By Amanda Gordon
We’re often encouraged to collect memories not things, but did you know the two are very often interlinked? We asked Clinical Psychologist Amanda Gordon to explain why we become so attached to our possessions, and the impact of losing things we value.
Ever experienced that sinking feeling when you think you’ve lost your phone, only to be overcome with relief when you find it buried deep inside your bag? Or been about to throw away an old item of clothing from your wardrobe before rescuing it at the last minute and returning it to its hanger?
These emotions may be fleeting, but they can give us some appreciation of just how important our possessions are to us.
It’s all about the memories
Even though an old dress/suit/onesie we haven’t worn for five years (and probably never will again!) has little material value, it’s infused with memories of the event we wore it to, and how we felt that day. And while our phones are easily replaceable, the contacts, photos and notes we’ve stored on it are often not.
Psychologically, our possessions become an extension of us. They give us a sense of who we are, and being around them makes us feel safe. Whether it’s a dining table we’ve had for years, a souvenir from our trip to Paris, or even the home we live in, all of these are a symbol of security, familiarity, and a life well lived.
Making new connections
There’s no doubt we grieve following the loss of a loved one, but we can also grieve the loss of things. That’s why it’s so important to protect things that mean so much to us – understanding which items we value and why, storing them correctly, and insuring them appropriately.
And if something you value has already been lost, damaged or stolen? Recording your memory in another way – such as literally writing down ‘I used to have a watch that was passed down to me from my grandmother’ – could help to transfer the emotional connection and mitigate your loss.
So, next time you’re struggling to de-clutter at home, take a photo of your item or write it down. You may find it makes the process of parting with your possessions that little bit easier.
Amanda’s 5 steps to peace of mind
With the emotional connection we have to our treasured possessions making them both valuable and irreplaceable, we asked Amanda how can we keep them, and our memories, safe.
- Understand what’s important to you
Valuable things are not always the most expensive – or the most obvious. So do the ‘fire test’ and consider what five items you would absolutely save from your house if you had to flee quickly.
- Stay organised
Now you’ve identified your important possessions, take steps to keep them safe. Remember where they’re located, and make sure they’re easily accessible in case you need to get to them quickly.
- Protect your memories
Take pre-emptive steps to protect your memories by taking photos of your important items, for safe-keeping.
- Back up your devices
Our laptops and mobile devices are more than just practical items – they’re often a hub for our memories too. Back up your hard drive regularly and make sure you keep copies of photos, videos, contacts and important documents elsewhere.
- Take out home and contents insurance
While we don’t like to contemplate losing our home or treasured possessions, taking out insurance not only helps protect us financially, it helps us better cope emotionally in the event we do unfortunately lose something important – because we feel secure in the knowledge that we did all we could to safeguard our belongings.
How safeguarded are your things?
If Amanda’s insights on emotional and financial security strike a chord, start today on her 5 steps to peace of mind and take a look at our current saving on ING DIRECT Home and Contents Insurance – you could save up to 30% online.
Home and Contents insurance ING DIRECT Home and Contents Insurance is issued by Auto & General Insurance Company Limited (AGIC) ABN 42 111 586 353 AFS Licence No 285571 as insurer. It is distributed by Auto & General Services Pty Ltd (AGS) ABN 61 003 617 909 AFSL 241411 and by ING Bank (Australia) Limited ABN 24 000 893 292 (ING DIRECT) as an Authorised Representative AR 1247634 of AGS. ING DIRECT is a division of ING Bank (Australia) Ltd. An ING DIRECT Home and Contents Insurance policy does not represent a deposit with or liability of, and is not guaranteed or otherwise supported by, ING Bank (Australia) Ltd or any of its related bodies corporate.
This is general information only, and does not take into account your particular financial situation or needs. You should consider your personal objectives, financial situation along with the Key Fact Sheet (Home and Contents) and Product Disclosure Statement (Part A and Part B) before deciding to purchase or hold this product.
ING DIRECT will receive a commission from AGS for each policy purchased which is a percentage of your premium. For further details see our Financial Services Guide.
The price we quote is at the insurer’s sole and unrestricted discretion. It is based on the profile of the risk to be covered and any other factors the insurer may choose. These factors may change at any time without notice, as may the prices. If the policy renews, the price may exceed the price paid for the previous policy.
Discounts apply to the premium paid for a new ING DIRECT Insurance policy initiated online on or after 30 March 2017 for approved applicants only. The discount applies accordingly: 30% discount on combined Home & Contents Insurance, 15% for Home only or Contents only policies. We reserve the right to change the offer without notice. Base rate premiums are subject to change. The discount does not apply to any renewal offer of insurance. The discount offer applies only to the premium for an insurance product. It does not apply to the fees that we may charge you, (these are described in our Financial Services Guide). You will be responsible for all applicable GST and other statutory charges. Home and Contents Insurance is not available in NT, North QLD and Northern WA.
The information is current as at publication. Any advice on this website does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs and you should consider whether it is appropriate for you. Deposit products, savings products, credit card and home loan products are issued by ING, a business name of ING Bank (Australia) Limited ABN 24 000 893 292, AFSL and Australian Credit Licence 229823. ING Living Super (which is part of the ING Superannuation Fund ABN 13 355 603 448) is issued by Diversa Trustees Limited ABN 49 006 421 638, AFSL 235153 RSE L0000635. The insurance cover offered by ING Living Super is provided by Metlife Insurance Limited ABN 75 004 274 882, AFSL 238096. ING Insurance is issued by Auto & General Insurance Company Limited (AGIC) ABN 42 111 586 353 AFSL Licence No 285571 as insurer. It is distributed by Auto & General Services Pty Ltd (AGS) ABN 61 003 617 909 AFSL 241411 and by ING as an Authorised Representative AR 1247634 of AGS. All applications for credit are subject to ING's credit approval criteria, and fees and charges apply. You should consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement, Terms and Conditions, Fees and Limits Schedule, Financial Services Guide, Key Facts Sheet and Credit Guide available at ing.com.au when deciding whether to acquire, or to continue to hold, a product. Before interacting with us via our social media platforms, please take a minute to familiarise yourself with our Social Media User Terms https://www.ing.com.au/pdf/Social_Media_User_Terms.pdf.