Disclaimer – Ikea have bought me with the lure of £300 worth of goodies if I blog about their Live Lagom project. No problem there!
Lagom comes from the Swedish phrase “Lagom är bäst” (the right amount is best).
Last month Ikea mailed family card members asking if anyone wanted to take part in a project about sustainable living. We had to answer a few questions and write a sentence about why we wanted to take part. I said I was a single parent on a low budget and I’d love to learn to live more sustainably.
I nearly deleted the ‘congratulations’ email from them, thinking it was just another general mailout but I’m glad I didn’t because I am one of this years participants. We met this morning, a cold November Sunday morning improved radically by coffee and pastries and loads of smiling happy Ikea staff. Usually, when faced with perkiness first thing in the morning I start to hiss and spit but it was so genuine that it actually made me happier.
The idea behind Lagom fits in very well with the ethos of www.less-stuff.co.uk: think of Goldilocks and her porridge, she didn’t want it too hot or cold, she wanted it just right. At less-stuff I’m not promoting radical minimalism, nor am I encouraging people to hoard, it is somewhere in the middle, somewhere comfortable and warm – that is Lagom. It’s about saving energy, living sustainably, recycling more and overall saving money and time.
For the next step of the project I have to think of a goal, a sort of new years resolution that fits in with the Lagom principals. I think I do pretty well at recycling with the odd off day where I just can’t be bothered, a few of our lightbulbs are LED’s, I grow food and make preserves and have double curtains in the front room to stop the outside coming into this rickety Victorian house. What I’d like to get out of Lagom are habits that stick and ideas to make living sustainably, within my means, recycling, reusing and repairing easier and second nature, rather than something that is a chore.
To start us off we all got a goodie bag, with everything carefully labelled with Lagom type ideas. The goodie bag itself is a sort of large lunch bag, there is a useful looking compartmentalised lunch box and a bottle – both plastic, which isn’t my favorite thing but it is tough strong plastic that can be reused again and again. I’m eying up the lunch bag to keep salad in, hopefully making it last longer.
Next week 2 Ikea staff members are coming to my home to help me with ideas, this I’m looking forward to because a fresh pair of eyes on the particular challenges of living in a Victorian wind tunnel will be very welcome.
So, watch this space! I’m very excited about it and my 13 year old (who is also on board) is busy making wish lists from the Ikea catalogue. This may require some negotiation and compromise!