Spring Clean the Chi
The sun is shining, the flowers are sprouting and this unforgiving winter has finally packed its bags and left us for good. I couldn’t be happier.
The beginning of spring means the budding of brand new, happy energy awaits. With one quick day of some serious spring-cleaning, our homes will be ready to greet this new, positive energy with open arms!!!!! ….or will they?
If you’ve got a house full of clutter, chances are the answer is a big fat NOPE. Clutter usually hangs around our homes because we don’t even realize that it’s clutter. Suddenly, decades go by and you have an attic full of boxes that you haven’t looked at in years. Your home couldn’t welcome that energy even if it wanted to. When it comes to Feng Shui, anything that is neglected, unappealing, or unwanted is considered clutter, and is actively dragging you down.
I have a garage full of things that I’ve been carting all over the world with me for almost two decades! I have my daughters’ dolls from Pakistan, their baby carriage from the Philippines, their beanie babies from elementary school in Virginia, their school notes from middle school in Bangladesh and even their Enrique Iglesias posters from high school in Thailand. Yep, right next to the Christmas decorations I have my daughters’ entire childhood just waiting to be given to someone else. Even as I write this I feel emotional just thinking about not being able to hold my daughter’s favorite dance costume while remembering her graceful performances, or seeing again the determination in Sasha’s eyes when she picked up her first tennis racquet. Then again, I don’t think happy thoughts about all that clutter until I’m preparing myself to give it away. On a normal day I drive in and out of my garage rolling my eyes at all those boxes and making mental notes to call Good Will. And yet, when it comes time to part with those tattered treasures, feelings of regret create all sorts of excuses that keep me from clearing out my garage. So, I get it. It’s much easier said than done.
Unfortunately though, that clutter is doing nothing good for me. In fact, it’s causing harm. In Feng Shui, a cluttered garage means you are being slowed down. Yikes. If you have a two-car garage and you use part of it to store your barbecue, bikes etc., that’s not a problem. Keep the area where your car comes in and out neat and easily accessible and the storage areas tidy. But if you’ve got stuff you know you’re never going to use again – do yourself a favor and free that space up for something new.
Attics represent your future aspirations. So if you’ve got a very neat garage because you’ve put everything in your attic, you may be making it difficult to be excited and optimistic about the future. Keep only the things you treasure in a very neat and organized fashion, and you should be good to go. Do not move things down to your basement! Your basement represents your subconscious, where all of those unresolved issues lie. Those areas should be kept clean and tidy so that you can open yourself up to resolutions, making you more able to move forward.
Clutter does not only show up in our storage areas! If your pantry or refrigerator contains expired food or food that you’ll never eat, or there is mail, dated magazines, broken appliances, or your kids soccer cleats from last weekend’s game hovering around your kitchen, you have some de-cluttering to do. Kitchens are representative of your health, so keeping that area clutter free is essential! An overrun kitchen is also usually a sign that you have to bring home, work, and family life back into balance.
Similarly, a dining room covered in clutter could contribute to a lack of communication or connection amongst family members; while a cluttered bedroom can affect the relationship with your spouse. If you’re single, your chances to attract that ideal someone are hindered. Additionally, cluttered bedrooms represent stuck energy, which make it difficult to get you out of bed in the morning and happily on your way.
Clutter really and truly is energy’s bully. If you have to step around the corner of a table, or jump over your son’s toy truck when walking down the hallway, you know your energy is having the same problem. If there is a dying plant at your entrance that you keep forgetting to toss, that clutter (yes, that is also clutter) is repelling the good, happy energy trying to come in through your front door. If your desk is covered in receipts, dated magazines or paid bills that you keep meaning to shred, then chances are you are finding it hard to concentrate and get projects done. Clearing out information from file drawers or even the hard drive on your computer will make space for new opportunities.
So—with that said—I am going to make a pact with you and with myself. This is a new year for me. I am so grateful to be reminded of the love, joy and happy times the mementos in those boxes represent to both my family and me. I will cherish them always. But today is a new day, and I am a new woman. I plan to welcome this new chapter with open arms, and it begins with that garage.
-Germaine Parra Avila