Gretchen Rubin

My Outer Order Manifesto for My New Book “Outer Order, Inner Calm.”

My Outer Order Manifesto for My New Book “Outer Order, Inner Calm.”

One of my favorite exercises is to write a "Manifesto." No matter what subject I study, I find it helpful to try to distill my ideas into succinct statements of the most important principles.

For instance, I’ve done a Happiness Manifesto, a Habits Manifesto, and a Podcast Manifesto.

It’s a fun, creative, and clarifying process.

So of course as I was writing my new book Outer Order, Inner Calm, I wanted to write an accompanying manifesto. As with all my manifestos, this one is aspirational—it’s not necessarily what I do, it’s what I try to do.

Agree, disagree? Did I miss anything important?

  • Outer order contributes to inner calm.
  • Without delay is the easiest way.
  • Something that can be done at any time is often done at no time.
  • It’s easier to keep up than to catch up.
  • When in doubt, toss it out—or recycle it, or give it away.
  • Remind yourself: I have plenty of room for the things that are important to me.
  • If you can’t retrieve it, you won’t use it.
  • One of the worst uses of time is to do something well that need not be done at all.
  • Accept yourself, and expect more from yourself.
  • What you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while.
  • Creating outer order isn’t a matter of having less, or having more; it’s a matter of wanting what you have.
  • Things often get messier before they get tidier.
  • Store things at the store.
  • Little by little, you can get a lot accomplished.
  • Nothing is more exhausting than the task that is never started.
  • There’s no one "right" way to create and maintain order.
  • Clutter attracts clutter.
  • The days are long, but the years are short.

What would you add?

You can download this manifesto as a PDF here.


My publisher is giving away 24 copies of Outer Order, Inner Calm!

Enter to win on Goodreads. *Sorry, the giveaway is only open to readers in the US.

If you’re inclined to buy the book Outer Order, Inner Calm, I very much appreciate pre-orders—pre-orders really do make a difference for authors, by creating buzz among booksellers, the media, and readers. To thank readers who do pre-order, I’ve created a pack of bonus materials to help you start creating outer order even before the book hits the shelves.

You’ll get access to a special 21 Day Outer Order Challenge that includes videos, a PDF checklist, and 21 days of email prompts to guide you in the challenge. This 21-day project isn’t currently available for purchase—it’s only available for readers who pre-order Outer Order, Inner Calm. After the book goes on sale on March 5, I’ll charge $12 for this special upgraded 21-day project.

I do believe that in just 21 days, we can make concrete, manageable changes that will help us create the outer order we crave. By taking the time to get our stuff under control, we make ourselves feel calmer, and at the same time, more energetic. Step by step, we can create a serene and orderly environment.

Claim your preorder bonus here: outerorderinnercalmbook.com/bonus/.

Do you want a signed, personalized copy of my new book, Outer Order, Inner Calm? Pre-order now from the beloved indie bookstore The Strand, and you can have it shipped anywhere (yes, internationally!) or pick up in store once the book is out on March 5.

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