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Outer Order, Inner Calm

Declutter and Organize to Make More Room for Happiness

By Gretchen Rubin
12-minute read
Audio available
Outer Order, Inner Calm: Declutter and Organize to Make More Room for Happiness by Gretchen Rubin

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.

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

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

Declutter and Organize to Make More Room for Happiness

By Gretchen Rubin
  • Read in 12 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 7 key ideas
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Outer Order, Inner Calm: Declutter and Organize to Make More Room for Happiness by Gretchen Rubin
Synopsis

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.

Key idea 1 of 7

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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