Outer Order, Inner Calm Book Summary - Outer Order, Inner Calm Book explained in key points
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Outer Order, Inner Calm summary

Gretchen Rubin

Declutter and Organize to Make More Room for Happiness

4.2 (241 ratings)
16 mins

Brief summary

'Outer Order, Inner Calm' by Gretchen Rubin is a guide to decluttering your space and finding inner peace. With practical tips and real-life examples, this book helps turn chaos into calm and free up mental space for more joyful living.

Table of Contents

    Outer Order, Inner Calm
    Summary of 6 key ideas

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    Key idea 1 of 6

    Taking control of our possessions helps us to take stock and reflect on the rest of our lives.

    Many of us struggle to keep an orderly home or workspace. What’s the big deal, we tell ourselves, if things are a little messy? Unfortunately, in truth, the tidiness of your external surroundings can have a bigger impact on your inner peace than you might think. In other words, your overflowing desk drawers and jumbled wardrobe are not a trivial issue. They’re getting in the way of your happiness.

    Importantly, clearing up our stuff and taking control of our possessions can give us a sense of control in other areas of life. Just consider the author’s friend, who once remarked that when she eventually cleaned and organized her fridge, she finally realized that she could change her career as well.

    What’s the connection between your fridge and your work life? It all comes down to the promise of new possibilities.

    When the food in our refrigerator or the dirty clothes in our laundry basket start to accumulate, we feel a creeping sense of paralysis. Working ourselves free of the mess we’ve created can start to feel like an insurmountable task. So we freeze up and get stuck in a trapped frame of mind.

    But when we finally shift all that clutter or throw out all that old food, our sense of hopelessness will be replaced by a feeling of renewal. And we’ll start thinking about the future again: what do we want to buy, and what sort of lifestyle do we want? This is what happened to the author’s friend. As she was throwing out old mayonnaise and jam jars, removing stains and carefully arranging her condiments, she saw that there was a possibility for her to change her working environment too.

    Crucially, getting your external world in order also means prioritizing the here and now, as well as looking to the future. Once you’re no longer crowding your house with those giant stuffed toys your children played with as babies, you’ll be able to reflect on your family as it is right now, not as it was several years ago.

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    Key ideas in Outer Order, Inner Calm

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    What is Outer Order, Inner Calm about?

    Outer Order, Inner Calm (2019) explains how you can declutter your home and keep it neat and beautiful. Exploring the reasons why orderly surroundings are so important for our wellbeing, these blinks offer practical tips and advice on how to overcome messiness for good.

    Outer Order, Inner Calm Review

    Outer Order, Inner Calm (2019) by Gretchen Rubin is a book that explores the connection between our surroundings and our sense of inner calm, inviting readers to create an organized and serene environment. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • With its practical tips and strategies, the book empowers readers to declutter and organize their spaces, leading to a more peaceful and harmonious life.
    • Drawing from personal experiences and research, Rubin provides relatable stories and insights, making the book relatable, informative, and engaging.
    • The book's emphasis on simplicity and the understanding that outer order contributes to inner calm make it a compelling and inspiring read.

    Best quote from Outer Order, Inner Calm

    I keep a few precious mementos from the old days, but most of my space is devoted to whats important now.

    —Gretchen Rubin
    example alt text

    Who should read Outer Order, Inner Calm?

    • Anyone wanting to take back control of their life
    • Neat freaks looking for new tips
    • Homeowners hoping to organize their homes better

    About the Author

    Gretchen Rubin is an American author and blogger. Rubin’s writing focuses on habits and happiness, and her books Better Than Before, Happier at Home, and The Happiness Project were New York Times best-sellers. Rubin has sold over two million books worldwide, and her work has been translated into more than 30 languages.

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    Outer Order, Inner Calm FAQs 

    What is the main message of Outer Order, Inner Calm?

    The main message of Outer Order, Inner Calm is that decluttering and organizing our physical spaces can bring us inner peace and clarity.

    How long does it take to read Outer Order, Inner Calm?

    The reading time for Outer Order, Inner Calm varies based on the reader's pace. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Outer Order, Inner Calm a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Outer Order, Inner Calm is worth reading as it offers practical insights and tips to improve our surroundings and cultivate inner calm.

    Who is the author of Outer Order, Inner Calm?

    The author of Outer Order, Inner Calm is Gretchen Rubin.

    What to read after Outer Order, Inner Calm?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Outer Order, Inner Calm, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry by John Mark Comer
    • Let It Go by Peter Walsh
    • In Praise of Slowness by Carl Honoré
    • Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin
    • The Joy of Less by Francine Jay
    • The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down by Haemin Sunim
    • Love People, Use Things by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus
    • Live No Lies by John Mark Comer
    • The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
    • Beyond Tidy by Annmarie Brogan and Marie Limpert