I have been a supporter of Feng Shui since the late 80's when I first discovered the benefits of a home that was organized, clutter free and had furnishings and objects that as a family, we enjoyed as decor throughout our home. There is nothing more rewarding than having guests over and being complimented on how peaceful and inviting your home is. Following are ten tips I'd like to pass along to those who may wish to enjoy a similar zen-like tranquility in their home.
1. De-Clutter! First and foremost, decluttering of the home is imperative. There is a particular feeling of disorganization and restlessness that comes with a cluttered home and often families that live in clutter find themselves arguing with each other more or experiencing a higher level of frustration. Some people find that as soon as they leave their cluttered homes they are able to relax and enjoy themselves while upon returning, they are again frustrated, irritable and overwhelmed. By beginning one room at a time and delegating the assistance of the family, decluttering can be done in short order. Set a box, laundry basket or plastic storage container for each category you will then place the items in each room in. Label each (or color code them, ie. Blue=Keep, Red=Toss, Yellow=Give away). I find this the easiest because you simply toss each item into each colored box/basket or tagged storage container no problem. When children are younger this can be a game and even really little ones can assist by taking the items they can handle and tossing them into the colored box that is appropriate.
2. Once decluttering is complete in one room, it's time to arrange the furnishings to promote a more tranquil and inviting atmosphere. For example, if the room is a bedroom, by angling the bed in a corner of the room with the foot of the bed facing the door, this promotes comfort because when in bed you are able to see all areas of the bedroom including the door where people would enter so that no one can "sneak up on you". Dressers and stands should be snug up against walls but not barrackading you into your bed so that it is difficult to get out of it without bumping into the stand/dresser. If your stand/dresser has pointed edges (square angles that create points) by topping them with runners that drape over the corners you are softening the environment (controlling what in Feng Shui is called "poison arrows"). Light in the room is also important and promotes a more positive mood. The bedroom should not house electronic items such as computers that run all night or TV's as these are said to create "negative" energy and do not promote a sound night's sleep.
3. In rooms where chairs, chesterfields, loveseats, etc., are located, again their placement creates a certain atmosphere that promotes well-being for members of the family. Sitting areas such as chairs, loveseats, etc., should be placed with their back against walls, not facing against a window. This is to avoid any feelings of someone being able to approach you without your knowledge. Sitting in this manner does, without our being aware at times, make us feel nervous. There should also be a clear, easy to walk through space separating each piece of furniture within each room and that helps the traffic through each room flow naturally and unencumbered.
4. Plants that are alive and healthy should be a part of your decor. Avoid whenever possible, those plants that have pointed leaves or barbs. Plants such as cacti and palm like plants should be avoided. These can be replaced by plants that include Jade plants, Money trees, Geraniums, etc. At the first sign of illness in a plant, it should be separated from the home and allowed to recouperate before once again joining the room. All plants should be watered regularly and kept in good condition, including dusting of their leaves. Dead plants (those that have been dried) should not be part of your home decor as this promotes stagnant and unhealthy "chi" - good energy.
5. Bathroom doors should always remain closed with the toilet seat down. This of course is not only for hygenic reasons but often, in a home were Feng Shui is practiced, it can be noted that when bathroom doors/lids aren't kept closed when not in use, there are often problems with keeping money from "flowing out of the house" as quickly as it "flows in".
6. The use of water fountains in the home promotes a zen-like feeling and the soothing trickling of water is a calming sound that is inviting and relaxing. Fountains need not be large. Small fountains are just as effective. One recommendation however, always ensure the fountains chosen include the use of an AC adapter otherwise you will run through numerous batteries in order to keep your fountains flowing. The fountains should be turned off every night before retiring and the water levels should be checked every few days. Using distilled water in the fountains keeps them running smoothly much longer due to lack of chemicals. Don't place a water fountain at the rear entrance of your home, this promotes the "flowing of money" out of the home quickly.
7. Keep all appliances, light bulbs, furnishings in good condition, replacing/fixing those things that are not working correctly, are burnt out or that are ripped, torn or stained. This promotes efficiency in the home and allows those who live there the opportunity to always enjoy good energy. Also ensure that lighting is adequately available at both the front and rear entrance to the home to avoid discomfort as well from unknown visitors at night.
8. For those whose home has a front door that directly aligns with their back door or Patio door, it is recommended to place, staggered along the hallway, rounded items such as a small table with a lamp, a planter, etc., on either side of the hallway walls to slow down the "chi" that comes into the home and to stop it from travelling quickly out of the home and through the back door. Such happenings can oftentimes promote lack of finances, arguments and stress in the home as well as lack of energy.
9. The burning of aromatic scents often promotes a level of tranquility as well. Using scented candles, incense, etc., is always welcoming and soothing. Of course never leave anything burning unattending or near little fingers.
10. Keeping the home in an always clean state from top to bottom is always an ideal situation and this by itself promotes a wonderful feeling of contentment.
There is nothing more calming than knowing that you can enter your home, your sanctuary and you will always enjoy a feeling of Zen! You may have realized that many of the steps above are not simply Feng Shui oriented, they are very common sense approaches to keeping our homes an enjoyable place to be. Feng Shui has been a part of Chinese culture for thousands of years and although there are many things that North American's might consider as simply superstition, I for one, have experienced the impact that following Feng Shui teachings almost exclusively, can bring into a home. I also know after much practice, exaclty when something is out of order or getting cluttered in the home because a particular area of our lives such as finances, crabby members or illness takes place. As soon as I correct the problem area, the problem also disappears. Superstition perhaps, but it works for me and it might just work for you too. Enjoy!
(This article is 1290 words - Thank you for reading!)