Gretchen Rubin's Happiness Project


Imagine spending an entire year in the pursuit of happiness! I’m reading Gretchen Rubin’s book, The Happiness Project, and am finding it extremely interesting. This book was a New York Times’ best seller, so I’m not alone. Rubin spent a year trying to make herself into a happier person, studying the art of happiness as she went along. Her goal for January, the first month of her project was “Boost Energy.” This involved getting more sleep, exercising, and… decluttering.

As a Professional Organizer, I derived immense satisfaction from Rubin’s decision to begin the endeavour by tackling the clutter in her apartment. She “craved an existence of order and serenity,” and went about creating it.

Gretchen Ruben began in her closet. She got rid of four bags of clothing, and a whole bunch of hangers. She writes, “although I had far fewer clothes in front of me, I felt as thought I had more to wear - because everything in my closet was something that I realistically would wear.”

She noticed that having fewer clothing choices left her liberated from the clothing which no longer "sparked joy" (Marie Kondo’s words which I am quoting, not Rubin’s).

Rubin had dreaded the clutter clearing, fearing the enormity of the task. However, when she was done, she felt energized by the extra space and order in her home.

I have witnessed this same surge of energy in my professional organizing-clients, and even chez nous, when we clear out areas of clutter which accumulate in our home.

Furthermore, Rubin found that having many unfinished tasks was a drain on her energy, engendering guilty feelings. She compiled a To Do list five pages long and plowed through it. “Sometimes […] the most difficult part of doing a task was just deciding to do it.” This relates to a blog post I published in March, entitled “Just Do It,” where I discuss the joys of getting things done.

Rubin found a “dramatic boost in [her] mental energy” simply by taking care of these previously neglected items. Research has shown that one of the best ways to improve your mood is to orchestrate an easy success. Tackling items on your To Do list, or decluttering your home, can give you that boost.

 Don’t hesitate to contact me if you’d like some help to declutter, downsize, organize or more!