Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Outer Order, Inner Calm by Gretchen Rubin

Outer Order, Inner Calm: Declutter and Organize to Make More Room for Happiness by Gretchen Rubin
Read by Gretchen Rubin
Published March 2019 by Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony/Rodale
Source: audiobook checked out from my local library

Publisher's Summary:
Gretchen Rubin knows firsthand that creating order can make our lives happier, healthier, more productive, and more creative. But for most of us, a rigid, one-size-fits-all solution doesn't work. When we tailor our approach to suit our own particular challenges and habits, we can find inner calm.

With a sense of fun, and a clear idea of what’s realistic for most people, Rubin suggests dozens of manageable tips and tricks for creating a more serene, orderly environment, including:

• Never label anything “miscellaneous.”
• Ask yourself, “Do I need more than one?”
• Don’t aim for minimalism.
• Remember: If you can’t retrieve it, you won’t use it.
• Stay current with a child’s interests.
• Beware the urge to “procrasticlear.”

By getting rid of things we don’t use, don’t need, or don’t love, we free our minds (and our shelves) for what we truly value.

My Thoughts:
Let's be honest, you don't really need to read my review to know, if you read my Sunday posts regularly, that this was a book that was perfect for me. I'm forever talking about how much better I feel when I've decluttered a closet or made a drop off at my local Goodwill. Which might also beg the question, why did I even bother to read this book given that I'm already on board?

Well, to begin with, every book I read about decluttering brings me fresh ideas and the inspiration to dig back in to all of our "stuff." Different people bring different approaches - Marie Kondo believes that her method will work for everyone and has some very definite ideas about how things must be done. Rubin, on the other hand, believes that there is no one-size-fits-all solution for anything, including decluttering. Instead she offers a wide variety of ideas that can be tailored to the way that you live, learn, and are most productive.

The reason to work toward achieving outer order is essentially the same no matter what approach you use. According to Rubin:
"Outer order saves time, money, space, energy, and patience."
Further, she does offer this "golden rule" that is the one thing she says will help everyone.
"Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful." 
Now that's a rule I think we can all strive for; at least we're not holding up our toilet plungers asking ourselves if they bring us joy.

To be honest, there was a lot here that was not new to me since I listen to Rubin's Happier podcast. Still, I'm seriously considering picking up this book in print. I recently confessed to my friends, who know me to be a person who loves to clear things out, that I have a hard time getting rid my kids thing. In this book, I may have found the push I need to, at the very least, vastly reduce what I've kept. But I feel like I need the book at hand to remind me to do that. On the other hand, Rubin does tell readers to ask themselves if they need more than one. And you know that I already have a half dozen organizing books sitting on my bookshelves collecting dust. The struggle is real people, which is why I'm always looking for new inspiration!

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