The true testament to any good book is when you accidentally rave about the same book to a friend twice and they have to tell you, “I know Reeder, you’ve already told me about this book”. That’s what happened to me when I read Gretchen Rubin’s, Happier At Home.
I live a very happy life, I have a supportive family, fantastic friends and a career that I adore, but like anyone else, I’m always on the search for how to continue to improve my happiness and when I say improve, I mean working on my “built in happiness” (a term I coined from Gretchen herself). It’s fair to say that one can’t live a happy, positive life if they don’t feel happy in their most private sanctuary, otherwise known as their home. The general idea of this biography/self help novel is that to live a happy life, you must take time to create a happy home.
Gretchen’s life is much different than mine, she’s married and has two children. I, on the other hand, have a fridge that makes humming noises to greet me when I come home and a never ending to be read pile that continues to daunt me every time I walk into my apartment. Her happier at home goals were a little different than mine, but the core message was to work on making your home a place that exudes happiness.
So how do you create a happy home? Well as Gretchen’s subtitle suggests, you should,
Kiss More, Jump More, Abandon on a Project, Read Samuel Johnson.
But that’s not all, Gretchen breaks down her goals into month long categories and works on them one at a time, thus creating a little bit of happiness bit by bit. Each chapter is broken down into said categories, so you’ll read about possessions, marriage, interior design, time, etc… I can’t say enough about how much I enjoyed the premise of this book,which ultimately proves that taking the time to work on the little things will in turn create happiness.
I take a lot of pride in the fact that I’m organized, my desk is tidy and every notebook is color coded, but when you come into my home, it seems like I’m overflowing in “stuff”. While I was reading the chapter about possessions, I began thinking to myself, why do I need 15 bottles of different perfume? Why am I hanging onto sheets I haven’t used in a year? Therefore, I decided to put Gretchen’s suggestions to the test and work on my first project, which was organizing my bathroom.
On a Friday afternoon (thank you summer hours), I came home to really clean my bathroom. Not just wash the mirror with windex and scrub the floors, but go through everything and really tackle what needs to be in the bathroom and what doesn’t. So without further ado, here are my before and after shots:
As you can see, it’s a world of difference! I got rid of two bags of garbage and decided to keep the things I used. I didn’t take pictures of my drawers, but they are just as organized and I can honestly say that everything just seems so much easier and more efficient. This bathroom overhaul has proven to be a success in my Happier at Home quest because I feel a sense of calm when I’m getting ready in the morning. I even gave my friends a tour of my bathroom when they visited on Friday night!
If this is the result of 2 hours of cleaning, I can’t imagine what will happen next when I set out to tackle my next project. There are lots of little things I’d like to do to increase my happiness, so I’ve made a list and put it on the back of my door to achieve a little more happy in my life:
As you can see, I was incredibly inspired by the message of Gretchen Rubin’s, Happier at Home, so it goes without saying that I encourage each of you to pick up this fantastic book if you want to make a happy home.
You can also follow Gretchen Rubin on Twitter @GretchenRubin