Do you know that your home is talking to you? Do you know what the stuff is trying to say? Are you listening?
Feng Shui’s Foundation Principle #1 says that Everything has Energy. Foundation Principle #2 explains that Everything is Connected. The energy of each individual thing (including you) interacts with the energy of all the things around it . When we transfer this teaching to practical, everyday reality my teacher and founder of The Western School of Feng Shui, Terah Kathryn Collins, says it best:
You may not realize, but we get messages from our stuff all the time. The energy, or Ch’i, of items in our surroundings is connected to our personal Ch’i energy. You are interacting with your stuff when you say things like:
- I can’t find a place in the closet to hang up this new dress.
- Is this the potato peeler that never works?
- Where can I read? There’s no good lighting in here!
- Let’s eat on the couch again. The dining room table still has my project on it.
- I don’t even want to try to dig through the garage for the umbrella and chairs. Let’s cancel the trip to the beach today.
- We’ve given up and let the spare bedroom become a mega-closet junk room.
What messages are being given here?
- I can’t find my place.
- Things never work.
- I’m not comfortable.
- I don’t even want to try.
- We’ve given up.
Are these messages you really want in your life? Pay attention! Listen to the words you use to describe your space as they reveal how it is influencing you. Your stuff is talking to you all the time. Be sure it has good things to say!
Now that you’re listening, what next? Try this two-step approach:
Step One: Get rid of the biggest talkers
Look for the most obvious offenders. Is there one area of your home that repeatedly screams, “Clean me up!” This constant agitation is not good for you, your health, your finances, your relationships, your job, etc.
Remember, EVERYTHING is connected so when it takes you an extra 10 minutes every morning to try to make breakfast because you don’t have enough room on the counter to prepare a proper meal then you give up and grab a power bar which creates low blood sugar by eleven that results in you getting cranky with a co-worker who brands you as uncooperative in the office and you were up for a promotion but didn’t get it…….see how it can all be connected?
Again, take the most obvious offender. Is it the garage, the closet, the counter top in the bathroom, the kids’ toys or maybe your sock drawer? Believe me, I’ve seen some really full sock drawers!
Commit to fifteen to thirty minutes of sorting. Just start with fifteen to thirty minutes then you can add more time if you’re on a roll. Think of something you are trying to accomplish in your life and intend that this clutter clearing will encourage and support you toward this goal. Even if you don’t really believe that, give it a try. Have it be an experiment!
Let’s use the example of a closet to give you an idea of how to begin. Set a timer and start filling a bag with clothes you haven’t warn in over two years. I’m being conservative here as some professional organizers would only advise clothes hang unused for far less time, but I’d like you to not agonize on your maiden voyage. Take only what seems obvious.
See if you can eliminate a minimum of 5-10% of the contents of the space. Don’t panic! Do the math. It’s not that many pieces. If your first pass doesn’t reap this total, go through again. Sometimes people need to acclimate to the energetic feeling of release when they have held onto things for long periods of time.
It may help to remove the items from the space and sort them somewhere else. One client needed the visual jolt of seeing all of her shoes gathered together in one place before she could release some of them. This helps us to downsize items to a reasonable quantity, compare the condition of items and decide which items we use and love most often.
Step Two: Live with what you love
We all have favorites and those are easiest to identify. Think about your next level of objects, those that you like a lot, use often or make your life easier. My teacher, Denise Linn, advises us to hold the object in our hand and sense if we feel “Energy Up” or “Energy Down”. If it’s neutral, you can keep it but once you get more clutter clearing practice under your belt you may revisit an item and pass it on later.
I’ll use shovels as an example. Yes, shovels. As an avid gardener, I have tried many sizes and shapes of shovels – spades, diggers, edgers, trowels. Some have made the job easier and some have not. There may be one small trowel I really “love” but everything else is practical and useful and makes my life a lot easier – those that don’t have moved on. I’ve kept the ones that brought my Energy Up and gotten rid of those that brought my Energy Down.
My FREE Download, Feng Shui Clutter Clearing Tips, will give you additional guidance on how to move ahead with larger decluttering projects.
My intention above is shared with my clients often. It helps them begin to embrace the understanding that we all have preferences. Be aware of yours and honor them. You are the only one who can decide what resonates and supports your own Ch’i and what doesn’t. Only you truly know what you love.
The goal is to have our responses to the things around us create harmony and peace. That’s when the vibrant, fresh Ch’i starts fueling positive change and new possibilities. All from cleaning the garage? Yes! Give it a try. Then be mindful of what shifts you see in your life and please share your stories here. I would love to add them to the long list of exciting results people have achieved when they have cleared the clutter.