As the end of the year approaches a lot of people will start to think about their resolutions for the new year. People frequently talk about being more organized or decluttering. These are also two of the main thoughts behind the Chinese tradition of feng shui.

Most of us have probably heard about feng shui but if you are like most people you may not really understand what it is about. The term gained popularity during the new age movement of the 1980’s but the practice itself is rooted deep in Chinese traditions. Feng shui is about creating balance in your home. Now whether you buy in to the Chinese tradition of energy flow or not, the practice has some very common-sense practices that will help make your home more organized, healthier and clutter free. All three of these things can help you decrease stress, improve your mood and make your home a welcoming place.

There are entire books and courses that are dedicated to the practice of feng shui. Today you will be given some basics of the principles. Try a few and see how they work for you and your home. Take it slow and don’t try to do everything at once. Clearing out space and paring down can be overwhelming.

Clear Out the Clutter

Do you have a lot of “stuff” in your home? We all have those little trinkets that remind of a place that we visited or a gift that our child made us, but when is it all too much? Not only do you have to find a place for it, but you also have to have space for it, clean it and around it. Ask yourself if the piece serves a specific function? Why do you keep it? People tend to keep and buy a lot of tchotchkes that don't play a specific function in the home. Use the less is more rule. Find pieces that you really like or that have special meaning for you. Tell friends and relatives that you are paring down and encourage them to not buy tchotchke type gifts. In the feng shui philosophy clutter keeps energy from unfolding in our lives. In other words, lots of stuff ties us down. A new show on Netflix talks about this in the form of having a person hold an item and if it does not bring you joy, toss it! Or at least find it a place out of the way if there are a lot of emotions tied to it. Having a trunk with odds and ends that have special memories is a good way to clear out some space.

Keep the piles of paperwork and such to a minimum. Make space in a drawer or use a basket to keep things contained. Piles of work that need to be done, mail that needs to be opened, can cause anxiety for a lot of people. Finding a place to keep everything neatly until you can get to it will not only keep your home neater but will help you be more organized.

Creating Balance

The five elements—earth, wood, fire, water, and metal—can be present in your home either physically or symbolically. Using the example of fire, you can decorate in warm tones or use candles. Using a variety of colors and decorating elements can help achieve balance in this area. Look at the various rooms in your house. Are there certain areas that are too full? Spacing things correctly in a room will make it flow better and feel more welcoming.

Utilize Natural Light

Natural light is good for your health and general well-being. Making the most of natural light by choosing the right window treatments is a great place to start. Feng shui focuses on light in many ways. One of these ways is with mirrors. Use mirrors in places that reflect natural light or make a room appear bigger. Try not to place mirrors in places where the reflection is of a blank wall or a cluttered area. If you are interested more in feng shui check out on-line videos or the numerous books on the subject. Still a little puzzled on how to make your home flow better? At Niche DesignHouse we have space planning services that can assist you in making your home a place that is open and welcoming.