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.