I dedicated The Happiness Project to my family.
I dedicated Forty Ways to Look at Winston Churchill to my mother and father.
I dedicated Happier at Home to my sister, Elizabeth.
I dedicated Better Than Before to my family, again.
I dedicated The Four Tendencies to my agent, Christy Fletcher (Questioner).
Outer Order, Inner Calm is dedicated to you: my readers, listeners, and viewers.
My hope for Outer Order, Inner Calm is that you'll start reading or listening to the book, and before long, you'll spring to your feet, unable to resist the siren call of clearing clutter. It feels so good to get rid of things we don't need, don't use, or don't love! This book is meant to make that process as easy and as pleasant as possible.
If you flip through the book, you’ll see that it’s written mostly in short, separate bursts of ideas and suggestions. At the beginning of each of the seven sections, I include a one-page introduction, but for the most part, it’s a collection of quick, concrete tips. It’s meant to be something you read fast to get yourself psyched up to clear clutter.
I first came up with the phrase "outer order contributes to inner calm," when I was writing The Happiness Project more than ten years ago. It was a "Secret of Adulthood" that I included in my "Happiness Project Manifesto."
I paced through our apartment to size up the clutter-clearing challenge I faced. Once I started really looking, I was amazed by how much clutter I had accumulated without my realizing it. Our apartment was bright and pleasant, but a scum of clutter filmed its surface...
Once I'd finished the closet, I went back through it once again. When I finished, I had four bags full of clothes, and I could see huge patches of the back of my closet. I no longer felt drained; instead, I felt exhilarated. NO more being confronted with my mistakes! NO more searching in frustration for a particular white button-down shirt!
- The Happiness Project
When I was touring for The Happiness Project, Happier at Home, and even Better Than Before, I noticed how energized people became during any discussion of outer order. Any time the subject came up, people laughed, talked among themselves, and were clearly interested. The fact is, for most people, outer order contributes to inner calm, and any time the subject arose, people wanted to hear more.
Even after spending all this time thinking about outer order, it still surprises me how much it matters—how much energy, focus, and cheer we get from creating outer order. It seems like a fairly trivial thing to worry about, but the effect certainly isn’t trivial--for most people.
Just last night I cleaned some clutter from our utility closet. (Yes, even after writing this book, I'm still finding pockets of clutter in the apartment.) And this morning I walked over the closet, just to gloat at the beautiful order.
I'm thrilled that this day has finally come. Outer Order, Inner Calm hits the shelves.
Curious about some of the "behind-the-scenes" elements of making this book?
Many readers and listeners have asked how they can be helpful -- which I very much appreciate! If you'd like to support me and help readers find this book, you can:
- Share a photo of your copy of the book on social media (tag me @gretchenrubin and use hashtag #OuterOrderInnerCalm)
- Leave a review on Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Audible, or wherever you purchased your copy.
- Request the book at your local library
- Share a before-and-after photo on social media or your own blog if you tackle clutter using the ideas from the book. Use the hashtag #OuterOrderInnerCalm and of course tag me @gretchenrubin. I love to see a great before-and-after.
- Share a link to your favorite Happier podcast episode with a friend or on social media
- Share a quote from the book on social media
I had such fun writing this playful, hopeful book. I hope it helps you discover ways to make more room for happiness in your own life.
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The Four Tendencies explain why we act and why we don’t act. Our Tendency shapes every aspect of our behavior, so understanding your Tendency lets us make better decisions, meet deadlines, suffer less stress and burnout, and engage more effectively.