The principle force of Feng Shui is ch’i (pronounced chee). It’s the energy that flows through everything – our homes, our bodies, and the earth. Acupuncturists use needles to eliminate blockages in life-giving energy so ch’i can move freely through the body. In a similar way, Feng Shui practitioners use various techniques to eliminate clutter and aid the flow of energy in our living environments.
Imagine ch’i like a light breeze or a gently flowing stream, with nothing to obstruct it. Ch’i travels through an area in much the same way as people do. A common impediment to ch’i in our living spaces is CLUTTER. If it’s difficult to move through a space, it feels stagnant and unhealthy, both physically and emotionally. Extreme clutter often results in dirt and disrepair as spaces become hard to access – resulting in confusion, irritability, depression, as well as health problems. Energetically, everything emits vibrations that “talk” to us.
These are considerations that any professional organizing service worth its salt will take seriously.
Feng Shui practitioners can often tell a great deal about which areas of our lives are stable and balanced and which are unsettled and incomplete simply by walking through our home. They believe that the home is an outer representation of the inner state and expresses what is going in inside of us.
From the perspective of Feng Shui, clutter can represent several things:
Confusion: Disorganization in the environment reveals that some areas of our life are messy or unsettled.
Old Baggage: Saving worn-out items suggests we’re holding on to old ideas, grudges, fears, or habits, allowing them to clutter our psyche and keep us stuck in the past.
Obstacles: Piles of stuff represent blocks that limit progress in areas of our life.
Clearing the clutter is absolutely the most crucial aspect of encouraging good ch’i flow in our living spaces and lives.
Other techniques such as furniture placement, architectural elements, the use of water and plants can be more effectively addressed after the clutter issue is addressed. Following are some Feng Shui concepts you can implement in your home and office.
Feng Shui for the Office
An organized office helps you think clearly and make decisions more quickly. Here are some helpful tips:
- Declutter and remove piles from desktop and floor
- Clear objects directly in front of desk for the free flow of energy to accomplish your goals – remove piles of paper, decorative items, and unnecessary furniture
- Get rid of out-of-date reference books and catalogues on bookshelves
- Clear out old/dead files from file cabinets and on the computer
- Group computer documents into as few folders as possible – set up subcategories instead
- Position desk so it is facing the door (but not directly across from it), with your back toward the wall for symbolic support – you need to easily see if someone enters the room
- Place equipment, machines, and furniture around the perimeter of the room, rather than directly in the center of the room
- Add good overhead and task lighting to avoid eye strain
- Use live plants in office décor to reduce stress
Feng Shui for the Bedroom
Our bedroom should be our personal haven, a sanctuary of peace and rest where we feel nurtured to be our best selves. Here are some tips to make that a reality:
- Clear the floor and top of furniture of clutter
- Get rid of clothing you no longer wear and put away off-season clothing as soon as you stop wearing it
- Resist throwing junk under the bed – it becomes stuck energy and can affect your health
- De-junk cosmetics clutter – leave only fresh products you use regularly
- Pastel blues, greens and lavenders are calming and create a feeling of serenity in the bedroom
- The bed should be easily approachable from both sides and not be in a direct line with the door
- Have two bedside tables (one on each side) of the bed
- A bed shared with a long-term former partner will still have their energy – either replace the bed/mattress or at least buy new sheets
- Remove, or at least cover at night, televisions, computers and exercise equipment
Guest author Terri Stephens is the founder and Chief Professional Organizer of Real Order Professional Organizing, LLC. Since 2003, she’s helped busy homeowners with their clutter and organizing needs in metro Atlanta and surrounding areas. Terri is also a Senior Move Manager and helps older adults and their families with later-life moves. She loves taking the principles of feng shui and applying them to her professional organizing service, just as we do at The Organizing Zone!