Feng shui, translated to “wind” and “water” (signs of health and fortune), is a Chinese art and science used to create harmony between you and your space. Dating as far back as 4000 BC, this comprehensive system of rules dictates spatial arrangement and orientation of furniture and overall decor. Simple organizational adjustments can align you with your best self for optimal efficiency, positivity, and success.
Feng shui is centered around the concept that everything has energy—referred to as chi—and your physical surroundings are a reflection of what is happening internally. Ideally, chi (sometimes referred to as “the vital energy”) moves freely throughout your home. Characterized by cleanliness, minimalism, and curves, feng shui maximizes the flow of chi for optimal clarity and productivity.
Things like clutter, disorganization, and dirt stagnate chi. Defined as possessions detracting from the life you want to live, clutter literally and figuratively creates roadblocks on your life path, negatively impacting your health, relationships, career, personal aspirations, and overall wellbeing. Sounds outrageous? Well, test it out for yourself! To identify clutter, walk around your home. Consider the furniture, appliances, and items in and on shelves, counters, baskets, and drawers. Look behind doors and in closets, too. Signs of clutter include tripping over furniture, difficulty opening and closing doors and cabinets, failure to see the clean lines of counter surfaces, and losing track of important items. This excess is a habit: it prevents you from moving freely and inhibits efficiency in your life.
If you have too much clutter (and many of us do!), pause to consider each item in your space. Ask yourself if these items have meaning and if they enhance your life. In her book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, feng shui expert Marie Kondo suggests only keeping objects that bring joy. If the item makes you smile, laugh, or remember a positive time in your life, keep it and perhaps even find a better place to display the item as a joyful reminder. Resist the urge to hold onto items associated with difficult or sad memories and items that seem too expensive to throw or give away. Believe me, it’s costing you more to keep it around.
When it comes to clutter, feng shui principles offer a reminder to carefully consider the items you bring into and keep in your space. Implement some feng shui de-cluttering techniques to increase your good health and fortune!
- Clean Your Home. Grime, dust, and dirt all block energy flow. Remove dust bunnies from under furniture, scrub the insides of appliances, and clean windows to clear energy pathways in your home and ultimately in your life.
- Assess Your Storage. Items stored in the basement and attic add to your overflow. Think of clutter in your basement and attic as symbols of your past. Holding onto the past only holds you back. This clutter represents self-imposed limitations on your future. Clear the pathway for productivity by using storage for seasonal items like decorations, clothing, heaters, and air conditioners.
- Edit before you add. Before bringing a new item into your space, assess your belongings. Try to find at least one item to remove, throw away, or donate, to make space for something new.