Getting organized and decreasing clutter is one of the best ways to make not just the physical space around you feel clean and open, but also improve your physical, mental, and spiritual health.
There are many well known eastern philosophies like Feng Shui (from China) and Vastu (from India) that are based on the flow of energy or life force (chi or prana) in relation to an energy space. They both focus on the idea that a person’s well being depends upon the way that their space is in harmony with the natural flow of energy. (Read more about the commonalities between Feng Shui and Vastu.)
For example, have you ever walked into a room that was full of clutter and just felt overwhelmed? Imagine if you were to have to that day after day in your home. What would that do to your overall sense of ease and peace? If you have the same experience at your work place, do you think that it probably affects your ability to focus and problem solve? Even if your desk at work never has a chance to get completely organized–it is helpful to have your home as the sanctuary that you can return to from the outside chaos. Your home should be where you can go to relax and cheer up after a hard day. And one thing is for sure: a clean and organized space just feels better.
So how does something like Fung Shei or Vasta work?
By creating a freer flow of energy, a sense of freshness and openness, you and your loved ones are brought into that free and open flow of energy as well.
Physics states that each atom of energy vibrates at a certain frequency. So think of the energy flow of your home on a vibrational level. Pretend that your home’s vibrations behave like the sound vibrations of a musical cord: when a musical chord is played harmoniously, the observer feels uplifted by its beauty. However, if a musical chord is played disharmoniously, they feel uncomfortable and the body may even exhibit a stress response.
This is why creating a harmonious vibration in your energy space is the foundation for these philosophies. It helps you to have a more aesthetic vibration, or sattvik (meaning “pure” in Sanskrit), uplifting environment. And why something like clutter and disorganization could potentially create physical health problems and mental stress. And these types of energy blocks then affect your spiritual sense of well being, so that overall your quality of life could be affected for as long as you allow it.
So how do you begin to make the necessary changes that will make your space uplifting and harmonious?
Chaos attracts chaos. Thus, the first step is learning how to do a little bit every day to keep clutter from building up over time. You have to begin to make it a natural part of your routine to not let papers and bills stack up, dirt pile on the floor, or clothes get left out all over the house.
Things can get messy pretty quickly, so it’s important to just suck it up and do that extra bit of tidying up right when you get home from work before you completely collapse or doing it first thing in the morning when your energy is fresh. Cleaning does burn calories and can be incorporated into your daily exercise routine. Vacuuming, dishes, and gardening are all examples of activities that help make your home more aesthetically pleasing so you and your loved ones can feel good about coming home every day.
You just have to figure out where and when is the right time to add in a cleaning routine. And learning how to bring everyone on board together requires a bit of teamwork and positive reinforcement– so think of how you gain the entire household’s support so that you don’t feel alone in your efforts.
As far as the greater flow of energy in relation to furniture positioning, paint jobs, and even plumbing as suggested by Fung Shei or Vastu– it is probably best to focus on one thing at a time and go step by step. In Fung Shei it is recommended to begin with reorganizing and decluttering the rooms that are used the most and shared by the household, such as the kitchen, main bathroom, and master bedroom. Maybe the living room too, especially if it is part of the main entrance to the home.
A major part of any house cleaning project is going through what you own and deciding whether to let go of certain things that you don’t use anymore. A lot of times, clutter is a build up of the things you have collected over your life and haven’t had a chance to go through. It is important to semi-annually go through all those boxes, closets, and storage units to make an effort to reevaluate all of these things. Sometimes, the mental clarity that comes after a cleaning “cleanse” like this is worth more than having an expensive [insert the name of your object here] in storage for “just in case”. You have to ask yourself the important question– is this something I truly value and use? Or is it something that I am attached to even though I don’t use it but have to spend my valuable mental energy to keep it around?
There are so many great and easy ways to let go of clutter in an environmentally friendly and resourceful way. Today it is easier now more than ever to even make profit off selling your old furniture or clothes online through Ebay, Craigslist, or having donation services come straight to your door. And there are many worthwhile charities or causes that you can find close to home to bring your used things and give to someone else who is truly in need. Then you can use the money you’ve earned letting go of unnecessary things to get the new furniture or organizing tools you know will help you to stay organized as time goes on.
Make a list of all those household projects that will help the energy in your space to flow more freely. Then put it on the fridge where everyone can see, and watch as gradually each project on the list gets checked off. Reinforce your progress with a new plant or new picture frames or whatever it is that is going to be fun and motivate you all toward the next step. Before you know it your space will look and feel fantastic!
Make the commitment today to start with just one box or one stack of papers. And before long, the entire household will start to look harmonious and everyone inside will begin to feel harmonious, and the sense of peacefulness that comes with a clean and open home.
Once you begin this healing process– you may even find that the mental energy that was getting lost in that feeling of stress or overwhelm is instead transformed into that extra bit of energy you needed to get healthy or accomplish that extra project for work! Remember that energy is never lost– it only changes form.
Every bit counts, and every bit is worth it.
So start now on your journey to a happier, healthier home.