Could clearing clutter change your life?
Shortly after launching MAJAMAS EARTH, I started learning about Feng Shui (pronounced fung shway). I was drawn to the philosophy that obstacles in my physical space could be impacting my financial, professional, creative and emotional life. I learned that by applying some basic Feng Shui principles, I could design my home and even my office so I could achieve success and happiness.
According to David Daniel Kennedy, author of Feng Shui Tips for a Better Life, “Feng Shui can be divided into two parts – the visible and the invisible – both of which are important for success in life and in Feng Shui. Visible factors include the walls, doors, streets, and other tangible elements that are analyzed and altered with Feng Shui. The invisible factors include chi (life force energy), predecessor influences (the energies of the people who previously lived in your house), ghosts and spirits, the energies within the land that impact you, and other factors.”
Ok, so I get how the invisible factors could make you think this is some kind of witch craft but Feng Shui is based on ancient Chinese principles that have been practiced for thousands of years. The main concept to grasp is Feng Shui teaches us about energy (chi). In layman’s terms, by recognizing the energy generated from our physical environment and even the energy left behind after someone is gone, we can improve our lives by eliminating the negative chi and increasing the flow of the positive chi.
I was skeptical at first. How could clearing clutter from my house make me more powerful, increase my wealth or keep my marriage strong? After reading up on this practice, I’ve learned it really is based on common sense.
According to Feng Shui and David Daniel Kennedy, “The problem with clutter is that it blocks the energy circulation in your home and in you, especially if the offending items sit in hallways or other common areas and also if the clutter is hidden in a closet or garage. Superfluous junk burdens your psyche, holds you back and trips you up. Shoes sitting behind the front door need to be moved. Useless objects cluttering the closets and garage are better thrown out or donated to a charitable organization.”
That junk in our closets and garages could be used by someone else and getting rid of this stuff will free you up. It’s incredibly liberating to get rid of the clutter in your home and I’ve learned it actually does increase my energy once it’s gone.
So where do you begin?
What do you do with all that stuff?
My first recommendation is to give yourself ample time to get thru your clutter. Take one day a week to focus on specific areas and don’t try to do too much at a time, especially if you have a lot of clearing out to do. Start with a small closet and make piles for what gets donated to where. Clean, wearable clothes can go to your local Good Will or thrift store. Ripped and damaged clothes should go to your local fiber recycling center found in most major cities. Try your best to keep the waste pile small and use your internet to find recycling centers for as many items as possible. You’d be surprised at what can be reused and not dumped into a landfill.
It’s impossible for me to go deeply into all the principles of Feng Shui but I am convinced that by keeping my clutter to a minimum and even keeping the lids of my toilet seats closed (chi can escape thru open drains), my life is less stressful than it was before I knew about Feng Shui.
I recommend the following books to learn more about how Feng Shui can improve your life:
Feng Shui for Dummies – Yes, there is a Dummies book on it and it really explains the principles behind Feng Shui and the core Cures for improving your life.
Feng Shui Tips for a Better Life by David Daniel Kennedy
Feng Shui Your Life-2nd Edition by Jayme Barret
Feng Shui for Modern Living by Dr. Stephen Skinner
I guarantee just thumbing thru these books will inspire you to clean up your home and office. Clearing out your stuff can be a daunting task at first but these books show you how to start and I guarantee once you get going, you won’t want to stop. Feng Shui is the truest form of Spring Cleaning for your home and your mind, and a practice you are sure to follow for the rest of your life.
Create a beautiful space, a beautiful you, & a beautiful planet!
– Germaine Caprio, MAJAMAS EARTH Company Owner & Designer
Clear out the clutter responsibly!
Check out these resources for clothing and textile recycling.
Goodwill helps provide job training to people with special needs. Its more than 2,600 stores, packed with donated clothing and other household goods, help fund that mission.
The Salvation Army
One of the largest charitable organizations in the world, the Salvation Army runs many social-service programs, such as homeless services and disaster-relief efforts.
What to donate: A good rule of thumb: If you would give an item to a friend, it’s fit to donate.
How it works: Drop off your items at any of its 1,526 thrift stores nationwide, or arrange to have them picked up. Most locations don’t require a minimum number of bags for pickup.
Where to find it: For pickup, call 800-728-7825. For further information, or to find stores where you can drop off clothing, go to salvationarmyusa.org.
Founded to assist American veterans and their dependents, AmVets offers information and counseling, as well as scholarships for dependents.
What to donate: Practically anything, even if it is missing a button or is a tad stretched out.
How it works: Call to schedule a pickup.
Where to find it: Call 800-810-7148, or go to amvets.org for more information.
Founded to keep useful items out of landfills, this ecologically minded “middleman” connects you to thousands of charities in need, from soup kitchens to shelters.
What to donate: Anything can be posted on the site, from a bag of clothes to household items to furniture. Excess Access just asks that you be honest about the condition of the items.
How it works: You can post unlimited items and the site will match what you’re donating to wish lists from local charities. The charity will then arrange to pick up your goods.
Where to find it: Go to excessaccess.org for more information.
Dress for Success
An organization that assists low-income women looking for jobs. It has more than 70 affiliates throughout the United States, Canada, Great Britain, and New Zealand.
What to donate: Business clothing, coats, shoes, handbags, and briefcases that are in excellent condition and no more than five years old. Dress for Success is most in need of shoes and clothing sizes 14 and up.
How it works: Its annual suit drive, called Send One Suit, or S.O.S., usually runs every spring. Bring your suit to any of the 800 Dress Barns around the country. To donate at another time, check with your local chapter.
Where to find it: Go to dressforsuccess.org and click on “Locations.”
For more tips visit Real Simple’s article “How To Sell, Swap, or Donate Clothes.”
*Above image borrowed from Joanna Baker’s Blog -check out more of her wonderful illustrations!