Your house is on fire.  Your family and pets are safe and now you have exactly five minutes to run into your home and grab everything that is important to you.  What are you going to grab?

Since we were children, we’ve been sold on the idea that we need MORE by advertisers.  We have fallen into the trap of the “next best thing” whether that be a cell phone, a car, clothing or some other shiny gizmo.

“Free shipping, only 3 more remaining, buy one and get another one for free.”

These are all psychological games that are played on us every day.

But wait, there’s more.

“If you buy today, we’ll include an additional piece of crap that you’ll never use.”

Now as adults, our homes are filled with stuff.  Some items will have sentimental or monetary value.  There are other items you simply like.  Then there is just stuff filling your shelves or closets.

In your 5 minute dash to collect items from your home, what would you grab?  Your first thought is more than likely keepsakes that have sentimental value to them.  Maybe that collection that has some monetary value to them.

I love my home, but I’m attached to very little of its contents. 5 minutes should be enough for me. When I look around, I see furniture, TV, and books on the shelves.  Those are all items that can be replaced.  I’d grab those irreplaceable items: my children’s artwork and notes as well as cards from Deb, my long-term girlfriend.  For many people their home is full of items with stories attached.  Perhaps the home itself holds memories because it was your original family homestead going back a generation or two.  If this describes you, then five minutes is not going to be nearly enough time to grab your stuff.  But still, if you had to,what would you grab?

As you take inventory of all the items you just saved, it’s important to understand why these items are important to you and why those items were saved over others. This analysis can actually be helpful in our overall mindset of understanding what we need and what makes us happy as we move forward in the years of our life.

As I get ready over the next few years to move into an RV, I often think about those 5 minutes.  What do I really need?  What is it that I really want?  Because of this I’ve become more mindful in what I buy and bring into my home.  Those 5 minutes are also helping me to purge the stuff I don’t need or really want from my home now.   The stuff I wouldn’t grab.

Minimalism

Although I’m not a card carrying member, I do love the idea behind minimalism.  Minimalism is about freeing yourself from all the physical stuff that has you anchored down. Without the distraction of stuff, you can begin to find freedom from the materialistic culture that advertisers tricked you into believing.  Freedom from being overwhelmed:  knickknacks on the shelf that need dusting, the stack of books that, realistically, you may never read.  I have that stack of books.  I’ve read the first chapter of most, but otherwise they just bring a touch of anxiety to my life each time I look at the dust on the top one.  “I really need to read them, I spent money on them, I need to find time.”

In the end, your 5 minute dash produced everything that was important to you and more than likely the remaining items in your home amounted to just stuff.  Stuff that can be replaced.  Perhaps most of it was stuff you never really needed in the first place.

Do you own your stuff or does your stuff own you?

Take a minute to think about it.

And if you’d like, share what you’d take from your 5 minute dash in the comments below.

I’d love to hear your answers and imagine with you.

Live free my friends