Germany has it's own little gems too. I've started compiling a list of these life-changing everyday items (or practices) that I would miss if I moved back to the US. Alternatively, I might just bring it all back with me...
1. Hot water bottles - okay, I know that the main reason we probably don't have these is because we don't actually need them because our houses have decent insulation and we actually turn the heat on in winter, but hot water bottles are just plain wonderful. I love curling up on the couch at night under a blanket with a toasty water bottle resting on my stomach. And going to bed at night when a hot water bottle has been placed under the covers at your feet is one of life's small pleasures.
2. Individual duvets - I'm not sure if I'm fully on board with this practice yet, but I recognize the genius in it. Because really, who wants to wake up in the middle of the night and find that their partner has stolen all the covers? This is the simple, clear solution to that robber of a good night's sleep.
3. Piles of extra toilet paper rolls - this one is so obvious. You cannot go into a German bathroom - also public toilets - and not find a pile of extra toilet paper rolls resting within easy reach of the toilet. Sometimes there are like 10. It's an eyesore, but really, who cares?? I have never once in Germany had to ask a fellow toilet-goer in the next stall over to pass a bit of toilet paper under the door, nor have I had to hunt down my host in her home and ask where she keeps the extra rolls.
4. House shoes (slippers) - I was already a convert to this one long before I moved to Germany. Indeed, Americans are a bit of an exception in the world, not requiring that shoes be taken off at the door and slippers worn around the house. It's just... cleaner. It also seems more welcoming to me to hand your guest a pair of cozy slippers and basically tell them to settle in and make themselves at home.
5. Two-way functioning windows - windows in German homes open two different ways: one, just tipping open a bit to let some fresh air in; and two, swinging fully open like a door. It's genius, and all done just with the turn of the window handle.