In California, we have been experiencing some beautiful spring, even summer-like, weather. And our friends and family back east and in colder climes tell us it’s finally getting warm after a long, snowy winter. So you know what that means…. it’s time for spring cleaning!
Spring is a time of renewal and rejuvenation. Feng Shui believes that as you let go of the clutter in your home, you simultaneously make space for something new in your life. In other words, as you clean house, you clean self.
Central to the practice of Feng Shui is the idea that all things in the world are made up of life force energy called “chi.” In a sense, everything around you—including your home and possessions—is alive. Even objects that you think of as inanimate are made up of moving molecules and have their own unique vibration. Objects also become “alive” because of your feelings about them or the memories you associate with them. Even the most mundane objects can elicit an emotional response. When you look at the contents of your home from this point of view you see why it is essential to live with things that bring you joy. Broken appliances, things you don’t like, or objects associated with negative memories will—whether you are conscious of it on a daily basis or not—stagnate the energy in your home and affect your energy. Possessions you love, functional items, beautiful objects, and things you associate with positive memories will increase and uplift your energy. This spring create great energy by clearing clutter so you are surrounded only with the things that nurture you and lift your spirits. In turn, you may express your gratitude for these material blessings by making sure they are clean, maintained, and have an organized space of their own.
Another principle of Feng Shui is that everything is inter-related. This means that even the cluttered closet, messy garage, and the burnt out light bulb affect the energy throughout your entire home and life. For example, not finding what you need in your closet may lead to being frequently late, which may affect your job, which may affect your finances. Bumping into boxes of stuff every time you need to get to your car in the garage may make you snap at your spouse and affect your relationship. Or imagine putting off a simple task like changing a light bulb—how many times do you think about it until you finally do it? Even small, but unfinished tasks can weigh on our minds. Each time you think about replacing the bulb you’re tying up your energy and taking away from your ability to be in the present moment.
Feng Shui also recognizes that everything is evolving. If your home is a source of support and inspiration, then as you grow and change, so too must your environment. The process of clearing our clutter gives you an opportunity to reflect on where you have been, examine where you are now, and set intentions for where you would like to go. You can then let go of any thing that no longer serves who you are now or who you’d like to be. In this way, you are expressing your highest idea of yourself through your living space, and are that much closer to actualizing your dreams.
Quick Tips for Clearing the Clutter (for more detailed tips, see blogs listed below):
1. Start small. Begin with one drawer, one shelf, or one cabinet. Successful completion of one area will motivate you for the challenging areas.
2. Leave yourself a realistic amount of time. It is bound to get worse before it gets better. Don’t begin de-cluttering your kitchen an hour before you plan to make dinner.
3. Take everything out first. Everything! This step will ensure that you address each item.
4. Clean the drawer, shelf, or cabinet before putting things back inside. You will be less apt to place anything that is less than excellent in your now clean and fresh space.
5. Give each item the useful, beautiful, or loved test. If the item matches one or more of these criteria—keep it. If it doesn’t, it’s time to let it go.
There are many benefits to cleaning, clearing and arranging your home in a harmonious way. For example, an organized living space makes you more efficient and helps you flow easily through your daily routines. A clutter-free environment also reduces stress and saves time. By paring down your excess possessions you no longer have to store them, move them, clean them, or repair them. Taking care of all the stuff in your life can take a lot of time and energy, so make sure it’s energy well spent!
Finally, clearing out the old creates space for greater good to come into your life. As you complete unfinished tasks and let go of your excess possessions, you recapture energy that has previously been dispersed and depleted. When you clear your clutter you will feel lighter, less burdened and have more mental, physical, and energetic space to enjoy the present moment or devote to your dreams!
For Tips on Where to Donate Your Stuff:
Doing Good by Decluttering
Spring Meadow: Andrea Guth
Pantry: Amy Rachlin