Guest Author - Carol M. Olmstead
In Feng Shui, clutter represents postponed decisions and the inability to move forward. What do you accumulate, where do you put it, and why do you keep it? The answers say a lot about you. We all have to deal with some amount of clutter, but in Feng Shui terms, extreme clutter holds you back and keeps you from making progress.
One of the basic tenets of Feng Shui is that nothing new flows into your life until you make room for it. Therefore, clearing clutter is the key to transforming your space. Feng Shui is about attracting harmony and abundance into your life, but clutter blocks good things from reaching you.
Clutter in Feng Shui is defined as anything unfinished, unused, unresolved, or hopelessly disorganized. Clutter creates stagnation, encouraging a negative “putting-off-until-tomorrow” mentality rather than a positive “doing-it-today” focus, thereby reducing energy in our minds and in our spaces. Since things that are loved and used have strong, active energy around them, when you surround yourself with your favorite things you add clarity and focus to your life. By contrast, when you surround yourself with things that you no longer love, or that hold negative memories, or are no longer useful, your life can lack direction.
Clutter represents stagnant energy, and it's one of the biggest issues that many of my Feng Shui clients face. It keeps you in the past, encourages procrastination, contributes to a lack of harmony in your home and makes you feel tired, overwhelmed, confused, angry, stuck, and depressed.
If you want to deal with clutter once and for all, I offer this Feng Shui challenge: clear the clutter from one drawer, one closet, or one room today, and watch what good things flow into your life to take the place of all that mess tomorrow.
Studies show that of all the things we keep, we will only reuse one item in 20. That means that most people pile rather than file, cluttering their spaces with things they never use. Many people with clutter problems can’t solve them because when they think of getting rid of things, they experience fear of loss. They are afraid that if they throw away items they have been saving they might never be able to replace them. One way to avoid having to face the fear of getting rid of your clutter is to avoid accumulating things in the first place. Try turning any fears around: when you receive something — like a gift you don’t really like or a memo you don’t really need to save — ask your self “how can I get rid of this” rather than “where can I keep it.”
Where -- and Why -- You You Have Clutter
According to Feng Shui principles, a home is the outer manifestation of what is going on inside of the person. If you are outwardly cluttered with piles of laundry in the bedroom, stacks of magazines in the family room, disorderly files all over your desk, there is most likely an equal amount of disorder going on inside your mind. Piles of clutter in your home and office allow energy to stagnate, resulting in fatigue, lethargy, and often depression. Cluttered, overcrowded environments create negative chi and affect your ability to move forward. When you remove clutter, you open up the flow of positive chi into your home and workplace and consequently into your life. And you just feel better.
Where and why you have clutter says a lot about what is going on in your life. A cluttered space equals a cluttered mind. If you look at clutter all day, clutter is what you will attract into your life.
Here are some common clutter locations. What do they reveal about hidden aspects of your life?
Clutter at the entrance of your home – may be concealing fear of relationships.
Clutter in your closets – reveals an unwillingness to examine your emotions.
Clutter in the kitchen – represents resentment of care-taking.
Clutter next to your bed – symbolizes a desire for change or escape.
Clutter under your bed - represents a fear of relationships.
Clutter on a desk - reveals frustration, fear of letting go, and need to control.
Clutter behind a door - means detachment from others.
Clutter under furniture – represents concern with appearances.
Clutter in a basement – reveals procrastination.
Clutter in an attic – symbolizes living in the past.
Clutter in a garage – reveals the inability to reach your potential.
Clutter all over – reveals anger and low self-esteem.
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