Is there something you’re looking to add more of, to have less of, or to otherwise change in your life? Take a moment and think about it. Do you have the home you want? Are you making the income you want? Do you have yet to meet that special someone? Are you longing to expand your family? Are you pursuing your life’s work in an amazing career that leaves you fulfilled? Do you feel like your health is thriving?
Chances are, there is room for improvement in one or more of those areas of your life. What if I told you that there was one thing that you may not be doing that would help the Universe bring you everything you desire? No, I’m not talking about visualizing what you want, though that can be helpful. I’m talking about what I consider to be the #1 feng shui tip I’d have for everyone: get rid of the clutter.
Why get rid of the clutter?
The reason to get rid of clutter is simple: where there is clutter, there is not room for energy to move freely. Feng shui is the Chinese system for improving the energy flow in your home and other spaces to allow abundance to enter all facets of your life. It’s kind of like acupuncture for your environment. Acupuncture helps the energy in the body flow more easily, and feng shui helps the energy in your home and surroundings to do the same.
So what does a clutter-free space look like? No more than 50% of your surfaces should occupy items. This includes bookshelves and counter tops. That’s right- your bookshelf shouldn’t be crammed with books in an ideal world. Now is it better to have all of your child’s books on a bookshelf, neatly arranged, versus strewn about the living room or their bedroom? Yes, of course. However, you should also look at whether or not you need that many books, or if there is a way to make it look a little less cluttered. Your counter tops shouldn’t have food or other items piled up on them. That china cabinet shouldn’t have tons of items and knick-knacks on display. The bedroom shouldn’t have tons of piles of books or clothes strewn about or in a mountainous pile. That front closet shouldn’t have brooms, wrapping paper, bird seed, soccer balls and everything else in such a way that you can’t even close the doors.
Everything should look nice and organized if it is visible. Of course that doesn’t mean that you should shove everything behind a door and assume it’s ok (see above). If you have a closet, pantry, or other door that you’re afraid to open (or maybe even an entire room that you can’t walk in), it’s time to tackle the mess. See how you can make your life a little easier by letting go of some items, or by better organizing it.
De-cluttering: it’s not just for your home
Starting to get nervous just reading this? Well, getting rid of the clutter is not just for your home. Your home, and particularly your bedroom, is likely where you spend most of your time. You want to tackle the places that need the most help where you spend the most time. But after you’re done looking at those, you’ll need to consider the other places where you spend time.
If your car has been a little neglected, with water bottles littering the floor, banana peels and napkins shoved into the cup holders, then it’s time to clean. Those of us with little ones know that they can also make quite the mess. Cracker crumbs, toys, used paper towels…it can add up if you feel too busy to deal with it in the moment.
Take two bags out to your car. One is going to be for trash, and the other for recycling. If you have a lot of personal items in the car that need to come in the house, then have a third bag to hold those items. Then go through your car, and sort all of the items into one of the bags. When you’re done, take the trash bag straight to the trash can, and the recycling bag straight to your recycling bin. Maybe you even treat yourself for your work and take the car to get the interior vacuumed!
Whether you have your own office, a cubicle, or you work from home where your dining room table doubles as a desk, your office space needs to be neat and tidy. Think of your office as a manifestation of your career and money areas of your life. While all of the areas of life can be addressed in a feng shui consideration of an office, your work space is where you likely earn most, if not all, of your money. It is where you pursue your career, and any associated fame. If it’s not in good order, then do you think your finances will be in order as well? Do you think that abundance will be flowing your way, making every step of your path easier?
I don’t know about you, but I’d like to make more money and help the Universe help me to help you! (That’s a lot of helping!) Here’s a tip: if your desk is overflowing, think about different types of file storage to help you organize. If your counter space is limited, then invest in the file holders that attach to the wall. Determine what papers and files you actually need, and if you can scan items and keep them digitally instead, that is another great way to save space and streamline your work station.
Your Action Item
So your “action item” for this week is to pick one area- your office, your car, or a room in your home- and get rid of the clutter. Take “before” and “after” pictures and share them with me! Notice how you feel before and after as well. Starting small with one room or area allows you to make some progress and not feel overwhelmed. When you’ve done one area, then after a few days or another week, tackle another small area. Bit by bit, you will be drastically improving the energy in your home, and helping it move into alignment with your desires.
In future articles, I will give you tips about specific things you can do to improve certain aspects of your life with feng shui. For now, happy de-cluttering!