Reflect on your year with The Happiness Project Journal Yearbook, my collaboration with Chatbooks.

Podcast 177: Do the “10-Minute Closer” to Help Make Orderly Transitions, What’s Luxury for You, and the Challenge of Demanding Neighbors.


Update: We're gearing up for our upcoming Very Special Episode 180, which will feature hacks, strategies, suggestions, and Try-This-at-Homes related to travel. So send us your ideas for how to travel happier!

Leave us a voicemail message at 774-277-9336 (77 HAPPY 336), or email us a voice memo to, or send an email.

The new version of the audiobook of Happier at Homethe version that's read by me—goes on sale next week.

Try This at Home: Create transition at the end each stage of your day by using a "ten-minute closer." It gives us transitions in our day, and also contributes to outer order.

Happiness Hack: Our listener Christine suggests that to make it easier to order shoes online, buy a foot-measuring device. Brilliant!

Here's the link to a "Brannock Device."

Here's an example of a less substantial (and less expensive) version.

Note: these links are to the children's version; you'd need a different version for men and women.

Know Yourself Better: In her memoir Plant Dreaming Deep, poet and memoirist May Sarton wrote,  “If someone asked me what my idea of luxury is, I think my answer would be: flowers in the house all year round.”

What's your idea of luxury?

If you're curious about Elizabeth's china pattern, you can see Juliska's "Country Estate" pattern here (she has it in brown).

I also quote from Iris Apfel's book, Iris Apfel: Accidental Icon—Musings of a Geriatric Starlet.

Listener Question: As someone who works from home, Jill asks how she can stop feeling so resentful when her neighbors ask her to do favors during the day.

She refers to the Try This at Home "Don't assign or accept homework" that we discussed in episode 164.
We also mention the problem of "shared work" as discussed in episode 28 and that I write about in one of my all-time favorite blog posts,"Resentful? Overworked? Face these painful facts about shared work."
Gretchen's Demerit: Our dog Barnaby just had his third birthday. This would have been a great opportunity to celebrate a minor holiday—what's more fun than a dog's birthday!—but I utterly forgot.
Elizabeth's Gold Star: Elizabeth gives a gold star to her sister-in-law Olivia, who gave Elizabeth a Corkcicle stemless wine glass that she loves to use throughout her day—much better than a typical water bottle.


1. I really do believe that in just 21 days, you can take steps to make your life happier—without spending a lot of time, energy, or money. I’ve created four premium 21 Day Happiness Projects for you to follow, if you want to tackle one of these common happiness challenges. Or buy the Omnibus, to get them all, or give the freebie a try. Find out more by clicking on the links below.

21 Day Project Omnibus
Strategies for Habit Change
Know Myself Better
De-Clutter My Life
Quit Yelling At My Kids
Cope With a Difficult Person
Strengthen My Relationships (free)

2. If you'd like my Checklist for Habit Change, to make it easy to figure out how apply the 21 strategies of habit change that I describe in my book Better Than Before, you can download it here.

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

Quote From the Podcast

If someone asked me what my idea of luxury is, I think my answer would be: flowers in the house all year round.
May Sarton