Day 268 In case of fire

For those of you who may not have read this comment by Amy last week I thought it was so great I wanted to bring it to the attention of you all.

Hey Amy I am glad you are OK and I hope you are inspired to declutter even more for the experience.

Here is what Amy wrote…

This isn’t really related to the post, but I had a profound uncluttering-related experience this past week, and I thought it would be appropriate to share it here.

Last Monday, a wildfire started 2.5 miles from my house. I was just getting back from a weekend away and didn’t even have time to go home a grab a few things before my area was evacuated. (Fortunately my neighbors got my pets out.) The fire spread and it was huge. 166 homes were completely destroyed. Fortunately my house was spared because the fire went in the other direction. I spent a whole week evacuated while hundreds of firefighters fought to contain the fire.

I had a lot of time to think about everything that was in that house, all of my belongings that I didn’t have with me for the long weekend. I had a lot of time to reflect on the possibility of losing it all. I thought about a few heirlooms and photos, I thought about the difficulty of replacing everything, and of course I thought about the 166 families that did lose everything. But in the end, while I was sad about possibly losing a few items, I felt that for me, it was just stuff. Just stuff that can all be gone in an instant. When I finally got back home, I felt overwhelmed by the amount of stuff there and much, much less attached to any of it.

I know these kind of experiences sometimes lead people to hoard, or at least attach more sentiment to their belongings. For me, it had the opposite effect.

We should all consider this scenario and decide what we would save and what we would abandon and then continue the decluttering process with that in mind.

There are other great comments on this post so go and check them out at this link. Rebecca has some particularly good advice.


Things just keep coming out of the woodwork so to speak. I found these old reading glasses in my sewing cabinet. They aren’t strong enough for my eyes anymore so they have to go.

Reading Glasses 2

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About Colleen Madsen

Colleen is the founder of 365 Less Things and lives in Newcastle, Australia.


  1. I’ve thought of this before – and it is sobering to realize that most of the stuff you have you don’t care about. I can’t imagine how almost having it be consumed by fire brings it home to you. I know for a fact I’d miss 2 things: my books and photographs. Everything else is just there and while it would be a pain to have to replace certain items (like furniture) I wouldn’t be heartbroken.

  2. Thanks for posting my comment!

    – Amy

  3. Two years ago we had to leave Brazil in a hurry (serious health issues.) We thought we’d be back in a few months and left everything behind. Now it’s over a year later and I know I could live without ALL of it. I just want my journals and family photos and a healthy husband. And I’d happily give up the first two items to have the third one!

    • Hi hopeinbrazil,
      thank you for dropping by and leaving a comment. I am very sorry to hear your husband is ill and I hope that he will be well again soon.
      It is times like these that we tend to revaluate other aspect of our lives and realise what is really important. Life can deal us some pretty cruel knocks sometimes and unfortunately all we can do is roll with the punches and learn from the experience. I hope your situation improves soon and you can move on to happier times.

  4. Hi Colleen,
    About your glasses in the photo – in New Zealand the opticians accept old glasses back, for collection to be taken to the Pacific Islands and represcribed and given (free) to people there who need them. Have you got a similar system in Australia, or do you have to throw them away?

    • Hi Ann,
      I have heard of this before but I am not sure if it is only for prescription lens glasses. I have declutter a few pairs of reading glasses some of them went to the thrift store but some were damaged and went in the bin. I now wear prescription glasses and when they need decluttering I will certainly investigate the options.


  1. […] afternoon we went to a neighborhood flee market. There was so much JUNK! Read More Hopeinbrazil on Day 268 – Two years ago we had to leave Brazil in a hurry (serious health issues…  Read More […]