Another day, another Scandinavian lifestyle trend, it seems. This time, with a dark twist. Though ominous as it sounds, döstädning (aka death cleaning) is actually profoundly liberating.
When my mom died in 2016, my two sisters and I flew up to Joburg to pack up her house,’ says Sarah* (48). ‘She was still living in the four-bedroom that we grew up in, and walking into that house was like going back in time – it still looked exactly the same, right down to our childhood bedrooms with the posters still on the walls. It took the three of us a solid two weeks to sort through everything.
‘At first, we were very careful, looking at every piece of paper and trying to find a good home for every ornament. It’s very strange going through someone else’s personal things: you can’t help but feel like you’re invading their privacy. But by day five, we were literally just dumping things into black bags. My mom was very sentimental, and had kept every bank statement and birthday card she’d ever received. Not to mention her collection of ceramic figurines – she loved going to flea markets and vintage shops, and she always came home with something, so of course every surface and shelf was covered in knick-knacks (kaggelkakkies, as my dad would say).
‘Of course we each kept some things that remind us of her – I took her pink and gold tea set that I’d always loved, a few photo albums and some of her jewellery – but none of us had the space to keep any of the bigger ‘heirlooms’. And, to be honest, no one really wanted the dark ball and-claw dining room table and chairs, the ornately framed still-life paintings or the set of floral couches – that all went to a secondhand shop. We poured bottles of wine down the drain; most of them had been saved for a special occasion, but had subsequently all gone off. We found boxes and boxes of untouched crystal glasses, still in their original packaging; three full sets of silver cutlery; hat boxes with ‘church hats’ and suitcases full of clothing that had belonged to my grandmother; my parents’ special wedding crockery, barely used… it all went to the nearest charity shop. I still feel bad when I think about it. My mom would have been horrified about all her precious things being unceremoniously thrown out, but we all have too much stuff already. And trekking it all down to Cape Town would have cost a small fortune.’
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
How to Survive the Feast-Or Famine Cycle
It’s empowering to have more than one income stream, but there is a downside: it’s easy to splurge when money is plentiful, but what about the lean months? Three self-starters share their tips for keeping an even keel through good and bad.
Kaley Cuoco was so beguiling as Penny on The Big Bang Theory that she soon became one of the highest paid actors in television. With HBO’s comedic thriller series The Flight Attendant, she entered exciting, slightly sinister new territory – but it proved her range as an actress and cemented her broad-based appeal.
Let the Music Play
My dad died days before the global lockdown. While I was trapped within four walls, music and dancing gave me reason to smile again.
How to Make Your Own Luck
Luck isn’t easy to measure or study, but those who have managed to do it discovered it’s not the work of fate – it’s a skill you can cultivate and improve. So, how do you go about it?
Stocking up your pantry? These artisanal foods are guaranteed to ignite the senses of home chefs everywhere. Meet the foodies behind two of South Africa’s tastiest brands.
The Comfort of Ritual
Rituals imbue our lives with depth and meaning. And in times of uncertainty, they are even more important because they create a sense of grounding.
Get Your Shine Back!
When the last of the summer heat is over, it’s important to take time to reverse any hair damage caused by sun and sea water.
The Rise of the Personal Shopper
It’s not a new concept, but the number of people who make a living from sourcing goods on behalf of clients is on the rise. We talked to three personal shoppers to find out what it takes.
Back to the Wild
Imagine camping in the Little Karoo… a billion stars above you, the ancient desert beneath, the insistent flapping of your canvas tent in the cold night air. Then banish all the rustic images this conjures up – because Dwyka Tented Lodge will confound all your expectations.
A Good (Mo) Hair Day
"Beauty Mokgwamme had other dreams, but circumstances took her exactly where she was meant to be."
THE SAUSAGE QUEEN
Get to know Cara Nicoletti, a fourth-generation butcher whose one-of-a-kind products are inspired by a reverence toward family tradition, her craft and the planet.
ROVING WITH ROVER
DRIVING TO YOUR DESTINATION? WE MAP OUT HOW TO KEEP YOUR BEST TRAVEL BUDDY HAPPY, CALM AND COMFY.
Yeah, YOU CAN PICKLE THAT!
Sweet corn? Of course! Strawberries? Sure! Grapes? Go for it! Think beyond cucumbers and graze your garden for unpredictable produce that's ripe for the pickling.
We've got food for all your folks! These six picnic-perfect recipes are sure to satisfy every uncle, cousin and kiddo at the reunion-oh, and earn their compliments, too.
HOW POLITICS POISONED THE CHURCH
THE EVANGELICAL MOVEMENT SPENT 40 YEARS AT WAR WITH SECULAR AMERICA. NOW IT'S AT WAR WITH ITSELF.
TAKE A DIP!
Spontaneous potlucks call for simple, scrumptious snacks. Carry in these five-ingredient (or less!) dips to make a splash at your breezy bash.
Chasing Joan Didion
I visited the writer's California homes, from Berkeley to Malibu. What was looking for?
THE GREATER LANSING FOOD BANK PROVIDES THE FOOD KIDS LOVE, AND WELCOME RELIEF FOR PARENTS.
Can Forensic Science Be Trusted?
The story of a forensic analyst in Ohio, whose findings in multiple cases have been called into question, reveals the systemic flaws in American crime labs.
How to Make Veggie Burgers
No one will be asking “Where's the beef?” after trying these vegan sammies packed with wholesome, savory ingredients like sun-dried tomatoes, black beans and walnuts.