Start a discussion about decluttering, and it usually generates hullabaloo. For some, clearing clutter has become religion; others simply prefer their stuff. While I adore order and its composition, I’ve learned when we clear clutter without intention and love, it is an inflammatory endeavor.
My strategy? Look for what works well in a space and strengthen it by eliminating unnecessary noise.
Feng shui observes that everything is connected and everything is energy — which means every single thing we own carries an energy that either promotes or diminishes our happiness. By editing out what we no longer use, need, or want — choices, words, or things — we make room for the life we desire and deserve. When we renovate a space, we symbolically revise our lives.
Ready to take stock of your stuff? Here are some simple starting points:
1. Organization isn't about perfection; it's about flow and simplicity.
Create a weekly habit of returning things to designated spaces. It is the indecision of where things go that overwhelms us. Every single thing you own requires its own space. When things have a sense of belonging, so do we.
2. Locate a space that exhausts you every time you think of it, and start there.
It actually takes more energy to ignore it. Why? Clutter is often postponed decision making, and it piles up quickly. Parcel the space out, especially if it's big. Conquer one area at a time, and commit to its completion.
3. Think big, but focus small.
Clear the clutter first, and organize what remains post-purge. Before moving on, maintain this space daily for several weeks. Get really good at it. When we honor a space, the vibrational quality of our home shifts and our personal energy revitalizes. That feeling authentically feeds our desire to eagerly move through the rest of our stuff.
4. If a task takes less than 5 minutes, don’t put it off until later.
Small daily endeavors create big differences. Clutter looks great organized, but when we are too busy to care for our house, it means we are too busy to care for ourselves. Our environment reflects back to us who we are at any given moment.
5. Walk through your entire home at least once a day.
Know every inch well. This simple ritual heightens awareness of our living space and keeps stagnant energy from getting too comfortable.
6. Live within your means.
If you don’t have space for something, reconsider it. The more things we acquire, the emptier we feel. And when our homes are stuffed, there is no room for growth or opportunity to show up. Empty space manifests possibilities.
7. When you buy something, give something away.
This simple observation cultivates an important mindset — is this purchase worth letting something equivalent go? Don’t compromise what you LOVE for something you merely like.
8. Respect your home as a living, breathing being.
Be mindful of what you bring into it. Anything with a negative story or association deposits that same energy into our homes and lives. Uphold the highest standards, and your home becomes sacred space.
9. Establish daily, weekly, and monthly chores.
This isn’t meant to be a rhetorical list. Rather, develop awareness around your home’s needs. When we have an organic understanding of how our home is used, we step into a logical and sustainable flow for its maintenance.
10. Honor a morning and nightly ritual.
Greet it every morning by opening windows and making beds, and put it to bed every evening by picking up the day’s clutter and turning things off. When we shower our space with respect and attention, our home graciously loves us back.
We spend more energy being bothered by our clutter than if we focused a few hours on simply pruning it out. Ask yourself, “What deserves a place in my life?” and listen to your first impressions. Letting things go, without guilt or fear, communicates we trust the process of life. We open ourselves to channels of new experiences. We feel more confident, and confidence breeds creativity and increases the velocity of our energy.
Create beauty and order, and the quality of life improves. So, start small, reclaim the space, and trust your instincts — the less you hold on to, the more alive you will become.
Amanda Gibby Peters is the creator and founder of Simple Shui. She’s been teaching Feng Shui techniques and tips for over a decade, witnessing the life transformations of her clients and readers. Amanda has been called “the Martha Stewart of Feng Shui” – and her work has been featured on Architectural Digest, Food52, My Domaine, Well Good and Amazon.
Her book Simple Shui for Every Day: 365 Ways to Feng Shui Your Life is available on Amazon.