How can it be that the simple act of planning out a room leads to calm and tranquility? Ask anyone who shudders at the word tchotchkes for their opinion, and you’ll likely hear a version of the following: Space without order is directly correlated to feelings of being out of control. Can your piles of stuff be the reason you are stressed and anxious? Read onward as we examine the art of Feng Shui. You may decide you do not in fact need hundreds of ceramic cats, and that filing your bills instead of stuffing them inside the nearest drawer is a welcome alternative.
There is something inherently calming about order. Have a handle on your living space, and you’ll feel in control of your life. At least, that’s what proponents of Feng Shui promise, even to people who stand knee-deep in piles of old laundry and wonder how such order is possible. At its core, Feng Shui teaches us to eliminate the unnecessary from our lives. Anything “unnecessary is deemed as items that strip our lives of their calm potential”. Ready to try it? It’s time for some serious de-cluttering.
- Experts agree that the first step toward a Feng Shui-ed home is to eliminate the superfluous. Proceeding through one room at a time, make a pile of absolutely necessary items, like underwear. Another pile will go straight into the donation bin, like that bridesmaid dress you haven’t worn since the Rocky Horror Picture Show ten years ago. The last pile of objects will have some sort of sentimentality attached to them. The ceramic cats belong in that pile. For now.
- Next, take a walk. Inside. Without bias. Do you trip over exposed carpet corners? Are there nooks where furniture is pressed to the wall? Feng Shui devotees believe that anyone traveling through the home should be unencumbered, so move that awkwardly placed couch. Let air flow freely through the home.
- Does a certain element have a monopoly on your floor plan? Feng Shui dictates that wood, metal, water, earth and fire are somehow incorporated. Have too many representations of any of these, and the balance of the home will be skewed. Take note that earth and fire can be represented through color and sunlight. Even the most dedicated Feng Shui expert is not going to suggest you install a sandbox or torch room in the basement.
- Consider a new paint job. What color makes you feel calm? If it’s the classic light blue, ask yourself why you’ve painted your bedroom crimson red. Color is believed to be a powerful trigger in the art of Feng Shui.
Head back to that pile of “maybes.” Can you part with the tchotchkes? Do they make you feel comforted, or are you looking at your newly designed space and noticing that cramming hordes of miniature felines into it makes you nervous? Congratulations. You are well on your way to a life calmed by Feng Shui.
Dr. Kym Caporale, DOM
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