“I just can’t keep up. I go from one fire to another. I feel so overwhelmed. I don’t know where to begin. I feel blocked. I have no energy.” Do you hear yourself or others around you saying such things? Look around, do you then see piles of unfiled papers, items stacked everywhere, blocked doors, overstuffed closets, broken items; in other words, clutter and stress!
Sometimes our lives are so busy that we treat our homes as if they were impersonal places that we use for storage or merely pass through, which actually works against us. In Feng Shui, the ancient Chinese art of placement, there is the belief that you are intrinsically connected with your environment and that your vitality, resources, and loving connections flourish and grow best in harmonious, uncluttered homes.
View your home as a metaphor for your life. As you ring in the New Year, make it a resolution to keep your home in order, your physical home as well as your mental, spiritual and emotional one. Make certain that you home truly feels like your sanctuary; take time to tend it like a garden, which needs care in order to bloom beautifully. When you take the time to treat your home like a beloved treasure, you’ll feel it shift energy from being merely a living place to being a nourishing haven.
Along with a harmonious, uncluttered home come opportunities for enhancement of health, prosperity, and happiness. In Feng Shui, we say, “If you clear it, it will come.” Therefore, when practicing Feng Shui, the first step is decluttering.
An organized home can have a calming effect on you, your family and guests. This does not have to be difficult; in just minutes you can begin to make changes that can turn your home into a comfortable, peaceful haven. Simply moving items so that you constantly gaze upon the things you love the most and making small repairs is a great way to start. Organizing and cleaning is a no-cost way to remove chaos from homes and introduce more calm. Lovingly rejuvenating your personal space can become a creative project that increases the flow of good throughout all aspects of your life. You can give old things new life by donating them to charity, opening space for newness to enter. Removing stress from your home can be as easy as removing clutter from a small area allowing your energy to move freely throughout your space.
What works is balance. You can begin to transform your home from chaos to paradise with the “few minutes a day technique.” I call it the “Salami Method of Time Management”, taking one slice at a time. By getting rid of the things you no longer want or need, you revitalize your home and make room for what you really DO want to flow into your life; you enhance your happiness, clarity and peace of mind. In Feng Shui everything counts, so your storage areas are as important as the most lived-in areas. In other words, if your room is orderly because everything is stuffed into a closet, you are not practicing Feng Shui.
Clutter is defined as any items that are disliked, unused, in excess and/or unorganized. To begin choose a space you consider cluttered, such as a closet, storeroom, cabinet, desk drawer, table top, or kitchen cupboard, and follow these simple steps:
Step 1: As you’re organizing and decluttering, ask yourself these questions:
“Do I love it? Do I need it? Does it represent or support who I am now? What pleasant or unpleasant memories does it hold? Does it need repair, and am I willing to restore it right now? If I’m letting go, will I sell, lend, or give it away, and when?”
Step 2: Label three boxes or bags: Throwaway, Giveaway, and Stowaway. As you go through your items separate them into one of the three categories.
Step 3: Put the throwaways in the trash, label the giveaways to go to their new homes (family, friends, or charities) and give them away within a week. Place the items you are keeping in their proper places with love and gratitude.
You’ll know that you’ve succeeded in reinstating balance when you respond positively to every part of your home, and can easily put your hand on everything you need at any time. Congratulations, you’re creating a stress free environment! Now watch for the helpful people, opportunities, and things that flow into your life because you have let go of the old and made room for the new.
Simplifying your space also allows room for your imagination and energy to thrive. A decluttered environment allows you to focus on what really matter; time for yourself, your loved ones, and to have energy to expand your consciousness.
Clutter and the Bagua
The Feng Shui Bagua (Ba-gua) Map, is represented as a grid of nine sectors. The Bagua comes from the Chinese philosophy, “The I Ching,” and literally means “eight trigrams”, with the center being for centering and grounding.
There can easily be a correlation between storing excess items in a certain Bagua area and negative effects in that area of your life. For example a cluttered desk or closet in the Wealth area can lead to feeling stuck with finances, as does clutter in your Health or Love areas can lead to illness or discord with loved ones. Look at your home with Feng Shui eyes. What areas of your life are giving you stress? What areas of your home are cluttered?
Remember that in Feng Shui, intent plays a significant role in enhancing any area of your home or business. Enhancements need to be made with intentionality; written or stated affirmations expressed as if they are already happening are very important. Examples while you’re in the process of clearing your life and creating a stress free environment: “Wonderful new opportunities are coming my way.” “I am healthier now that I have less stress in my life.” “I love my peaceful, organized home.”
Feng Shui at Work:
A pair of clients hired me because they lacked energy. After a home consultation I received an email stating, “Today we went to the hall to get a ladder to continue our enhancements, and found that one thing led to another. The task of storing the cleaning products we just bought led to cleaning out the linen closet. We went to the tool drawer for a hammer, saw the air vent was dirty and began cleaning it. When we hung enhancements in the sewing room we decided to move the piles from the table, and then looked in the closets and took out clothes to give away. We then discussed that with all the cupboards in there, why do we have all this computer stuff out? We rearranged the laptop cords to be stored neatly behind closed doors. Before we began we felt very tired and depressed. Now we feel so much better; we have so much energy and enthusiasm, and can’t wait to tackle the rest of the house. ” Their lives continue to improve daily, they’re taking classes and enjoying crafting and outings with friends.
Another client felt that she was stagnating in her old environment. Once she made the conscious intention of moving forward, she began clearing and giving items away to prepare for the sale of the property. As soon as the space was cleared she began receiving sale offers, as well as numerous possibilities for her new home. She said that “people were coming out of the woodwork.” She cleared her energy path and now has found a beautiful house with a view, which in turn led to her locating the perfect studio for her now thriving business. The clearing created a domino effect!
In Feng Shui there is a saying, “If you want a change in your life move 27 items in your home.” This is because 3 and 9 are auspicious numbers in Chinese numerology. My husband and I do this at the end of every year to welcome in positive change for the new year.
The new year is a time of renewal, rebirth and moving forward. This is a perfect time to make a resolution to use Feng Shui to create a stress free, revitalized home and experience the feeling of supportive energy. Get started now and enjoy the flow of prosperity and opportunities! Happy New Year!!!
For questions or home consultations email at email@example.com and put “Feng Shui” on the subject line, or visit my website at www.fengshuibymaria.com, (where you can read past columns), or Facebook “Feng Shui by Maria”, where I post pictures as examples to enhancements.
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Maria McCullough is the owner / founder of Feng Shui by Maria (www.fengshuibymaria.com) and is a speaker and educator with over 20 years of experience, specializing in residential, landscape and business consultations. She is a graduate of the Western School of Feng Shui and has personally trained with Terah Kathryn Collins, founder of the Western School of Feng Shui, specializing in Essential Feng Shui® and author of numerous books including “The Western Guide to Feng Shui.”