Helping you achieve a clutter free home and life
Helping you achieve a clutter free home and life
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The Stuff Doesn't Matter as Much as You May Think...

Rochelle Sudfelt

firefighters fighting house fire

It was Monday 9 January 2017. Just 15 days ago, on Christmas Day, I had given birth to our second child – Arya. It’s 8am and we had very little sleep due to violent winds outside not to mention having a new born in the house. My husband Brett was late getting off to work. As he walked down the hall to say goodbye to Arya and I, who were in bed still, he heard a strange sound. He walked into our 3 year old's bedroom and tuned back saying in the most calm voice “The house is on fire” I put the baby down on the bed, somehow thinking I was going to put a house fire out. Brett looked at me and said “no, we have to go” So I picked up the baby, walked into the lounge to find Peyton watching tv. I said to her “something bad is happening and we have to go and get in the car” I took her hand and walked out of our burning home. We ushered the pets out and got in the car. Brett removed the gas cylinders and helped the farmer put out grass fires while I sat in the driveway watching the black smoke and flames take our 100 year old villa and everything, we had worked so hard for.

That Christmas, Brett and I shared a $5 box of Cadbury favourites because we couldn’t afford presents for each other. But our insurance was paid and up to date. Our Friends, Family and Community supported us in way that I did not feel worthy of being loved or supported. The stuff in our home did not matter at all! We got out safe, well most of us. I lost my Chihuahua mini foxy in the fire, she went back into the house via the cat door – it still hurts today. In terms of physical possessions, I struggled with the loss of a knitted shawl and my wedding photos. My aunty knitted a shawl the same for Imogen, our third child and just last month (July) I recovered our wedding photos off my father in laws computer – ecstatic is an understatement. My brother was living with us at the time and was moving out the very next day – on his birthday. He lost all his belongings too.

Over the years we have set ourselves up again, healed from the trauma and are working on being homeowners again this year. The house fire was part of our experience and it allows me to share and educate others. When I walk into a home doing a consultation with a prospective client - the first thing I look for is "can this person and their family, get out of this home quickly and easily, if anything were to happen here?"
Here are 3 tips to consider for managing a house fire or other disaster.
1. Have house and/or contents Insurance – this also helped pay for birth certificates and marriage licenses. So don’t give into the “fireproof box gimmicks” Also, I recommend turfing your silicone bakeware! Our fireplace melted in the heat of the fire – our bakeware could have gone straight in the dishwasher and been fine. That makes me uncomfortable!!
2. Scan and upload to the cloud receipts for major purchases – this will help with your insurance claim. Take Photos of your home, rooms and items.
3. Keep entryways clear of clutter at all times! – Get out safe.

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