February 2024

Feng shui tips for today

You may have heard the term feng shui from time to time. It sounds sophisticated — and the type of thing very wealthy homeowners might pay interior designers large sums of money to implement.

The reality, however, is that feng shui is a simple, beautiful mindset that anyone can adapt without a lot of work—and, more importantly, without spending a lot of money.

So what, exactly, is feng shui?

First things first: it’s pronounced fung schway, not feng shooey.

It means “the way of wind and water”; feng is wind and shui is water. It’s an ancient Chinese art that seeks to achieve harmony and balance by careful arrangement of objects, buildings and space in a particular environment.

Feng shui revolves around the flow of energy, or chi (pronounced chee), in our daily lives. Chi is composed of yin and yang, inseparable opposing forces that complement each other. By balancing yin and yang, it’s believed that positive energies will increase and negative energies will be diminished.

Basic principles

Remove clutter — Feng shui is a minimalist mindset. In our consumer culture, we tend to amass vast collections of belongings. Things. Stuff. (Some might even say “junk.”) The first and easiest step to living a more feng shui existence is to get rid of anything you have no intention of using, and find ways to store and hide the things you do use.

Air out your home — Open the windows in your home for at least nine minutes—a meaningful number in feng shui—to remove stale energies and welcome in fresh, positive energy.

Symmetry is sublime — Balance is most easily achieved through symmetry. Have a potted plant at one end of your couch? Put another one at the other end of the couch. Instant balance.

Don’t block entryways — The path directly in front of the entryway to your home, as well as all the rooms in your home, should remain free and open. If you open the front door of your home and walk straight for five or six feet, you shouldn’t encounter a couch, table, TV, or other obstacle.

Addition is normally not the answer — The good news for your wallet is that the solution to making a space feng shui is rarely to buy something. As mentioned above, clutter is the enemy. Instead of thinking of what you can add to a space, focus on arranging what you already have into a more pleasing layout. One exception is adding plants, as living things add energy to a space.

Sunlight is essential — Sunlight provides a natural energy and warmth that can brighten any space, both literally and emotionally.

Here are a few simple tips you can do today if you’re so inclined:

The living room

Try to make little communal areas that form a basic circle. Put your couch against the wall, then take a comfy chair and angle it to partially face the couch, then close the circle with a coffee table in front of the couch.

Make sure each member of your household has a comfortable place to sit—including pets—so that everyone who lives in your home feels welcome.

To eliminate clutter, put a ceramic bowl on the table by the front door where you can keep your keys, wallet and other items you tend to grab before you head out the door.

The office

Your desk should give you a clear view of the door. If having your back to the door is unavoidable, place a mirror on your desk so you can see when someone enters. If your desk has to face a wall, position it under or beside a window.

The worst clutter in our offices is often the cords coming from various electronic devices. Use zip ties to bind loose tangles of wires into a uniform cable that can be tucked away or clipped into adhesive strips behind or under your desk.

If you share an office with someone, don’t position your desks so that you sit directly face to face or back to back.

The bedroom

The head of your bed should have a clear view of your bedroom door but not face it directly. Only the head of your bed should be against the wall; the other three sides should have space to maneuver.

To create symmetry, put your bed in the center of the wall and a nightstand on each side.

In feng shui, a wall mirror should never face the headboard, so keep mirrors on walls that face the sides of the bed.

Instead of storing clothes and other items under your bed, keep the area under the bed completely clear.

Start with a few simple changes and see if the vibes in your home start to improve. If they do, keep going down the path of feng shui.

A note from your lending specialist

While feng shui may not be expensive, other home improvements can be. Contact me about financing them with a home equity line of credit.

MAP6170248 | 01/2024

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