The meaning of home
The meaning of home

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The meaning of home

1.2.2 A place for possessions

Figure 1.1
Home decorating!

One of the ways homes come to reflect something of the individual is through the things within them. This personalisation of space, as it is called, is something we all do, though it is done differently in different societies and cultures. Yet many people living in care settings do not have the opportunity to make the environment their own, and moving between places can mean that possessions get lost on the way. We will come back to this issue of loss later on in the course. First, let's think a bit more about how our attachment to place is reflected in the possessions which surround us.

Activity 2: ‘Which eight things would you take with you?’

The radio programme ‘Desert Island Discs’ asks people to choose which eight records they would take with them to a desert island. I don't want you to think about a desert island, but if you were to move to a place where you could only take a few possessions to make it your own, what would they be, and why? You don't have to come up with eight things but make a note of some items.


One of our course testers thought of these things:

  • pictures of the family to remind me of people

  • a personal stereo and tapes

  • a clock that belonged to my grandfather

  • as many books as I could manage

  • a collection of little china houses that I've built up over the years - just because they remind me of places

  • a quilt which I'm still making.

The things on your list probably say something about the people in your life, your interests, places you have been and would like to remember - all things which say something about you and who you are. The importance of making a statement about who you are continues throughout life and occurs in the workplace as well as the home.


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