Incorporating aspects of the Chinese feng shui philosophy at home has become increasingly popular in the West to help us relax and feel more in control of our busy lives. While the practice of channeling energy flows may seem like hocus pocus to some, the practical benefits of minimizing clutter to reduce stress is something more of us can appreciate, especially during the busy holiday season!
We turned to feng shui consultant and architect Anjie Cho of Holistic Spaces for feng shui tips that can help incorporate the practice into your living space. Even the photos of her feng shui home featured here are relaxing!
Anjie said a simple way to start with feng shui is to declutter, because feng shui is all about allowing positive energy to flow through a space. “If you have so much clutter and “stuff” in your environment, it can begin to hold you back and also create a sense of stress,” Anjie says. “Although not everyone is consciously aware of it, it does affect you. Like a stone that has water dripping on it lightly for years, clutter begins to wear you down.”
Another basic but important concept of feng shui is to be mindful of the furniture layout with the goal of having a commanding position in your space.
“While standing at the stove, sitting at your desk or lying in bed, it's ideal to be able to see the door and expanse of the room, while not in direct line with the door. You want your back supported against a wall if at all possible. This places you in command of the room, your home and your life. The ‘commanding position’ situates you in so that you can clearly see ahead and move forward with your eyes open and reduces stress and anxiety,” she said.
Anjie shared with us some simple tips that can help bring the benefits of feng shui to each room in your home.
Everyone loves the storage under the bed. But in feng shui, it’s best to not have anything under the bed. Ideally you want the air and energy to flow all around you. Clutter under the bed may represent unconscious blocks in your relationships. The energy of the items under your bed affect you tremendously as you spend many hours sleeping above it.”
Limit Your Living Room Decor
People tend to have a lot of books, photos and knickknacks cluttering up their living rooms. While it’s great to have these personal and meaningful items in your home, it’s better to just put a few out and put the rest in storage. In feng shui, nine is an auspicious number, so try selecting your favorite nine items to have on display. Then you can rotate new items out of storage every few months or seasonally.”
Feng Shui Your Kitchen
With all the kitchen gadgets out there, it’s easy for kitchens to get cluttered. However, the kitchen represents the space in which you feed and nourish yourself. It’s best to keep the area clean and clear. Also, in feng shui, your stove represents your wealth in the world. Many people fall into the habit of using just one burner, but if you rotate them, you open up your opportunities.”
Declutter Your Dining Area
The dining area often becomes an area for everything but dining; it’s a place to pile up clutter! Be conscious of the dining area as a place to gather with family and friends, to dine and nourish our bodies. It’s okay to use the area for other activities, but when it’s time to eat, clear off the table and make it just about dining.”
Organize Your Office
Your desk and office represent your career and work in the world, so it’s important to keep your desk in order. The desk can be looked at as a metaphor for the mind. When you declutter your desk, you can start to work out the problems you have in your mind.”