Four years ago our appartement nearly burnt down. Fortunately, damages were limited to a ruined staircase, a busted front door and some burnt frames. Still, everything we owned was covered with a layer of black greasy soot. Not something you can easily clean yourself, so a special company came in and packed all our stuff in dozens of boxes only to return them three months later. Clean, that is. So one day you’re living comfortably amongst all your special and less special possessions, and the next day all you have are the clothes you were wearing when the fire broke out.
While living without your own books, clothes and music is not something I look forward to doing again (at least not involuntary as it was in our case), it was also a kind of liberating experience. All that stuff weighs on you, only you don’t realize it until it is not there. First thing I did when all our stuff was delivered to our rebuilt appartement, was throw away everything I had not used in the months before the fire. You really only need so much.
This whole fire thing made me realize two things: 1. I never want to own so much useless stuff ever again and 2. I now know what things I really love. O, and 3. we have an amazing group of friends and familiy around us that came forward when we needed it.
German website 5 Dinge (5 things) is dedicated to our favorite things. Our five favorite things, to be precise. What I love about this website is that it gives you a peak into peoples lives, but more importantly it makes you think about what you love. I firmly believe that if we all engage more consciously with the things around us, this will have a positive effect on our ways of consuming. Positive for our planet that is.