It’s a game changer to welcome positive energy into a space through home organization and interior decorating. Basically, we’re big fans of feng shui, and we’re here to explain it to you if you’re not familiar with it. We understand that feng shui may appear to be a hazy and unattainable objective at first. But believe us when we tell that by implementing just a handful of the fundamentals, you’ll be well on your way to authentic feng shui and home harmony. With that in mind, consider this your feng shui crash course for beginners…

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What Is Feng Shui?

Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese practice of arranging objects and space to achieve harmony and balance in a room. “Feng” means “wind,” and “Shui” means “water” in Chinese. Its roots can be traced back to an old poem that described the experience of being at one with nature.

The winds are mild,

The sun is bright,

The water is clear,

The trees are lush.

It’s this sense of perfect harmonious connection with nature that Feng Shui aims to achieve in all of your surroundings.

Feng Shui philosophy is closely related to Taoism. “Tao” means “the way” and Taoism refers to the “way of nature”. When we practice feng shui rules, we are essentially creating the feeling of being connected with nature through our built environments.

If the idea behind Feng Shui–and how seriously it’s taken–isn’t enough to persuade you to embark on a home improvement project, perhaps the following benefits will:

  • better sleep
  • better mental health
  • better productivity
  • better overall health

Despite the fact that Feng Shui is more of an ancient art than a hard science, research studies have shown that the bedroom layout employed in feng shui might help you sleep better. Another research study of high-stressed healthcare professionals discovered that applying feng shui principles to a hospital enhanced nurses’ mental well-being.

Essential Principles of Feng Shui

The enigmatic and unquantifiable role of “Chi” (or “Qi”) is one of the reasons why there are so few studies on Feng Shui.

Chi is the positive energy that we desire to create in the places where we live, work, and play, according to Chinese philosophy. As you may expect, using scientific instruments to pinpoint a positive spiritual force is difficult.

It’s beneficial to think of chi as the invigorating, awakened, and pleasurable sensation you experience when you spend time in certain places. Chi must be freely circulating in an area for these feelings to arise. By assisting Chi flow, Feng Shui aims to improve those feelings.

The idea is to bring the five elements–water, earth, fire, metal, and wood–into balance with one other in order to promote the flow of chi while decreasing chi blockages (sha chi).

These guidelines will assist you in identifying and enhancing the positive emotions you get from your surroundings.

The Commanding Position

If you’re in a room, the commanding position is the one furthest away from the door on the diagonal. You should be able to see the door plainly from this vantage point. This is a dominating location, according to feng shui, and so the place where you should spend the most time.

Every room has a commanding vantage point. You should put your bed there if it’s your bedroom. If you’re working from home, this is where you’ll put your desk. This is an excellent location for your stove in your kitchen.

These feng shui guidelines are not made up on the spot. Your bed is a representation of yourself. Your workstation is an extension of your professional life. Your stove is a symbol of abundance and sustenance. All of them are significant components of your life that should be recognized by occupying a dominant place in space.

The Bagua

The Bagua is the feng shui energy map for your space. Bagua means “eight areas”. Each refers to a “gua” or key area of your life.

The Baguas:

  • Family
  • Wealth
  • Health
  • Children
  • Knowledge
  • Fame
  • Career
  • Partnerships

Shapes, colors, seasons, numbers, and earthly elements have been ascribed to each location. The Bagua can be used to assess your home and determine which regions are most aligned with specific aspects of your life.

A compass and a floor plan of your home, workplace, or room are required to use a Bagua map. You split your home’s floorplan into 9 equal squares and then overlay the map. Each square corresponds to one of the eight zones, with the ninth–the Yin Yang point–serving as the home’s dynamic hub, connecting all of the others.

The Five Elements

The Feng Shui five elements include earth, metal, water, wood, and fire. These elements represent different phases of your life and they’re all interrelated. The aim of Feng Shui is to balance these elements in your home and your life.

While you work with the five elements, consider how you want them to appear in your life. What areas do you want to focus on? What areas are important to you? What do you need to strengthen? What areas have you been overfocusing on to the detriment of others?

Earth

  • Qualities: grounded, stable, self-caring
  • Shape: flat, square
  • Colors: brown, yellow, orange
  • Season: in transition, between seasons
  • Areas: health, partnerships, knowledge

Metal

  • Qualities: efficient, beautiful, precise
  • Shape: circular, spherical
  • Colors: white, metallics
  • Season: fall
  • Areas: children, helpful people

Water

  • Qualities: flowing, shifting, downward
  • Shape: wavy, curvy
  • Colors: blue, black
  • Season: winter
  • Area: career

Wood

  • Qualities: vitality, expansive, upward
  • Shape: rectangular, columnar
  • Colors: green, blues
  • Season: spring
  • Areas: wealth, family

Fire

  • Qualities: passion, brilliant, illuminating
  • Shape: pointy, triangular
  • Colors: red
  • Season: summer
  • Area: fame

Room by Room Feng Shui Tips

Now that you understand the essential principles and the five elements of feng shui you’re ready to put these feng shui rules into practice.

Entrance

organized entryway

The energy (qi) enters your home through the front door. It’s no surprise that it’s also known as the “mouth of qi.” Because this is the place that people can view from the outside and look inside, it also represents your face.

Make sure your entrance door is clearly identifiable. Maintain a clean, clutter-free, and easy-to-navigate entryway.

Living Room

Image of living room taken after occupied home staging

This is where you and your family and friends congregate. To encourage communication and interaction, the sofa, armchairs, and chairs should all face each other.

The chairs’ backs should not face the entryway. Have a few extra seats on hand in case of unexpected visitors. Green plants that bring in the wood element, life force, compassion, and kindness are ideal for this area.

If you’re going to hang art in the living room, make sure it’s at eye level, not too low. Because this is a social space, choose artwork that is not emotionally charged. When it comes to social encounters, keep the windows clear to improve your sense of clear perception. Don’t let clutter accumulate on window sills and try to use window treatments that are as neat and unfussy as possible.

Kitchen

Your kitchen is a place to cook, eat, and gather. In feng shui, the kitchen represents nourishment, so it’s important to keep the kitchen decluttered and intentional, signaling to yourself and your family the qualities that you want to feed them with.

Pay special attention to your refrigerator. A cluttered refrigerator is typically a sign of a cluttered mind. More than that though, a cluttered fridge wastes time and money, as far too often food goes bad before anyone finds it to eat it!

Anything that is expired or no longer useful should be composted, recycled, or discarded. Take note of how nice it feels to get rid of the items that just should not be there. And how much easier it is to find the things that should.

Bathroom

Guest bathroom organization

Because we come to the bathroom to cleanse and purify our bodies, it’s critical to treat it as you would your own body–by paying attention to the details and keeping it clean–deep clean!

De-clutter the area surrounding your sink. Throw away everything that has passed its expiration date. Because towels acquire bacteria, they should be replaced on a regular basis. Non-toxic cleaning agents should be used.

The flow of riches and money is symbolized by water. You don’t want your money to go down the drain, so conserve water and close your toilet seat and bathroom door to block the Chi from flowing away.

Bedroom

Feng shui rules link your bedroom with your health. Your bedroom is a sanctuary of safety, rest, and rejuvenation.

The colors and materials should reflect these qualities. For example, earthy-toned rugs, pottery, and crystals can create a calming, stress-reducing atmosphere. Reducing stress is shown to have tremendous positive effects on mental and physical health.

Your bed should be in a commanding position to affirm the commanding position you want to experience in your own life.

Avoid clutter under your bed. Clutter there can be associated with unconscious blockages, compulsions, and parts of your life that you’re avoiding or have a hard time letting go of. Luggage and shoes can signal to the unconscious an unsettling sense of being always on the move. Letters or pictures from an ex–well, I’ll leave that for you to figure out.

Feng Shui: Mistakes to Avoid

When following feng shui rules in your home, here are some of the most common mistakes and how to avoid them.

A Bed on the Same Wall as the Door

All you need is a comfy bed… Not quite. Placement is important. Never put the bed on the same wall as your door. This can create a persistent sense of coming and going that interferes with the resting and receiving the energy of a commanding position. Your feet should also never face the door while sleeping or resting.

Make sure that there is a solid wall behind your bed to provide stability. And the bed should not be placed against a wall behind which is a toilet or kitchen. Nor should it be facing the bathroom door. Sleeping under a beam or a slope can amplify the sense of pressure and stress in your life.

A Raised Toilet Lid

Up or down? It’s a common source of disagreements among couples. Feng shui has the answer. Your toilet and drains in your bathroom can represent energy draining from your life, so keep them shut. And keep your bathroom door closed.

Mirrors

Forget about vanity! Mirrors have their role in feng shui. While they can certainly create a feeling of spaciousness, especially in smaller rooms, it’s important not to overuse them. Following feng shui rules, you can use mirrors but do not in every room.

Place your mirror strategically. Put one in your dining room to reflect the abundance of food. Use them in open spaces. Avoid mirrors in your bedroom or on your bathroom door. Remove any broken mirrors that can create a sense of fragmentation and disharmony.

Clutter

It may sound obvious that a home cluttered with boxes, toys, newspapers, and other unwanted things is not inviting for your family and guests. It can also be emotionally draining.

Studies show that tidiness, or the lack of it, can affect your emotions and productivity. In one study women who described their homes in more stressful terms like messy, cluttered, disarrayed, unorganized, disorganized, overflowing, chaotic, half-finished or sloppy showed cortisol levels that correspond with more stress and poorer physical wellbeing.

In this same study, women who described their homes with terms like relaxing, restful, calming, comforting, soothing, serene, pleasurable, quiet, homey, or peaceful had cortisol fluctuations indicating greater psychological and physical well-being.

Another study looking at the association between clutter and procrastination found that ineffective use of one’s living space; feeling overwhelmed, depressed and worried by excessive stuff was associated with procrastination.

Feng Shui Rules: The Takeaway

These ancient Feng Shui rules can help you create a sense of harmony, energy, and balance in the spaces where you live and work.

Though more of an art than hard science, Feng Shui’s principle of the interconnection between space and all of your life experiences can bring you into greater awareness and appreciation of important parts of life including, family, prosperity, health, and relationship.

The intentional changes that Feng Shui brings into your living spaces create a sense of wellbeing and are shown to have positive effects on sleep, productivity, and health.

You’ll also have realized that decluttering and organizing your home’s spaces plays a huge role in Feng Shui. And even if you are skeptical about the practice itself, it still makes sense that an organized home is just a better home.

In fact, Feng Shui and home organization have a lot in common. But I know how hard it can be to get started. Just Organized by Taya can help there though. By enlisting our help you’ll be able to get through that difficult, time-consuming decluttering phase, and we will not only help you better organize your decluttered spaces, but also brainstorm organizational plans that will help you stay organized long after we leave.

Ready to get started? Book an appointment here, and let’s do this!

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