Book Review Books

Outer Order, Inner Calm by Gretchen Rubin

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If you’ve been around for a few years now you’ll know that I’ve been a fan of Gretchen Rubin’s books since I read The Happiness Project in 2015. I love the way she writes and everything she shares. 

I really loved Outer Order, Inner Calm. Gretchen goes through the different things we can do to create order in our lives. And once we have order in our outer world, our inner world becomes more calm and orderly as well. I definitely feel this in my own life. When our apartment is orderly and cleaned and organized I feel a lot less anxious than when I can’t see the counter in the kitchen or any of the floors (I feel like there’s no in-between in our house.)

The book starts out talking about how you need to declutter before you can actually organize. If you organize first, then you end up organizing things that you maybe don’t actually need. She talks about how you should keep things that you love, things that you need, and things that are necessary. I really like this.

At the beginning of the year, Tidying Up was a huge thing. Marie Kondo talks all about how you need to get rid of the things that don’t ‘spark joy’ while I like this idea, not everything that I use regularly sparks joy (like my stapler, I need it but it doesn’t really make me feel joy.) But I liked how in Outer Order, Inner Calm Gretchen Rubin acknowledges that we do need to keep things that we use regularly and are necessary in our lives. And that we should also keep things that give us joy.

Outer Order, Inner Calm is full of helpful tips for creating order.

Gretchen Rubin talks a lot about boosting happiness and one of the ways she finds that is through outer order. I really love that, and I definitely want to be better at organizing things and creating more visual order in our home.

I also really liked how Outer Order, Inner Calm had tons of tips and ideas and that it mentions how not everything/every tip will work for everyone. But we need to try and figure out what works for us, helping us create our best lives.

There isn’t a one size fits all solution to creating order, but there are tips and tools that we can all use to find what works in our own life!

Outer Order, Inner Calm was a quick read (listen) only 2.5 hours and it’s read by Gretchen herself if you want to listen to the audio! It was a fun read and inspired me to look at our apartment with fresh eyes and start seeing things that I can change and I’m excited to do that! I gave it 4/5 stars.

About Outer Order, Inner Calm

Bestselling author of The Four Tendencies and The Happiness Project Gretchen Rubin illuminates one of her key realizations about happiness: For most of us, outer order contributes to inner calm. In a new book packed with more than one hundred concrete ideas, she helps us create the order and organization that can make our lives happier, healthier, more productive, and more creative. 

In the context of a happy life, a messy desk or crowded coat closet is a trivial problem–yet Gretchen Rubin has found that getting control of the stuff of life makes us feel more in control of our lives generally. By getting rid of things we don’t use, don’t need, or don’t love, as well as things that don’t work, don’t fit, or don’t suit, we free our mind (and our shelves) for what we truly value. 

In this trim book filled with insights, strategies, and sometimes surprising tips, Gretchen tackles the key challenges of creating outer order, by explaining how to “Make Choices,” “Create Order,” “Know Yourself–and Others,” “Cultivate Helpful Habits,” and, of course, “Add Beauty.” 

When we get our possessions under control, we feel both calmer and more energetic. With a sense of humor, and also a clear sense of what’s realistic for most people, Gretchen suggests dozens of manageable steps for creating a more serene, orderly environment–one that helps us to create the lives we yearn for.

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