6 Easy, Affordable Ways to Make Your Home Even Cozier This Autumn

Cool mornings and evenings with bright, breezy afternoons are the quintessence of autumn. When this change in our weather happens, my mind turns to cozy thoughts. Hot cider and cocoa, soft sweaters and boots, and pumpkin-flavored everything brings a smile to my face.

The Danish culture refers to this reveling in the joys of cold weather as Hygge (pronounced hue-guh, not hig-ee.) The best part of Hygge is that it's a mindset built on living the cozy life. It doesn't cost much, if anything, to bring this aesthetic into your home. Here's how to do it on a budget in time for the leaves to change.

1. Invite friends over

One of the main tenants of Hygge is spending quality time with friends and family at home. Make a meal together, watch a movie, play board games, light a fire, and spend time catching up. Hygge is a time to slow down and be grateful for what we have, and the best things we can have in our lives are friendship and love.

You don't need to meet at a fancy restaurant or engage in other pricey activities, either. Just being in their company while the wind blows outside accomplishes this, for free.

2. Get baking

Nothing makes a home cozier than the sweet scent of fresh baked goods emanating from the kitchen. And the best part is that they are usually far less expensive than those you buy ready-made. This recipe for no-knead bread is one of the very best ways to make your house a home for pennies on the dollar. And the bread is as good as any you will find in many local bakeries. (See also: How to Make Artisanal Bread on a Budget)

3. Display books around every corner

These cold weather months are the perfect time to make a dent in our never-ending to-read lists. Grab a couple of the books you've been meaning to read and keep them strategically located in spots around your home where you're likely to have some spare time: the night stand in your bedroom, the coffee table or end table by the living room couch, on your kitchen counter, and at your home office desk. Make it a practice to read a few pages every day in those moments between tasks, while you're waiting for the water to boil, or settling in for the evening.

4. Light some candles and meditate

Candles are an easy and inexpensive way to bring comfort into your home. Set up a ritual of candle gazing and meditating for a few moments each day. Light the candle and take some time to be actively grateful for the good parts of your life. Just the act of letting that dim light into your eyes and mind, literally and figuratively, will make all of your moments more joyful. (See also: 6 Ways Autumn Is Good for Your Mind and Body)

5. Brew hot beverages

Soothing, hot drinks cost far less to make at home than to buy by the cup at the local cafe. You can make endless varieties of tea, cider, hot cocoa, and coffee in the cozy comforts of your home.

This recipe for Mexican hot chocolate is a snap to make in a saucepan on your stove. And to make things really easy on yourself, try making this recipe for banana "tea" that requires only a banana and a pot of water. It's rich in potassium and will send you off to dreamland in no time!

6. Create a relaxation nook

Grab a cushy chair, warm blanket, and small table to create a nook where you can cuddle up and spend some relaxing time at home. Use items you already have or check the secondhand vintage stores to create an atmosphere of comfort on a budget. For an even softer feel, hang string lights above your nook and bask in their glow.

Too many people lament the end of summer. With a little Hygge in your life, you can look forward to many warm and cozy days ahead no matter what the weather's like outside.

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6 Easy, Affordable Ways to Make Your Home Even Cozier This Autumn

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