Review of Gretchen Rubin’s new book

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I’m excited to announce that I got to interview Gretchen Rubin for my podcast! I’ll be publishing that episode on March 14. Gretchen’s new book is called Outer Order, Inner Calm and it came out last Friday. The subtitle is “declutter and organize to make more room for happiness.” Right up my alley!

In fact, a lot of the ideas in this book are ones I use with my clients and ones I put in my own book, 52 Simple Ways to Get Organized. Great minds think alike, right? My book is available in paperback here. The Kindle version is here.

Some of her ideas are nice reframes of organizing concepts, such as the “broken windows” concept. This comes from criminology and states that criminal activity is more likely to occur when there’s ample evidence that it’s occurred before and isn’t being addressed.

For example, if a window gets broken and no one repairs it, more windows will get broken and remain unrepaired, which sends a signal that no one cares if someone breaks a window.

If everyone at home piles their shoes on the hallway floor, there’s no motivation to use the shoe caddy on the door. If everyone at work leaves their junk mail behind on the mailroom counter, there’s no motivation to use the recycling bin.

Conversely, a cleared counter with a recycle bin below it would probably make you feel like a slob if you alone left your mail on the counter.

Another striking story is about a college friend who waited until her lease was up to completely clean up her apartment so she could get her deposit back. After she did, she realized she’d been missing out living in a really nice place all those years.

That reminds me of a home stager who told me about some clients who almost decided not to sell their house after all because it looked so great once the stager was done with it. By the way, a lot of what stagers do is take things away to present the home better.

Stay tuned for the podcast interview next week. Among other things, I asked Gretchen what the most intriguing things she learned about decluttering and organizing were. You can find it on iTunes and subscribe so you don’t miss any episodes. Here’s the link.