3 Questions To Help You Feng Shui Your Books + An Energy-Shifting Tip 

mbg Editorial Assistant By Eliza Sullivan
mbg Editorial Assistant
Eliza Sullivan is an Editorial Assistant at mindbodygreen. She has bachelor's degrees in journalism and english literature from Boston University.
Beautiful Interiors Of Minimal Home With Bookshelf, Furniture, Rug And Plants

Image by Sophia Hsin / Stocksy

It's a tale as old as time: A few books you want to read morphs into a leaning tower that you'll never read, which not only taunts you but also takes up space. Our bookshelves are just as overwhelmed as we are, so we turned to a feng shui expert to see what this philosophy has to say about books and their place in our homes.

Amanda Gibby Peters, creator of Simple Shui, gave us three questions to sort through our beloved collection, plus a killer organizational hack that will change the energy of your space (we did it and can confirm the effects). Here's to painless purging, refreshed shelves, and (eventually) a cozy afternoon reading.

Use these three questions to sort through your shelves (or piles).

"A good edit of the shelves is a must," Peters shared with us via email. "While you might love some of their company, you probably don't feel that way about all of them."

Peters provided us with a list of questions to start with for pairing down our shelves to a more manageable organized chaos, and they can help you narrow down what you really want to keep:

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1. Are there a few books you just didn't love or never finished?

Perhaps the most obvious of the questions, this one is still important to ask yourself again. It can be hard to part with something you spent money on but regret, but it's important to do. If you're holding on to books that you don't love or haven't finished (and don't plan to finish), get rid of them! Donate to local libraries, schools, or organizations that help distribute them.

2. What no longer aligns with your journey today?

The example Peters gave us was empty-nesters who are holding on to parenting books when there are no longer children under the roof. Some other cases? Maybe those old textbooks or that book an ex swore you'd love. Sentimental items like this can be tough to part with, but it's important to let things go that don't suit you anymore.

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3. If you white glove the rest of your collection, are any dusty? 

Ah, the white glove test. Sometimes horrifying but extremely effective. Dusty is generally a good indicator of disuse and can be the last push to help you part with tomes you're holding on to.

Now try using this energy hack to organize what's left.

It's also important to consider how books can affect the energy of our space, which can have as much to do with how you're storing them as what books you chose to keep.

"If you are feeling stuck in a rut, look at your bookshelves," said Peters. "While stacks are a stylish way to display those bestsellers, it can sometimes overemphasize the energy of Earth."

She recommends turning the books vertically instead, even if it's not as fashionable: "This invites the energy of Wood into your environment, which will help break through that stagnation!"

Already have your books stored vertically? It may be contributing to feelings of overwhelm. "If you are feeling like you never get anything done or you start more projects than you complete, do the opposite," wrote Peters. "Interrupt those lined shelves with a few stacks of books to bring in more Earth energy."

Increasing Earth energy in the home can help us feel more grounded and settled—if this new year has also spelled new settings for you, maybe a few stacks of books will help you settle in; just make sure you're conscious of the energy those books are bringing.

Looking to neaten up your space? Try this five-step decluttering routine (it'll only take you one afternoon).

Ready to learn how to fight inflammation and address autoimmune disease through the power of food? Join our 5-Day Inflammation Video Summit with mindbodygreen’s top doctors.

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