Before Gary Collins left a bureaucratic government job to pursue a more independent existence off the grid, he had to work on downsizing and decluttering his life. The lessons he learned in ultimately achieving that aim apply to everyone — even those with no plans to leave civilization — who would like to lead a simpler life.

Gary shares those lessons in his book The Simple Life Guide to Decluttering Your Life, and with us today on the show. We begin with why it’s so easy to get caught up in the consumerism-driven “cult of clutter,” how the clutter it generates extends far past a person’s tangible stuff, and the cost it exacts from our lives in both financial and psychological terms. Gary then explains how to simplify and declutter every aspect of your life — the material, of course, but also the technological, informational, and even social. Along the way, this self-described “redneck hippie” offers no-nonsense advice that refreshingly departs from the kind of soft glow, artfully arranged, white background pictures of minimalism you might find on Instagram. Because Gary’s not on Instagram. That would be clutter.

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Show Highlights

  • The cult of clutter
  • What aspects of our lives are cluttered?
  • What’s are the financial and psychological costs of this cult of clutter?
  • What is it so hard for us to get rid of our stuff?
  • Why health is one of the pillars of a good life, and how our health gets cluttered 
  • The difficulty of changing long-ingrained cultural habits 
  • What does it take to declutter your financial life?
  • Why you’re more likely than not to lose money on your house 
  • What does a cluttered social life look like? How has social media made it worse?
  • Fighting information overload 
  • Strategies for getting rid of your stuff

Resources/Articles/People Mentioned in Podcast

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The Simple Life

The Simple Life podcast

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The post Podcast #699: The No-Nonsense Guide to Simplifying Every Aspect of Your Life appeared first on The Art of Manliness.



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