Think of your home. You can describe how it looks, what items you have in it and where everything goes. But how does it make you feel?
Feng shui is all about the way we interact with and react to spaces. This includes the way they look, how items are arranged and even their scent. Feng shui is a Chinese practice that has been around for centuries to help people create the ideal environment for their mental, physical and emotional health. It's based on the different energies present in each part of your home and how that space relates to a different aspect of your life, like your marriage, job, finances, etc. For example, your kitchen is where you and your family gather to discuss the day and eat meals together, so you want to create a space that welcomes that activity.
Your home is where you work, rest and play. The place you start and end your day should put your mind at ease and allow you to grow and be your best self. Didn't think your home wasn't responsible for any of that? Think again.
1. Remove any and all excess clutter.
If you're deciding to follow a more feng shui way of living, the first thing to do is to clean out your home of anything you're not using as well as anything that brings bad energy. Old items from your ex or a former job may bring up bad feelings and memories. Have a yard sale or donate the items so someone who doesn't associate with their original meaning can benefit from them.
2. Bring in some green.
Bringing something living into your home has many benefits and plants are easier than pets. Plants are also a great way to rid the air of impurities that can make you sick, instead of spending money on expensive air purifiers or lots of air fresheners. If you have kids, bonus -- taking care of something teaches responsibility (and gets you off the hook for watering and trimming).
3. Welcome the light.
Natural light is an essential component of feng shui, so draw back the curtains and open the windows whenever possible. When you can't have natural light, choose your sources of light carefully. Nothing too harsh or fluorescent that will be distracting and uninviting. Color is another way to bring light into a room, but we'll get to that in a minute.
4. Include the five elements.
The five elements of feng shui are water, fire, earth, metal and wood. Each of these elements evokes different energies. Water can help you channel your emotions and allows you to be open. Try adding a fish tank. Fire shows courage and a willingness to express yourself and make yourself heard. A red rug, chair or wall makes a bold, confident statement. Earth, not surprisingly is the element that keeps us grounded and provides a sense or order. Metal represents your ability to think clearly and make logical decisions. Metal objects are an obvious choice, but overdoing it can make your home seem closed off. Wood is all about progression, growth and creativity. Use wood furniture when possible.
5. Don't be afraid of color.
A feng shui home may seem streamlined and organized, but that doesn't mean it has to be dull when it comes to color. All of the elements have colors associated with them that run pretty true to their definition. For some water, go for deep colors, like those in the deepest parts of the ocean. For fire, try red or orange. Earth can be represented by tan/beige -- think of sand. Metallics work for metal, as well as white or grey. And for wood, colors like brown and green remind you of trees.
6. Add some common scents.
Scents can trigger so many different memories and emotions. Having the wrong scent in your home can affect your ability to sleep, your productivity and your mood. Aromatherapy, therefore, is a great tool to add to a feng shui home. Lavender in your bedroom can help you sleep while smells of fresh fruit in your kitchen can get you moving. Candles and essential oils can add beautiful scents.
7. Express yourself through art.
Let the artwork on your walls tell your story and set the tone for a space. Using the colors of the elements as a guide, find pieces that excite your imagination for areas like the office or ones that calm you for your bathroom or bedroom. The artwork doesn't have to be expensive -- you could even make it yourself -- it just has to speak to YOU.
8. Respect the purpose of each space.
We've all had dinner in the living room in front of the TV or brought papers or homework to bed. It's a the desire to be somewhere comfortable that makes us do that -- a sign the energy in the appropriate space for that activity is off. Take the TV out of your bedroom, create a room for your desk and toss out the tray tables.
Your home should bring harmony and peace to your life as well as a sense of calm. Organizing it appropriately can do those things. Arrange your furniture and items so they don't obstruct you mentally or physically. Keep items where you can find them easily instead of worrying about storing them creatively and arrange your furniture to leave open pathways and easy access.
While this list in no way encompasses all of feng shui, we hope you can take some of these tips and bring them into your home to create your own sanctuary. Check out eVitamins' selection of home accessories to help you get there!