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A few months back, I was doing a whole home overhaul—divvying up enough space for myself and my future husband who had recently moved in, trying to find a great spot for us to both work from home away from our four cats. As I set up my office I not only wanted it to look aesthetically pleasing but to give me a sense of power and accomplishment as I worked through my day. As someone who has mostly relied on an outside environment, as I only worked outside my home before this past year, I wanted to make sure that I checked all the boxes for a completely successful space. I studied a lot of Marie Kondo’s method, and a solid introductory to feng shui. With a whole holiday season ahead of us in addition to busy work and school schedules, we could all use a boost. This week I give you how to give your space a little Feng shui boost in 60 minutes or less.
What is Feng Shui?
Feng shui by definition is the ancient Chinese system of natural laws which are supposed to govern the spatial arrangement orientation of your furniture and décor in relation to the flow of energy (Chi). The word ‘feng’ is Chinese for wind, and the word ‘shui’ is Chinese for water – together these symbolize the flow of life that one should aspire to have in one’s home. Feng shui has over time become mainstream and has become the aspiration to many different methods of organization that both inspires and completes.
In addition to the two main energies that are derived from the meaning of feng shui, it is also composed of several blocks of energies, five to be exact: wood, metal, fire, earth and water. When feng shui-ing one’s home, it is best to balance these elements to the best of your ability. According to HGTV, “If you have a room that doesn't feel quite right, try balancing the elements to make it more comfortable. Each element invokes a different mood, creating a customized space that's beneficial for your personality and goals.”
For purposes of this article, we will highlight the most important aspects of feng shui to have the maximum impact in the shortest amount of time; however there are so many benefits to this style. I hope this inspires you to look into the art more. My favorite tip and one that you will see often, is to minimize clutter. Find what this means to you for your home and run with it. Some people have overflowing closets, while some families will have many toys lying around in the home.
Feng shui expert Laura Benko recommends a solid organizational method. “Make sure that you have the correct organizational systems in place for everything in your life, from paying bills, to recycling, to having a designated spot for your keys. You'll feel lighter, less frazzled, and more efficient.” This system will work for your entryway, bedroom, and office. Finding a solution to decluttering your space will automatically bring energy and a sense of accomplishment; with this one simple step you are already making your way to becoming a feng shui (and very calm) master.
Become a Master
Place the main furniture in the rooms in a commanding position. For the bedroom focus on the bed, and for your home office—focus on the placement of your desk. You want your furniture to have a clear view of the door, but not be in line with the door. The main door to the room or space is called the "mouth of chi," and it's thought to be the portal through which energy comes into your home and life. Placing the furniture in line with the door will stop the flow of energy but having your furniture in a space where you can view the door will increase the flow of the energy to you.
Think vertically. A few well-placed pieces of art or rugs can slow down the flow of energy and disperse it to the right places. Many people have entry way rugs or tables for this reason. Many experts recommend thinking as if you were to be a guest entering the spaces of your own home—give a reason to pause. Slow the flow and let it surround you.
For the placement of the bed, once in the commanding position it is also good to remember a few other tips. Have nightstands on either side of the bed, and allow room for walking on both sides as well (aka, do not place one side up against a wall.) Not only do most adults enjoy a sensible bed entry and exit plan, this will allow energy to flow around the space. It is important to not have clutter under the bed either. While clutter isn’t good in any aspect of feng shui, a blocked under the bed or doorway can seriously limit your energy. Take some time to clean up your surrounding spaces and watch your energy flow!
Trying these quick and simple tips will give you an amazing sense of accomplishment and a solid start to a whole home vibe, however for more steps and info on how to best use the elements to your advantage.
For example, the element of wood: “Wood harnesses the power of creativity and expansion while representing traits such as growth, birth, strength, flexibility and intuition. Too much wood can make you feel overwhelmed, rigid, stubborn and inflexible, whereas too little can show up as a lack of creativity or depression, ambivalence and stagnancy.”
In my home office I chose to bring in some plants as a means of inspiration—I struggle with creative energy especially with us heading into winter. I used plants to help eliminate any stagnate thoughts or feelings. I believe it truly gave me an almost immediate boost. To read more on this HGTV does a great job of breaking down each of the five elements and showing how you can further incorporate them to supplement any part you feel like may be lacking in your life.
Written by: Mindi Flippen