7 Tips to Help a Hoarder with Feng Shui

Chi/energy becomes stuck in a hoarded home

Chi/energy becomes stuck in a hoarded home

It is bizarre – I literally had the book Move Your Stuff, Change Your Life by Karen Rauch Carter in my hand this morning, and then lo-and-behold her newsletter pops into my inbox not a few minutes later, which then led me to another article on her blog titled: Can a Hoarder be Helped with Feng Shui?

I have been helping hoarders to declutter for a number of years now and I am always interested on other’s experiences on what has worked or what hasn’t so this article was perfect for me. I am guessing it will be for you too! Read on…

I recently had a consultation with a full-on hoarder, so I thought I’d share some ideas on this subject in case you aren’t sure if you are one, or in case you know someone who is but doesn’t know it. I don’t really think that the label is necessary mind you, but if it helps, as in this case, I say use it.

I have helped and have seen other colleagues of mine help the chronically cluttered and the hopelessly hoarded. It can be done. I admire the friends and family members that try to take this job on for their lived ones. My caveat to you before helping is that you support yourself as much as possible first.

1. Make sure you have a clean, neat home that makes you feel alive and vital, so that when returning from helping your friend or family member, you can rebuild your personal energy. Just like the hoarder, you can’t afford to have anything dead (plants, animals or people in urns,) dirt, clutter, grime, or anything that is sitting on the floor (like a stack of magazines, boxes of papers or tools, etc.) or anything that has literally not moved in your home for years.

2. Give your furnishing a little shake and wipe-down to freshen-up the energy.

3. Open a window to exchange the air.

4. Do NOT, I repeat, DO NOT bring anything home from the hoarder’s home and place it in yours – I don’t care how much room you’ve got to spare. Results I’ve seen from taking this on are weight gain and lung issue ailments.

5. A space clearing or ground  blessing may help start the process (rituals can be helpful in helping the person who needs the help to actually switch from being resistant to being willing to see from a different perspective and want to change.) You can use salt with the intention of absorbing negative energy (place a bowl of salt water on the front porch and invite stale energies out to be transformed into positive energy or released from the home – warning this is akin to the house throwing up which actually may make the client feel nauseous.)

You can also ring bells, bang drums or pots and pans or even play loud classical music as you circle the house (or property, as I’ve seen hoarding in the form of many cars on the property.) There are many other space clearing rituals out there – look one up and try it. I like the ones in my friend Denise Linn’s book Sacred Space.

Read the entire article here.

Feng Shui’s No. 1 enemy: clutter!

My Chi is definitely choked!

My Chi is definitely choked!

You know that feeling what you arrive home and it just feels stuffy, heavy or depressing and you don’t know why? It could be your home’s Chi! Chi (the Feng Shui term for energy) needs to be fresh and flowing, not stale and stagnant. The number one reason for this could be staring you in the face – your clutter!

Clutter is the No.1 enemy of Feng Shui as the Chi can’t flow easily around your stuff and so it becomes stagnant – and hence why you too will feel this way, like you are stuck and can’t move on.

Kathryn Weber from Red Lotus Feng Shui has a great blog post on this topic that I think you will enjoy:

Having an uncluttered, organized home will repay you in time and money — and will return your peace of mind — and in just a few short weeks. Besides being a serious re-charge to your life and vitality, decluttering is good feng shui.

Everything you are surrounded by exerts an influence on your life.

If you’re surrounded by clutter and disorganization, it’s a serious energetic drain on your mind, your emotions and your physical body.  Too much stuff quickly turns a home “yin” and that makes energy turn negative. Once that happens, the circumstances of life start changing, too. You could say that clutter becomes the sticks and mortar that dam your life and stop the opportunities that flow to you.

Let’s get started with the basics.

What is clutter?

Clutter is anything that you don’t regularly use, things that you don’t like or enjoy or that are broken, or items kept out of guilt and obligation. Clutter includes items like old clothing, unused toys, mismatched dishes, or stacks of magazines. One of the worst sources of clutter is paper. Newspapers, mail, magazines, old greeting cards, and various paper items all clutter up our coffee tables, desks, and refrigerator.

What clutter isn’t

Clutter isn’t anything you truly love or use regularly. Clutter also isn’t a valuable collectible. Some things shouldn’t go in a landfill or in a garage sale. Your grandmother’s Fostoria crystal isn’t junk and shouldn’t be treated that way.

Ebay, local antiques or consignment stores are resources to help sell your collectible items. One woman made $15,000 off her clutter. Every week, she sat at her computer with five to 10 items she wanted to sell and in six months, she had made an extra $15,000 by selling her clutter on Ebay. Too much trouble to sell? Give special items away as gifts to someone who’ll appreciate them.

Clutter sources

There are a number of reasons for our over-accumulation. One is that we’ve moved from a disposable society to everything’s-a-collectible society and if everything is valuable, then you can’t throw anything away then, can you? We’ve also moved from a buy-it-as-you-need-it outlook to a buy-it-in-bulk mindset – and if we buy in bulk, we have to live in bulk.

Lastly, recreational shopping creates an overload of unused, unwanted household items. Hitting the mall every weekend just packs your house and empties your wallet.

Staying present. The difficulty with clutter is both past and future.

Too often people are tied to items because of the past (it was a wedding gift, it was Uncle Frank’s) and the future (what if I need a shoe buttoner again?). Yet clutter causes you problems in the present because you can’t find what you’re looking for or you have things you don’t really need or want. Other problems from the past include items we’ve inherited.

Many people feel like they have to keep everything passed down from their loved ones. It’s a tremendous burden of guilt. Remember that things are not people and it’s okay to let things go. To feel like you have to hold on to the possessions of your loved ones who are no longer around is to have to build your own life and hang on to their lives, too. It makes for a crowded house. Keep just a few items that you especially love or that you’ll use on a regular basis. My favorite item from my grandmother? Her cast iron skillet that stays on my stove to this day and gets almost daily use.

Go ahead, be wasteful

Have you ever heard the Depression era stories about being so poor that coffee grounds were dried in the sun and re-used? Well, it’s not the Depression anymore. It’s okay to throw things away. You have my permission and encouragement to get rid of stuff. There will be enough and you can always get more if you need it.

People hang on to so many things because they don’t want to be wasteful; like holding on to a shirt with a stain that won’t come out. The stain won’t come out the longer it hangs there, so why reach for it and then put it back on the rack? Throw it away once and for all.

Your role: The first step to getting control over clutter is recognizing your role in creating it.

Do you overshop? Do you keep things out of guilt (it’s Aunt Mary’s!)? Do you have to buy in bulk? Are you afraid to throw things away? Taking a hard look at how and why your house has gotten cluttered helps you get it under control and from becoming cluttered in the future. So recycle when you can, and throw away, donate, or sell the rest — and at every opportunity.

The physical symptoms of clutter

Clutter stops the flow of energy. When energy stops flowing, there is a negative impact to our bodies, spirits, and energetic life flow in the form of money, opportunities, love, and enjoyment. Clutter manifests as excess weight, constipation, inability to think, feeling stuck in life, low vitality, and poor personal growth and movement.

Once you begin decluttering, you may find yourself unburdened by heavy emotions and will begin to feel lighter, more at ease and have a greater sense of happiness and personal well-being. Clutter holds us back, like a giant weight, and creates blockages in our lives and spirits. Feel yourself feel unencumbered by lifting  the burden of clutter and watch the increased flow of your life to start again.

Read the entire article here.

© K Weber Communications LLC 2002-2010

Kathryn Weber is the publisher of the Red Lotus Letter Feng Shui E-zine and certified feng shui consultant in classical Chinese feng shui. Kathryn helps her readers improve their lives and generate more wealth with feng shui. For more information and to receive her FREE Ebook “Easy Money – 3 Steps to Building Massive Wealth with Feng Shui” visit http://www.redlotusletter.com and learn the fast and fun way how feng shui can make your life more prosperous and abundant!

Copyright Kathryn Weber. All rights reserved

Nine Essential Feng Shui Tools

What Feng Shui keys can you discover?

I love it when I find an article that takes a lot of the complications out of Feng Shui, so everyday folks can take a little bit here and there and make a difference to their home or office.

I found one such article from Open Spaces Feng Shui. You could call it your Feng Shui cheat sheet. I recommend you print it out, keep it handy and do a little bit at a time and just watch the changes occur!

The Nine Essential Feng Shui Adjustments

 1. Mirrors – often called the “aspirin of Feng Shui,” mirrors bring light into a space, reflect the beauty around you, and create dimension, especially when a Bagua area is missing from your space.   Here’s more about the proper use of mirrors in Feng Shui.

 2. Lights – Lift the Chi of any area with good-quality lighting.  From candles to reading lamps, and from chandeliers to torchieres, lights attract attention and life, creating an attractive place for Chi energy to circulate.

 3.Crystals–Crystals contain a power within them that cannot be duplicated with any other object.  Hang a clear faceted crystal in your window to attract the sparkle of the sun and its full color spectrum into your space. Crystalsfrom the earth such as quartz or amethyst are an important source of Earth energy that bring a sense of groundedness to your life.

4. Sound Makers – Noise makers such as wind chimes are a classic Feng Shui adjustment that stir up energy in areas that would otherwise feel lifeless.  Hung indoors they lift the Chi of your space, while outdoors they attract Chi to your door.  Here’s more on using wind chimes as a Feng Shui adjustment.

 5. Objects with Movement – Sometimes Sound-Makers are unwelcome 😉  If you’d like to generate a sense of movement without sound, colorful flags and “wind-dancers” are excellent Feng Shui substitutes.  Flags can also be placed strategically to complete the shape of your home’s Bagua map if it is missing a sector.  Here’s more on missing Bagua areas.

 6. Living Things – There’s a wide range of living things you can bring into your space to activate Chi. From live plants to well-loved pets, living things require your attention, which is a natural source of positive energy.  If you can’t have living things in your space – lack of light, or perhaps your building doesn’t allow pets – representations of living things will do, such as high-quality artificial plants and pictures of animals.  Be sure to keep these items clean and fresh-looking!

 7. Water Features – As one of Feng Shui’s Five Elements, Water is always a welcome way to generate a sense of movement and flow. To keep your life moving in your desired direction, place a water feature near your front door, inside or out. You’ll be sure to attract nourishing Chi by placing your fountain so the water flows towards your home, rather than away from it.

 8. Artwork – Art is one of the most important of Feng Shui’s Chi adjustments because it is so universal, yet so personal.  Look around your home right now to make sure the art you’re living with makes you feel great every time you see it. It’s always better to have no art at all than art that depresses your spirits. If something is dragging you down, remove it from your sight and see how much better you feel.

 9. Solid and Heavy Objects – Heavy things anchor Chi energy.  When you have the sense that your life is directionless, or feel that your intentions need an extra boost, place a weighty object in the Bagua sector you are focusing on.  A heavy plant, a beautiful piece of heavy crystal, even an extra-heavy piece of furniture will do.

To read the original article and comments go to: http://openspacesfengshui.com/feng-shui-tips/2012/04/essential-feng-shui-adjustments/

10 Days to a New Year’s Transformation

Hmm...is blue really my colour?

10 days is all it takes to a new you! Be sure you are ready to face the Chinese Year of the Dragon by doing some clearing out (dragons love a good clear out!)

DAY 1 Purse: go through your purse and clean it out. File all old receipts, dispose of all expired / unused cards. Does your purse reflect who you are now…perhaps it’s time to consider a new purse which is functional and fabulous! Your attitude toward money and abundance is reflected in your choice of purse.

DAY 2 Keys: symbolically unlock your hidden potential and open the doors to new opportunities. Ensure all of your keys are facing the same direction and are on the key ring from largest to smallest. Remove any unused keys from your key ring and add a positive symbol which can enhance the energy of your keys.

DAY 3 Car: wash your car, clean and vacuum the interior. Ensure that your car is safe and is in good mechanical order. Your car is an extension of yourself and represents your direction in life. Same applies for other modes of transport – bicycles, motorbikes and most importantly your feet! These are your primary mode of transport so ook after them!

DAY 4 Wardrobe: it’s time to go through your clothing and shoes and let go of all that does not represent who you are today. Items which have painful memories or associations must go. Give them away, donate them, or sell them. Items which no longer fit must go. Letting go of the old allows new energy to enter your life. It is now time to create a new image of who you are today.

DAY 5 Windows: clean the windows and glass doors of your home to provide clarity. The windows are like the eyes of your home and clean windows will heighten your insight and clarity.

Prepare Your Home For The New Year With Feng Shui

The Chinese New Year starts February 23 this year – will you be ready? If you missed the January 1st New Year deadline, don’t worry: the Chinese New Year isn’t until the 23rd of January so you’ve still got time!  To greet the New Year, set aside a couple of hours to give your house a head start with my suggestions below.
Out with the old!
1. De-clutter: Grab a box, set a timer for five minutes and take it with you from room to room. Throw out old newspapers, magazines, empty bottles of shampoo, old clothes you know you’ll never wear again.
2. Vacuum: Get the old energy out by making the floors clean.
3. Do the laundry: Don’t have dirty clothes hanging around; throw on a load or two while you declutter but be sure to fold and put the clean clothes away.
4. Clean the bathroom: Make it sparkle.
5. Empty all garbages: You don’t want last years’ garbage hanging around, do you?
6. Clean out the refrigerator: Throw out half-empty jars of who knows what. You don’t want to go into the New Year with old or mouldy food lurking in the fridge.
7. Clear out visual clutter: Clear off the kitchen and bathroom counters, your desk, wherever there is a flat surface. Make as much space as possible. You cannot bring in new things if there is no room for them.
8. Garden: Make sure the lawn is mown, the edges down and the paths are swept.
9. Change the sheets and towels: Put clean sheets on all the beds on New Year’s Eve and clean towels in the bathroom and kitchen. New sheets are even better.
10. Clean the car: both inside and out.
In with the new…

How to easily lift the energy of your home – and your life!

3 rings a day keeps the doctor away!

I have just recently returned from a fabulous couple of weeks in Phuket celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary. While I was there I picked up a lovely bell from the Big Buddha statue to use to lift the energy of the homes of my Feng Shui clients. It sounds delightful.

But when I returned and had jetlag for the first day, I started ringing the bell and almost immediately my mood and feelings of lethargy lifted – it was amazing! The same happened effect happened to the energy of the house when I walked around ringing the bell – everything seems lighter and brighter (sounds bizarre I know!)

I then came across an article online that outlined this very effect:

Once stagnation sets in around your home, you may also experience a rise in aches and pains and you may feel less energetic, and maybe even depressed.

Low home vitality can express itself in your personal energy, creating fatigue and lethargy. Over time, it can make you vulnerable to other afflictions and problems that range from rashes, allergies, and infections.

If you find that your energy is low and little health complaints numerous, it might be a good idea to employ sound therapy in your home.

What is sound therapy?

A house that is still and quiet is the type of home that creates yin energy – and over time that kind of energy can depress the person with even the brightest and happiest outlook.

To lift the energy of your home, try incorporating the clear, pure sounds of a brass bell. The sound of a bell emits a tonal frequency that cuts through yin energy and dispels it from your home.

Begin by ringing a bell in the centre of the room or house and then move from the door in a clockwise fashion making sure to ring the bell in dark corners and stagnant areas. These areas collect yin energy and become a vacuum, drawing more yin energy to them.

When a bell is used, the sound penetrates through the yin energy and creates a clearing effect. Do this three times in each room to fully penetrate the area with cleansing sound chi.

If you want to permanently lift your energy and the energy around your home, be sure to use sound therapy daily. Install a water fountain, play music, or hang a windchime near a window to keep your home filled with active, natural sounds.

Even a radio or TV playing will keep a home energized with the sounds of life and activity – a key to keeping your home’s chi vibrant and the chi energized and refreshed.