop bag each.
We have since acquired a few things and the “Simpler life” type of lifestyle is how we had been living in Boquete, Panama.
Before we left Boquete, Panama, we arranged for an apartment. Our daughter lives close by and had some dishes, a bed, basic linens, 2 pots 2 fry pans a table and chairs. We knew we would have to get some items but are in no rush to just “get” for the sake of getting.
The only exception to holding off on big purchases was a tv and stand, a lazy boy chair, coffee pot, toaster oven (because one item does many tasks) and a Brita to filter our water.
While researching online for the cost of the rest of the furnishings we would need, I was struck by the need to label the type of decor these items were. For example pictures in frames with the peeling paint look, are farmhouse style. Now don’t get me wrong there are lots of styles that I like but does there need to be a label on it? Does it matter what your lifestyle label is?
What your lifestyle type label is, could be many things
This took me to investigate what some of these lifestyle types were. I knew about simple, simplicity, and minimal and even hoarding and homesteading but had only half paid any heed to farmhouse style and retro and boho and all the other “styles”.
There are many different lifestyles out there that get lots of attention and many that don’t get much at all. This got me thinking about what I thought defined my lifestyle. I started to read and research ALL the different types of living styles.
Many types of styles, many parameters
As I found out there are many types of styles, all with their own set of parameters, their own followers of the style and their own reasons for their lifestyle. Do our lifestyle types need labels? Probably not, but it does differentiate what’s what.
But the biggest thing that came from all this is the realization that no matter what lifestyle type you choose to express your life, there is no right or wrong, no you must follow this way or that way. You get to choose what gives you satisfaction in your life, what gives you joy, love and pleasure.
We have many different types of lifestyle in our lifetime
In the process of living our life, we have many events that dictate somewhat how we live. From birth till death, we very likely will have several lifestyles that evolve over our lifetime.
When we are children, we follow the life our parents are raising us in. If parents are avid skiers there is a good chance that their children will at least learn this skill. Just like when they like hiking and nature that is likely to be shared. As children, we are exposed to the lifestyle our parents and siblings provide us with.
When we are young students and adults, we go out on our own and set down our own likes and dislikes. Some will be similar to our parents, some not because now there are other options to consider in your life and then when we become parents ourselves, if we so choose, our lifestyle will change again and so it goes.
With each of these events, there is the opportunity to get rid of mental and physical things, accumulate more things and more changes occur. Some times it is having more physical stuff other times it’s less physical stuff like having the desire to travel and the need for very little. It could be a desire to live a homesteading or back to the land kind of life. Whatever lifestyle type is to you, can be very different for someone else. So, does it matter what your lifestyle type label is?
Most of us go through many different types of lifestyle throughout our lives. But the jist of it all is that “what your lifestyle type label is”, is personal. You may follow a type of style but you will put your own style on it, your own nuances, your own taste.
I see the labelling of lifestyle type as being a guide, some direction, a basic blueprint to help us develop our own “STYLE”. In my life, I have experienced several different lifestyle types.
My lifestyle history
Over my lifetime I have had many different lifestyles. Here is a quick overview of that chronology with the appropriate lifestyle at the time but just a heads up there are lots of moves and lifestyle changes.
Post high school
Off to post-secondary school with very minimal possessions and clothes, some books, a sewing machine and some sewing basics. I lived in residence at school. This was a simple minimal type of lifestyle.
The first job, first own home
The first job and first home, a one-bedroom apartment. I acquired basic furniture and household items that get added to the above. This was a simple lifestyle type.
Now married, combined two apartments and LOTS of wedding gifts. We lived in a two-bedroom apartment. Start to feel the overwhelm of having lots of possessions in a small space. Full closets and cupboards and making extra storage under beds and more shelves. Abundant plus lifestyle type.
Married, house, children
Married with 4 children over the next 8 years. Now living in a 3 + 1 bedroom home with all the above plus a dining room of stuff and four kids stuff and a garage. Utilizing every place possible for storage. Clutter starts to become evident. Not a hoarder but have too many possessions. Abundant plus lifestyle.
Now getting divorced. Kids and I stay in the house but half of anything not child-related goes with husband. While this is definitely a fast way to declutter, it is not the best or recommended way. This is when I realized that “saving” stuff for whatever reason didn’t seem to make sense. I continued to declutter throughout the house. Everything finally has a place. More average type of lifestyle.
Cross country move
Moved me and four kids 2600 Kilometers across Canada. Sold everything but beds, household items, kids stuff, some books and reduced photos and personal papers. Still living in a house. Much simpler lifestyle.
Kids off to post-secondary
Once kids all went off to post-secondary school a lot of their stuff went with each of them. I married and significantly decluttered. Lived a very simple lifestyle type.
Downsize from home to apartment
With retirement coming we sold the house and reduced possessions back down to minimal stuff in a two-bedroom apartment. Simple minimal type of lifestyle.
Types of lifestyle, my list with descriptions
With this list, you will be able to see the variety of different ways that people live. There isn’t a right way or a wrong way just a way that suits you. These are not the only lifestyle types but do represent the basics. There will always be a variety of combinations to all of these too.
The following descriptions are a way to help sort out just what each of these is. These descriptions, for the most part, are compilations of books, articles, blogs, and writings, and are how I see each. For the purpose of this blog, the descriptions are fairly general and by no means are written in stone. Going in more depth on each is a blog for each another day.
Definitions to be explored:
- Hygge (Danish)
- Lagom (Swedish)
- Koselig (Norwegian)
- Living intentionally
- Tiny living
Simple – a thing that is plain, natural, or easy to understand: basic, or uncomplicated in form, nature, or design; without much decoration or ornamentation.
Definition of Simple/r living – living in a more mindful gentle and intentional way. It is really about you and what gives you contentment, joy, gratitude, positive mental health, self-nourishment and care.
Simple/r lifestyle is referred to as a manner of living in which a person doesn’t own many things, may or may not use many modern types of machinery, may live more or less in the countryside, or on a big piece of property, may practice some amount of homesteading skills, has limited use of digital items and works toward reducing their carbon footprint. This is a choice of how to live not living it due to poverty.
Quote from Michelle Shroeder-Gardenor, of Making Sence of Cents. This was found in “18 Ways to Simplify your Life in 2019” and I quote – “Simple living is different for each person, but in general, a simplified life means that you are getting rid of any extra mental and physical clutter so that you actually have time for the things that actually matter to you”.
What is Simplicity –the quality or condition of being easy to understand or do; synonyms: clarity, clearness, plainness, simpleness, comprehensibility, understandability, lucidity, lucidness, coherence, directness, straightforwardness. a thing that is plain, natural, or easy to understand.plural noun: simplicities, the quality or condition of being plain or natural.
Simplicity lifestyle – Simplicity minimizes consumption, material goods and other interference in your life. It is a way to obtain a simpler but more meaningful life allowing for focus on family, connection to nature and freeing up time. Reduced spending, reduced clutter, mindfulness and self-care are 4 easy ways to practice simplicity in your life.
Minimalism keeping things very simple as well as a minimal amount or degree of something. This lifestyle is centred on less; any design or style in which the simplest and fewest elements are used to create the maximum effect, usually with white or very light colours.
Hygge pronounced hue-guh, not hoo-gah) is a Danish word used when acknowledging a feeling or moment, whether alone or with friends, at home or out, ordinary or extraordinary as cosy, charming or special. as defined by hyggehouse.com Alex It is a level of cosiness and comfort that engenders feelings of contentment and or well-being that comes from doing simple things such as lighting candles, baking or spending time at home with your family. Minimal possessions are quite common. More recently being practised in North America too.
Hygge is a practice enjoyed by people from many countries. Thanks, Denmark.
Lagom pronounced lar-gom is a Swedish word meaning “just the right amount, enough, sufficient, adequate. This is often referred to as the Goldilocks type of lifestyle not too much, not too little, just the right amount. This concept is practised in all aspects of life in Sweden.
Koselig is Norway’s Lifestyle. Described as warm, cosy, intimate, safe, enjoyable, friendly. It is very familiar and the same as Denmark’s hygge lifestyle.
Living intentionally is any lifestyle based on an individual or group’s conscious attempts to live according to their values and beliefs. These can include lifestyles based on Religious, Political or Ethical values, as well as Coaching, Personal Transformation, and Leadership Training.
Homesteading is defined by Wikipedia is a type of lifestyle of self-sufficiency. It is characterized by subsistence agriculture, home preservation of food, and may also involve the small scale production of textiles, clothing, soaps and craftwork for household use or sale.
This lifestyle is usually found in the countryside on small farms.
Tiny Homes by definition, are 400 sq. ft or less and this is an architectural and social movement that advocates living simply. The tiny home is generally constructed with environmentally conscious and renewable materials. As well most of these are built as a community. By nature, this type of lifestyle encourages one to be minimalist.
So do you need a label for your type of lifestyle?
Still not sure what your lifestyle is? You may be a combination of two or more. You may not really care to be labelled. That is totally fine.
The bottom line in that your type of lifestyle is personal to you. If reading this encouraged you to think it may be possible to change or improve your current situation, kudos to you.
From time to time I will offer suggestions that can help you better your current type of lifestyle or even help you grow into another one. Watch for future blogs.
Each lifestyle type offers its own pro and con! Your lifestyle type is YOURS TO OWN!
Do you want more details on each of these or one particular? Leave me a comment, I would love to hear from you. Let’s talk!