Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Spring Has Sprung: Spring Clean Out the Clutter

Yesterday, I talked about getting rid of that hated object that has bothered you for ages. Today, the topic is more general--stuff everywhere and what to do with it.

Feng Shui, a topic that elicits either muffled laughter or earnest interest, probably is the best system for getting rid of stuff in a common-sense way even though the advice is couched in mystical terms at times. Before getting to those ideas, here is some advice about clutter removal:

  • Remember that visual clutter is what is tiring. Make sure surfaces don't have stuff on them, keep the kitchen, office and room surfaces clear. You'll feel better.
  • Americans have too much stuff. If you suffer from pack-rat-itis, you need to examine yourself. Are you hoarding things because you're a secret pessimist? As in, if I get rid of this _________, I may never get something so good again. Or, I might need it. Or, bad times will come and I'll regret getting rid of these magazines. Do you hold the same attachment to people, or are you hold Bag Lady fears? This is not healthy.

Now onto Feng Shui advice:

  • Keep all doorways clear.
  • Keep entryway clear so you can easily enter and move around.
  • Imagine how air or water would flow through the house. What stops it? Are there any "dead-ends"? Put something that moves energy in a dead end--a fountain, fan, radio.
  • Make sure you have clear paths to what you need.
  • Nothing should ever be under your bed. Ever. (Go through the old stuff you have under there, you'll be shocked at what you find and the energy those things hold.)
  • All stuff holds energy. Energy you don't want holds you. If the energy doesn't feed you, get rid of it.
  • Books especially hold energy. Do you have any books that hold such bad information that it should be thrown out or packed away? Be very careful about having piles of books in your bedroom.
  • Pictures, too, hold lots of energy. Ever get the feeling you're being stared at and accused by great grandma? Take the picture down.
  • Put kids stuff on their level. Can they get to their clothes, toys, stuff they want? Imagine trying to reach over your head all the time for what you want.
  • Make sure all appliances work.
  • Keep lightbulbs working. NEVER leave a socket without a light. Ever.
  • Make sure you have no leaks or power problems. Water and electricity represent water in Feng Shui. A slow leak symbolizes money slipping through your hands.
  • Make sure your stove has all four burners working. It is symbolic of your money-making ability. I know, it's crazy. But we had a stove that only had two, and then one, burner working at our old house. And even though we were selling the house within two years, I urged my hubby to make the investment. It was almost magical how our financial situation improved after that. Yes, yes, other factors contributed, but there was an immediate difference.
  • Your bedroom is for two things: sex and sleeping. Anything else in there distracts from that purpose. You decide how important those two things are for you.
  • All this stuff is a bandaid on a flesh wound if the part of the city, the neighborhood, street you live on is bad, unsafe, or unnerving. Keep in mind that the energy of a place will affect you. If you live at the end of a street where lights flash into your house, it's a problem. If you live on a dangerous road, it's a problem. Without thinking about it, these factors increase your anxiety. Also, if your yard is truly a junkyard. That must be dealt with. Your landscape affects your innerscape.
  • Don't live next door or across the street from a church, cemetary or school. Bad energy or excessive energy--both are not good.
  • Avoid living in houses that waste space, have loads of nooks and crannies and turns.
Most of Feng Shui is complete common sense. I read one architect who had worked for owners who always wanted a Feng Shui consultation. He said the corrections they suggested always made the plans better, in subtle, liveable ways.

Removing clutter will free up so much energy, you will be shocked. Be prepared for conversations with your spouse resolving unaired or packed away grievances. Moving stuff is symbolic. Those discussions are good though, because the issues were always there just hidden.

Your home should support and nourish your energy. All the stuff, clutter, gets in the way, literally, of what you want and/or need. Spring Cleaning will be a great way to start.

No comments: