Looking to update your space but don’t know where to begin? Consider giving Feng Shui a try. For complete novices, the ancient art can seem a bit intimidating, but getting started in your home is easier than you think. While Feng Shui can take a lifetime to truly master, implementing a few key—and impactful—changes can take no time at all.
Begin with one key piece of information: “Some people think they have to buy special Feng Shui products to make Feng Shui work; but, in the real-world version of Feng Shui that I practice you instead surround yourself with objects and art that you love,” says Carol Olmstead, FISA, Master Practitioner, and author of Feng Shui Quick Guide For Home and Office: Secrets For Attracting Wealth, Harmony, and Love. “The main tool I use to decide where to place furniture, objects, and colors is a mapping chart called a bagua. The magic happens when you place the right objects and colors in the right locations.”
With bagua in hand (or on screen), set aside a Saturday for an overhaul, or just spend five minutes to seriously get the chi moving in your space. Two experts, Carol Olmstead and Laura Benko, Feng Shui practitioner and author of The Holistic Home: Feng Shui for Mind Body Spirit Space, share 9 key, and easy, ways to shake up your home:
1 "In Feng Shui, clutter represents ‘postponed decisions’ and the ‘inability to move forward,’ so when you are surrounded by clutter the positive energy (chi) can’t get to you. Once you remove clutter, you make room for wealth, harmony, love, and so much more to find you."
2 “Taking less than five minutes to clear off the surfaces in your immediate surroundings—counter tops, coffee table, desk, etc—can have a profound impact on your state of mind. When you physically have clarity in front of you, it is much easier to find it within.”
3 “Add a living plant to represent positive growth. If you can’t grow plants, high quality silk is an acceptable alternative, or images of healthy, growing plants and flowers. Avoid plants with thorns like cactus because they send sharp energy, and Bonsai and other miniature plants because they represent stunted growth.”
4 “Get rid of any dead or dried flowers. They are nothing but dead energy that collects dust and a reminder of a lack of vibrancy and life.”
5 “Toss anything that you no longer like, no longer use, and/or no longer need. Also, get rid of items from a failed relationship, like letters, emails, gifts, and even linens. In order to make room for a new love to find you, you must purge the old.”
6 “Burning some sage helps clear the energy of your space. Just as you would clear the dirt, grease, and grime, it helps clean the atmosphere. It only takes a few minutes to lighten a heavy atmosphere and the benefits are tremendous.”
7 Move your furniture away from your walls. “Furniture often gets pushed to the perimeter when it more often would work better in more purposeful groupings.”
8 “A bedroom should be reserved for rest and/or romance only, which means you should remove everything related to work. Remove any objects that feel single, solitary, and lonely, and replace them with images and objects that are romantic and special to you."
9 To improve sleep, “Remove piles of work, unfinished books and to-do lists from your bedside. Also, get rid of any fast moving imagery like pictures of crashing waves or actual exercise equipment.”