Q&A Sunday: Decluttering with Feng Shui

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Can you explain/describe the Remove/Move 27 items in your home method? I have read different ideas like discard 9 items a day for 27 days, 27 items for 27 days etc. I am cluttered and need to clean! I was hoping for your insight.

Maria S., Yonkers, NY

Hi Maria, thank you so much for your question!

The adjustment to remove or move a particular number of items for a specific number of days comes from the idea that by moving or removing items, you can stir up the qi or energy in your home. If there is no movement, the energy of your space as well as your inner and outer lives may be stagnant and/or stuck. Since you mentioned you have clutter that needs improving, this does sound like a good adjustment for you.

As for the numbers, BTB feng shui philosophy places much luck and auspiciousness to the number 9, and multiples of 9 such as 18 or 27. My intuition tells me that you would benefit from discarding 9 items a day for 27 days. See how that feels, wait 3 days and start again! The numbers are not arbitrary and I usually prescribe the numbers based on the particular client. You can’t go wrong if you discard 27 for 27 days, or discard 9 for 9 days, or even 9 for 81 days. My teachers have taught me that the more challenging the effort, the greater the results while finding balance in what is actually the effort level that you’re ready to exert. 

Finally, remember clutter isn’t always negative. Read my article here.

by Anjie Cho

Mindful Design is a new way to learn feng shui. Our a 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. Visit us at mindfuldesignschool.com

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!

6 Simple Steps to Creating Your Own Book Nook

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Shrugging off the busyness and stress of the day is easier when you’ve got a dedicated sanctuary space. Even if you’re not a bibliophile, creating a reading nook can be one way to escape and unwind without leaving your home. Don’t think you have the square footage for a dedicated spot? Think again. With these 6 tips, you’ll be curled up with a good book in no time. 

Find your nook

Think outside the box. A good reading space may be nestled into a sunny corner of your bedroom, tucked into an alcove of your living room or even hidden away in a closet. Select a space that is large enough to fit, at minimum, something to sit on, and is accessible to a light source. The perfect nook will be in a quiet place away from distraction. If possible, and if you'd like to, aim for a nook placed in the Knowledge area of the feng shui bagua map. If you can't, don't worry. It's not required!

Pull up a seat

What’s your ideal chair? Does it engulf you in fluffy comfort? Do you want something you can curl up in or a seat that lets you dangle your legs over the arm? Is a bean bag a good fit or is a hanging chair more your style? This is your space to unwind. Pick the seating that best fits your style and space. 

Add a small table

No need to go big if you’re tight on space. A small end table would suffice. You need a place to hold your cup of tea (or glass of wine!), your book, and reading glasses. If space allows, go ahead and personalize some more by adding your favorite plant or candles.

Set the borders

Your nook should be a clearly marked sanctuary space. A decorative screen delineates the line between your reading nook and the rest of the room, while giving you the flexibility of opening your nook up to the whole room if you need the space. If that’s not your style, experiment with drapes or a sheer canopy hung from the ceiling. Check out my tips on separating small spaces using a curtain.

Light it well

Of course, a good reading nook requires proper lighting. Tap natural light resources when you can. Streaming sunlight brings warmth and comfort to any space. For evening reading or spaces with limited sunlight, add a small side lamp to your table. 

Make it you

This is, after all, your sanctuary. You don’t have to paint the walls of your dedicated space to make it special (although you can!). Add wall art, paper lanterns, book shelves, and other small touches to personalize your nook and make it inviting.

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.

5 Ways to Add More Relaxation to Your Home

After a day jam-packed with full-speed busyness, (and let’s face it, for most of us that’s pretty much a normal day), slipping your shoes off and melting into your favorite, comfy spot at home is likely high on your evening to-do list. That is, until you get home and that transition from ‘doing’ to ‘unwinding’ isn’t as smooth as you’d hoped. Don’t give up. Try these five simple steps to convert your home into a more serene, relaxing sanctuary.

Dedicate a space.

There are areas of your home that are ideal for work and for play. Set aside a space dedicated to relaxing, too. It doesn’t have to be an entire room. Create a nook or corner dedicated to relaxation. Folding screens can help differentiate the space from the rest of the room. If a good book is your ideal way to unwind, add comfortable seating, a shelf of books or a small table to hold your current reads, and proper lighting to the space. If music or movies are more your style, design your space accordingly.

Get organized

It’s hard to relax amidst clutter. Set-aside some time to organize and properly store your stuff. Look for storage solutions that complement your personal style. Look for baskets, bins and other containers that work as décor accents, as well as functional pieces. 

Light matters

Sunlight is a natural pick-me-up, but too much can be more stimulating than calming. Use light filtering shades for some privacy, as well as to create a softer, more tranquil effect. In the evening, use dimmer lights and candles to create a spa-like ambiance. As an added bonus, use a lavender scented candle to help promote relaxation. 

Colors count

Bright colors energize; soft, earth-toned shades soothe. If you’re looking to add more peacefulness to your home, incorporate tranquil blues, greens, and neutrals like gray, tans and white into your sanctuary spaces. Keep this in mind when you’re looking for accessories, too. Whether that peaceful space is a nook or whole room, stick with serene hues for your furniture, pillows, rugs and other accents.


Your dedicated downtime space should be free of high-tech distraction. Learn to leave the phone, tablet and laptop aside. That reading nook we talked about above should be device-free to eliminate the urge to check your email just one more time or to count how many likes your last Instagram post garnered.  

Above all else, make your space yours. The best way to relax and unwind is to create a space that you feel most comfortable in.

by Anjie Cho

Why You Should Give Yourself the Best You Deserve

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For those of you who read my newsletter, I promised that I’d write a blog post about Deepak Chopra’s Creating Affluence. And if you’re not signed up for the newsletter, sign up HERE! I write about things there that I only share on my newsletters!

You can read the first part of what I wrote on knowledge and prosperity by looking at the newsletter archive HERE. The second part that I wanted to share is the idea that we always deserve the “better and best." Deepak writes: “People with wealth consciousness settle only for the best. This is also called the principle of highest first. Go first class all the way and the universe will respond by giving you the best.”

I sometimes forget that I deserve the best. The best doesn’t necessarily mean the most expensive, but I see it as meaning the best that you need at that time. What it doesn’t mean is settling for something that’s mediocre. I see how I used to do this with clothing, for example. I would fill my closet with many inexpensive items that weren’t the best. The quality and styles were not ideal, and it showed! The items would either never get worn, or not complement my look. Now I try to buy one thing that I love, rather than a handful of pieces that are mediocre. We can apply this to food, too! Perhaps eating a modest amount of something delicious is preferred to eating a lot of something that’s average. With books, even though I want to get everything, I’m trying to be patient and first finish the book I’m reading before I purchase another :)

If we translate this into our homes, we are able to create more SPACE! We have less clutter and, as Deepak says, the universe will respond by giving us the best. It’s true! If you make some space in your life (and your home!) you will attract even more of the best. And we all deserve the best. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that. We deserve the best within our means. More isn’t always better!

Is there something you can let go of to create some space in you home? Can you remember to settle for only the best?

by Anjie Cho