This may sound extreme- and it is- no one wants to lose their home to a fire, even if they don’t have all that much to their name, but to imagine it makes you really think about your possessions in a whole new way. 

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Image courtesy of Pixabay

So, breathe a sigh of relief, in this scenario, all your family and pets are fine- you don’t have to worry about them. We are just using this example to help you address the THINGS in your home not the living beings. 

If this were to happen and of course- we hope it never does- ask yourself the following questions: 

What would you go to first? What would you reach for if you could grab something (one thing) on the way out of your burning home? The item that is most important to you- write it down. This is something that you will probably never part with and holds some sort of sentimental value for you. Be sure this would be your first post of call if you were able to recover anything from the flames. 

What would you miss the most? These could be things that you wouldn’t necessarily go to first but pieces that still mean a great deal to you. Family heirlooms or bespoke pictures perhaps. These are clearly important to you and need to stay in your home because they make you happy. 

What would you be relieved to lose?: There are often things in a home you wish someone would just sort or deal with for you. The stuff you’ve been putting off for ages. That pile of papers you’ve yet to process for instance or the bags of donations that you’ve yet to take to the centre. List these items so you know what you really don’t care about in your home. This will make them easier to purge when the time comes. 

What would be difficult to replace? We all have things in our homes that don’t necessarily spark joy but are important all the same- your birth certificate, your passport and will for example. These are things that you NEED but can’t get excited about. They require a safe place in your home and need to stay. 

What have you forgotten about? Every home has something that has faded from memory and therefore doesn’t deserve a place in the space it currently occupies.  Boxes of miscellaneous things in the loft or basement could fall into this category or filing cabinets filled with paperwork that is years old and probably doesn’t need to be kept. If you can’t remember what is in such locations, maybe you can afford to lose the things in them.  

What would you go out and replace? Furniture would probably be your first port of call- a bed, a couch, a dining table perhaps- but would you replace everything you had before? Or would you leave out the incidental tables and the superfluous decor that had no real meaning? Make a list of the items you would spend money on again as well as those you wouldn’t and this will give you a clearer picture of what you deem to be necessary in your space.

What could you realistically live without? The things that were nice to have around but you don’t really need to rebuy if they were to be destroyed. The TV in the kitchen for instance or the library of books in your study. They were pleasing but aren’t make or break. On reflection, could you part ways with any of these items if you aren’t as attached to them as you thought you were?

And finally…

Which items are you undecided over? Think about the things you can’t decide to let go of or not- if the decision was to be taken away from you- how would you feel? Upset or relieved? If it’s the latter, maybe those items weren’t as meaningful to you as you’d hoped. 

So there we have it- a severe way to get you to evaluate your possessions but one that really makes you take your stuff seriously. Once you’ve made your lists, take a look around with a fresh pair of eyes- what’s really important to you? What brings value to your life? Anything else is excess and you can wave goodbye to it, safe in the knowledge that if the worst were to happen, you wouldn’t grieve for them. 

RELATED: Minimalism: Old stuff you can get rid of today

Today is National Old Stuff Day, a 24 hours period for an out with the old mentality, but not necessarily in with the new if you are following a minimalist lifestyle. If you are aspiring to live more simply, you will probably have more old stuff to get rid of, so if you’re struggling in your journey here are some suggestions on where to begin... to read more click HERE 


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