10 common types of clutter and what it’s doing to you

What does your clutter mean?

I love the time between the western New Year and Chinese New Year because it is a window for change. It is a time when I take stock of the past year, set goals for the coming one, reorganize and launch into my new plan. Part of reorganizing is starting with a clean slate. I like to think of it as creating a metaphorical blank canvas, in order to paint your next picture you need a fresh canvas. A great way to do this is to remove old things and declutter. Decluttering has a freeing effect, making you feel lighter. From a Feng Shui perspective you need to clear away items that could be creating stagnant, or even worse, negative ch’i.

I like to think of it as creating a metaphorical blank canvas - in order to paint your next picture you need a fresh canvas.

These old and unwanted items create blockages and stuck energy in your home. Ch’i in a home is as water is to a river. Imagine a dead tree has fallen into this river, the water can’t flow, debris gets stuck and this debris starts to rot… This is why you have to rid your home of objects that block this flow of energy to keep the ch’i moving freely through out your space.

Be clear on what clutter is versus mindful collecting and straight up storage.

For example old mattresses, a bedframe from your childhood, stacked encyclopaedias you will never use again versus Xmas decorations and sporting equipment you actively use.

Ask yourself three questions when evaluating items in your home

  1. Does it lift my energy when I look at it or when I think about how it came into my life?
  2. Do I love it? Does it inspire me?
  3. 3. Is it truly useful? When did I last use it? Am I honestly going to use it again in the foreseeable future?

Also you can follow the amazing list of 200 items from Embracing Homemaking. This is a great long and seemingly random list of junk that we accumulate and no longer need.

No Material object, however beautiful or valuable, can make us feel loved…
— The Dalai Lama

Need more convincing? Try some Feng Shui inspiration. Here are some common types of clutter and what they represent symbolically in your life:

  1. “Maybe one day I will need this” clutter: you are letting your things plan your future. Keeping things just in case creates a sense of unease with your future. Don’t let your stuff dictate your what’s in store for you.

  2. “The way we were” clutter: too much clutter from the good old days will keep your energy locked in the past.

  3. The “must-haves”: collecting and having things in an effort to increase your standing and make yourself feel accepted. “No material object, however beautiful or valuable, can make us feel loved…” The Dalai Lama

  4. Basement clutter: can keep you locked in the past especially if the clutter is from past relationships, jobs or locations. The basement is the foundation of your home, if your foundation is locked in the past how can you build a future?

  5. Attic clutter: holding you back from attaining your dreams and future plans. It is like being under a giant thumb pressing you down.

  6. Main entrance clutter: can limit opportunities in your career and personal development. The front entrance is the where the most chi enters the home – blocked chi = blocked opportunities.

  7. Clutter behind doors: equals low energy in the room that the door leads into. The door needs to be able swing and open fully.

  8. Cluttered hallways: too much large furniture or clutter blocks or slows chi this can represent or lead to a lack of progress in your life. Compressed or squeezed chi in the front hallway could lead to health issues and lethargy.

  9. The junk/spare room: even though no one sleeps in this room full-time this is an example of better to be safe than sorry. Each room and section of the home is aligned with a certain aspect of your life and type of energy. This becomes clear once you learn which area of the bagua that room occupies. It could be wealth, marriage, career or any of the other nine guas.

  10. Under the bed: clocked or blocked chi under the bed can lead to sleep and health issues. If space is an issue then try to keep only soft bedding or seasonal clothing – avoid heavy things, sharp things and definitely do not store old unwanted things there.