simpleliving

Fight Club – Was Tyler Durden a Minimalist?

If you’ve ever seen the movie Fight Club (which, I hope you have – if not, go watch it right away), then you’ve probably noticed a thing or two about Tyler Durden.

Warning: Spoiler Alert –

According the the Fight Club wiki fan page, “Tyler Durden is the Narrator’s split personality. He was created by the perfect storm of the Narrator’s insomnia-induced insanity and his frustration with a hollow life of wage-slavery and consumerism. He is the manifestation of the completely free person the Narrator wishes he could be.”

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Here are some quotes from Fight Club. I’ll let you decide if he was a minimalist.

  • The things you own end up owning you.
  • If you are reading this, then this warning is for you: Every word you read of this useless fine print is another second off your life. Don’t you have other things to do? Is your life so empty that you honestly can’t think of a better way to spend these moments? Or are you so impressed with authority that you give respect and credence to all that claim it? Do you read everything you’re supposed to read? Do you think everything you’re supposed to think? Buy what you’re told to want? Get out of your apartment. Meet a member of the opposite sex. Stop the excessive shopping and masturbation. Quit your job. Start a fight. Prove you’re alive. If you don’t claim your humanity, you will become a statistic. You have been warned.
  • It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything.
  • You’re not your job. You’re not how much money you have in the bank. You’re not the car you drive. You’re not the contents of your wallet. You’re not your fucking khakis. You’re the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world.
  • Fuck off with your sofa units and strine green stripe patterns. I say never be complete, I say stop being perfect, I say let’s evolve—let the chips fall where they may.
  • Reject the basic assumptions of civilization—especially the importance of material possessions.
  • The liberator who destroyed my property has realigned my perceptions.
  • Do you know what a duvet is? It’s a blanket. Just a blanket. Now why do guys like you and me know what a duvet is? Is this essential to our survival, in the hunter-gatherer sense of the word? No. What are we then? We are consumers. We’re the byproducts of a lifestyle obsession.
  • Man, I see in Fight Club the strongest and smartest men who’ve ever lived. I see all this potential, and I see squandering. Goddammit, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables—slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need. We’re the middle children of history, man: No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War’s a spiritual war; our Great Depression is our lives. We’ve all been raised on television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won’t. And we’re slowly learning that fact. And we’re very, very pissed off.
  • We’re consumers. We are the byproducts of a lifestyle obsession. Murder, crime, poverty—these things don’t concern me. What concerns me are celebrity magazines, television with 500 channels, some guy’s name on my underwear. Rogaine, Viagra, Olestra…fuck Martha Stewart. Martha’s polishing the brass on the Titanic. It’s all going down, man. So fuck off with your sofa units and strine green stripe patterns.
  • What do you want? Wanna go back to the shit job, fucking condo world, watching sitcoms? Fuck you—I won’t do it.
  • Explaining consumerism: We are all part of the same compost heap.
  • A metaphor for the modern consumer-driven lifestyle: How embarrassing—a house full of condiments and no food.
  • Hitting bottom isn’t a weekend retreat. It’s not a goddamn seminar. Stop trying to control everything, and just let go! LET GO!
  • Only after disaster can we be resurrected.

 

We should all learn something here and start ridding ourselves of corporate, consumerism, and cultural influences that control our lives. “Our lives are ending one minute at a time.” Do what makes you happy. Don’t let third parties dictate what we want and feel. Be you, not your things.

 

 

What is a Packing Party?

If you’re unsure what to keep and what to donate/toss try having a Packing Party!

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What is a Packing Party, you say? Well, keep reading.

The basic idea is to invite some friends over, have some snacks, listen to music, maybe drink a little wine (this is the party part) and pack everything you own into boxes. Obviously, this isn’t for those not ready to jump in completely because it will take some time and effort. However, this is perfect for those who have already downsized and bit and want to declutter even more but do not know how to do so.

You should probably warn you friends beforehand that they will be helping pack your entire life into boxes during the party, but most good friends won’t mind giving you a hand.

Once everything you own is packed (organize and label these boxes- it will make your life much easier) over the next 3 to 4 weeks (or longer, depending how quick you want to do this) you will take out things as you use them. For example, the very first night you will probably pull out your toothbrush, bed, couch, bedding, pajamas, etc. Once you have taken something out of the box and used it, place it where it belongs in your home.

The Minimalists created the idea of a Packing Party. Here is an excerpt from their blog on the topic:

“You see, I didn’t want to spend months slowly paring down my possessions like Josh had. That was fine for him, but I needed faster results. So we came up with a crazy idea: let’s throw a Packing Party. (Everything is more fun when you put “party” at the end.) We decided to pack all my belongings as if I were moving. And then I would unpack only the items I needed over the next three weeks.

Josh came over and helped me box up everything: my clothes, my kitchenware, my towels, my electronics, my TVs, my framed photographs and paintings, my toiletries, even my furniture. Everything. We literally pretended I was moving.

After nine hours and a couple pizza deliveries, everything was packed. There we were, sitting in my second living room, feeling exhausted, staring at boxes stacked halfway to my twelve-foot ceiling. My condo was empty and everything smelled like cardboard. Everything I owned—every single thing I had worked for over the past decade—was there in that room. Boxes stacked on top of boxes stacked on top of boxes.

Each box was labeled so I’d know where to go when I needed a particular item. Labels like, “living room,” “junk drawer #1,” “kitchen utensils,” “bedroom closet,” “junk drawer #7.” So forth and so on.

I spent the next twenty-one days unpacking only the items I needed. My toothbrush. My bed and bedsheets. Clothes for work. The furniture I actually used. Kitchenware. A tool set. Just the things that added value to my life.

After three weeks, 80% of my stuff was still in those boxes. Just sitting there. Unaccessed. I looked at those boxes and couldn’t even remember what was in most of them. All those things that were supposed to make me happy weren’t doing their job.

So I donated and sold all of it.

And you know what? I started to feel rich for the first time in my life. I felt rich once I got everything out of the way, so I could make room for everything that remains.”

You can read the entire article here.

  • If packing up your entire apartment or house seems too overwhelming, which it will to those who have quite a bit they’re wanting to downsize, then I suggest to try doing a packing party with individual rooms. For example, do your bedroom and write on the calendar when it’s been 4 weeks so you’ll know your deadline. You can pack up more rooms within those next few weeks or literally just do one at a time and wait until the 3 or 4 weeks is up before starting on another room. This is the easiest way to do the Packing Party. But, I wanted to give you all the backstory of the Packing Party, especially for those who are ready for that big change and don’t want to wait.

I hope this has inspired you. If you have done something similar to downsize your own items, how did you do it?

 

 

Minimalism: A Documentary

If you’ve been into minimalism for a while then you probably already know about The Minimalists. Two amazing guys who travel the world sharing their stories on how, and why, they gave up their six-figure careers, fancy cars, and large houses. They were reaching the age of 30 and realizing that their material possessions weren’t making them happy. They had a void in their life and didn’t realize why. They do now. They are probably THE most inspiring group of minimalists that I’ve come across on my journey.

You can read about them and their stories here.

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But, I’m getting a little off topic. The purpose of this post was to introduce you to their documentary, “Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things.” Lucky for us, their film can be seen on Netflix. Sure, not everyone has Netflix but I’m sure everyone knows at least one person who does that may let them use their account for a night. If not, you can find the documentary online, including renting it on Amazon.

You can watch the trailer here.

“How might your life be better with less? MINIMALISM: A DOCUMENTARY ABOUT THE IMPORTANT THINGS examines the many flavors of minimalism by taking the audience inside the lives of minimalists from all walks of life—families, entrepreneurs, architects, artists, journalists, scientists, and even a former Wall Street broker—all of whom are striving to live a meaningful life with less.”

If you haven’t seen the documentary — it is a MUST WATCH.

If you are inspired by what you see and don’t know where to begin your own journey, you should check out my post about the 30 Bags in 30 Days Challenge.

Also, be sure to check out The Minimalists website. They have several YouTube videos and even a Podcast called, The Minimalists, that you can find on any Podcast site/app. If you have a job that you can listen to headphones at, my suggestion is to start at the beginning of their podcast and just listen through them. However, they are also named so if you’re only interested on minimalism with children, their stories, advice on letting go of sentimental items, then you can pick and choose based on your preference.

I hope you find The Minimalists to be just as inspiring as I have!