When we made the decision to take this trip, one of the first things that came up was what are we going to do with all our STUFF while we traveled. We discussed putting our things in storage, but we are not really sure how long we will be gone, so that could become quite expensive. Also, one of the reasons we were able to save for this trip was that we did not invest in expensive things. Paying a monthly fee to store my parents 12 year old hand me down couch and our Cost Plus and Ikea furniture just seemed silly.
What has been surprising to me during this process is all the other STUFF you accumulate over your lifetime. I have come to the conclusion that we have an alarming amount of things we have not seen or used in years. We have been spending weekends opening bins from our last move five years ago and finding everything from dated old table cloths to High School year books. I am overwhelmed by the amount of things we have to deal with, like panic attack, I need to get out of the house overwhelmed……So I have started to ask myself a simple question, “What Would Tyler Durden do?”
You buy furniture. You tell yourself, this is the last sofa I will ever need in my life. Buy the sofa, then for a couple years you’re satisfied that no matter what goes wrong, at least you’ve got your sofa issue handled. Then the right set of dishes. Then the perfect bed. The drapes. The rug. Then you’re trapped in your lovely nest, and the things you used to own, now they own you.
— Fight Club
Ok, so I am sure Fight Club is not for everyone, and the fact that I am finding comfort in a movie where the main character blows up his Ikea filled apartment might make me strange, but I feel like the movie is anti-establishment, and doing something like quitting my job and selling all the things I have worked to buy is a paradigm shift. I need to find solace somewhere. And after I get over the initial “I swear I am going to wear that 18 year old sarong I bought in Greece when I was 21 moment,” putting the items into a sell or donate pile is empowering (even if it takes me 15 minutes to get there).
Last weekend we had our first big garage sale. I have learned two things from it. Most of the things we have accumulated have no value to others, and most of the people who go to garage sales are just lonely and want someone to talk to (or maybe we are just the lucky ones….) Actually, I learned three things, garage sales suck!
So what have I learned so far from all of this? I feel a giant relief from simplifying our lives. Looking into cabinets that are clutter free and only have the essentials is liberating, it really is. And even though it has not been an easy journey to get here and we still have a ton of stuff to get through before we leave, I have come to the point where I am comfortably saying “Everything Must Go….”
You are not your job, you’re not how much money you have in the bank. You are not the car you drive. You’re not the contents of your wallet. You are not your fucking khakis.
— Fight Club
Thanks Tyler, I needed that……