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Podcast 172: Toss Unnecessary Papers, Invent Your Own Holiday, and the Fun of the Scratch-n-Sniff.


Update: In episodes 67 and 118, we talked about "designing your summer." Elizabeth's summer will be devoted to work, because her TV show The Fix is just starting, but I came up with some ideas for my summer.

Try This at Home: Toss unnecessary papers. For instance, consider:

  • Do you actually need this piece of paper or receipt? What specific use does it serve?
  • Have you ever used it?
  • How easy would it be to replace it if you needed it?
  • Will it quickly become dated—like travel or shopping information?
  • Does the internet mean that it’s no longer necessary?
  • What’s the consequence of not having it if you do need it?
  • Was it once necessary, but now related to a part of your life that’s over?
  • Never make a folder labeled “miscellaneous.”

Happiness Hack: Invent your own holiday.

Happiness Stumbling Block: Remember, you may not be as right as you think you are.

To look at "the dress" to see if it looks white and gold, or blue and black, look here.

To find out if you hear "yanny" or "laurel," listen here.

Elizabeth's Demerit: Elizabeth leaves her clothes crumpled, so they have to be dry-cleaned, even though they're not really dirty.
Gretchen's Gold Star: I'm so excited! I love scratch-n-sniffs, and the U.S. Postal Service is releasing the Frozen Treats Forever stamps, which will have a "sweet summer scent." I can't wait for this.


  1. Do you want a “Happier” podcast temporary tattoo? Email me to request one– and include your mailing address! U.S. and Canada only, alas.
  2. Listen to the other Onward Project shows! Elizabeth's podcast with her writing partner Sarah Fain, Happier in Hollywood, and Chris Guillebeau's Side Hustle School.

I do a weekly live show on Facebook called: “Ask Gretchen Rubin Live.” To join the conversation, check the schedule.

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