Wholeness Healing Today

Feng Shui Your Clutter

Wow! We received more comments about our clutter article in the last issue than we have on any article in a while. What does that mean? It seems that many people resonated with the idea that clutter impacts their lives, affects their energy and mood level, and needs to be tackled. Many others had not put the two things together (e.g. that clutter impacts mood and emotional health). But after they read the article they started to get rid of clutter and could see how it made them feel better. This article takes the subject of clutter and its impact a bit deeper.

Feng Shui is the ancient Chinese art of placement and looks at the “chi” (energy) throughout your home. The practice of Feng Shui works through arranging home or work environments to promote health, happiness, and prosperity. The goal of Feng Shui is to achieve harmony, comfort, and balance, first in one’s environment and then in one’s life. A Feng Shui master can walk through a home and see what is going on in your love life, your family, or your career by looking at your environment and how it is designed, what is in your environment, and how it flows. The Feng Shui master can see what areas in your life are stable and balanced and which areas are incomplete, blocked, or chaotic. This is because Feng Shui operates on the belief that your home and your workplace reveals a lot about you as it is symbolic of you, the outer representation of your inner being. And they believe that everything in our home and work environment says something about us on a psychological level. How we utilize, display, and care for our property reveals how we feel about ourselves and our lives. Making changes in the environment impacts changes within ourself. So what are the psychological implications of having clutter and can it really make a difference in your mood if you clean up the clutter?

From the Feng Shui perspective, clutter can represent confusion, old baggage, and obstacles. If you have chaos and disorganization in your home, this may show that some areas of your life are untidy or unsettled. If you have lots of “old baggage”, this would be seen in your habits of saving old, worn-out, or unused items. This may symbolize you holding on to old ideas, attitudes, grudges, fears, or habits and allowing them to clutter your psyche. Obstacles represent just that in the environment. They are blocks that hamper your movement and further hamper your emotional freedom.

Clutter is the accumulation of stuff without organization. It signifies confusion, lack of focus, chaos and instability. In your life it may mean that you lack a sense of direction or priority with too much going on.

It may signify that you scatter energy and don’t stay with what is really important, which may mean that you don’t know what you want in life or are uncertain in your goals. Decluttering your home can actually change the difficulties in your life, according to the Feng Shui perspective.

So take a look around your environment and assess it. Does your home or your work environment have clutter? It seems that our country, in its abundance and consumerism, has reached epidemic levels in the gathering and collection of clutter. Remember that clutter is the accumulation of stuff without organization – which means that everything you have needs a home, a place to be stored, or you will accumulate more clutter.

The changing of the seasons is a great time to really make some headway on your clutter. You can start with your closets. Take out the winter clothing and bring in the spring and summer clothing. Try everything on. If it doesn’t fit, isn’t “you” any more, has holes in it, or has set in your closet for several years and not been worn, put it into the pile for donations. Clear out those items from the 80’s and 90’s and allow for new energy to be brought in with new items that more appropriately resemble you and who you are right now. This is a time for reflection, looking in the mirror and assessing who is “living in your closet” and does it match who you are? If it isn’t you, get rid of it!

If you prefer to do a little at a time because you just don’t have the time to tackle the big projects, then give yourself 15 minutes a day to work on de-cluttering. Do one drawer a day, or one pile a day, or make yourself pull out enough items to go to Goodwill that will fill a garbage bag each day. If you can’t tackle a full room, break it down into doing one section per day: the junk drawer, the shoe area, the mail drawer, etc.

Another tip is to stay on top of things. This can mean that before you buy something you consider if you will really have a “home” for it after you purchase it. If not, save the money and don’t make the purchase. If you decide to bring it home, get rid of something that you don’t use to make more space for the new. When your mail comes in, go through it immediately and dump all junk mail so that you don’t have to sort through it again later.

And if you really want to get things done, do a clean sweep of your entire home. Call your family and friends together and do it in a “clean sweep” style. Get rid of everything that no longer serves you. Don’t keep anything that “you might need later”. Put it on a big garage sale, offer special deals, don’t bring anything back into the house when it is over. There are second hand stores that may take your items on commission, or give them to Goodwill and take the write-off on your taxes. If you make money by selling your “stuff”, use this money to pay off debt which further offers you another clearing.

Whatever the plan, start something today, stay on top of new things coming into your home by making a home for each thing, and pay attention to how working on clutter affects your mood and your life.

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  • Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker
    Licensed Independent Mental Health Practitioner

  • Janie Pfeifer Watson, LICSW, is the founder and director of Wholeness Healing Center, a mental health practice in Grand Island, Nebraska with remote sites in Broken Bow and Kearney. Her expertise encompasses a broad range of areas, including depression, anxiety, attachment and bonding, coaching, couples work, mindfulness, trauma, and grief. She views therapy as an opportunity to learn more about yourself as you step more into being your authentic self. From her perspective this is part of the spiritual journey; on this journey, she serves as a mirror for her clients as they get to know themselves—and, ultimately, to love themselves.


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