Outer Order, Inner Calm

Declutter and Organize to Make More Room for Happiness
Narrated by: Gretchen Rubin
Length: 2 hrs and 34 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (544 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

New York Times best seller

In this lovely, easy-to-use guide to decluttering, the beloved author of The Happiness Project shows us how to take control of our stuff - and, by extension, our lives.   

Gretchen Rubin knows firsthand that creating order can make our lives happier, healthier, more productive, and more creative. But for most of us, a rigid, one-size-fits-all solution doesn't work. When we tailor our approach to suit our own particular challenges and habits, we can find inner calm.   

With a sense of fun, and a clear idea of what’s realistic for most people, Rubin suggests dozens of manageable tips and tricks for creating a more serene, orderly environment, including:   

  • Never label anything “miscellaneous.” 
  • Ask yourself, “Do I need more than one?” 
  • Don’t aim for minimalism. 
  • Remember: If you can’t retrieve it, you won’t use it. 
  • Stay current with a child’s interests. 
  • Beware the urge to “procrasticlear.”   

By getting rid of things we don’t use, don’t need, or don’t love, we free our minds (and our shelves) for what we truly value.

©2019 Gretchen Rubin (P)2019 Random House Audio

Featured Article: Top Audiobooks to Inspire Your Minimalist Decor


Minimalism isn't just a buzzword—it's a powerful, mindful way of living and enjoying your space. These listens about minimalist home decor and minimalist living will help you feel more at peace and content in your home. Starting with expert advice to help you declutter your space, followed by some suggestions on getting started with organization and decor, this list is the ultimate must-listen guide for any aspiring minimalist.

What listeners say about Outer Order, Inner Calm

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Listen to the podcast.

Too short and I had already heard all of this in her podcasts. The information is good just not new.

20 people found this helpful

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Same advice as prior books

All good advice on decluttering. Enjoy her direct messages. I just felt like I was listening to other bits of books that I have read or listened to in the past. Not an original idea!

13 people found this helpful

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I wanted more

I enjoy listening to Gretchen Rubin's podcast. I like her books. I love her philosophy and how she's taken this habit thing and run with it. This book just feels like a bunch of blog posts strung together. As Gertrude Stein once said about Oakland, California (because I know Gretchen loves a good quote), "There's no there there." I kept waiting for a big action plan or something that said, "Here's how to start." There's that pithy list of ten suggestions at the end, but that's about it. I really do like her. I love the idea of the book. I like how she reads. She references Marie Condo's book "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up". That's a book I can get behind. That's a book with a plan and that has a clear through line. It pains me to write this. I'm a fan, but I'm an honest fan. Sorry, Gretch.

6 people found this helpful

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Simple Declutter Ideas

The content belongs in a page-a-day calendar with its simple declutter ideas (like when deciding whether to keep something, ask yourself 'do I need, love it, or use it?'). If you've listened to 'Happier with Gretchen Rubin' podcast, then most of the material will be familiar to you.

6 people found this helpful

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Not enough content for one credit.

It was great, what there was of it. I expected more than 2 1/2 hours. Disappointed in that alone.

11 people found this helpful

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Would have been better as a physical book

I love her books and I listen to her Podcast. I think this book would have been better as a physical book rather than as an audiobook. It's too short, and it's very prescriptive and directive. Her other books incorporated more stories about her or others.

4 people found this helpful

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Nothing new here

I was hopeful for this book. Even preordered. Major disappointment. Nothing new in this book. Boring and useless.

6 people found this helpful

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Common sense

Know it all already. This book could be written by anyone with time and common sense. Didn’t enjoy her voice or the info.

2 people found this helpful

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LOVE all of Gretchen Rubin's books!

I was counting down the days for the release of this book, and it did not disappoint. Gretchen does a wonderful job of citing her research and inspiration throughout the book. I enjoy her narration more than any other. She is engaging and clear, and therefore so is her message. Excited for her next book!

5 people found this helpful

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2 hours?

I was disappointed in this book. It barely scratched the surface of the topic, and seemed like a Marie Kondo knockoff. Also, her book recommendations at the end were primarily compromised of her other books. This could have been so much more.

1 person found this helpful