My German Wife Offers a Simple Solution to the Problem of Clothing vs. Closet Space

It’s like a forest. An impenetrable, haunted forest.

About a year ago, my German wife was in the middle of her teacher training (Referendariat) here in Hannover, Germany. It was a busy time for her, involving lots of classroom observations, seminars, lesson plans, tests and essays. (Her future career as a Gymnasium teacher depended entirely upon her performance during this period.) Needless to say, it was also a stressful time. The days were long, the nights were short, and patience was a commodity in high demand.

One day, as my wife came home from school, I greeted her with a smooch and helped take her hoodie off. As I carried the hoodie toward the closet, I noticed she was following me. Like, she was right on my ass, and I realized she did not trust me to hang up her clothing properly. She has good reason for this though: I am a terrible folder of clothes, I hangs things in random places and my attitude toward laundry in general lies somewhere between “good enough” and “fuck it, it’s just gonna get wrinkled anyway.”

Given my spectacular failures as a dry cleaner, I wasn’t at all irritated as I opened the closet door — even though my wife was hovering over me like an anxious mother whose son is about to stick his finger in hot coffee. I understood it, and I was cool with it. I was downright surprised, however, by the sheer volume of clothing in my wife’s possession. Her “side” of the closet — which comprises 90% of the whole — was so packed I could not hang the hoodie inside. Seriously, I was unable to separate the other items widely enough to fit even one more thing.

Now, I am the sort of man who follows the doctrine that one should own only so many articles of clothing as one’s closet can hold, so it was with no small amount of amazement that I remarked:

“Woah. You have way too many pieces of clothing. You gotta get rid of some of those.”

To which my wife replied with a heavy sigh:

“I know… I need a bigger closet.”



15 thoughts

  1. Bigger closet :-) that sound soooo like a girl ;-)

    I’m happy to say “that’s not the solution I would choose” I’m like you, a firm believer to stay within my closet space… So if it’s stuffed, I need less clothes…

    Lately, I’ve been a good girl, I now have PLENTY of space in my closet ;-)


  2. Even though I design clothes, I am a strong believer in using what you need and maybe keeping 5-10 amazing items. But only if you use them in a year. Otherwise it will get packed away, sold, or donated. I have space, and I am getting free stuff! Approach the closet with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. lol


  3. She sounds like my kinda girl…but because my husband won’t build any add-ons to the house…I just recently purged a couple of my closets…mostly because I had recently purchased a bunch of “new” clothes and the wooden bar holding the clothes was bending…not a good sign. All is well now. And a girlfriend of mine is always the proud recipient of any of my purged clothing that she wants…some still had new clothes tags on them…it’s a win-win!!!


  4. Hm, THAT’S a great solution indeed! Unfortunately I don’t have space for a bigger closet, so once in a while I have to do some cleaning up and get rid of some pieces of clothing, say old one and the ones that I’ve only worn once or twice per season. This works but only for a while, and then I’m back to square one though ;)


  5. But you DO know that a woman simply HAS to dress, don’t you? And I bet you are very proud of her when she shines beside you on the odd social occasion. So, shh .. just get some more space from IKEA. A happy wife equals a satisfied husband.


  6. Have you not experienced the biannual swap of clothes in the kelidershrank? Spring time the winter clothes go to the old wardrobe in the cellar and the summer stuff comes up. In autumn/fall, the same process as before, reversed. For my wife it takes a weekend. For me about 30 mins. Now you have a house, I guess you have a cellar. Give it a go.


  7. Sheeeesh… isn’t that clear? No woman in the right mind is going to get “rid of some of her clothes”… she needs a bigger closet!
    Only a man cannot understand this. LOL ;-)


  8. Be happy she isn’t a shoe-freak! ☺
    Joke aside…though in clothes more our father’s child “I don’t care” there are good reasons to honour them, not only to look better.

    Our mother is a clothes- AND shoe-hamster!
    And she takes very good care of them.
    Fashions change fast and after a time everything comes back.
    Just recently our mother gave many of her really pretty dresses to my younger sister, who has about the same size. Now our sister looks as if she spent big money in a designer boutique.
    These dresses are several decades old!


  9. Haw! If you checked out *MY* closet(s), you would consider yourself a lucky, lucky man that she only talks in terms of a bigger “closet.” Singular.


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