The STYLE DEFINERY COLUMN -
from now on every Monday for the first coffee ☕️
I was recently sitting with a friend who had moved due to a separation and had to downsize significantly as a result. With the reduction in living space came the question of what to do with all that stuff that has accumulated over the years. The subject was or is well known to me and due to my many moves (and also separations) I am considered a competent contact person for all questions relating to storage, outsourcing, selling, giving away and despair. The latter in particular is a frequent side effect. After all, the decision to move into a smaller(er) apartment is not always a voluntary one. You are often forced to do so for financial reasons, be it because of a divorce, a job loss or dramatic mis-speculations on the stock market - and it is somehow clear that the mood is then initially in the basement. Nevertheless, the downsizing holds great opportunities, because (too much) ownership can also be a real burden.
The more you have, the more attention you have to give things. A house is always more work than an apartment, a garden needs more care than a balcony and ten meters of wardrobes increase the risk of fashion burn-out many times over. It's not for nothing that the people with the most clothes complain most often that they have nothing to wear. I don't exclude myself from that at all. Over the last 30 years I have accumulated so many things that I sometimes get dizzy looking at all the clothes, trousers, jackets, shoes, bags, glasses etc. pp. that I have been allowed to call my own. The worst part was that I didn't wear most of it at all, yet was unable to part with all the many beautiful things. Why? Simple - I had too much space. Only a financial emergency, which forced me to drastically downsize, gave me the necessary perspective and thus not only to see what I thought I needed, but above all what is actually dear and important to me.
When it comes to clothes, for example, like so many other people, I have my “uniform”, i.e. what I feel comfortable and safe in – and I don’t really need much more than that. It's a bit like my absolute favorite series of all time "Sex and the City", short SATC, which just celebrated its 25th anniversary and which I've watched completely at least 25 times since it first came out. There are so many great other shows, but I always end up coming back to SATC, especially when I'm down, sad and lonely. I only need a few episodes and I'm in a completely different mood afterwards.
Then I feel like I've had a fabulous trip with my girlfriends and everything that was kind of gray and heavy before gets a new coat of paint. Carrie, Charlotte, Samantha and Miranda are as familiar to me as my favorite black Vanessa Bruno blazer, which has now been patched up ten times and is clearly past its prime. Nevertheless, it is the absolute favorite in my closet and all the other fabulous blazers that hung there for many years, no matter how beautiful they were - in the end they led a miserable existence as unworn dust collectors and only found new owners because of my acute lack of space. which I hope you love today as much as I love my Vanessa Bruno darling.
Small digression: The wonderful Suse Kaloff also wrote about the SATC comfort zone in her current column, in a different context, but all the more worth reading at https://substack.com/@susekaloff . Suse deserves a very special thank you at this point, because it is she who got me back to writing and thus revived something that was comfort and gave me strength in difficult times for a long time. I can't currently say whether I'll ever earn money with writing again, but that's not the point here, it's about how beneficial good habits can be and that it doesn't take much to be able to feel happy. This works just as well on 80 sqm as on 250 sqm, maybe even better. Because once you've decided to get rid of what you don't need, don't wear and, in the worst case, don't even particularly like, that's a tremendous liberation. This not only applies to clothes, but to so many other things as well. For expired groceries, unpleasant people and bad books. For relationships that no longer work, for shoes that are too small, cars that are too big, and perfume that doesn't go with you. There is then room for something else that is more important and suits you much better.
By the way, I'll have to downsize again in the near future. And actually I'm really looking forward to it, even if it means a lot of work and stress at first and includes many small and a few larger farewells. I will be selling more clothes, shoes, bags, a sofa, three beds, wine glasses, Knoll chairs and a Weber grill. In this case, these are all objects that have given me wonderful moments, but unfortunately I have no more room for them in the future. But that's not bad. We loved each other, but now our time together is over. You can also separate like this – on good terms and with a benevolent view of what was and what you had. The future holds so many new things and it starts right now.
Have a wonderful week.