Your Prized Possessions – Do You Know What They Are?

I told you in an earlier post about Our Minimalist Epiphany, right?  In a moment of particular clarity, Hubs and I realized that we had way too much stuff, and that it was stealing our joy.  Now, we are not what you would call “hard-core” minimalists, getting rid of all but the bare necessities.  Rather, we trying to be more intentional about what we own.  Borrowing a phrase I saw on the blog Simple Living

Minimalism is living with what you NEED,
and what you LOVE…That’s it
.

I’ve thumbed through Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, where she speaks of the items that you own “sparking joy.” You should handle each and every item in your home, and decide if that thing gives you joy.  If it does not, thank it for its service, and get rid of it (in a nutshell).

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not going around my house touching all my stuff or talking to it.  I am, however, looking at our possessions with a different eye.  Have you ever just stood in a room in your home, looked around, and thought:

“Is this something I really love, or is it just junk.”

Or

“Is this something that is regularly used, or is it just taking up space?”

I’ve been doing just that lately.  I ran across a blog called The Burning House.  The premise of this photographic blog – If your house were on fire, what would you take with you? It’s a conflict between what’s valuable, practical and sentimental.  This exercise has caused two things:

I’ve gotten rid of a lot of stuff that doesn’t really matter, and as a result, our home feels like it’s filled with the items that truly reflect our personalities.

I’ve settled on some Non-negotiable, You’ll have to pry them out of my cold, dead, hands, Prized Possessions:

  • My mother in law’s little tin knife: Back when we were dating, I would sit in the kitchen watching her cut up vegetables with so much love.
  • My little glass chicken – given to me by the best man at our wedding (there’s a story there.)
  • A hundred plus year old Dresden plate quilt, hand pieced and quilted by his grandma.
  • My original Dick, Jane and Sally print
  • My mom’s cross

Prized Posessions

These are the things that are the first to be saved in the event of a fire.  Oh, of course I’ll try to grab the file box with all of our records in it, and it would be nice to grab some photos, but in reality most of those have been safely stored in the cloud. And yes, I would probably grab our portable hard drive on which we back up both of our computers.  But the reality of it is, in true minimalist fashion, much of the stuff in our house is just stuff!  The prized possessions have become crystal clear!

Lynn

17 thoughts on “Your Prized Possessions – Do You Know What They Are?

  1. cathystunnel

    I have been going through “stuff” since I retired because we have an insane amount of it. So far I have taken 24 boxes to Goodwill and have deposited at least that much in a garbage dumpster. Still have miles to go unfortunately but making progress.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. Encore Voyage Post author

      I look forward to finding out if you miss your stuff, or if, like me, you find the idea to be very freeing! I delight now in looking around and knowing that all my “stuff is meant to be there!

      Like

      Reply
  2. Harmony Smith (@CMK_Harmony)

    I’m in the process of decluttering our house – and putting things on eBay or in the garage sale pile (we need money to pay off debt). This post made me really think about my prized possessions. One is definitely my stuffed dog who was my best friend as a child. I would probably count my photo albums in with my most important material possessions.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Encore Voyage Post author

      Harmony, it’s a great idea (I’m seeing a blog post coming on) because I can’t even begin to tell you the stuff the hubs and I have sold on Craig’s list! I went and subscribed to your blog as well, because you are well on your way to your own Encore Voyage if you keep going the way you are! Congratulations!

      Like

      Reply
  3. aginggracefullymyass

    So interesting that you should post this… We had some folks on our tour who told us about the joy lady! I’d never heard of her before. I wonder if the Universe is sending me a message? 🙂 Part of my problem is that I think it’s all a prized possession! Yikes!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Encore Voyage Post author

      Love it! The place where I struggled (and eventually saw the most headway) was when I learned to part with the “I might need it someday” stuff – really??? How much stuff was I saving on the outside chance that “someday” I might use it!!!

      Liked by 2 people

      Reply
  4. dconnollyislandgmailcom

    Hi Lynn – Thanks for another wise post. In terms of minimalist living – we are not quite there yet – but that is the goal. When my mother-in-law died, apart from necessity items that she used daily, she left behind a small metal box. Inside the box were very small keepsakes that she had kept for each of her children (from when they were babies). For my husband, there was his baby blanket and the original newspaper clipping from a nationwide contest that he had won as a child. Leaving behind the items that she did was worth far more than gold, silver or diamonds to each of her children. She was a very wise woman indeed.
    Donna
    http://www.retirementreflections.com

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Encore Voyage Post author

      That is sooo cool! It must be a “midlife/retirement” thing that so many of my friends and I start discussing the “I don’t want to leave all of this stuff for my kids to go through…” Your mother in law sounds like an amazing woman!

      Like

      Reply
  5. patwdoyle11

    I’m slowly getting rid of stuff as well. My biggest challenge, which I think I have mentioned, is hubby who firmly believes 1) he with the most stuff wins and 2) you might need it …and the 20 others which are just like it also. Yes, he has years of magazines, all his original vinyl, every yard tool known to man (some in duplicate), too-many-to-count back-packs (each just slightly different)… and I could go on and on. I told him when we move to our next, smaller (!) house that everything cannot move. We will not cram 15 pounds of stuff into a 5 pound bag (or whatever that cliche is!). If I keep saying it, maybe it will be true.

    BTW – I have a quilt that looks almost identical!! I didn’t know it was called a Dresden Plate pattern. Mine has been worn down to tatters and the petals patched a few times because I loved using it. So weird… hubby’s grandma too. Are you sure we are not the same person? But no, I don’t have a glass chicken, whew.

    Like

    Reply
    1. Encore Voyage Post author

      Yeah, that glass chicken is one of a kind – some day we’ll meet IRL and I’ll tell you the slightly crude story! If it makes you feel better, there is not a tool that MY hubs does not own. And for as organized as he is, his workbench is a disaster! I try to ignore the stuff outside the house! (Not my circus, not my monkeys!) – Perhaps we are twins separated at birth?……Good ol grandma, she made TWO quilts!

      Liked by 2 people

      Reply
  6. joanneeddy

    I am not quite there yet, but i love the idea of touching something and see it it sparks joy. Unfortunately, it would be very tough to get rid of many things that I have that belonged to my grandmother, my husbands’s grandparents, and my mom, which I see myself as a caretaker of for my children and grandchildren. Of course, there are many things that should probably go. We are looking at retirement, moving, and downsizing pretty soon so your blog may well be my future! Thanks for the thought that sometimes a chicken momento is worth a lot! Jo

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  7. Retirementallychallenged.com

    I have been traveling down that path too! I have way too much stuff and I have a hard time letting go of it (no, I’m not a hoarder 🙂 ). I have sold a lot on eBay and on Craig’s List, donated tons, and thrown away lots of things that no one would want (so, why did I have it??), but we still have a ways to go. Fortunately, most of the “junk” is in the garage (although we can still park two cars in it so it’s not too bad), and in both of our offices. The other areas of our house are fine. It’s a process and the older I get, the easier it is to let go.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  8. susan@marsha'sbungalow

    What fun. When I started ‘Marsha’s Bungalow’, it was because we moved into a tiny (600 square foot) beach bungalow. We’d already thinned things out a year or so before, and then again with this move. I love the simplicity, and continue to find things I don’t need. Now, you’ve inspired me to go around the house and do the ‘joy’ test. All the best – Susan

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

Comment on the Voyage!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s