It’s not only that time of year, when we reflect back and vision forward, but as well there are loads of us looking at massive life changes for one reason or another.
There are constant moments where de-cluttering comes up. And, usually I focus on sorting big feng shui issues when we move to a new place and then I sort of let it go, or have to. Feng shui has been a part of my life since moving to Marin, California. Though it was always around me, I saw it as too woo woo and in my world of corporate and sales, I didn’t let it in for some time, yet still it was 20-30 years ago and I have been thankful ever since it became a routine part (though not always successfully) of my world.
Honestly, I can’t really go into the full feelings of where we are right now. Without my husband working the last months, we have no choice but to prepare for a move and another downsizing. So, de-cluttering and letting go of things we don’t need and making space for abundance and connection with each other, is key, now more than ever. As there is a lot of stress around money, time spend applying for jobs, being with and caring for our daughter and basic daily realities, we are working hard, each day, to have less, simplify and make way for more of what we love, need and dream of. Who wouldn’t want that? Right?
Re-inspired by new life reality and Marie Kondo’s new de-clutter show with great tips for parents and parents to be and more, we look at ways that Feng Shui has helped and is helping us to move forward and what signs are helping us along the way. I see we are not alone in our thought process, as many are dealing with changes and linking to the same inspirations like our friend Caitlin on her podcast and our guiding expert on feng shui, Deb.
9 Things to remember for clearing clutter
While we may not all be able to sort things perfectly, for all people at all times, just keep at it and do it “as a family”.
- Take the time: Making space for what we need and love can only bring goodness.
- Everything needs a place, so you can easily “stay” organized.
- Finding systems of de-clutter and organization takes time and patience.
- Cooperate: It is important that everyone in the house be a part of changing the energy of your home and life.
- Taking responsibility for what you “let go” of and saying “thank you” and “good bye” to things is very important.
- Don’t give up and respect the de-clutter emotions and process.
- Skills: By working together with your kids on cleaning up and organizing, they are learning a valuable life skill.
- Gratitude and empathy: Getting kids and partner involved and thinking about letting go and donating things they don’t need anymore, opens there minds to “gratitude” in their own living situation and understanding that some people have less than they do.
- Feng shui beyond woo woo land
- conclusion: Do it! De-clutter, Feng shui and more are for the whole family for whole life. Be inspired. Read many books, articles, watch youtube and Marie K.
1. Making space for life
One of the most important things we can do for ourselves and our families, especially at the start of a new year, is make space for energy to flow through and around our lives. Make space for what is important to us, for things to be able to fit into our lives and new things to come, as well. Inviting abundance, time, space, energy, friends, family, work, everything we need for happy, contented and balanced lives. I don’t know about you, but family life, is really freaking chaotic and keeping up with the madness of the house is maddening.
2. Everything needs a place
Maybe you are the neatest person in the world. Maybe, even with family, you magically manage to keep everything in its place and there are never any extra things around. If that is true? Really? Have you been lucky enough to stay in only 1 or 2 houses/apartments for a long time? So, write us and tell us all about it! Over here, it’s a joke. Well, mainly because when we unexpectedly had to move to a much smaller apartment, we didn’t have time to get rid of everything we needed to and so we started with more than would fit her. As well, though we had some small storage, we lost 3 built in closets which we had at our old place and didn’t fully sort new solutions in the odd spaces in this new place. So, without a proper place, that works for everyone in the house, there is little chance to “stay” organized throughout a busy week. Find a way.
3. Systems that work for all people
This one is annoying and tricky. In my single days, I could create a system and sort and organize and it would usually stay that way until I went through some crisis or over busy long period. Now?! Ha! Good luck with that. With both a toddler and a husband in the house more than before, its nearly impossible to keep order(yes, it’s a bit maddening to have my husband home since he lost his job. Love you, hon’, but ahh.. I can’t keep a peaceful house, now!). Personally, as a naturally internal person, I just feel stressed in body and soul to 1. have the house in a constant state of chaos and 2. never have quiet days, at home. But, that is a topic for another day. The main point is that we all have different systems that work for us. So, I spend A LOT of time and energy on trial and error methods until, hopefully, finding the thing that we can ALL work with.
4. Getting the whole family involved
Don’t be a martyr or a villain when it comes to clearing space. If you are pissed of that you are doing all the work to clean up and de-clutter, well that isn’t good for anyone, especially your energy, mood and relationships within your family. As well, if you become the villain who is dumping or donating everyone’s precious things, when they aren’t looking? That is as well, a no go. I know, some of you may disagree and feel it is the only way to get some people to “let go”. Yet, I am a firm believer that it is much like taking someone to clean up at rehab. It just doesn’t have the same effect when they are not involved in the decision process to get there. So, allow people the opportunity to learn and grow from the de-clutter process. And, what a great life skill learned.
5. Taking responsibility and saying “good bye” to things
This is SUCH an important part of the process of de-cluttering, clearing space and making space for the next things for our family and lives. Making the choice of what to let go of is about checking in about how you feel with the object, saying, “thank you” and “good bye”. It is often the case that one person in the house is pushing the agenda of clearing space and thus gets rid of things others are not ready to “let go” of and it creates blocks and resentment between people, partners and I believe also within the house. So, by making the process fun and encouraging empathy, giving and recognizing, together, the difference felt when tasks are done, is essential for true success. The tricky thing, is letting go of expectation. If someone is not willing and ready to let go of something, in that moment, then you all just have to come back to it, again, later.
6. Don’t give up and respect the energy around de-clutter process
Often, when we start this process, it is exhausting and we aren’t always ready to let go, right away. As we have many memories and sometimes sentimental attachment to things, it makes the process draining and sometimes exhausting. Respect what comes up. If you feel really tired, or someone does. Then, take a break and come back to it. And, I highly recommend taking a shower, a nice walk or something before going to bed, to clear the feelings and energy you have been working with in the process.
The end destination can help motivation. There will be more energy. More relaxation. More space. More peace. And, like having an open seat at a cafe or on the metro, you are allowing the possibility for something new to come your way.
7. Organizational skills at any age
My experience is that it is never too early to help clean up and clear energy in the house. You would be surprised at how good at these things our little people (and big) can be when given the chance and optimal presentation of the process at hand. Ella has been helping put away the dishes, fold her things and more, since she was super small, and she is 2! She loves “being a part of something” bigger. Maybe some kids might need other motivation. Or, at different ages, the focus might shift. Yet, taking ownership of this process and using each person’s native skills is vital. Our daughter, in this moment is great at carrying things, moving things from one place to another, matching things and more. So, matching socks at laundry time, or moving things to “there place” in the house is fun, easy and takes a small load off of me and each day there are new activities that we can do together. It gets less chaotic as she gets older, ha ha. Yet, give everyone a chance to show you how they can participate. They grow confidence this way, as well!
8. Teaching empathy, through donations
While cleaning up is cleaning up, true. De-cluttering and letting go is also a wonderful family opportunity to connect with gratitude for what we have, realization and reminders that donating to charities and others is an important part of being in a community and on the planet. That others would greatly appreciate things that we may not have the same passion and excitement about anymore. And, that we are making space for other things for us, not only physically, but energetically. Kids WILL feel what is happening, at any age.
Just the other day, I gave each of us a bag to fill with donations for others. “Time to let go and give to other people who need it more than we do”, I said to 2 year old Ella. She then told me she needed 2 bags, one for keeping and one for saying, “good bye”. In the end, as it was her 1st time, I gave her a smaller bag and suggested she find 3 things that don’t make her smile and happy and or she is too big for anymore. I was surprised how well, she did. Within just a few minutes, she had her 3 things and the bag was full. Surprisingly, or not, it was my husband, who had the hardest time with the process. Even though he laughed, at 1st, saying this would be easy. He came to me and said, “I couldn’t even throw in 1 book.” So, we decided to have him come back to the process, later, as this day already had too many challenges with other things. And, that is part of it. Allow what is real for you. And, try again.
8. Feng shui beyond the woo woo
De-clutter and the feng shui approach, is not just about removing, but working with a space. You are not just removing things from a space to allow chi to move around, yet you are working with healing areas of your home and relationships that could use assistance, much like a garden that might need more water, relocation of plants and shade.
Honestly, feng shui has been around a long time. Well before the hippies and hipsters of Northern California and beyond started talking about it. However, it did make a big hit in our area by the bay in the 80s and 90s and I can remember at 1st rolling my eyes, then having some very strong experiences with clearing clutter and events in life and increased energy that changed my mind.
Feng Shui makes its way to Netflix! After decades of working with feng shui and having so many wise and gifted teachers around, I am ever thankful to see Marie Kondo, with her amazing shining energy, bring the beauty and gifts of Feng Shui to the general world, beyond the woo woo crowd. She brings the basics to light, makes it easy and straight forward and lights up anyone’s cluttered world with the guiding light of hope. She rocks the feng shui world with her books and now her show. We loved the Marie Kondo – Toddler show, that I mentioned in my post about Jana Chan’s downsizing.
De-clutter to abundance-conclusion:
We can all do this. Get everyone involved. Teach, learn, gain energy, empathy, space and invite new things into your world without even realizing what that will be. It’s time to let go, together and open up to all the possibilities!