Want to Read More About Outer Order & Inner Calm? Consider These 6 Books

Person reading a book on a bed
If you’ve finished Outer Order, Inner Calm and would like to read more about creating outer order, you might enjoy these books: The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin One rainy afternoon, while riding a city bus, I asked myself, “What do I want from life, anyway?” I thought, “I want to be happy”—yet I realized that I didn’t spend any time thinking about my happiness. In a flash, I decided to dedicate a year to a “happiness project.” I spent twelve months test-driving the wisdom of the ages, current scientific research, and lessons from popular culture about how to be happier. Each month, using myself as a guinea pig, I tested a new set of resolutions around different themes, such as vitality, leisure, and marriage. Spoiler alert: many of my resolutions involved creating more outer order! A Pattern Language by Christopher Alexander et al. This strange, brilliant book changed the way I see the world. It uses architecture, sociology, psychology, and anthropology to describe the most satisfying designs of towns, buildings, offices, and homes, by setting forth an archetypal “language” of 253 “patterns.” Instead of discussing familiar architectural styles and design decisions, it focuses on patterns such as the Front Door Bench, Child Caves, Sleeping to the East, Staircase as Stage, Cascade of Roofs, and Half-Hidden Garden. My favorite? Secret Place. As I explain in Happier at Home, I was inspired to create several secret places in our apartment. I couldn’t stop with just one. Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin This book is all about—you guessed it!—how to be happier at home. Starting in September (the other January), I dedicated a school year—September through May—to making my home a place of greater simplicity, comfort, and love. Each month, I tackled a different theme, such as family, time, and neighborhood, by experimenting with concrete resolutions aimed at making my home a happier place. One month was devoted to “Possessions,” and how to get more happiness from possessions. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo This book made me jump out of my chair and start clearing clutter. I don’t believe that there’s one “right” way to clear clutter; as I explore in Outer Order, Inner Calm and my other books, I believe that we all must find the way to happiness and good habits that’s right for us. Kondo argues for the KonMari way—nevertheless, I absolutely find the book both engaging and helpful. Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin When we’re trying to create and maintain outer order, we often try to improve our habits. But how exactly do we change our habits? Many experts offer one-size-fits-all solutions—but, alas, there’s no magic formula that works for everyone. The secret is to pinpoint the specific strategies that will work for each of us. I identify the twenty-one strategies that will allow every reader to find an effective, individual fit. Organizing from the Inside Out by Julie Morgenstern This book is helpful, realistic, and concrete, with lots of great lists, tips, and suggestions for solutions to common problems. Julie Morgenstern also emphasizes the reasons for clutter. The fact is, clutter isn’t just a matter of not having enough closet space or not sorting the mail every day. She addresses the fact that we hold on to possessions for different reasons, and once we acknowledge that aspect of clutter, we’re able to clear clutter far more effectively. What books do you recommend on the subject of outer order and inner calm? I love to read about this subject. It gets me very fired up to take action in my own surroundings.

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