Check out The Burning House Project: “If your house was burning, what would you take with you? It’s a conflict between what’s practical, valuable and sentimental. What you would take reflects your interests, background and priorities. Think of it as an interview condensed into one question.”
I love the challenge and intensity of this site!
On the site, visitors are encouraged to answer:
- And “The List”
The list is what you would grab if your house was burning and you had to make a run for it. Visitors also upload photos of their stuff.
For some reason, I’ve always thought about this. I’m glad to see I’m not the only crazy one. For example, Hugo Janssens would grab the beautiful things, including a 200 year old violin and vintage French boots. Shelby Eaton offers a simple and somewhat haunting list, including only a photo of someone named Sammy and a ring. I could identify with Natalia Hubbard, who included a diary, sketchbook and old photos.
What would you grab? Would it be a mix of practical and sentimental? Have you ever actually had to do this?
Have you ever had to move or downsize and been confronted – what stays and what goes? When I moved to a smaller apartment three years ago, I downsized quite a bit. Most of it felt good, but I missed some things almost as soon as I donated them. In thinking about this exercise, I know I would not be able to grab three things I’d sorely miss:
- A small wooden desk that just has so much life to it
- My coffee table that I shopped months for and finally found for $26 at an antique store
- A bookshelf I’ve had since I was a kid; I remember stacking my Golden Books on the shelves
But I have boxes and boxes of photos and letters and keepsakes. What of them would I grab? And an entire bookshelf of diaries, going back 17 years? Oh yeah, and clothes and toiletries. I may not even think of them in the heat of the moment.
I’m going to experiment with the Burning House Project and post something later this week. In the meantime, let me know what you’d grab!