Today, create a Valuables Binder for art, jewelry, silverware, and collections of anything you value and worry about losing to fire and theft. Detailed instructions follow.
(30 Days to a Simpler Life, p. 143)
OR for serious simplifiers only...
Scan your house and ask "Which valuables bring little enjoyment and much distress?" After you have identified these items, sell them or give them to relatives who will enjoy them more. If you are serious about simplifying, break your attachment to things you worry about losing. Being free of concerns about possessions simplifies life. (30 Days to a Simpler Life, p. 146)
Here are some of the suggestions (in short) that the authors make for keeping track of your valuables:
1. List them and put the list in a binder.
2. Photograph or videotape your valuables. Date the video.
3. Include the receipts.
4. Put any appraisals or authentication documents in your binder.
5. Store your valuables binder in a safe place.
One thing they mention in the chapter is the story of a man who rented a storage space for all his possessions during a move. His storage space caught fire and nothing was salvageable. He lost $300,000 worth of stuff, but afterwards he said, "I learned that losing everything in a fire is insignificant. When people lose body part, a loved one, a family member, or even a pet, it's a far greater loss (30 Days to a Simpler Life, p. 145)."
I think that is the ultimate goal with possessions---get to the point where your possessions are limited (so you don't even have the chance to lose $300K in a fire!) and love what you have but don't be unreasonably attached to them. I don't have a lot that I would miss if there were a fire. In fact if I really think about it, the only possessions I would be really really upset if I lost them are my wedding and engagement rings and the earrings I wore at our wedding. And in the end, even those are replaceable. As far as making a valuables binder goes, I think it's a great idea. When we moved to our current house in 2004, we took photos of all of our collectibles in case they were broken during the move. We still have that CD, but of course we've acquired a few more things since then. It might be time for an update. :-)
I started slowly working on yesterday's challenge of simplifying your travel life. I got the first step done --- writing up instructions for taking care of the cats. Ours are complicated fuzzy little creatures. We can't leave food out for them to free feed or they would eat it all at once and then throw it up. I don't know why they're so afraid there won't be more food later, but they have been that way since we got them at 2 months old. Because of this, we always have to have a cat sitter for any time we leave longer than one day. Now I just need to get pack lists done. This is definitely going to take a while.
On a separate note, the kitchen counter is still clean---yay! The Cobbler teased that he's going to set up a web cam pointed at the counter so I can have the whole world watching it so I can't crap it up again. Ha ha! I'm hoping this is a long term change that I can keep. Go Habit Training for Grown Ups!
See you back on Monday for Day #23!