14 things feng shui experts want you to throw away right now
Feng shui is the practice of arranging elements in a space to promote the maximum possible flow of positive energy, otherwise known as chi. An ancient Chinese art, this philosophy suggests you can increase your abundance, vitality and happiness by creating a harmonious environment, one in which chi can easily flow.
But beware: It’s easy to disrupt your chi, and when you do that, things can go very wrong. We spoke to feng shui experts to find out what might be blocking the vital life force in your own home and what you need to do to make things a whole lot better very quickly.
Shoes, coats, bags, backpacks, kiddie sports gear – we could go on, but why bother? You know all the stuff that has a tendency to accumulate near the front door. But it’s essential to clear it if you want good mojo in your house. The front door, the entrance point of chi for your home, should be positive.
Feng shui expert Kathryn Weber, publisher of the feng shui site Red Lotus Letter, suggests “keeping your foyer open by moving piles of shoes and clutter out of the way.” An entryway that is easy to move through fosters good energy in your home and your life, which can mean increased opportunities. Weber reminds us the opposite is also true: “A crowded and cluttered entryway can diminish energy and stall income and relationships.”
Got an oversized console table in your hallway? How about a bench that collects a bunch of stuff that never seems to get put away? Toss it! (Or at least find a better spot for it.) Feng shui guru Karen Rauch Carter, author of Move Your Stuff, Change Your Life, wants you to think of hallways as the arteries of the home. Visualise them aiding in the circulation of the energy throughout your home and “remove anything that impedes the natural flow.”
Both Carter and Weber say that clutter fosters stagnant energy. Pare things down and things will start to look up. A clutter-free home, one filled with only the items you truly love or use on a regular basis, allows the positive energy to flow freely.
The kitchen, according to Weber, is “considered a source of both wealth and health. This is one area you want to take special care with, because your health is your wealth.” To revitalise the kitchen area, she suggests clearing the pantry of old food, spices, and anything past its use-by date.
As they say, you are what you eat. But there’s more to it than that; your energy can be helped or hampered by the state of your refrigerator. A fridge filled with near-empty containers, like jars with just a small amount of marmalade or salad dressing, does not invite abundance.
How can you keep the positive energy flowing? “Clear out old food and wipe down the refrigerator shelves, the produce bin and the meat drawer before replenishing,” advises Weber.
We know, we know – you love to Netflix and chill. But in the actual bedroom, Carter says, “the television is out!” Why? It distracts from the two main purposes of the space: health regeneration (sleep) and relationship building (passion).
While you’re moving your flat screen elsewhere, turn a ruthless eye to other potential distractions in your room, too. Clutter piled around the bed or even a collection of family photographs displayed on your dresser can also be preoccupying.
Select and display artwork and wall art that contributes to the overall energy of the space. Look for uplifting and light pieces. Carter avoids bringing home depressing artwork (think: depictions of wars or storms), as negative depictions generate negative energy. But there’s more to it than that.
Art with water in it should not be hung above the bed because it sets up an anxiety-creating feeling of constantly trying to “get your nose above water” or feeling anxious or overwhelmed.
As it turns out, painting your front door red, a well-known feng shui cure, isn’t a prerequisite in feng shui. And while it may be right for some, it isn’t something everyone should do.
Prescribed feng shui cures need to be tailored to a specific space, so first, you need to learn more about which way your door faces and what it’s in line with.
They’re tiny and cute, but you should admire them from afar. Weber is adamant that the “one thing that should never come home with you is a bonsai tree.” She explains that while they may have a “zen” appeal, they really represent stunted growth that fails to reach its potential.
Healthy plants exude vitality and enhance the good chi throughout your space. But withered or dying plants bring down your home’s energy. And let’s face it – they’re depressing to look at, too. Weber recommends “looking around at any plants that aren’t thriving. If your ivy has seen better days, replace it with a new, lush plant.”
In feng shui, the goal is to promote your well-being by surrounding yourself with positive energy. Carter says that holding onto items that drudge up negative reminders every time you see them doesn’t contribute to the overall positive vibe of your home. So if you’re storing crutches from a skiing accident in the back of your closet, you should throw them out right away.
No, you shouldn’t get rid of your desk altogether, but you may need to move it. While seated at your desk, you want to be able to see the door and who is coming into the room. Moving your desk to a power position – one with an easy view of the door – can have a positive impact on how you feel about your work.
“When we use chipped dishes for eating and scratched pans to cook with, their damage confers poor health and impoverishment,” says Weber. She suggests discarding dented silverware and pans, as well as chipped mugs, plates and bowls.
Damaged items are bad when it comes to your feng shui, but broken ones are worse. Why? Broken things equal being broke and having diminished financial energy, explains Weber. But just because something is broken doesn’t mean you should automatically toss it – just don’t let it stay broken for long. “If something is broken in your home, fix it,” she says simply. “If it can’t be fixed, throw it out or replace it.”
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