Thankfully, it wasnít my house, but it was a wakeup call in prioritising what matters most to me.
You hear of tragic circumstances where valuable items are stolen from people's property with great financial and sentimental value. My heart also breaks for families who are victims of bushfire or arson where all their belongings are incinerated in minutes. The particularly difficult stories, where even though lives were spared, are when irreplaceable photographs, letters and uniquely personal items are lost forever.
A neighbour on our street recently had his grandfather's war medals stolen and another acquaintance lost the only photographs of her deceased father in a house fire, meaning all she has left are memories of him.
These recent incidences gave me cause to reflect on my personal treasures and to look around my house to work out what would be painful for me to lose? In doing so, I have come up with some practical tips to share in order to cover yourself:
1. Get home and contents insurance.
I find this seems awfully practical in the face of emotional circumstances, but replacing your functional needs and having funds to replicate or replace expensive personal items will certainly ease the pain. I think of this in regards to our technology and my wedding rings, and a couple of items of precious jewellery (although their sentimental value is priceless).
2. Update security measures around your home.
Lock up properly and make sure all possible entrances have suitable locks and screens. Depending on your budget or inclination, consider an alarm or camera monitoring system. Ensure you have smoke detectors and check the battery regularly.
3. Get a mini safe.
I considered this in my anger at the recent neighbourhood break-in. I say a mini safe because there arenít that many things in my house that I would consider precious enough to lock up but something to think about.
4. Consider engraving.
This acts as a deterrent to robbers, as well as a great way to identify and track them should anyone be silly enough to list them for resale. You can engrave jewellery, laptops, bicycles, cameras etc. Keep a photo of the item and the engraving filed somewhere for easy access should the Crime Scene Investigation Unit have to pay you a visit.
5. Scan your personal items and save them to the Cloud.
You should also work out how to retrieve them if the tech item is stolen or lost. These days, most of our photographs and data on our phone or laptop can be back up on the Cloud and thankfully, that is where all the treasured images of my children are stored.
But what about your childhood photographs, videos, cards and letters from parents or grandparents or your children's art? This is on my absolutely must do list with my childhood photos at my parent's house and has been for a while. These are highly unlikely to be stolen, but their potential for damage and even ageing has me looking into a long scanning session in the weeks to come to permanently store these precious memories.
It's never a bad time to take stock and prioritise your belongings, simplifying what matters most to you and your family. Perhaps ask your partner if there are items that should be on the list and think about your childhood memories at your parents or grandparents house too. Take some time to clarify your valuable possessions and minimise the risk of loss to you and your family.