Outer Order, Inner Calm

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

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Title:Outer Order, Inner Calm
Author:Gretchen Rubin
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Edition Language:English

Outer Order, Inner Calm Reviews

  • etherealfire

    I received this ARC in a Goodreads Giveaway. Gretchen Rubin's books always fill me with joy and delicious possibility. This slim volume is the perfect inspiration for the new year! Clear, concise and yet pure fun with quick, easy, cheerful little chapters of tips for finding your personal clutter-tolerance level and streamlining your spaces as it meets your personal needs and desires. I had my first "hour of power" for the new year and I'm looking forward to going through the checklists and impl

    I received this ARC in a Goodreads Giveaway. Gretchen Rubin's books always fill me with joy and delicious possibility. This slim volume is the perfect inspiration for the new year! Clear, concise and yet pure fun with quick, easy, cheerful little chapters of tips for finding your personal clutter-tolerance level and streamlining your spaces as it meets your personal needs and desires. I had my first "hour of power" for the new year and I'm looking forward to going through the checklists and implementing more going forward!

  • Julie

    Gretchen Rubin drew me close right away, as if she were there in my living room talking with me. I remained in her thrall, as I gobbled this book up! In fact, I need to buy this book, so that I can refer to it again at my leisure and apply it to my daily life and pattern of storing things neatly in containers rather than dealing with them.

    In the first section about making choices Rubin includes 25 possible explanations of why we might want to keep an item. One explanation jumped off the page, "

    Gretchen Rubin drew me close right away, as if she were there in my living room talking with me. I remained in her thrall, as I gobbled this book up! In fact, I need to buy this book, so that I can refer to it again at my leisure and apply it to my daily life and pattern of storing things neatly in containers rather than dealing with them.

    In the first section about making choices Rubin includes 25 possible explanations of why we might want to keep an item. One explanation jumped off the page, "I never had this thing as a child, so I want to have it as an adult." This is a good illustration of what I think the author does so well, which is to bring our attention to our emotional attachment to things, so that we can make a better reasoned and accepted decision, rather than a rash, or unexplored one.

    I loved the way Rubin ignited my interest and enthusiasm and then gave me options that were practical and achievable for creating an environment of "outer order inner calm."

  • Rebecca

    What with all the debate over Marie Kondo’s clutter-reducing tactics, the timing is perfect for this practical guide to culling and/or organizing all the stuff that piles up around us at home and at work. Unlike the rest of Rubin’s self-help books, this is not written as a narrative but as a set of tips – 150 of them! That means it’s not so much a book to read straight through as one to keep at your bedside or on your desk and read a few pages of – whether in sequence or at random – to sum

    What with all the debate over Marie Kondo’s clutter-reducing tactics, the timing is perfect for this practical guide to culling and/or organizing all the stuff that piles up around us at home and at work. Unlike the rest of Rubin’s self-help books, this is not written as a narrative but as a set of tips – 150 of them! That means it’s not so much a book to read straight through as one to keep at your bedside or on your desk and read a few pages of – whether in sequence or at random – to summon up motivation for the next tidying challenge.

    Famously, Kondo advises one to ask whether an item sparks joy. Rubin’s central question is in three parts, and a little more down-to-earth: Do I need it? Do I love it? Do I use it? She’s also, I suspect, much less ruthless than Kondo in that she understands that we attach emotional meaning to our belongings. But that doesn’t mean we need to hold onto all our childhood finger paintings or college T-shirts; just keep one of each. We can still buy holiday souvenirs, but make sure they’re small and easy to display, like Christmas ornaments.

    Although the book is divided into five sections, the advice seems in something of a random order and can be slightly repetitive (making the same point in a different way, a corollary of another tip, etc.). With no index, I feel like it’s a bit difficult to navigate; any time I want to find my way back to a certain section, I’ll just have to flip through until I find it. But since this is really meant as a book of inspiration, I still think it will be a useful jumping-off point for anyone who’s trying to get on top of clutter. It’s been put together attractively, with lots of illustrations by Jon McNaught and various pages of quotations, bullet points or aphorisms.

    Here are a few pieces of advice that stood out for me:

    • Be selective about what you acquire in the first place: “If you never possess an item, you don’t have to store it, dust it, find it, or figure out how to give it away.”

    • Deal with all those half-finished projects: “The easiest way to complete a project is to abandon it.”

    • It’s easy to neglect certain rooms or corners: “Make sure that no area in your home smells bad, feels dirty, or seems abandoned.” Then your whole house will feel usable.

    • Don’t nag other people about their clutter (always a challenge for me in dealing with my husband). Instead, let your tidying set an example: “people often get inspired to clean up their own areas when they see other areas getting cleared.”

    • A few time challenges: never put off any task that takes a minute or less to complete (e.g. hanging up your clothes); finish every (work) day with 10 minutes of tidying; and each week schedule a “power hour” where you achieve all the cleaning and organizing you’ve been meaning to do.

    I also plan to go through her closet checklist before I pass on this book to my sister – who’s still dealing with a whole basement full of extra stuff after she and her second husband merged their households and families. Since I work from home I tend to wear just the same few sets of very casual clothing all the time, so there are a lot of unworn items in my closet and in our spillover wardrobe, including lots of dress/work clothes I haven’t found occasion to wear in years.

    If I could add one page/spread to the book, it would be a flowchart of what to do with unwanted stuff that corresponds to the latest green recommendations, i.e., refuse, rehome, repurpose, reuse and recycle, all before the last resort of putting something in the trash. A phrase like “get rid of” is too open-ended because a lot of people, through ignorance, laziness or lack of imagination, will simply throw a thing away rather than get it to someone who will use it.

  • Michelle

    Looking forward to this one. Will it be a little too much like KonMarie and others who’ve gone before? Hope not - here’s to Gretchen bringing a fresh take to things. I’m hopeful that she will address this from the Four Tendencies perspective; I’d like to learn how to use my Rebel-self for good in this space.

  • Elizabeth

    Let me start by saying I’m a huge fan of Gretchen Rubin. I’ve read all her books on happiness and habits, I listen to her podcast and I follow her on social media. While this book is full of tips to understand and deal with clutter, I felt like I’d heard it all previously, either from her books or podcasts. I’m disappointed there wasn’t more original content. I also felt it was somewhat superficial, and lacking the deep research she normally provides in her books. Book would be best for someone

    Let me start by saying I’m a huge fan of Gretchen Rubin. I’ve read all her books on happiness and habits, I listen to her podcast and I follow her on social media. While this book is full of tips to understand and deal with clutter, I felt like I’d heard it all previously, either from her books or podcasts. I’m disappointed there wasn’t more original content. I also felt it was somewhat superficial, and lacking the deep research she normally provides in her books. Book would be best for someone new to Gretchen Rubin.

  • Diane

    Gretchen Rubin has jumped on the decluttering bandwagon. "Outer Order, Inner Calm" is an inspiring collection of tips and tricks for getting rid of unnecessary things, with the goal of making your home/office a happier place to be.

    This book is a fast read — I think I read it in less than an hour — with some good advice about how to finally let go of stuff you don't need any more. A lot of these tips I've seen elsewhere (Rubin does reference Marie Kondo's bestselling books about only keeping ite

    Gretchen Rubin has jumped on the decluttering bandwagon. "Outer Order, Inner Calm" is an inspiring collection of tips and tricks for getting rid of unnecessary things, with the goal of making your home/office a happier place to be.

    This book is a fast read — I think I read it in less than an hour — with some good advice about how to finally let go of stuff you don't need any more. A lot of these tips I've seen elsewhere (Rubin does reference Marie Kondo's bestselling books about only keeping items that spark joy for you) but it's always good to be reminded about the benefits of decluttering. Recommended.

  • Christy

    The last thing I really needed in my life was an organizing/clutter clearing book, but when I saw Gretchen Rubin had one out, I picked it up one day at Target. I absolutely loved Gretchen’s

    so I hoped this would have some great info and something new, or a new outlook at the very least.

    The ‘Does this spark job’ method of clearing clutter doesn’t always work for me, as random things (say my rice maker I use weekly) don't spark joy necessarily, but is needed, so I did like t

    The last thing I really needed in my life was an organizing/clutter clearing book, but when I saw Gretchen Rubin had one out, I picked it up one day at Target. I absolutely loved Gretchen’s

    so I hoped this would have some great info and something new, or a new outlook at the very least. 



    The ‘Does this spark job’ method of clearing clutter doesn’t always work for me, as random things (say my rice maker I use weekly) don't spark joy necessarily, but is needed, so I did like the Ruben way of keeping or getting rid of a possession.

    Overall, this was a quick read with some good ideas, but nothing special, new, or especially interesting. I liked it well enough, but after reading so many of these types of books it takes something special to wow me.

  • K-bahm

    This is a quick read and an approachable little book about how to be more organized. The emphasis here is on little- this is pretty light on content. There's a lot of white space on each page, the organization felt a bit redundant, and there wasn't much practical, doable advice. I read it, I took notes, and I came away with a half page list of things to start doing. I didn't hate it, but I was hoping for more.

  • Teri Martin

    I really like Gretchen Rubin's books I feel like she spends a lot of time doing research before she writes her books and I always feel like I am better educated and understand myself more after reading them, but this book is just felt like a boring rip off of Marie Kondo and other how to organize your home for a better life books. I am a bit disappointed I didn't think she would write a book like this just for the sake of writing a book and that is what it felt like. If you need some common sens

    I really like Gretchen Rubin's books I feel like she spends a lot of time doing research before she writes her books and I always feel like I am better educated and understand myself more after reading them, but this book is just felt like a boring rip off of Marie Kondo and other how to organize your home for a better life books. I am a bit disappointed I didn't think she would write a book like this just for the sake of writing a book and that is what it felt like. If you need some common sense guidance and want to read this book I advise getting it from your local library because I felt it wasn't worth the money.

  • Monica Kim: Reader in Emerald City

    per my last update of this book, I decided not to rate this book because it does not deserve so. And I was not going to write a review because of my huge disappointment & frustration; but after much deliberation, I decided to write one (mainly venting) for my goodreads friends as a friendship courtesy because you guys deserve to know not only why I’m feeling the way I am, but in hopes of saving you time, money, and energy.

    .

    I know the author is on this site, but someone needs to say it, and I

    per my last update of this book, I decided not to rate this book because it does not deserve so. And I was not going to write a review because of my huge disappointment & frustration; but after much deliberation, I decided to write one (mainly venting) for my goodreads friends as a friendship courtesy because you guys deserve to know not only why I’m feeling the way I am, but in hopes of saving you time, money, and energy.

    .

    I know the author is on this site, but someone needs to say it, and I’ll do it. This is mostly going to be me venting my frustration at the author, publisher, and publishing industry, so if you’re looking for an in-depth review of the book and/or not interested in reading a reader venting, feel free to stop here. Please respect & understand that people will have differing opinions & thoughts regarding an author and/or book, and I try to never cross the line of writing negatively about the author, I always try to stay focus on the book in itself. There are few instances where I do have to mention something about the author, it happens mostly for nonfiction books where I can be more matter-of-factly, where I deeply feel they could’ve done better for the level they’re on, and when I strongly feel that their fans and/or readers deserve much, much better.

    .

    From here, I’ve taken bits of my own review of Bernstein’s “Judgement Detox” because I felt exactly the same after finishing Rubin’s book. Whenever a book doesn’t work out for me, I always say — there are no bad books, just bad timing or chemistry. First of all, I’ve read all of Rubin’s books and listened to her podcast for awhile, but no longer do. Not a fan per say, but somehow ended up riding along her popularity. You guys know, I love self-help, personal-development, and spirituality books, so I’ve read it all, heard it all. I want to be respectful of author’s effort & time, I know it’s a lot of hard work & not easy putting your work out there and certainly feel they should be rightly compensated for it. However, this book is just wrong. It shouldn’t have ended up in a book form, she should’ve kindly shared it in a blog or as an article. To put this ultra-popular declutter concept and writing it as if it’s something of your own and/or making it sound like such a revolutionary concept just seems really silly to me, also unfair to the readers & her fans. I cannot be the only person that felt like this book was written just for the sake of writing a book, just to put something out there — nothing new, nothing interesting, nothing groundbreaking, but certainly could be useful to some people. It’s like, “here, let’s declutter, so buy a book!”

    .

    I know, there really isn’t anything “new” out there, per say. If you think about it, everyone is just “borrowing” each other’s ideas and writing it in their voices, for their readers. Even for Marie, it wasn’t that her idea was new or fresh, but she took initiative to bring it mainstream & popularized it, so many people thing she created the concept.

    .

    As someone considered as though-leader, expert, and guru of our generation, she could’ve done better. We deserve better as readers who is also spending hard-earned money. I never want to say don’t buy a book, but try borrowing it from the library first. This is where I’m upset about the publisher & publishing industry, I can’t even believe that the editors didn’t say, we can’t publish this. Is this something worth the value? There’s a popular topic/concept, Rubin’s considered expert in living best life, so let’s put together a book. I know Rubin is well-known for her painstaking research for her books, but this was like gather ideas readers already know & wrap it in a nice cover w/easy-to-read formatting. I am pissed of as an avid reader and someone who have supported her work that she thought this was deserving of our attention, money, and time. I am pissed off at the publishers taking advantage of readers with a popular is topic & popular author. It’s frustrating that this will be one of the biggest & bestselling books of the year, and I guess that’s why publishers will publish it. I am mad at myself for falling for it, again. I know this wasn’t fun to read, but if you made it to the end, thank you! It certainly wasn’t fun to write it, but someone needs to say it. If you’ve never read a book on this topic, you may like it or find it helpful, it’s a pretty quick read.

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