Literally translating to “wind water”, feng shui is an ancient Chinese method of organising one’s external surroundings to achieve inner balance. According to this concept, even inanimate objects contain energy, or “chi”, which can be harnessed to our benefit if properly positioned. Think of organisation gurus like Marie Kondo, whose popular books and Netflix series have reminded people that individuals and their homes are connected. A messy person would probably result in a messy home, and vice versa.
If you want to harmonise yourself and your surroundings, try these feng shui instructions on achieving the maximum amount of positive energy in your home. You might see a real change!
GET RID OF CLUTTER
It’s often said that a cluttered house results in or is indicative of a cluttered mind. While we’re not advocating for a form of radical minimalism, humans undeniably display a tendency towards hoarding, especially out of sentiment.
If you’re holding onto a bunch of items you don’t even like (think of all those unwanted gifts you’ve stashed away that never see the light of day), they’re not only taking up useful space, but are also a constant source of negative energy. Replace them with items that bring you joy and see how your days immediately brighten up! After all, William Morris once said: “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”
BEDROOMS SHOULD BE SANCTUARIES
Being the place where you rest and recharge for a new day, the bedroom is perhaps the most important area in your home. Because of this, you should make an extra effort to turn it into a veritable sanctuary. This means keeping all forms of technology and reminders of work out of it (these will only serve as reminders of your obligations), along with warm lighting (bright lighting has a higher resonance, which will prevent you from shutting down and relaxing), soft fabrics, and neutral colour tones.
If you have a storage bed, it’s not recommended to place items like books or shoes underneath it, as these are considered to have “active” energy, and will therefore prevent restful slumber. To promote air flow, make sure that you have equal space on either side of the bed, and that the mattress isn’t directly touching the floor.
It’s also beneficial to get into the habit of making your bed every morning and thanking it for supporting you all night (something Marie Kondo is famous for incorporating in her organisation style), as this will create an atmosphere of gratefulness.
INCORPORATE NATURE’S ELEMENTS & COLOURS
The elements of wind and water that literally make up the term feng shui are the same ones that make up the air we breathe and the water our bodies are composed of. We are meant to understand that we are a part of nature, and should strive to be in harmony with it. By bringing the outdoor indoors, you’ll be creating a calming sense of peace, serenity, and a reminder to remain grounded, all while reducing anger and anxiety.
Incorporate all five elements (wood, water, earth, fire, and metal) into your décor with wooden furniture, candles, and living plants (which have their own chi), though if you’re not great with the latter, opt for higher quality artificial ones. Keep your windows clean to let as much natural light into your home as possible, make sure surfaces are regularly dusted to prevent an atmosphere of stagnation, and create a vertical aesthetic with floor-to-ceiling bookcases and tall plants to help give a sense of growth and expansion.
MIRRORS REFLECT ENERGY
In feng shui, there’s something known as “command positions”. Essentially, certain pieces of furniture should be placed in a dominant area of the room, such as beds in bedrooms and desks in home offices. With regards to the former, a bed should be placed in such a position that will have a view of the entrance, called the “mouth of chi”, but without being directly in line with it.
Preferably, the bed should be diagonal to the door, or, if not feasible, a mirror can be hung in such a way as to provide a reflection of it. Mirrors are great reflectors of energy, so place them in areas where you want to increase energy flow.
OPEN YOUR DOORS
How else is energy going to get in? Leaving your doors and windows open will help new, positive energy to flow in and clear all the old, negative energy out, not to mention provide cleaner air. Want to attract more prosperity? Place a red flowering plant (or red colours in general) near the front door to invite good fortune and luck!
While soft lighting is good for a room you rest in, use brighter lights in hallways. Corridors create an interconnecting route throughout the entire house, so the higher energy resonance from bright lights will ensure a stronger connection. The higher wattage is said to be good for keeping veins and arteries clean and unblocked, too.
While it’s important to keep doorways free of obstacles, especially the front door, be careful with runaway chi. Getting rid of clutter doesn’t mean having an entirely empty house. Pieces of furniture and decorative objects placed in a meandering pattern is a good way of impeding energy entering the house and preventing it from simply escaping.