Living Lagom


Towards the end of last year, the lovely folk at IKEA introduced me to a great Scandinavian phrase – live lagom. Roughly translating as ‘the right amount is best’ it’s a phrase that fits perfectly for our families goals for 2016. Not too little – not too much – just the right amount. It works for pretty much every aspect of our lives and is a great motto for us to live by.

We’ve always tried to live simply, within our means, to be as sustainable and economically as we can. Somewhere amidst the madness that was 2015 – complete with new baby AND moving house {two major life events all in one year!} I feel like we’ve lost our way slightly. Bad habits formed, shortcuts were taken, and we haven’t been as lagom as I would like.

So when IKEA asked if I’d like to try to be a little more ‘lagom’ I figured it was the perfect opportunity to kick start us back into action. We’ve been given £500 to spend on items {at IKEA} that will help my family be more sustainable and live lagom. I’ll be blogging here about our journey, and also sharing on my Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #livelagom.

The first step in our live lagom journey was to attend a workshop at our local IKEA store, to find out about how IKEA do lagom and to discuss ways in which we could improve the way we live. G actually went to the workshop for me, as it was an evening session and wasn’t overly practical with a baby! He came home thinking hard about ways we could improve the things we do.

A couple of weeks later, we had a home visit from two IKEA team members and Tessa from the Hubbub charity that are running the whole project alongside IKEA. It was great to talk through our ideas for how we could live more sustainably and get an outsiders input and suggestions into things we could do. We talked through the things we wanted to focus on as well as products we might spend our money on.

live lagom living room

We decided that the things we want to focus on making more ‘lagom’ right now are:

– Be me more energy efficient – replace all light bulbs with energy-efficient ones & insulate windows to keep warmth in
– Reduce waste – reusing paper/card/boxes for crafts, composting food waste, freezing leftovers rather than wasting
– Recycle more – make a ‘recycling’ station in the utility to sort waste, and put a bin upstairs that is for paper waste {currently the girls just chuck all their rubbish in the bins in their rooms regardless of what it is}
– Meal Plan – I’ve gotten back into this in the last six months, and it means I buy less AND waste less
– Insulate – making sure all windows have thick curtains to keep in the warmth.

I know that some participants went for big items – dishwashers, washing machines, fridge/freezers… but we decided that for us, lots of little changes will make the biggest difference.

We took a trip to IKEA at the end of November to pick out the items we were spending our money on. It was exciting to be able to go and choose all the things that we wanted! We picked out new energy-efficient light bulbs to replace all the ceiling lightbulbs with. A shelving system for our utility – that has space to sort all our recycling in {and separate it into reusable or just recyclable waste} as well as space to dry some laundry. New curtains and liners for the living room and back door. Bins for recycling upstairs, step stools so the girls have no excuse as to not be able to reach the recycling center in the utility! Food containers to store food leftovers in. Mini greenhouses so we can grow a little of our own food and steamer inserts for our pans so we can cook more things in one pan and use less energy.

I’m excited to get started on living lagom, and i’ll be sharing our journey with you as we go!


  1. laura redburn

    January 11, 2016 at 23:06

    one thing we really need is thicker curtains! our flat is so cold and we can’t afford to have heating on that much ..thicker curtains would make a huge difference!

  2. Julie

    January 12, 2016 at 03:15

    I love the Ikea recycling products, you have reminded me that they are on my wishlist. Great post.

  3. Alice

    January 12, 2016 at 10:21

    I am SO enjoying the LAGOM campaign – I can’t wait to see your products and follow your journey! Its teaching me more than I thought about new and helpful ways to live xx

  4. Kathryn

    January 12, 2016 at 12:54

    Ah so that’s what Lagom means! Sounds like such a great campaign and I’m looking forward to seeing how you introduce it more into your home Polly. Now I love ikea even more than I did before! xx

    1. polly

      January 13, 2016 at 11:46

      I’m really excited for this – isn’t IKEA great?!

  5. Sarah

    January 14, 2016 at 18:47

    Now I understand , sounds good x

  6. Lottie :: Oyster & Pearl

    January 24, 2016 at 07:47

    Hooray! Can’t wait to get going with my Lagom project too x

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