5 Simple Ways to Redesign Your Home, Inspired by Feng Shui
Feng Shui is complex and takes a lifetime to master. But you can borrow the more straightforward principles to organize and design your home in a minimalist way.
Taoism is a philosophical belief that originated in China in 4th century BC. Tao means the “way" or "path” and refers to an effortless code of living that is in harmony with nature.
Feng Shui is a school of thought that is related to Taoism. They also subscribe to the fundamental belief in the interconnectedness of everything.
The ancient Taoists that developed the art of Feng Shui eventually decided to evolve the school. They expanded their scope to study the creation of environments and how they are in sync with the natural flow of energy (aka “chi”).
Feng Shui is complex and takes a lifetime to master. But you can borrow some of the more straightforward principles to design your home.
This guide introduces the basics of chi and considers “good chi” to be a conduit for health and happiness. The following 5 tips will help you channel good chi and create a sense of safety and serenity in your space.
1. Target the Worst
It may seem easier to start with the most commonly used rooms. However, because you have a preference for these areas they are likely to be in better shape than the others.
In Feng Shui the home is a holistic space. Every area is connected to another and they all have an equal impact on your wellbeing.
Start with the areas that are in the worst shape as this will bring about the most immediate improvement in the quality of energy.
2. Clear the Clutter
Clutter has a strong adverse affect on your physical and psychological health. You stifle chi when you hoard objects or fail to thoroughly clean your space.
In fact, clutter doesn’t just block good energy but also leads to negative energy. That's because it overwhelms your brain and makes it hard to focus. If you desire serenity and clarity start with decluttering and cleaning your home.
Lesson 4 of The Minimalist Challenge provides a plan for clearing clutter.
3. Consider the Layout
There are a few essential considerations for designing a Feng Shui home. One of them — the unobstructed flow of energy — can be checked by taking a tour of your home.
Start with the front door. Make sure it looks welcoming and isn’t blocked by clutter. It should also work (i.e. the lock, knob, and hinges should open easily). Think about it: if you can’t even enter your door easily what does that say about the rest of your home?
Now walk through the door and scan the front entry or hallway. If nothing else, the first thing you see when you walk inside your home should exude peacefulness. Make sure this space isn’t a dumping ground for shoes, coats, and bags. Here’s an example of a minimal and functional entryway.
Lastly, walk through each room of the house and take notice of the furniture arrangement. Are the pieces too big for the room? Do they block doors, windows, or hallways? Have you awkwardly positioned them such that it’s hard to move about the room? If you can’t navigate your space then it’s a clear indication that energy isn’t circulating well.
4. Stop Energy Leaks
There are different forms of energy leaks in a home. For simplicity’s sake focus on obvious inefficiencies that you've ignored:
- Neglecting important repairs
- Keeping broken appliances
- Running water excessively
- Installing equipment poorly
- Living with unattractive decor
You want to avoid being in a space with a bunch of irksome issues that are continuously overlooked. Take time to identify and address broken items, bad design, and botched installations. Moreover, be conscious of your environmental footprint.
5. Add Tranquil Elements
Feng Shui is not just about what you must fix or remove, but also what you should incorporate into your space. Skip the wind chimes and lucky charms (unless you believe in them) and focus on ways to elevate your senses. For example via:
- Organic candles
- Essential oils
- Lush green plants
- Fresh air
- Natural light
- Soothing colors
- Ambient music
- Furry (pet) friends
If possible, choose decor that is functional (or at least has high emotional value) and made of high-quality, non-toxic materials.
Out of respect for the school and its practitioners I must stress that there is much more to Feng Shui than these five tips. This is only a primer not the entire body of knowledge.
However, anyone can practice Feng Shui regardless of their personal or spiritual beliefs.
Be mindful of how your space makes you feel and you'll be happier and healthier. That positive state will permeate other areas of your life.