Feng Shui for Your Home

Behr porch paint

Behr Paints porch

Most people can appreciate a well-organized clean home. These are two principles of feng shui that are easy to follow. Clutter and a messy home defeat the purpose of feng shui and can impact your daily life in ways you might not realize.

Feng Shui Is Harmony and Balance

Feng shui is an ancient Chinese philosophy and artform that’s over 5,000 years old. Feng means wind and shui means water. These two elements symbolize harmony and balance. This artform was created through the observation of nature and the universe (astronomy).

Chi Energy

The energy of all life is known as chi and through its movement everything alive is affected. Chi is made up of yin (female) and yang (male) energies. This philosophy is intricately woven into the Chinese culture. Until the 20th century, feng shui was a tightly guarded secret only allowed to be used by royalty. Entire Chinese cities have been designed based on the principles of feng shui.

Harmony in Home Decor

The goal of feng shui is to mimic this natural order of energies in buildings and other man-made objects and structures. These efforts result in humans being more in balance with nature. Feng shui principles are used to create this balance in homes, workplaces and in daily activities.

BEHR SW design

Behr Southwestern room design

Feng Shui Hates Clutter

The first tenent of feng shui is to get rid of clutter. This can take the form of stacks of papers and books, pile of dirty clothes and cluttered closets/drawers. Dirty dishes are clutter as are furniture placements that block the natural flow of chi. Other types of clutter include:

  • Unkempt yard.
  • Overflowing trash can in kitchen and other rooms.
  • Dusty furniture.
  • Cobwebs in corners and on outdoor light fixtures.
  • Broken fixtures and appliances.

The list goes on. All of these and more become clutter because they block the flow of chi energy by creating obstacles.

Chi Energy in Your Home

Chi energy is like the wind that moves freely through the world. It’s like water flowing over rocks in a creek. If you block that energy, it becomes stagnant and unable to flow properly. It’s easy to understand the flow of chi energy when you imagine it as wind and water moving through your home. When chi energy enters your home, what does it meet? Does the water flow naturally into the rest of your home or does it slam into a large piece of furniture or stack of papers/books? If your main entrance is blocked, forcing everyone to walk around furniture or clutter, then the chi energy is unable to enter your home. This can, according to feng shui principles, create a lack of chi energy within your home that affects health, finances, career and even relationships.

Blocked Chi

This life energy (chi) needs to move throughout your home to energize and nourish. With most things feng shui, the rules are very practical. A dirty, cluttered home can become a breeding ground for germs. The psychological effect on you and your family can lead to a depressing atmosphere. Most people can relate to this philosophy when they compare a disorganized closet to one that’s organized or a cluttered home to one that is clean and free of clutter. It simply feels better when you walk into a nice clean home that’s organized.

Where to Start

The first place to start with decluttering is outside your home. If the chi energy is blocked before it ever reaches your door, then no amount of feng shui applications inside your home will remedy the problem. Some basic feng shui rules for outside your home:

  • No garbage cans beside doors leading into home.
  • No debris in gutters.
  • Keep shrubbery neatly trimmed.
  • Keep sidewalks and driveways free of leaves, sticks and other debris.
  • Maintain the exterior of you home, such as no peeling paint, replacing rotten or loose decking, etc.
  • Keep windows clean.
  • Replace burned out light bulbs.
  • Keep yard mowed.
  • Rake leaves and remove.
  • Remove and replace dead shrubbery and trees.
  • Keep tools picked up and neatly stored in a storage shed or garage.
  • Repair or replace broken patio furniture.

These are just a few of the things you want to check off your exterior feng shui declutter list. Once you have the outside of your home well-manicured and any obstructions to the main entrance and other entrances removed, you’re ready to tackle the interior of your abode.

Make A List

It’s easy to become overwhelmed when tackling feng shui decluttering the first time. Make a “To Do” list and check off each item as you work. You’ll soon make great progress and the chi energy will move through your home without obstacles. All photos: Behr      

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Sally Painter

"Everyone can have a beautiful home decor. It just takes a little creativity," says author and freelance writer Sally Painter. This former commercial and residential designer is also a Feng Shui practitioner and believes that, "Everything you choose to put in your home should resonate with you emotionally. If it doesn't - get rid of it!"

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