If I asked you to estimate how many items were in your home, do you think you could do it easily?
I am not a minimalist who lives with as few items as possible for two reasons. Firstly, I share my home with someone who personally describes himself as a hoarder. Secondly, I am not keen on living with a set number of possessions. However I do understand the value of being conscious about the items I own and keep.
But if I had to guess, I would place the number around 350-400 not including individual books. If we are including books, then the figure is much higher (worryingly higher!)
Most of the total figure is occupied by clothes, candles, throws and notebooks. I think I have around 15-20 candles alone dotted around the house because having a warm, inviting space is important for me. It is how I unwind after a long day.
The most important realization I have had however whilst minimising my possessions over the last three years is that really the stuff that we fill our homes with, the clutter we surround ourselves with daily, most of it really doesn’t matter.
A big lesson I have taken from living with less is that having more material things doesn’t make me happy, but having the right things around me does.
The essentials, my sofa, the fridge. They are all practical and make my life easier. The thirty Tupperware dishes do not. If I need to be storing that much food in one go, surely I need to question why I am cooking so much and what can I cut down on.
The journey of minimising has helped me assign less value to items that don’t bring me any happiness, however it has also highlighted what items are important to me.
So here is it, a list of my ten favourite all time possessions.
- My wedding jewellery
I think it is fairly obvious why these items should make the top of the list. My wedding band and engagement ring are on here because they symbolise the thing that makes me happiest day to day. I appreciate you don’t need jewellery to show your love, but for me, these little tokens of commitment have the value in their meaning not their material worth.
- My Laptop
I use it to write, to keep in touch with family, to edit new photos and content, and obviously to watch way too many funny YouTube videos of cats.
Without my laptop, my blog wouldn’t be as well maintained. Plus, as it is a Macbook Air, it means I can pop it in my handbag and take it anywhere. Ideal for when you suddenly get inspired to write.
I love photos. I love capturing moments to look back on forever. They are small reminders of great experiences in our lives.
I will never get bored of sitting down with a glass of red wine in front of a warm fire, and going through old photos and reliving memories.
- My Cats
Okay so technically not a possession, but they are honestly the most incredible things that I have brought into my life and the first and only things I would scoop up and save in a house fire.
They are worth so, so much more than any other material item in my home.
- Prints and Art
If you visit our house, you will learn that the paintings and prints hung on the wall are not just there for decorative purposes. Each one has a meaning behind it.
This is important to me, as you will know from previous posts I am not particularly keen on furnishing for furnishings sake.
The art above our fireplace, hand painted by my mother-in-law. It’s of our favourite secret bay on the Yorkshire coast.
The framed print in our bedroom, a wedding present from our incredibly thoughtful Best Man and his wife.
The list goes on.
Overall, it makes me value each piece so much more, because of the thought and meaning behind them.
- My Louis Vuitton Vintage Clutch
I bet you didn’t expect to see this on here. Or any clothing item in fact.
This bag reminds me of a great time living in Belgium. Of the vast flea markets, the delicious frites and mayo, the cold snowy winters and the dinners, parties and balls with wonderful people.
Also, I can’t believe I managed to find such a vintage classic for such a low price.
Here’s to many more memories, with a gorgeous, and a little indulgent, bag.
- Our memories box
This chest is a collection of our memories since we have been together. Within it are wedding cards, mad libs we had people fill in at the reception, housewarming cards.
There’s also certificates, tickets to events, photos, and a scan of my beautiful niece when she was just 12 weeks old!
We love to pull it out once or twice a year and have a good reminiscing session. I think it’s these sessions over the things in there that I enjoy and value, but we wouldn’t have them, or remember so much, without the prompts!
- My Passport
This handy little document allows me to do what I love more than anything. See the world. If I am ever feeling a little lost, a trip away is the perfect remedy.
- Tea Cups
Although I don’t drink tea, and tend to enjoy freshly ground coffee out of these, I love my blue china tea cups and saucers.
Half of them have been passed down to me from relatives on my husbands side of the family. Half I picked up at a car boot sale because I love the pattern.
For me, a cup of coffee, served in one of these, means it’s the start of a new and wonderful day filled with lots of new opportunities.
10. My Books
For people who know me well, I bet you expected this one to be on the list somewhere and perhaps worried a little as we got towards the end and I hadn’t mentioned books yet.
I love books. I crave books. For me each new novel offers a chance to escape and explore a whole new world, a whole new mind and a whole new experience. I fill most of my spare hours with my nose nestled deep in a good book.
I have done this ever since I was a child, and can see myself doing this until I die, as long as I am lucky enough to be able to read in old age.
My shelves are filled with the books which really resonate with me. They might be being stored to pass on for someone else to enjoy, or to be re-read again.
Either way, my books are as a collective, one of my all time favourite possessions.
There you have it. A list of my favourite things.
I am fairly sure that you won’t be surprised that the list contains few real material items, and more memories, experiences and valuables.
This is because for me, the only stuff that matters is the things which enrich my life.
A new 40 inch TV won’t make me happy for years to come, but a bookshelf of novels, memories to look back on and a passport to travel the world certainly will.
What are your favourite things? I would love to read about them?