Feng Shui New Year’s Ritual: Decluttering and Organizing for Intention
Part One: Three Important Steps to Prepare for the New Year
New Year's 2014 is quickly approaching, and for many of us, this is a time when we are preparing our homes and ourselves for the transition. A time when we traditionally get our homes and lives in order to start fresh, this is a good time to use some Feng Shui principles to help us declutter, clean up, and arrange our homes to a smooth tranisiton into the New Year. An ongoing issue we have is dealing with clutter. Regardless our efforts or intentions, clutter builds up, traps our energy, affects our health, and needs for us to address it. What time and effort you put forth now, will reward you greatly.
Clutter is an obstacle to healthy living. Now is the time to spend some serious time decluttering our homes, offices, and studios for the New Year ahead. Get rid of what you no longer use or need. Recylce and donate items to places that can use what you are not using.
Arrange your house so that it is functional for you, not just so it looks pretty or follows a rule that doesn't actually fit with the way you live. “A place for everything and everything in its place,” is an old adage. When using Feng Shui to help you organize, this is a good rule to follow. As you are clearing, decluttering, and cleaning out your spaces, consider making your home more functional for your real needs, and consider how you are willing to change your habits and behavior to get healthier and to create more free-flowing Chi/energy in your home and life.
In order not to get overwhelmed by the prospects of a total redo of your house before New Years, begin with small steps. Today, tackle three important areas of your home.
Entryway: Mouth of the home, where we take in breath. Clean, clear, and reorganize your entryway so as to create a free-flowing, attractive space.
- Create a space for the essentials. Place a small basket for outgoing mail or other things you want to remember as you leave the house: keys, sunglasses).
- Hang a beautiful piece of art or a mirror near the doorway. Place a beautiful piece of art where it can be seen upon entering your home. Also use art to decorate the entryway. Placing a mirror near the entryway (but not facing the doorway) will reflect positive Chi that enters the house.
- Keep the doorway clear of obstacles so that your home is open and welcoming to new opportunities and abundance.
- Keep the area clear of clutter by creating a space to hang coats, put away scarves, or store wraps and bags of visitors. Ideally this would be a closet close to the door, but in the event you have no closet (I don’t), determine a place to put guests’ possessions. This is a matter of creating a habit and sticking to it.
- Have a basket or shelf for shoes and boots placed near the entryway. If you are fortunate enough to have a mudroom, you’re in luck. If not, create a mini-mudroom using a small bench or shelf and a small coat rack. Use a basket for shoes and umbrellas.
- Place a plant at the entryway, and set a bowl of potpourri or scented candle in the entryway area to create a fresh, welcoming fragrance for anyone entering your home.
Dining Room Table: The dining room represents harmony, good health, abundance and quality of relationships, and is one of the most important places in the house. Look at the dining room table, and determine what you actually use the table for. Often we use our tables as workspace or as a place to pile up what we don’t want to take time to put away. The table, in Feng Shui, represents where we eat, communicate, and form communion with one another. If it has become space for clutter to gather, clear the table and find places for the articles that are taking up space on the table.
Once you have cleared and cleaned the table, begin creating a space to enhance the appetite, conversation, and harmony among those who gather around your dining table. Work with what you have.
- Arrange chairs so as to avoid guests seated with their backs to a doorway.
- Decorate the table with fresh flowers, crystal, and candles.
- Exhibit food especially a bowl of fresh fruit, oranges and tangerines are especially good. Having food readily available for guests and for snacks for family members is a healthy alternative to fast foods and junk food.
- Hang artwork that creates a soothing environment. Landscapes or a still life of food is good.
- Remove clocks, electrical appliances, and televisions/radios and other communication devices. Focus on communicating with one another, or if you are alone, spending some time quietly focusing and contemplating on your meal.
- Get rid of cracked dishes, and use your nice dinnerware and eating utensils.
- Set the table. If you don’t know how, learn how to set a table, and take some time and pleasure setting a nice table for yourself, your family, and guests. Use your nice table cloths or placemats. When celebrating a special occasion, decorate the table and create a warm, inviting atmosphere for guests.
Bedroom: One of our most private spaces in a home is our bedroom. Using proper Feng Shui in this space enhances our health, and improves our sleep and our romantic relationships. To create positive Feng Shui in your bedroom, the following tips include:
- Position your bed correctly facing the bed where you can see the door. Avoid having the bed directly across from the door.
- Place the head of the bed against a wall, not under a window.
- Avoid having your bed directly under a ceiling fan or other decorative structure or slanted beam. If that can’t be helped, counter the effects by hanging a bamboo flute or crystal from the obstruction.
- Keep the bedroom clutter free. Avoid using the bedroom for a workspace or place where you do business.
- Remove televisions, computers, and other electronic devices from the bedroom. If you can’t, cover them or keep them inside a covered space while sleeping.
- Keep drawers, nightstands, and dressers organized. Stuffing things out of sight still blocks energy, and affects our health and the flow of Chi/energy in all areas of our lives.
- Use pairs of objects to decorate (two candles, two angels, two birds, etc.) to enhance the romantic energy.
- Cover sharp corners of tables, nightstands, or other pieces of furniture to eliminate harsh Chi/energy.
- Colors are important. Creams, peach, beige, yellow, cocoa are soothing colors. Light blues, greens, and lavenders are also considered relaxing. Avoid using too many colors or using harsh and bright colors.
- Arrange your bedroom to suit your needs, and to encourage you to take better care of yourself. Place fresh water on your nightstand (in a pitcher or nice glass that you cover before going to sleep). Rather than piling up books and papers beside your bed, put one book (the one you read at night), a journal and pen, and something beautiful beside you.
- Avoid stockpiling books in your bedroom. Especially for those of you prone to allergies, removing books from the bedroom can improve your breathing and sleeping.
- Make sure to have fresh air in your bedroom, and if you live in a very cold climate, air the room out in the day, and consider putting heavier curtains on your windows to hold the heat in and keep the cold out. Even those of us who like to sleep cool, can suffer from a room that is too cold. If you wake up with a sore neck or shoulders, it may be that your room is too cold.
Start with these three spaces today, and move slowly but surely through the house for the next few days, preparing yourself for the turning of the year. Tomorrow we’ll look at using Feng Shui on your workspace and kitchen. Take your recycling to the Goodwill or to the Last Chance Mercantile.