Even though we live about six miles east (as the crow flies - you couldn't drive that short a distance) and it wasn't terribly likely that the fire would make it that far, I also decided I wasn't going to be foolish enough to think that it was totally impossible. I felt that getting a few important things together would probably be a good idea, even though I'd most likely return them all to their regular homes before long. I'd rather be prepared and not need it than the other way around, I decided.
It's interesting when you start considering what would really matter to you if you had to leave your house with no knowledge of whether or not you'd get to return. Most of us have quite a bit of stuff, much of which we really like and want to keep. But when you view your stuff through the eyes of what you would take if you had to leave on a moment's notice, it's amazing how much really doesn't matter that much. One news station here listed it succinctly with 5 Ps:
Of course there are memorabilia and heirlooms that some people will take with them. But when I was gathering items together, those five pretty much covered it.
Now, when the somewhat-less-than-immediate danger to us has passed, it makes me stop and really think about all this stuff. I've been in a pretty good de-cluttering mode in recent years, but now it seems that even more of it is not that important. It just takes up space - physical space in our home and mental space as I think about it, organize and store it, maintain it, move it around, and wonder if I should keep it. I think it's time to shift the de-cluttering into high gear. While I don't care to have to start all over, I do think that living lighter is a great idea.