Introduction: When it comes to the allure of Feng Shui, you’ll find many theories, sources, and rules out there in the great online ocean. I’m breaking ’em down and adding some tips to attaining serenity in your space. I’m beginning with Part 1 which focuses on Intention, Mood, and Organization. I decided to break my original rules into two parts as the whole organization portion is very time-consuming and zen-thirsty in itself. Rather than dive-in, let’s make this a soothing dip. I also believe it is very important to do this part correctly the first time (tried and true – as someone I know <cough> and not me <cough> hurried, gave up, and made a bigger mess! Again, never me. Someone I know…).
Part 1: Intention, Mood, and Organization
Fresh Cut Feng Shui Rule #1: Gently admit to yourself that your wacky, dated, uninspiring, slightly-messy home might benefit from a little ruthless purging. Decide “why” you want to clear your life and home before you approach the “how” of this change. And don’t overwhelm yourself with shame or the task will seem stressful, daunting, and punishing in nature. Clutter happens. We all have closets, drawers, and crawl spaces full o’ things we don’t really want others to see. Ever.
Fresh Cut Feng Shui Rule #2: Don’t rush – enjoy the process or you’ll spin your wheels (see ‘my’ personal account of failed Feng Shui above). You’re increasing your flow of energy by clearing your space of busy distraction and roadblocks. Feng Shui, which stems from wind and water, is designed to send un-used items and stale air on their way! Open some windows if a beautiful breeze is ‘a blowin’, open your mind, and [pry] open your CD-case (which you will be donating after transferring your tunes onto your fancy new external hard-drive, right? Right?). Keep your spirits and motivation positive with nature and music. I can’t decide if I want to suggest soothing jazz or upbeat pop. You choose what works for you, okay? I have found that country music annoys me and makes me want to run. I can’t explain why my favorite genre just doesn’t cut it, however.
Fresh Cut Feng Shui Rule #3: Organize with organization. Devise an organizational outline of where items will eventually go (i.e. yard sale, good will, trash, recycling, etc.) and where they will be stored until they reach their destination (i.e. The 3 B’s: boxes, bins, and bags?). Sort. Label. Condense.
Fresh Cut Feng Shui Rule #4: Be ruthless. Do you need to save every paper bank statement since before college? I don’t even want to look at my statements from college. The shredder is your friend. If your relationship with your shredder becomes rocky, meet your relationship therapist, the scanner. Compromise. On objects: do you use this item? Does it have sentimental value? Did you even know you had it? Have you missed it? Will you? If the answers are “no,” whether hesitant or solid, Poof! Sayanara! Happy Trails! Pleased to meet you, clarity.
Fresh Cut Feng Shui Rule #5: Donate with intention and generosity. Throwing away perfectly functional items invokes guilt which is not a very zen-emotion. Knowing your items are off to a good cause or a better home will bring calm and relief on its own.
Fresh Cut Feng Shui Rule #6: Keep things you do use, but put them back in order and good condition. Wash, iron, fold, and lint-roll your clothing and bedding. Organize by season and keep access to these items clear. Don’t shove christmas lights into a bag, rather – wind them up neatly or you’ll be cursing yourself all the way to the North Pole come the holidays. Clean the area before you stow said boxes: under your bed, in the cabinet, under the sink, your closet shelf, your basement storage room, the list goes on…and on. Invest in neutral bins and boxes. Invest in matching hangers. Invest in visually pleasing order.
Bonus step that will make you feel oh-so-savvy: color-coordinate things like wrapping paper and ribbon, books, dishes, office supplies, and linens. Stack and stow things like pots, pans, and bowls with size order in mind.
Fresh Cut Feng Shui Rule #7 Designate a room for sorting. Having a central organizational zone will prevent you from becoming distracted and distraught! I use my guest room or my big dining room table depending on the floor (and yes, I work by floor or room!). I take everything that doesn’t belong in a space and remove it. Instant zen, now let’s get to business on this pile!
Fresh Cut Feng Shui Rule #8: After returning from the goodwill, enjoying a glass of white wine, and a good night’s (or week’s) sleep, gather your cleaning products, vacuum cleaner, and buckets. Get ready for Part 2 of my compilation which covers Cleaning, Clearing, and Coordinating.
Some recommended books on organization and Feng Shui (Click on the image for link!):