People often ask, “What would be the first item you’d save in a house fire?”.
I think for me this answer would be very different at every stage in life that you asked me.
When my first baby, Danny, was born and very poorly, it felt very important to me to keep all of his things. As he went through a series of high risk open heart surgeries I became quite obsessive over all of his possessions. I remember once panicking that I’d accidentally washed his bodysuit and would loose his newborn baby scent on it.
At first I couldn’t throw anything away. His old clothes, hospital cap, all the cards, toys, I kept basically everything apart from his dirty nappies! I was so scared of losing him, so I had to treasure everything.
As time went on and I’d built up a couple of years worth of clothes and belongings while also adding more children to the mix, it became obvious that I couldn’t keep everything. Also, I was beginning to realise that the more stuff you keep, the less meaningful it becomes to you and the harder it is to find what’s really important to you. It also gives me more pleasure to pass on the kids toys and clothes and see them getting worn and played with again than storing them away.
Nowadays, while I still like to hang on to favourite memories (hence this blog!) and some treasured possessions, I definitely realise that less is more. I know that we’re happier when living in a clutter free environment, where we can keep our home tidy and find what we need to. That everyday happiness is far more important than boxes of old pictures in the attic.
I think having my family photos on Google Plus and a lot of our memories written down on our blog really helps me. If I’m a bit unsure about throwing out a drawn picture or a lunchtime certificate, then I snap a photo before I have a clear out.
We also have material items in our house that we love, for example I love my vintage things, Dave loves his bass(es) and the kids have lots of favourite instruments and toys. I was also so lucky to be gifted a vintage style turntable by the kids for Mother’s Day- they saved up for ages and I adore it.
However, if there was a fire,I can honestly say that getting the kids, Dave and myself out safely would of course be my first priority (as I’m sure it would be for everybody). If my phone was close to me then I would grab it as it would be needed to phone emergency services but there would be nothing else that we would have to save. As our possessions are covered by insurance (such as Chill insurance in Ireland) most of our items, such as my prized camera, could be replaced in some form but our lives could not. I’m not saying that I wouldn’t shed (lots!) of tears after a traumatic event and the loss of our things but I don’t have a list of treasured items that I would need to take with me, just our family.
What items are important to you?