6 Things That Really Don't Belong in Your House, According to Feng Shui

image credit: Lauren Edmonds / Stocksy via  MindBodyGreen

image credit: Lauren Edmonds / Stocksy via MindBodyGreen

The year 2019 began in a decluttering frenzy. Marie Kondo's Netflix show reminded us what feng shui has been preaching for years: When our homes are tidy, life just feels easier.

The ancient Chinese way of creating spaces that promote peace and harmony, feng shui feels more relevant now than ever before. "At the core of all feng shui and Eastern traditions of healing, energy is everything," feng shui expert and mbg class instructor Dana Claudat writes. "Stagnant, stuck energy contributes to blockage and illness, while open, flowing energy is the basis of great moods and every kind of abundance."

Clutter tends to be a major energetic block, but it's not the only one. Here, we compiled a list of other things you probably have at home that could be keeping you feeling stuck.

Every room: Low-hanging artwork and broken objects

In addition to clearing clutter throughout your home, you should also make sure that the artwork in every room is joy-inducing. That means only displaying pieces that evoke positive emotions and memories and making sure that they're hung correctly.

"If someone has issues with depression and low energy, I often notice that their artwork, photographs, and mirrors are hung low on the walls," architect and feng shui expert Anjie Cho writes. "The low artwork can bring down your chi. (Note: Even a bed that's very low to the ground can bring down your mood). It's also good to fasten frames in two places so the art isn't crooked."

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If you’d like to learn more about feng shui check out the Mindful Design Feng Shui certification program. Laura Morris and I launched our program in September 2018. To get on the list about it, sign up at: www.mindfuldesignschool.com.

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Clear Out the Clutter

featured in Natural Health

I’m thrilled to be featured in the recent October issue of Natural Health Magazine. Pick up a copy to read the full “Clear Out the Clutter” post, and check out some of our blog posts on clearing clutter as well!

by Anjie Cho

If you’d like to learn more about feng shui check out the Mindful Design Feng Shui certification program. Laura Morris and I launched our program in September 2018. To get on the list about it, sign up at: www.mindfuldesignschool.com.

Mindful Design is a new way to learn feng shui. Our unique training program takes an holistic approach to learning the art of feng shui design. Mindful design is about becoming aware, and attentive, to the energy around you: both inner and outer qi. It is about promoting a better way of living and creating sacred spaces that support, and nourish.

Buried in Paperwork

featured this month in The New York Times by Ronda Kaysen

image credit: Trisha Krauss via  The New York Times

image credit: Trisha Krauss via The New York Times

The little round dining table in LaToya and Robert Jordan’s Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, two-bedroom apartment would make for a great place to eat if only its white lacquered top were not perpetually buried under a pile of bills, unopened mail and paperwork.

“It really becomes clutter, and it becomes this area in your home that tends to hold a lot of guilt,” said Anjie Cho, an architect and feng shui consultant. “It’s an energy drain, even just sitting there, because your subconscious mind knows that it’s there.”

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Q&A Sunday: Inviting Plants Into Your Home

Inviting Plants Into Your Home.jpg

What plants can I invite to my home to eliminate stagnation? My rooms seem to be so cluttered. No matter how much I clean and clean and clean, there is still so much stuff.

Lauren A. 

Hi Lauren, 

Thanks so much for your question! It looks like there are really two parts to the question here. First, what plants can you invite into your home to eliminate stagnation? The second part is about clutter and feeling a bit stuck. This is interesting, because they seem to be connected. You feel a bit stuck, which, in turn, is manifesting in your home as clutter, and you'd like to invite plants to eliminate this clutter. 

We do have some blog posts about different types of plants. You can check those out here. First, though, if your space is really cluttered, it might not be a great idea to add anything. Even bringing in plants is adding more things to your home, and caring for a plant is not easy! You have to take care of plants, prune them, there is upkeep and they need attention! So, you may actually add more clutter and stress to your life by including plants in your space. I do understand the sentiment, since, in general, plants invite growth and help eliminate the feeling of stagnation. In this situation however, this may not be the best move for you. 

You say you "clean and clean and clean"... it sounds like you may feel a bit overwhelmed! May I suggest a few different options? First, you can eliminate nine things each day. If this seems like too much, you can reduce it to nine items per week. This will help get the energy moving and help with your feelings of being stuck. If you do want to add something, you can add fresh flowers. Fresh flowers can lift and open things up, especially if you're feeling stuck and overwhelmed. I love the idea of fresh-cut flowers, because they represent nowness, are cheerful and have a short lifespan. They uplift your space, but the upkeep is minimal, since you'll just need to change the water. And when they expire, you can let them go.

Another way to break up this stagnation is to ask for help. It's great that you've asked me for help, but is there someone in your space that can help out as well? Are there others in the home that can help you clean? You could even hire a cleaning person to help reduce the overwhelm. If you're having trouble thinking of someone to ask for help, try activating the Benefactors area of your home or bedroom. This might actually be a good place for the fresh flowers!

Finally, you can also cut through some of the clutter and stagnation using sounds, like a gong or tingsha. You can even sing! Go around your home, starting at the front door and moving clockwise, and circumambulate the space. I really recommend the metal bells, since that will welcome Metal energy to cut through the sluggishness and get things moving. I suggest using this in combination with activating the Benefactors area and adding fresh flowers. Let us know how it goes!

by Anjie Cho

Thanks for reading our "Q&A Sunday".  We will be answering questions submitted by our readers. Click here to submit any Feng Shui or Green Design questions!

Q&A Sunday: Encouraging Change in the Home

Encouraging Change in the Home.jpg

Are there some simple things I can do to change the energy and encourage my dad to de-clutter the place?

Jane H., Bronx, NY

Hi Jane, 

Thank you so much for submitting your question to the Holistic Spaces blog. It's a great question! So, you're wondering if there are some simple things you can do to change the energy in your home and encourage your father to declutter the space. 

My first thought: If you've read or are familiar with Marie Kondo, in her book, The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up, she actually suggests working on yourself first. Take a look at your own personal space, start with decluttering that area and, by example, you'll encourage others (your dad) to do the same. If your personal areas aren't particularly cluttered, you can even work on clearing out shared public areas, like the kitchen or living room. So, my first suggestion here is to work on changing the energy of the space for yourself.

My second recommendation is to move a few things around in your home. Moving nine things with intention in your space can help to change the energy in your home, not just for your father, but for you as well. These don't have to be big adjustments. They can actually be rather small, even a matter of inches. You could move a lamp nine inches in one direction or move your dishes from one cabinet to another. Or you could completely remove an item from one room or from the home completely. As long as you take the time to stir the energy in your space by moving these nine things with thoughtfulness, you will begin to create changes for you and your dad. 

Finally, use space clearing techniques to promote change and more peace in your home! Space clearing can shake up the energy in your space and clear out stagnant energy so positive qi has room to flow. And it's really easy to do! Check out our post on using orange peels to clear space, or you can use orange essential oil to make an orange spray. Alternatively, you can buy an orange mist or try palo santo, both of which we offer at the Holistic Spaces store. You could also grab a bottle of our white sage spray, which I love. In fact, my intuition here tells me that the white sage spray would be best for you, and I feel it would really help . If the sage spray isn't within your reach, you might try buying sage and smudging like you would with palo santo. As a note, if allergies are an issue, opt for one of the sprays or palo santo, as they tend to be less irritant.

by Anjie Cho

Thanks for reading our "Q&A Sunday".  We will be answering questions submitted by our readers. Click here to submit any Feng Shui or Green Design questions!