You all know I’m an organizing junkie. And I love to read books about the subject too. (I saw a friend yesterday and she said- Really- you read organizing books?- because she couldn’t fathom that a person would read something like this for fun) I am also a fan of Gretchen Rueben, of “The Happiness Project” fame- (my least happy moment of last year was when I realized there would be no happy every day tear off calendar for 2019) So imagine my delight when I found that Rueben had published an organizing book- “Outer Order, Inner Calm”.

Basically, the title says it all. If your outer world is in order, you will feel calm inside.


Or something like that.

Is this so much different than other organizing, get back your life books?

No. It gives you the down and dirty basics of how to declutter, what to toss, what to keep. it stresses that you must pare down before you buy storage containers. It reminds you that you can’t keep a memory of everything. All the usual things that these books promise.

But I did actually learn some new tricks. Reuben describes two types of people: Overbuyers and underbuyers. An overbuyer is exactly what it sounds like: a person who just buys a bunch of stuff. And underbuyer is someone who tries to be so practical and frugal so tend to not buy things they need till the last minute. They also hoard clutter in different ways: they have trouble getting rid of some things because they can’t get past the thought that they spent money on an item and didn’t use it. They also have an “I can hold off” attitude and wait as long as possible to buy something (you have six squares of toilet paper left before you buy another roll) or you just do without and complain.

I am underbuyer.

I am constantly purging, yet I have THREE boxes (yes three separate boxes) of charging cords that I don’t know what they belong to. Three. One in my living room, one in my all purpose closet and one in my storage locker. Three boxes filled with chargers and apparatus as such. Three. Including a bunch of I chargers that don’t work…..

But here’s the biggest problem with that- I have an ipad charger that I bring around from place to place when I need my ipad to charge. One charger. and my outlets are not always easily accessible. It actually stresses me out sometimes. So I went to Target and I bought two 9.99 chargers. I plugged one in my kitchen and one next to my couch. You have no idea how happy I am. Seriously, knowing I can move my ipad to whatever room I need it is actually life changing. Sometimes it’s OK to have more than one item.

Let’s go to the other end of the spectrum. Clothing. You know I went to a capsule wardrobe this year. Love it. Except I don’t own a slim fitting black crew neck t shirt. Do you know how many times I go to get dressed and look in vain for a black slim fitting crew neck t shirt? And I curse my outfit because I don’t have this one accessory? 7.50 and a trip to Old Navy solved this dilemma…

The other organizing lesson I learned was that sometimes you need to adapt to you style. and in this particular case, my Husband’s style. I’m a place for everything sort of girl. My Husband is a drop where it lands sort of guy. Which means that his keys could literally end up anywhere in the apartment instead of the basket placed near the front door that is specifically for keys. His clothes are piled on the floor instead of in drawers or on shelves. His shoes are strewn about instead of in the underbed shoe boxes I purchased. He just doesn’t organize like I do.

Hence, I bought him a basket, and now he just throws all this stuff in the basket. It’s not on the floor, I don’t trip over all these things. I just push the basket of stuff off to the side. And tossing all his stuff in a basket has made him realize that he just doesn’t like to put things away. I don’t think it’s going to change him, but at least he realizes it.

Moral of the story? I get my kicks off of organizing books. And there’s always something new to learn.

4.5 stars…


42 thoughts on “Order Calm

  1. I noticed in my vacuuming frenzy the other day that there are several cabinets in the TV storage unit that are full of stuff I never use. I opened them to see wtf was in there…mostly defunct electronic equipment, cables that don’t work or belong to no longer owned technology, old files of god knows what, pictures and picture frames for which there is no wall space…knickknacks. Clutter.

    I will tackle one a week or more going forward because I want to house the stuff we actually DO use (namely, my daughter’s art and craft stuff (because she likes to craft up here near me). THIS will take time to do because I can only do it when the family is NOT here… 🙂

    I get it. I’m there too. And I like reading books like this as well, but not too often or too many of them.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Exactly! Sometimes we just have stuff and we don’t know how it ended up there!! And dealing with other people who have different habits? Crazy. On a first date you need to ask your date, are you a morning or evening person, and what’s your organizing style.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What do they call a person who buys stuff, but essential stuff mind you, so that you have what you need on hand? Examples: 2 sets of shampoo/conditioner when the old is running low, 2 bottles of face cleanser, a few extra dental floss packs, paper towels, etc… and I will even admit to buying a few extra of my favorite, comfy, casual bra just because I really wanted to make sure I was set in case that style went away…
    None of these are clutter as they all have a place, but I just can’t wait until that 6-square TP moment you mention and not have some amount of anxiety that my “favorites” will disappear!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. As long as it’s useful and has a place to be stored, I’d say that’s almost the ideal. To have enough of what you need, and not be tripping over boxes. The problem starts when you buy a case of shampoo and it stays in your dining table. So I would call you well thought out buyer!!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I’ve read all Gretchen Ruben’s earlier books, and am eagerly awaiting this one, on order. I needed to recharge something new recently, can’t remember what, and went to the basement to my box of various types and sizes of rechargers and nothing worked! So out they go. I’m in the mood to pitch stuff out again – and I find these books can help motivate. I understand the habit of bulk buying, if you have the money and storage space go for it – think of how much time you waste in a month going to the grocery store to buy the same essentials week after week, unfortunately there is no Cosco store near me.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I just don’t have the room to buy much in bulk. The only things I buy quantities of are toilet paper, paper towels and tissue boxes. We go through those quickly

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We have what we consider large stores, but what others would consider small. I almost shop daily because I. D.o.n.t have much room to store stuff, and it also gets heavy carrying bags. I just make a trip to the market one if my daily things. The places I go are between a ten and twenty minute walk from my place. I also utilize the farmers market when I can.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. So you are like the French, they walk every day and only buy enough food for a few days, so they get lots of exercise. I remember reading French Women Don’t Get Fat, years ago – it’s a lifestyle thing.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Well…. I’m an over buyer according to this post. In reality, I am probably somewhere in the middle. I think have my own sense of organization. And no, I don’t read organization books. The rebel in me wants to find my own way of doing something. My closet is organized in sections. So I know where to go. But I am also a throw my clothes on the bed kind of girl too. Before I go to sleep I have piles of outfits I have to put away. Sometimes I just can’t decide what to wear….
    Also, I have this thing where one is not enough. Maybe I got into this because I was always working and never had enough of a variety to wear. So, if I really liked an out fit then I would go back and get another one just like it. BECAUSE I will wear something I love to death. And then I have a backup. Plus, what if my favorite pair of jeans is in the hamper and I need them? So again, if I love something I’ll get two. . An heir and a spare. And sometimes I’ll buy something in multiple colors. At the end of my teaching career Diane Gilman was designing comfy jeans in a variety of colors with matching blazers. , I had them in a variety of colors and it looked like I wore a different suit to work every day. Yet I could bend and sit on the floor comfortably and throw these clothes in the washer and dryer and I always looked put together. With a variety of tops Nobody knew they were jeans and I always looked professional. Easy Peary. I like multiples. If I like a pair sandals in black then I’ll get them in white too. And while I love a bargain I am into quality. I don’t buy cheap anything because I believe in apparel that lasts and is timeless. I’ve never had a lot of money but I have good basic taste in clothing. I just bagged up a bunch of items last night that I know I’ll never fit back into and I’ll donate them this week.
    I am not a hoarder… but I like what I like. And I hate when my favorite top wears out. No worries.because I bought a back up. Call me crazy but that’s my way of simplifying. If you love something you get it in a few colors and wear it to death. I like having a back up of my favorite items.. So yeah, I’m an over buyer. For sure.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Whatever works! Organizing books make me happy. I love the simplicity of grouping things in a logical order. And reading other great ways to put stuff away. I was completely energized after I read the book!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That would be nice. I used to plan meals, but now I think about what we’re going to eat as I walk in the morning. I pick something I’m in the mood to prepare, and I’m sure it tastes better to all of us if it’s something I want. Grumpy prep time is no fun.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m good when something is logical and makes sense. When there was a name, underbuyer, put to what I do, I realized that there would be a way to tackle the issue. I’m proud of me too!!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Clutter follows my husband wherever he goes, though he is organized about some things like his clothes and shoes. I can’t change him, but it sometimes really bothers me. I can’t stand clutter.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Drives me crazy. I’m telling you this basket thing is pretty good. I throw it all in the basket when I see it. His goal is to sort it out on Saturday mornings. Two weeks in and still working. I’ll tell you how it’s going in two months!

      Liked by 2 people

  6. LOL – who would have thought, one simple basket solved everything. Years ago, I happened to watch a talk show about women who were angry that their husbands did not help around the house. One lady put the clean laundry on the stairs, the husband would not take upstairs, just walked around the clothes.

    The talk show host said, JUST put all of his CLEAN CLOTHES in a garbage bag and put it in the garage. When he needs clothes, he’ll go there.

    Another woman did not like that her husband left wet bath towels on their bed. So, she would open the window and throw his towels in the tree. Then she his hers, so he couldn’t find it.

    As you mentioned, the basket might not make your husband put things away, but it makes you BOTH happy… he becomes more tidy and you become happier.

    A win, win! THANKS FOR MAKING ME SMILE. There are ways to meet each other half way. 🙂

    Did I miss a post about your daughter? She must have decided where she is going to school? Is it close to home?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh goodness I’m so glad I’m not the only one who needs order (and regularly spaced chargers) in their lives to be happy. And I used to be such a messy person! My theory as you know is it’s about control in an increasingly uncontrollable world lol. Got to look up the book you mention! Happy decluttering!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. That was a great idea for your husband! I do think some people just naturally have a hard time organizing things, and a little help goes a long way. Especially if those people happen to live in our house.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I love books about organization too! I’m ridiculous about finding cute storage containers and buying them up before ever deciding what to use them for. Turns out, they all come in handy.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s