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What five things would you save?


Kareni
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If your house were on the verge of being destroyed, what five things would you save? (Assume that all people and pets are safe and that you have a few sets of clothes, important documents, and medications.) Disregard issues of practicality, so that hutch from Aunt Agatha is an acceptable choice. Likewise, Tio Berto's egg cup collection counts as one item.

Regards,

Kareni

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My choices:

Photo albums especially the one that has copies of our holiday letters from the past thirty years. (And if I could only choose one item, this would be it.)

Two old paintings that my parents gave us when we married.

A ceramic giraffe my daughter made when she was young.

Some Delft pieces I inherited when my parents died.

A small statue I inherited when my parents died.

Regards,

Kareni

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My mom made us all cushions out of my Dad's shirts after he passed. I would grab those.

Photo albums.

My "brain" 😁 (planner), if it doesn't count as important papers.

Handmade blankets from my grandmothers.

Handmade rocking horses that my parents made for each of the kids' 2nd Christmas.

 

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Honestly? Only two things. 

An Afghan my great grandmother made me when I was born.

a thank you note from my beloved, late grandmother that she wrote me when I baked her some bread when I was 16.  She died a month later.

 

There’s nothing else, other than my husband, kids and dogs, that matters to me.  

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Have actually had to do this living in California because of fires. 

Pictures, all in one box. 

Clothes cause it's expensive to buy new wardrobes for five people. Ironically the last time all the clothes were dirty because I was pregnant. 

My dd's share bear that she couldn't live without, but then gave it to a friend's neighbor's daughter when their house burnt down. I didn't know about it at the time. 

My mom's ashes. 

Important papers, birth certificate, marriage license, etc. All in a huge folder. 

Eta: just reread the post, lol. 

Just share bear and moms ashes.

 

 

Edited by MooCow
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I just can’t think of anything. If my cat is safe….and all documents are safe……hmmmm…..

there are some photos that I might grab. Two baby books maybe. Son has his art portfolio with him, but if I’m thinking clearly I would hope I would grab my prints of his work off the walls. It’s maybe 3 different ones. I might think to get his homeschool diploma. 

Gee, that’s hard. I got my cat and son’s diploma and art. That might be good. 
 

The very first thing I have to grab is the cat carrier so I can get her in it, while Dh is grabbing cash. Then everything goes down the hierarchy of importance from there.

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BTDT with Katrina (we didn't know that this would be case before we left).

We took:

Toy trains, photos,  library books (library drop off boxes were taped shut. I proudly delivered a box of library books back in NOLA when we moved back. Not even some applause or an award! Harrumph!), a little food, our Jewish marriage contract (without it we couldn't live in the same house). We left my husband's work computer and all his work files, his very expensive viola, and other memorabilia I would have liked to have had.

Now I would take photos, documents from our go-box, and maybe a couple of cherished books.

We learned that almost everything can be replaced.

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3 minutes ago, YaelAldrich said:

BTDT with Katrina (we didn't know that this would be case before we left).

We took:

Toy trains, photos,  library books (library drop off boxes were taped shut. I proudly delivered a box of library books back in NOLA when we moved back. Not even some applause or an award! Harrumph!), a little food, our Jewish marriage contract (without it we couldn't live in the same house). We left my husband's work computer and all his work files, his very expensive viola, and other memorabilia I would have liked to have had.

Now I would take photos, documents from our go-box, and maybe a couple of cherished books.

We learned that almost everything can be replaced.

I would like to give you an award! That is absolutely an award-worthy feat.

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Each of my kids has a keepsake bin, packed and ready to go. I would grab each of theirs. 
 

We have evacuated a few times now. We actually have most prioritized for evacuation items packed currently in bins. I can evacuate in an hour with 90% of what I deeply care about. With 15 min notice I can get most of it. On 5 minutes notice, all I can get is kids, meds, and tech. We have timed it, courtesy of last years’ wildfires. 
 

 

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This is super hard. We moved back from Brazil 7 yrs ago, with just our luggage, and then DH carried over some of my favorite pieces as carry-on when he'd go back/forth for work trips over the course of the next year.  Which is all to say.....the things we do have in our home, are things that I treasure so very much.  One of a kind stuff, and I've already narrowed it down once, and....:sigh: 

But. 

If we were evacuating for whatever reason (impending hurricane, etc.)....

....my Brazil flowers, which I'm counting as one collection, although if I had to narrow it to just one, the blue/white one that the flower artist made just for me, my first mother's day in Brazil (gosh, that still makes me tear up)
...a photo box of some special old family photos (and I'm including the framed ones out of that box that sit right near it; my grandma in her wedding dress, my grandpa's senior photo)
...my bed quilt (if "all the quilts" could be one thing, I'd grab mine and each of the boys' quilts; if not, just mine, because it has a block in it made by my great-grandmother; the boys' quilts I could remake)
 

Beyond that....I don't know. Maybe my wedding veil (it has lace from my grandma's dress), maybe my Christmas nativity collection, maybe our various paintings, maybe the kids' framed artwork.....maybe my great-grandma's flatware....maybe the scrapbooks of the kids.....our photo books are all reprintable, my grandma's quilt patterns from the Kansas City Star have all been scanned in and are in our hard drive (I'm counting "laptop and hard drives" as part of the important papers, but if it's not meant to count there, that would be one of the 5 things), and while a lot of the other stuff would hurt to lose, that's what insurance is for and the rest of it is pretty much replaceable-ish, more or less. 

 

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I guess the bag with my engagement ring, grandmother's earrings, and the opal necklace my husband had made for our anniversary.  Don't  really have anything else that I am attached to.  All our pictures even old ones are scanned and in the cloud 

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On the verge means  to me 5 minutes to one hour so besides computers, phones,  and charges, (hope we have electricity where we're going) I'd grab our wedding albums and my this is your life scrapbook my mom gave to me when I was 30, plus MIL memorabilia box. A box of food. 

Edited by Robin M
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We've lost nearly everything before.  It's not easy.

If I had the opportunity to save things it would be the paintings we picked up in our travels and the kids' teddy bears.  Everything else can be replaced, but at least the one teddy bear was spared from the first disaster because he accidentally got left behind at my sister's, who offered to ship it later.  Had it been at home it would have been gone.  It's literally the only thing from my oldest's childhood that he still has.

If the rest of my house chimed in, there would also be a large box of baseball cards, a hard drive, and the Harry Potter special editions in the car.

 

Edited because the rest of the house did chime in.  It would be our Disney box instead of the HP books.  Inside are pins, photos, memorabilia from all our trips...some of it would be impossible to replace and right now we are mourning what Disney has become, but we still love our memories of what it was to us.

Edited by HomeAgain
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I must be super unsentimental, because the only things I keep coming up with are my phone, Kindle and the chargers for each of those. In an emergency I'd need the phone (contacting friends/relatives, insurance, internet access, etc.). And the Kindle would help me keep my sanity. Our photos are all either on the cloud or on flash drives that are kept with our important papers, so I'm assuming those would be safe. I don't have any inanimate objects that I'm truly attached to.

Edited by Pawz4me
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3 minutes ago, Pawz4me said:

I must be super unsentimental, because the only things I keep coming up with are my phone, Kindle and the chargers for each of those. In an emergency I'd need the phone (contacting friends/relatives, insurance, internet access, etc.). And the Kindle would help me keep my sanity. Our photos are all either on the cloud or on flash drives that are kept with our important papers, so I'm assuming those would be safe. I don't have any inanimate objects that I'm truly attached to.

I’d be the same if we’re talking 3 minutes or less and only 2 hands to get out. With the rules of practicality suspended, it’s a lot easier for me to add things, lol.

I’m still struggling to get my younger boys to narrow down what they think is important, and tell them time and time again to forget about things that can be re-purchased. My 10yo still wanted his giant infinity gauntlet ready to grab and go the other day. Sigh. 

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I have a lot of things from Japan that I would be devastated to lose. They have a lot of memories attached. They would be difficult to replace- and some things from just after WWII probably impossible to replace. I would live just fine without them but would mourn them greatly. They are those “extras” that are just there to bring happiness and beauty. 

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1 hour ago, Carrie12345 said:

Is insurance complicated in fire areas? I’d expect them to pay for the new wardrobes, but I don’t know what policies are like in other circumstances. 

To be honest I don't know 

TMI


😭.🤦

Edited by MooCow
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a quilt made for me by my aunts when I was a child. It has horse saddles on it - it's one of my favorite things. 

My stuffed animal kiwi that became a class mascot. I had chain mail armor made for it. 

My sword SO bought for me when I finished my master's. 

photos - although they are strewn throughout several rooms. 

That last one is hard - there are so many things that could be replaced but I'd probably grab some books. Many of the ones I have are hard to get and even OOP. On second thought, I'd probably leave the books and grab my iron bed. It's the wrought iron bed my mom used with her sisters as a child.  

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We lived this. We evacuated because of fires with all the important documents, then went home for a couple of days and had to evacuate again

 the extras we took were craft things the kids made when they were little, the 200 year old painting of my dh great great great great great grandfather ( might not have enough greats there,  looks just like dh) a whole trailer load of dh tools, my saucepans and sewing machine.

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This happened to us a long time ago when our apartment building in Washington, DC, was on fire.  All I could think of was to grab my purse!

But assuming I had a few safe minutes, and obvious things like my purse (with credit cards), laptop, and important documents in our fireproof box were already safe, then...

My mother's painting, an embroidery ("sampler) that my great-grandmother made as a little girl in Norway in the late 1800's, my wedding album, my grandpa's violin, and a beautiful glass lamp that hung in a mosque from when we lived in Jordan.  (It was an extra that was no longer needed, so was given to us as a gift.)  

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I would take the obvious, laptop/documents/meds. I would take favorite clothes because while money would replace them, that would require some serious effort to find styles/brands/fits that would fill a season on short notice. 

Beyond that, while I have a few keepsakes, I really don't have sentimental attachment to things. I don't want to test that LOL , but honestly, there isn't much I would long for if it were gone. 

I have my fathers birth certificate that is in Norwegian (he was born in '25 so it is almost 100 years old) but if I didn't have it, my life wouldn't be any different. Same with a rocking chair, I would probably lug it out of a burning house, but again....what would change without it. Even pictures.  I don't hang photos on the walls because they make me sad. I don't look at old photos more than once every 5 years or so. If they were gone, my children still would have birthday memories and grandparents that loved them. The kids baby things, really, they just live in the attic, so who would notice if they were gone?

 

 

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Photo albums of my kids that hasn’t been scanned and digitized.

My kids favorite soft toys

Each of us would obviously grab our laptops and cellphones so that we could continue working and studying from wherever we are evacuating to. We would have to take the laptops’ power cords and some cellphone charging cables. 

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For my family, I think it would be:

Photos (all of them)

The kids’ childhood stuffies (for me)

DH’s instruments

DS’s game systems

Most everything else is replaceable and since my books and music are on the electronics I’d have those. Nothing is a strong contender for a 5th thing . . . maybe a piece of Assuit fabric that I can’t replace, but if I grabbed my costume trunk it would be in there. My costumes are more expensive and one-of-a-kind than my actual clothes. We’re all adults so we could easily entertain ourselves anywhere with our iPads. 

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4 things for sentimentality: scrapbooks, my dad's class ring because I always remember it on his hand when I was little, the quilt my mom used to cover us up when we were sick, the kids' boxes of special baby things

1 thing for practicality: my skirt collection because it's h.a.r.d. to find skirts that fit AND look nice

 

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Photos/videos

Ceramic hand prints of each of my kids

jewelry from my mom and grandmother

Can full of letters that dh and I wrote when he was in boot camp and I was pregnant with dd

Shel Silverstein books that were given to me by my grandmother and have her inscription on the front cover. 

Edited by sassenach
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Everyone's computers and iphones.  Because they contain a ton of data, including all of our work and school stuff.

You say assume we have documents - does that include passports, wallet, and adoption docs?  I think almost everything else should be possible to get some other way if needed.

I have a plastic container that has sentimental stuff relating to my kids - including their baptism stuff.  Maybe I'd grab that.

My kids' special bears and doll.

Do I assume I have my car?  If not, I'd save that.

I am thinking I want my physical calendar.  And saying that, it reminds me that I really need to make proper use of technology to have all my calendar stuff on my iphone and computer.

It's funny - I don't have many "things" I would miss all that much.

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Laptop--most of the documents and photos I want to save are on this hard drive or on the cloud.  Having the laptop would make recovery a lot easier...eventually.  

Contents of safe, including jewelry box.  Because contents $$$ and a lot of it is sentimental.

Original art.  Irreplaceable. 

Photo albums and scrapbooks for the content that isn't yet scanned.

That is sort of a cheating "five" in 4 categories.I would be sad to lose so many other things, but almost everything else is replaceable.  Or unnecessary.  That said, I lost a piece of jewelry last weekend and I am inordinately sad about it. Sentimental and too much $$$ for me to replace it. 😞

 

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My grandma's china

My great grandma's silverware

My other great grandma's wedding ring

My other-other great grandma's sewing basket

My great great grandma's rocking chair

The binder of family lore that my grandma made for me

Hmm. That's 6. I'll shove Nana's ring on my finger and carry the other 5 items out. 

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So...after having cleaned out my parent's house of 50+ years and now cleaning out my in-laws house of 50+ years, my view of "stuff" has changed forever.  I still have a lot of stuff in my house I'm trying to get rid of at this point -- been too busy cleaning out everyone else's stuff LOL.

But...speaking just for me, I would take:

My external drives with all my photos (I would cry rivers if I lost all my pics of my boys growing up).

My cameras, lenses, chargers, etc.

My mom's wedding band.

My special jewelry (wedding set and a few other things)

A few pieces of artwork that DH and I collected on our honeymoon and other trips.

Really, furniture, clothes, and many other things are just not important to me anymore.  I mean, I would hate to go through something like this.  I know boardies who have and it has been life changing for them with what they decide they need as far as material things after their experience.  I have just seen all the stuff my dad and my in-laws hung on to that really were not important (to them or to us) that they just never took the time to clear out.

 

 

 

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43 minutes ago, mlktwins said:

So...after having cleaned out my parent's house of 50+ years and now cleaning out my in-laws house of 50+ years, my view of "stuff" has changed forever.  I still have a lot of stuff in my house I'm trying to get rid of at this point -- been too busy cleaning out everyone else's stuff LOL.

But...speaking just for me, I would take:

My external drives with all my photos (I would cry rivers if I lost all my pics of my boys growing up).

My cameras, lenses, chargers, etc.

My mom's wedding band.

My special jewelry (wedding set and a few other things)

A few pieces of artwork that DH and I collected on our honeymoon and other trips.

Really, furniture, clothes, and many other things are just not important to me anymore.  I mean, I would hate to go through something like this.  I know boardies who have and it has been life changing for them with what they decide they need as far as material things after their experience.  I have just seen all the stuff my dad and my in-laws hung on to that really were not important (to them or to us) that they just never took the time to clear out.

This has been my recent experience as well.
Sadly, my parents are still clinging to all kinds of stuff, to the extent that their retirement apartment is filled to the brim with boxes.
There are indeed many special sentimental items in these boxes, but also a lot of unneeded items.
At some point, we become too aged to wisely sort our belongings.

However, this thread has caused me to update my external hard drives, & now store them in our locked safe.
I'm now thinking, "What sentimental items would I grab?" 
Surrounded by all the news of Ida devastation, this is very timely.  Thanks.

Edited by Beth S
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Good grief. I don't even know. If I have the documents and the medications and all, there's no way I don't have my phone, so I'm going to assume that's safe. I'm assuming these are things for ME and I'm not worrying about dh's stuff or the kids. Dh can grab his own political stuff collection. Off the top of my head...

The storage box with the old photos
My great great grandmother's spool bed

Um... I'm stuck. Everything else that feels important feels silly?

My childhood doll?
My signed copy of A Swiftly Tilting Planet?
My roller skates?
My great grandmother's spice rack?
My grandmother's dessert plates?
The little keepsakes and jewelry hanging thing in the bathroom?
The box with the old copies of my underground newspaper?

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Ok, I thought of one more thing - my much beloved Toyota FJ Cruiser. They don't sell them new in the US anymore, and used ones are $$$, so it's not like it could be easily replaced.

So photos, pillow, blanket, FJ Cruiser.

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1. documents from the safe because not having them and replacing them would be a pain
2. kindle because I could entertain myself anywhere
3. phone for obvious practical reasons
4. the pen my brother carved for me out of a fallen tree from our favorite camping site
5. the Scandinavian dragon's head my brother made for my kayak

Everything else could be replaced or wouldn't serve me as immediately during the transition time. We don't have any pets.

My husband is a computer software consultant, so everything is backed up off site in case of emergency from work, to household, to pictures.
 

Edited by Homeschool Mom in AZ
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Old family photos that haven't been digitized - all in one bin

Our shared external hard drive that contains all of our digitized photos that haven't been sent to any cloud storage

My phone

My Kindle 

My dslr camera

We keep multiple chargers in the car so assuming we're leaving by car I'm not counting chargers as a separate item. 

I do have some items I wouldn't want to lose, things that belonged in the family. None however, are as important to me as photos. I'd leave the things behind and take the photographic memories.

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The best advice I ever got about how to pack clothes in case of emergency...just grab what's in your dirty clothes hamper. It's what you wear all the time. No need to put any thought into it. 

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16 minutes ago, calbear said:

I live in an area where fire season is an annual thing. I am sharing this in case it is helpful to others:

No photo description available.

So, I used to see and subscribe to this listing idea…and then I went through an actual evacuation. If you are headed to a place with Target or Walmart or a grocery store, you don’t need to pack toilet paper or soap or paper goods or whatever. We landed at a motel with a Target next door. The six hour drive made bottles of water and snacks handy—but bring only what you can’t replace if it burns down. Odds are if you are leaving without a trailer, you are leaving plenty of that precious stuff behind anyway. We were surprised by how little we could pack in once we had people in the vehicle.

 

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19 minutes ago, calbear said:

The best advice I ever got about how to pack clothes in case of emergency...just grab what's in your dirty clothes hamper. It's what you wear all the time. No need to put any thought into it. 

I've heard that, but we do laundry throughout the week, so DS's and my hampers are empty or nearly so a lot of the time. I'd rather just open the drawer and grab what's clean. I only keep what I wear.

 

Since we don't have to consider practicalities like medicine (and I'm assuming my purse, etc.), I'd start with three boxes of photos from the top of my closet. And then... IDK, I'm thinking a laptop next. I'm getting stuck on facts like my grandmother's rocking chair not fitting in the car. And also I'm not very sentimental (and both my and DH's parents are still living, so they still have their things).

Edited by Carolina Wren
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The box that has my baby’s birth outfit, sympathy cards, and a couple other baby outfits she never wore.

As many photo albums as I could possibly grab. 
 

My computer, because of all the writings and photos on there. 
 

My art portfolio

Maybe my daughter’s art portfolio. 

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Honestly, there's not much that is irreplaceable in my house. In the realm of Can't get another One, I have my great-grandfather's Bible, my grandmother's Tonka trucks and handpainted wooden toys she made for my aunt, my kids' baby books, and one of my MIL's quilts. It probably wouldn't dawn on me to take those though - I'm not that sentimental and I don't think that clearly in emergencies.

 

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