Is The Stuff Under Your Bed Ruining Your High-Vibe Bedroom?
Feng shui is all about designing for optimal energy flow at home. It cautions against sharp corners, heavy objects, and clutter of all kinds. The ancient philosophy was born in China nearly 6,000 years ago, and it arose from the idea that the quality of our surroundings can dictate the quality of our lives.
It's safe to say, though, that the creators of the practice never set foot in a cramped New York City apartment. Some feng shui guidelines feel much more applicable to sprawling spaces, and there's one in particular that feels like an affront to small home dwellers everywhere: the "no storage under the bed" rule.
Why shouldn't you store stuff under your bed?
According to feng shui, the stuff under your bed could be sabotaging your sleep. "In feng shui, it's best to have the air flow all around you while you're sleeping, so it's a big no-no to have objects under the bed," feng shui expert and architect Anjie Cho recently wrote for mindbodygreen. Cho explains that it's especially important to have free-flowing good energy—or chi—surrounding you when you're in a passive sleep state. When physical clutter gets in the way, it can lead to similarly cluttered thoughts and restless nights.
But what if you need to utilize every last square foot of square space in your home—under the bed included? I reached out to Cho for her take on whether the rule comes with any exceptions and let out an audible sigh of relief when she answered.
What's OK to keep down there.
Cho sympathized with the struggle (she's a New Yorker too, after all) and said that there are certain things that are a-OK to stow away under your bed frame if you need to. "If you have to have storage under the bed, it should be well-organized, and it should be things that are bed-related like sheets, pillows, linens, and towels. And if you absolutely need to, storing clothes there is OK too because they're soft."
When I asked another feng shui expert, Marriene Gordon, the same question, she echoed this advice and added that if the storage itself is soft too (think big, clear bags), it's even better.
As for things you should never keep under the bed, no matter how strapped you are for space? Old photographs, sharp objects, and shoes topped the list. "If you have shoes under your bed, for example, it might cause insomnia because your shoes represent movement and action," Cho explains. "And you definitely don't want anything that's emotionally charged under your bed, like photographs of ex-boyfriends or anything that's physically sharp."
Other feng shui fixes that could make way for better sleep include removing large objects and paintings hanging above your bed (the idea being that they carry heavy, threatening energy) and making sure that you have room to approach your bed from both sides—especially if you share it with a partner (since nobody likes sleeping squished against a wall).
Moral of the story: When it comes to the bedroom, keep things soft and clean. No monsters under the bed; just some neatly folded sheets.
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Emma Loewe is the Senior Sustainability Editor 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 articles on mbg, her work has appeared on Bloomberg News, Marie Claire, Bustle, and Forbes. She has covered everything from the water crisis in California to the rise of urban beekeeping to a group of doctors prescribing binaural beats for anxiety. 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.