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Published December 31st, 2014
Feng Shui and the Decluttered Home
Keeping homes, especially the master bedroom, clutter-free can enhance Qi, or the flow of good energy. Photos provided

There is no better time to say adios, au revoir, and goodbye to stagnant unhealthy clutter that makes us feel stuck and otherwise overwhelmed than at the start of a new year.
Don't we all accumulate and attach ourselves to too much "stuff" and then our "stuff" makes us feel weighed down? Visualize your home with a declutter facelift - tidy, relieved of the burden of too much stuff crammed in too little a space. If you clench your fist tightly around something your hand remains un-open and unable to receive any additional gifts. When you let go of the unnecessary and unwanted, you make more room for the blessings you are meant to receive.
Feng shui addresses a person's life holistically; dieting, exercising, meditating, attending workshops, and pursuing work you love are only part of the picture for a healthy and prosperous life. The homes and offices we spend our lives in have as much to do with our path for health, prosperity, wellness, and resilience as anything else, and if they are clogged with clutter we are undermining our wishes for sustainable health.
In feng shui we call clutter "sha" Qi or "killing" Qi and the reason why is that clutter is devoid of life and represents dead energy. Since feng shui is based on the ancient Chinese philosophy of the Tao (pronounced Dao) which, since ancient times, has asserted that we are connected to our environment and our environment is connected to us, it stands to reason that the energy of our spaces have an influence on our health and, subsequently, many areas of our lives.
Clutter is unhealthy on many levels: First, it creates real chaos, especially when we cannot find what we need or what we are looking for; second, it is not cost effective to continually accumulate "stuff" we already have and do not need more of; and third, clutter is not sustainable, and since we cannot live in ever smaller areas when clutter takes over, we need to make the choice to pare it down to a manageable level.
Clutter can snowball and overwhelm our spaces and lives, and create that depressing stuck Qi that holds us back from experiencing the ideal shifts in our destiny.
Where to start the decluttering process? The garage.

1. Schedule a pick up day with the Salvation Army or other nonprofit. Try to pick a bright sunny day to start, firmly schedule two to four hours to begin, get a good night's sleep, make sure you have your tools ready to go (e.g. large black garbage bags, storage bins, non-toxic cleanser and cloths).
2. Begin in the garage to create the extra storage for some of the household items you may store later.
3. Begin with a mental intention to work happily. Change your perspective from the "drudgery of cleaning" to the act of "space clearing" - use orange cleanser for abundance. Be mindful that you are getting rid of what's weighing you down and holding you back, and are making room for new opportunities, new growth, and a fresh start. Feel the shift.
4. Try your best to get to the bottom of boxes and to the back of shelves. Pull everything out so you can really eyeball what you have since you may have forgotten all that's there.
5. Organize multiples of items together or donate them.
6. Make one pile for donations, one pile for storage and a third pile for garbage. Complete the process by tying up the bags, placing them immediately on the curb for garbage or donation pick up, or in your car for donation drop off or for your storage unit, and acknowledge and admire your organized space.
7. Next, organize your master bedroom, bath and closets, creating a vision for what should be sacred adult space. Repeat all the above steps. From a feng shui perspective, if we make improvements in the master bedroom power area, where rest and romance nurture the keepers of the castle, that positive energy will spread to the rest of your home. No room in a home is more important to a couple or an individual than their bedroom.
8. Next do the kitchen, children's rooms, family room.
Decluttering must begin with your mind and heart's sincere and honest invitation for vitality, happiness, confidence, creativity and abundance to come into your space and life. With a firm mental commitment to start where you are, start small, and build upon your successes, the follow through will be there. If you are worried about letting go of sentimental items or family heirlooms, consider storing them elsewhere and freeing up your space for the living we are meant to do. If you cannot tackle it yourself, consider asking for help from professionals who can assist you in at least getting the ball rolling.
Meditate honestly about any attachments to your stuff and remember the age-old wisdom that if we cling too tightly to anything we are not allowing ourselves to be open to accepting the new gifts we are meant to receive from the universe.
Now please go scan this article, then throw it away! Happy New Year!

Garage storage systems and shelving units can help keep your items organized and avoid encroaching clutter.
Although shelving is used in this garage, the amount of boxes and items on and near the shelves has led to disorganization and a sense of chaos.
Michele Duffy, BTB M.F.S. is an Orinda resident who, since 1999, enjoys creating "Space as Medicine" Feng Shui one space at a time, as well as hiking in nature, cooking, spending time with her family; Canyon Ranch Feng Shui Master, International Feng Shui Guild (IFSG) Red Ribbon Professional. For more info, visit www.mandalafengshui.com, email spaceharmony@gmail.com, or call (520) 647-4887.

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