Space oddities

Who are the most talented architects of the animal world? How big is the largest wardrobe in the world? Fascinating facts on the subject of space.

From chaotic to minimalist

The KonMari method is all about creating order and simplification: no more cluttered desks and books gathering dust on shelves. Marie Kondo, from Japan, has developed a method for motivating even messies and hoarders to get chaos under control. The proposition is that two thirds of items at home or at work can be disposed of; the only things to be kept are those that give pleasure. It's a way of thinking that makes sense in other areas of life as well. The method is fully explained by the book “Magic Cleaning”.

Source: Marie Kondo, manual “Magic Cleaning”

Had enough of your own home?

Home exchange made easy: various internet platforms exist that allow you to take temporary time out from your home. All you need to do is register on the platform, pay a fee and be willing to make your own four walls available to an exchange partner. The deal is free of charge – a car or pets are part of the swap. This way of spending holidays or temporarily slipping into a new life is very popular with singles and families alike. And it is extremely inexpensive.

Three of the major platforms:

Homelink International,
Home for Exchange,

Illustration: Colourbox

Architects of the animal world

Weaver birds never cease to amaze with their artfully crafted hanging nests. The males of many species will build several nests during the mating season as they want to be certain that their partner will accept one of them. Building inspection is a female responsibility, and a nest that doesn't pass muster is torn down without further ado. Among weaver birds, the greatest architect is the social weaver. Their nests resemble a high-rise building and facilitate social coexistence within the tightest of spaces – rather like the micro-living concept described in the article “Micro-living – is it about to take the world by storm?”.

Source: Wikipedia

“The realm of the spirit, the space where it can open its wings, is silence.”

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Anyone who has a million dollars.

. . . perhaps dreams of a luxury apartment. But in the premium real estate segment, that sum doesn’t get you much space. A buyer in Switzerland can expect an average of 41 square metres; in Monaco that figure is just 16. Things look better in Cape Town, where a million will buy you 157 square metres.

Source: “The Wealth Report”,

40 to 45 centimetres. . .

is the optimum seat width of an office chair – just one of many recommendations that contribute to a healthy workplace. Swiss employers are obliged to comply with the minimum requirements.

Source: regulations 3 and 4 of the Swiss Employment Act
Photo: Adobe Stock

Double the size of Switzerland

Viticulture takes up a lot of space. Vines are cultivated on around 8 million hectares worldwide, which is twice the area of Switzerland.

Source: Wikipedia

What’s it called again. . . ?

. . . for the space in a wine bottle that is not filled with wine? That’s right, it’s called “ullage”. In seafaring language, the word can also mean an utterly useless crew.

Source: Ben Schott, “Schott’s Food and Drink Miscellany”

The 500,000 dollar wardrobe

That’s quite a lot of money for a wardrobe, but at least it’s the biggest one in the world. It belongs to Theresa Roemer, the former Miss Texas, and covers 280 square metres spread across three floors.

Source: tabloid press