6 Things That Really Don't Belong In Your House, According To Feng Shui
The year 2019 began in a decluttering frenzy. Marie Kondo's Netflix show reminded us what feng shui has been preaching for years: When our homes are tidy, life just feels easier.
The ancient Chinese way of creating spaces that promote peace and harmony, feng shui feels more relevant now than ever before. "At the core of all feng shui and Eastern traditions of healing, energy is everything," feng shui expert and mbg class instructor Dana Claudat writes. "Stagnant, stuck energy contributes to blockage and illness, while open, flowing energy is the basis of great moods and every kind of abundance."
Clutter tends to be a major energetic block, but it's not the only one. Here, we compiled a list of other things you probably have at home that could be keeping you feeling stuck.
"Don't have a mirror facing you when you walk into your home," Patricia Lohan, author and feng shui expert, explains. "This will repel all the good energy from entering your space."
Another place mirrors don't belong according to feng shui? The bedroom. Amanda Gibby Peters, a Dallas-based feng shui consultant, recommends that anybody who has trouble sleeping should remove them from their sleeping space and see what happens.
"Mirrors increase energy flow, and increased energy disrupts sleep. So, try a quick fix: Cover the bedroom mirror(s) for a couple of nights and notice if your sleep improves," she writes. "If you do sleep soundly with them covered, consider replacing them with something else you love—a large print, a mural, or even a few mounted lanterns. And if you simply must have a mirror in your room's décor, hang it on a non-facing wall when you're tucked in bed."
Bedroom: A TV and under-the-bed clutter
While throwing odds and ends under your bed may seem like the best way to hide them, it might be subconsciously throwing off your sleep, Lohan says: "Anything under your bed affects the underbelly of your life, so avoid storing unusual items there."
Once this space is clear (save for some clean linens, which feng shui allows), it's time to address the technology in your bedroom. Since it should be a place of rest, first and foremost, ditch the TV and leave your phone at the door. This is a good idea energetically speaking, and it's safe to say every sleep expert would recommend it too.
Kitchen: The color red
There are five elements in feng shui (wood, fire, earth, metal, and water) and balancing them in your space can help it feel more welcoming. For example, let's say you have a lot of dark woods in one room, you might want to add some flowers and candles for a more harmonious setup.
The kitchen is already a place with a lot of fire, so it's best to avoid the color red there, according to Lohan. "The kitchen already has a stove and cooker, so that is enough fire energy," she explains. "Too much fire can irritate people in the home and affect your health negatively."
Every room: Low-hanging artwork and broken objects
In addition to clearing clutter throughout your home, you should also make sure that the artwork in every room is joy-inducing. That means only displaying pieces that evoke positive emotions and memories and making sure that they're hung correctly.
"If someone has issues with depression and low energy, I often notice that their artwork, photographs, and mirrors are hung low on the walls," architect and feng shui expert Anjie Cho writes. "The low artwork can bring down your chi. (Note: Even a bed that's very low to the ground can bring down your mood). It's also good to fasten frames in two places so the art isn't crooked."
Finally, run through your home and make sure to fix or nix anything that's broken. "Looking at a damaged item daily will give you the sensation of feeling broken or beyond repair," Marianne Gordon, a feng shui expert, says of this step. This includes dead plants! If you can't nurse them back to life, it's time to throw them in the compost bin.
Emma Loewe is the Sustainability and Health Director at mindbodygreen and the author of Return to Nature: The New Science of How Natural Landscapes Restore Us. She is also the co-author of The Spirit Almanac: A Modern Guide To Ancient Self Care, which she wrote alongside Lindsay Kellner.
Emma received her B.A. in Environmental Science & Policy with a specialty in environmental communications from Duke University. In addition to penning over 1,000 mbg articles on topics from the water crisis in California to the rise of urban beekeeping, her work has appeared on Grist, Bloomberg News, Bustle, and Forbes. She's spoken about the intersection of self-care and sustainability on podcasts and live events alongside environmental thought leaders like Marci Zaroff, Gay Browne, and Summer Rayne Oakes.