Clearing Your Space - Removing Clutter

Clearing Your Space - Removing Clutter

The art of space clearing is derived from tribal customs and Feng Shui techniques, including those from Tibet, India and Native American tribes.

Over the centuries, various elements have been applied to clear energy from a room, including melodious sounds such as crystal singing bowls. Tibetan cymbals or metal chimes. Drumming, clapping, purification with salt water and the application of incense are just a sample of other methods. While each of these various methods differ in some respects the essential elements remain. Space clearing involves removing negative energy and increasing beneficial energy, while artfully and sensitively placing objects so as to increase the flow of Qi.

Spring is one of the traditional times for renewing your energies and those of your home-hence the term "spring-cleaning." The increase in the sun's energy at this time of year is reflected in increased creativity and activity. By removing clutter and the stale energy of winter from your home, you are creating space for new, revitalizing energy.

Feng Shui is not only concerned with obvious clutter; it also focuses on hidden untidiness in cupboards, on shelves, in drawers, under beds. Left cluttered, these spaces can cause stagnation and blocked Qi, resulting in an uncomfortable, rarely used room.

Clutter is a state of mind-when you clear out the clutter in your home, you clear out the clutter in your life. A messy home or work environment can indicate attachment to the past or fear of the future. Clutter encourages stagnant Qi and can make the occupants of the house depressed. The more space you have within your environment, the more space you will have in your life for new beginnings.

The Hallway

The hallway sets the tone for the rest of the house, so look at it as a guest would. Is there somewhere to hang your coat, pace your hat. Put your shoes? What about umbrellas? Putting a hat stand in the entrance area, or hooks along the wall, will make your homecoming easier. Consider a wooden or woven sea grass box-perfect for shoes or gardening gloves.

But if you're renovating or starting from staring from scratch, try designing an inbuilt storage area in the entrance (make sure that the shelving is concealed). Hang a mirror on it bring in the light or reflect outdoor views, but make sure it is to the side and not facing the door. Alternatively, consider a multipurpose modular piece of furniture with drawers, hooks, a mirror, a place to put the phone. But remember to keep it clutter free and tidy. The same rule applies with dying or dead plants-remove them and replace with drawers, hook, a mirror, a place to put the phone. But remember to keep it clutter free and tidy. The same rule applies with dying or dead plants-remove them and replace with fresh ones.

The Bedroom

The bedroom is our personal sanctuary from the world, so it's important that we get it right. The placement of furniture, electrical devices and pictures in the bedroom can have a strong impact on our emotional life and health. So keep electrical appliances to a minimum, consider shifting them out altogether, or opt instead for battery-operated devices. If that's not possible, cover them with a yin-colored cloth.

Clutter in the bedroom is a no-no, as it's thought to reflect disorganization and a lack of focus in personal relationships. Remove all images of yourself on your own. Remove all pictures of, and objects given by, past partners you have been in unhappy relationships with. Give away or throw away clothes which no longer fit. Separate your current wardrobe into different seasons and store those which are not required at the moment. Make sure your dressing table is clear of empty or unused bottles and containers. It is believed that replenishing supplies in empty bottles or containers will dispel feelings of loneliness. Banish unread books, waste bins, notebooks and anything to do with work.

Avoid garish, wild prints and designs on fabric or walls. Storage in your bedroom, particularly above eye level, may result in a constricted feeling in your head and eyes.

For those in pursuit of a good night's sleep, keep the space under your bed clear. It is a Chinese belief that having clutter under your bed means you are sleeping on the issues you're not willing to face.

Lastly, cover all mirrors in your bedroom. In Feng Shui, it is believed that your spirit rises as you sleep, and it will be disturbed by seeing itself in a mirror. Having no mirrors present is also good for rectifying an unhappy relationship or marriage.

The Living Room

The living room is a place to live, converse, relax with loved ones and welcome friends. It's also a place where discussions can erupt into arguments. It's important we try to disperse this destructive energy as soon as possible. And because the pictures, objects and ornaments are symbolic of the feelings of the family, ask yourself some questions. Are the pictures which decorate the walls of your living area harmonious? What aretheir associations? What sort of objects fill the room?

If you have a fireplace, keep it clean at all times. Televisions, VCRs and stereos should be placed at some distance from seating, due to their potentially harmful electromagnetic radiation. Consider concealing them in a cupboard with doors, so they can be hidden away when not in use. Don't let clutter build up on coffee tables or in magazine racks, and change magazines regularly. Check that the living room is not being hit by poison arrows -these can be created by angular furniture, corridors, the corners of internal walls or a neighboring roof line. If poison arrows are a problem, establish where they are being generated in order to soften their effect in your home. Remedy a problematic neighboring building or structure with stained or frosted glass in windows. Small side tables, settees or narrow bookcases can be installed in corridors which funnel Qi too vigorously.

The Kitchen and Dining Space

Clearing clutter is also important in the kitchen and dining space. If you are planning a kitchen from scratch, or planning a renovation, make sure there's plenty of storage space - big pot drawers, pull-out corner cupboards, a walk-in pantry and cabinets for tucking away the microwave the dishwasher. There's a current trend to display knives on walls - it's better Feng Shui to tuck them away safely or store them in a wooden block

Hanging strips of garlic, onion or chili is not good, as dead plants create too much yin energy-store them in cupboards or vegetable racks. Hanging utensils from an overhead beam is also considered inauspicious, as it creates a lot of poison arrows. The kitchen operates best if it's kept clean and clutter free. It should be a yang area, so don't fill it with yin object such as unpaid bills or old dried flowers.

In Feng Shui, the kitchen and dining rooms are symbols of your family's prosperity, abundance and wealth, so try to keep the Feng Shui flowing positively. Once you have eliminated the generation of negative energy, consider setting aside one full day for cleaning your kitchen from top to bottom and reorganizing it. Stock your pantry with your favorite ingredients. Chinese tradition says that the rice container should never be empty -always keep a well-stocked pantry and fridge.

The Bathroom

The bathroom is for purification, so it should be clean, airy and simple. It should have good ventilation, effective lighting, privacy and little clutter. Remove anything which hampers these positive aspects. Set aside a day for reviving the energy of this room. Take out all clutter from drawers and cabinets. Determine what you do and don't need and consider how best to store the necessary items.

Make sure your storage area is concealed behind doors, a screen or curtains. Make sure the waste bin isn't overflowing. Remove silk, plastic or dried flowers. Don't allow damp to spread-hidden mold represents a hidden problem in your life. Remove sharp or angular furniture and replace it with soft, organic, round shapes. The bathroom is associated with a yin energy and because of its relationship to the element Water, the state of your bathroom is also symbolic of your wealth. Make sure the taps don't leak, as this symbolizes your wealth running away. Enliven the space with fresh smells, candles, plants and appropriately positioned mirrors.

The Workspace

If you work from home, either occasionally or on a full-time basis, consider implementing a routine cleansing of your home office-it is a good idea to do this after a major project has ended, or before planning to attract new clients. Some freelance workers find they do this automatically, as they have an instinctive urge to "clear the decks" before new work come sin. In Feng Shui, it is believed that the act of clearing "old energy" encourages "new energy" to enter your life. Clearing your work space can be anything from tidying your files or tools to rearranging furniture. Make sure your office space is dust free-wipe down the tabletop. Tidy up books, files, tools and equipment and determine whether you need past files in the office or you can store them elsewhere. Overwhelming clutter in your work environment could lead to the inability to concentrate or work effectively. Try to avoid having your desk or office space in your bedroom this will interfere with your sleep. If your work area cannot be situated outside the bedroom, ensure there's a barrier, such as a screen, to psychologically differentiate the opposing activities. Also, cover yang devices such as computers and printers with a cloth at night to create a restful, peaceful atmosphere.

Disorganization and a lack of focus in personal relationships are thought to be the underlying reasons for lutter in the bedroom. But remember; Feng Shui is concerned not only with obvious clutter, it also focuses on hidden untidiness in cupboards, on shelves, in drawers and under beds. It's also good Feng Shui practice to ensure furnishings and lights on either side of the bed are balanced in size, proportion and color.

Because the entrance and hallway set the tone for the rest of the house, make sure there is somewhere to hang coats, place umbrellas, put your shoes. Is there somewhere to put newspapers, bills, junk mail? Clutter is a state of mind - when you clear out the cutter in your home, you clean out the clutter in your life.

Pictures, objects and ornaments in the living room are symbolic of the feelings of the family. To remove negative energy, clear some space. Don't allow clutter to build up on coffee tables, bookshelves, or magazine racks.

The same living room is now much more conducive to conversing, relaxing with loved ones, and welcoming guests and friends. Space clearing has increased beneficial energy, and artfully and sensitively placing objects has increased the beneficial flow of Qi.

Here, the symbol of a fish, representative of life and good fortune, has been placed in the fireplace to diffuse powerful Fire energy. Displaying the fish symbol as a vase, as a painting or on a screen would be equally effective. Keeping a clean, clutter-free fireplace is very auspicious Feng Shui.

In Feng Shui, the nature of clutter is thought to symbolize what you are feeling about your life. For example, empty jars or bottles reflect feelings of loneliness or emptiness; items stored under your bed represent issues you're not willing to face. What kind of clutter do you have in your home? Dirty laundry, cheap cosmetics or junk in your relationships corner? To carry out a Feng Shui clearing room by room, you need a compass, a grid and a rough room plan. These items help you establish which sectors of your room correspond to the various life aspirations (see pages 28-3I). Sketch out your room plan, complete with furniture placement, and see where clutter is congregating.

Although there's a current fashion to hang pots, pans and kitchen utensils on beams or above kitchen work spaces, the Chinese consider this practice inauspicious Feng Shui, as it can create hard-hitting poison arrows.

Here, overhead utensils have been removed and stored in appropriate storage drawers in the kitchen. In their absence, red Chinese lanterns have been added - red is a good color to stimulate the appetite and the lanterns create a barrier between the kitchen and the adjacent dining room.

In Feng Shui, the kitchen and dining rooms are symbols of your family's prosperity, abundance and wealth, so keep Qi flowing positively in these areas. Stock your pantry with your favorite ingredients. In Chinese tradition the rice container should never be empty, so always keep your kitchen well stocked. But equally important is having a neat pantry, not one which is crammed tight with old, unused containers and jars - ensure these are removed.

Clearing lutter is important in the kitchen and dining areas. If you are planning a new kitchen or a renovation, make sure there's plenty of storage space - big pot drawers, pull-out corner cupboards, a walk-in pantry and integrated cabinets for tucking away the microwave, dishwasher and fridge.