The Burning House
If your house were burning, what would you stop to pick up and take with you?
The people and pets are safe; that's a given - and the emergency services are there, and you have clothes on..
But what, of the myriad of your possessions, would you stop to save?
It's a super question to spark a discussion with your nearest and dearest. (I wouldn't recommend it as a topic of conversation with your children...a bit insensitive and unsettling..)
I've really enjoyed reading the Marie Kondo book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying, and the two topics aren't unrelated.
If we have fewer things, we live in less clutter, and have made conscious decisions about what we live around. If the house was burning, we would have to choose the very precious item(s) to take with us, and leave behind others.
When my mother died suddenly, my sister and I had three days to clear out her bungalow.
I remember standing in her bedroom holding her travel wash bag tightly and sobbing.
My sister was stood in the same room with a large black rubbish sack, and stopped what she was doing.
"Look at it," she said, "what is it?"
"It's her w-wash b-bag." I sobbed.
"Exactly. It's her wash bag. It's not her, is it?"
I shook my head.
"It's our mother's wash bag. Would you use it?" she continued.
"Oh God, no!" I replied, "It's hideous; but it was hers."
"So say goodbye to it and put it in the rubbish bag. It isn't her, and keeping it isn't going to bring her back, is it?"
I knew she was right.
I also knew that I could have filled my house with the contents of my mother's bungalow, but it wouldn't have brought her back.
De-cluttering feels tremendously freeing.
The things you choose to keep are more important: you use them, you have a need for them.
The other items are quickly managed without and soon forgotten.
It helps you work out exactly what is important in your life.
So what would you stop to save from your burning house?
If people, pets your medications and any emergency services are taken care of and it's just possessions/items, what would you save, and why?