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The simple act of removing our shoes has reshaped the consideration for our space.”

Katherine Sacks, an American expat living in Germany, quickly discovered a unique custom in her adopted city of Berlin. When returning home, most people open their windows for a few moments to let in the frischluft (a stream of fresh air) and remove their shoes to slip on their hausschuhe (house shoes).

Over time, Katherine realized that by wearing her hausschuhe, she not only took better care of her space, but that she felt a significant and meaningful separation between “home” and the outside world.

In the end, a shoeless house became a happier home.

Read more from Katherine’s essay for Kinfolk magazine here.

Photo: Maja Norrman for Kinfolk