Look around your home. What do you see? Try to look at it through the eyes of a first-time visitor. Is everything clean and tidy? Is everything organized and put away? When your eyes scan the room, do you see beautiful things that make you feel happy and uplifted? Or, do you see piles of mail, papers, things you never seem to get around to throwing away, broken things, gifts you received that you hate but feel obligated to keep, etc., etc.? If it’s the latter, you may not realize how this can negatively affect your life.
But, first, what is “clutter”? Well, there are several types. First, there’s the clutter that’s there because you don’t have any place to put it. It’s in many ways the most difficult to deal with because you have to find storage solutions, which may involve purchasing storage containers or even moving to a bigger space. If you don’t have a desk, where are you going to put your mail, your work papers, and other documents? If you don’t have a closet, where are you going to put your clothes?
Then, there’s trash: mail you need to throw away, old magazines, broken objects you either can’t repair or know you will never get around to repairing (don’t lie to yourself! You know you’re not going to get around to it “one of these days!”), those scratched up designer shoes you can’t bear to throw away because they were so expensive, and so on.
Between these two types are many others, like sentimental clutter, or the idea that you have to buy 3 of everything “just in case,’ like you are stockpiling for the zombie apocalypse. The bottom line is that all that “stuff” in your house is blocking a lot of energy. When your house is simply too full of things that everywhere you turn you see objects, then you will have difficulty thinking clearly, feel stuck in your life, and will probably feel tired and sluggish much of the time.
The other thing is to look at where the clutter is in your home. According to the ancient art of Feng Shui, a space can be divided into 9 areas, or guas. Each gua reflects a theme in your life. In order to find out where the different guas are in your home, take the following chart and align it with the floorplan of your space according to where the front door is. The door will fall into one of the bottom three guas.
Now look at the clutter in your home; are there any places where clutter is particularly a problem? Don’t forget to include closets and clutter that’s been shoved into cabinets and drawers. Just because you can’t see it, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t there!
Apply the map to the areas with clutter in your home and spend some time reflecting. You could meditate on it, journal on it, whatever method works for you, but really think about it. How are these areas blocked or stuck in your life? Ask yourself if you are ready to get things moving.
Here comes the fun part: clearing it out! One popular technique is to make three piles: things to throw away, things to keep, and things you aren’t sure about yet. Be as ruthless as you can. If you’ve had three children, don’t keep your favorite jeans from when you were a teenager; no one fits into their jeans from high school, much less a woman with three kids, and you never will. Accept it, donate them, and move on. Do you really need your college textbooks? Do you ever consult them or sit around reading them on a rainy Sunday? No? Give them away or sell them. Do you keep every glass jar you’ve bought food in? Keep a few of the most useful sizes and recycle the rest.
Papers can be the most challenging. Modern life is full of so much paperwork and important papers to keep. However, you don’t need to keep paper bills more than 6-12 months, and you can always ask your bank to send you e-statements. Shred everything you’re getting rid of, and have bonfire if you like. Then, buy a sturdy file box or two and file away the important papers you need to keep, like birth certificates, wills, etc. Try to go through your papers once a month religiously to avoid getting back into the same clutter situation. Once it starts to accumulate it becomes a much bigger task to take on, and you will likely start putting it off…and putting it off, and putting it off.
Finally, open the windows, burn some incense, and notice how much better you feel!
Did you know? The concept of clutter is not a part of traditional, historical Feng Shui, but is an example of how the ancient art of Feng Shui has adapted to the changes in our lives. The central concept of chi flow can be expanded on when you consider that chi, or energy, cannot flow smoothly if there’s clutter.
If you would like a professional evaluation of the chi of your home or business, I am available to do a thorough analysis of your space, help you with clearing clutter, and give you a personalized plan for dealing with any issues that come up. Email me for details: firstname.lastname@example.org.