Learnings from Outer Order, Inner Calm: Declutter & Organize to Make More Room for Happiness by Gretchen Rubin
For me, outer order has always created inner calm. For example, if my surrounding environment is messy and cluttered, so too are my thoughts and mindset. As soon as I clear, clean, and organise a space, I instantly feel calmer and more relaxed. However, I am not a naturally organised person, so this has always been a challenge for me.
Gretchen Rubin’s book, Outer Order, Inner Calm: Declutter & Organize to Make More Room for Happiness was the book I needed to inspire and motivate me to declutter and organise my life by challenging my thoughts and changing my habits. It is packed with actionable tips, quotes, and words of wisdom. Below are some of my favourites:
1. Just START.”
Nothing is more exhausting than the task that’s never started.”
2. Order is not about more or less.
“Outer order isn’t a matter of having less or having more; it’s a matter of wanting what we have.”
3. Think before you buy.
“When deciding what to buy, remember that some things are easy to buy—but then we have to use them. If they’re not used, they don’t enhance our lives; they just contribute to guilt and clutter.”
4. Busy doesn’t = productive.
“Just because we’re busy doesn’t mean we’re being productive. Working is one of the most dangerous forms of procrastination.”
5. Do you really need to do it?
“One of the biggest wastes of time is doing something well that didn’t need to be done at all.”
6. Less is best.
“Having less often leads us to use our things more often and with more enjoyment, because we’re not fighting our way through a welter of unwanted stuff.”
7. Small steps make progress.
“Actually spending ten minutes clearing off one shelf is better than fantasizing about spending a weekend cleaning out the basement.”
8. Don’t let your possessions own you.
“Getting in control of our possessions makes us feel more in control of our fates. If this is an illusion, it’s a helpful illusion–and it’s a more pleasant way to live.”
9. There is freedom in “less”.
“By getting rid of the things I don’t use, don’t need, or don’t love, as well as the things that don’t work, don’t fit, or don’t suit, I free my mind—and my shelves—for what I truly value. And that’s true for most people.”
10. Keep up so you don’t need to catch up.
“It’s easier to keep up than to catch up…”
11. Do your possessions reflect your identity?
Careful curation means that my space and my possessions reflect my truest identity.”
12. Do you really need to store it?
“If you need to buy things to store things, perhaps you have too many things.”
13. How can you make your home and office a sanctuary?
“Instead of being sources of stress, my home and my office are places of comfort and energy.”
14. The Golden Rule of clearing the clutter.
“DON’T PUT THINGS DOWN; PUT THINGS AWAY.”