By

Shawn Kelly

| 01/21/2021

DECLUTTER, ORGANIZE AND FENG SHUI YOUR WAY THROUGH 2021

DECLUTTER, ORGANIZE AND FENG SHUI YOUR WAY THROUGH 2021

A new year represents a new beginning, a fresh start, a clean slate, but when you are surrounded by a big mess of clutter and chaos your vision for the future may get a little clouded. 

We won’t spend a lot of time dwelling on the past because we can’t rewind and change anything. There is no question as to why things may still feel a bit out of control going into the new year. We are all feeling it. There were so many things that happened in 2020 that were beyond our control, and now it’s time to learn from the past, move forward and look ahead. 

No one knows what lies ahead in 2021. There are still many things that are and will continue to be out of our control. But, we still have the promise of a new year and a new start. 

So, take a deep breath and put everything (all of it) behind you and let’s forge ahead. 2020 was filled with stress, clutter and chaos. Let’s set the intention now and vow to make 2021 different and let us start now!  

One thing that we do have control over (even though it may not always feel like it) is how we fill our space, our immediate surroundings, and what we choose to fill it with. 

Stop reading for two seconds and take a quick pause to look at your surroundings, no matter where you are. Whether it be your home, office, car – whatever it is – what do you see? Do you see piles of paper, clothes to hang up, shoes to put away, stacks of mail, dirty dishes, dusty knickknacks, unread books, kid toys, lotion bottles, receipts, things, stuff …clutter and mess? Whether it be the clutter in our closets, home office, corporate office, kitchen, drawers or garage, chances are there is some type of mess surrounding us. Clutter creates a force that blocks us from finding what we need, wastes valuable time, and creates stress, frustration and negative energy.  


“Clutter has negative effects on your mental and physical health creating anxiety, stress, and depression. Studies have shown that cortisol, the stress hormone, is higher in people living in a cluttered home. Chronic clutter can leave the body in a constant state of fight or flight mode which is taxing on the body and the mind. Clutter has also been linked to bad eating habits and overall poor health.”1  

Holding on to things that you no longer need is just stuck energy. Our energy is meant to be circulated.

So, no matter what is going on in the world around us that we can’t control - like pandemics and natural disasters - let’s take control of what we CAN control – letting go of stuff and decluttering.  


DECLUTTERING TIP #1: START SMALL 

The idea is to start small. If something seems complicated, we won’t do it and will block ourselves from moving forward. Start simple and once a small space is open, you can delve deeper. Releasing stuff and eliminating clutter helps to open up not only physical space, but mental space as well. Once you begin to release things that are weighing your life down you will begin to feel cleansed from that burden and decluttering will become therapeutic. 

Use the energy that a new year brings and channel it into something good. Small wins help us build momentum. Start with something small like going through all of the mail in the mailbox for the day, making the bed or putting away all of the dishes. Set the intention to get rid of one thing per day and focus on a particular area – maybe it’s one drawer in the kitchen, one article of clothing from the closet, one pair of holey socks or one old bill that is no longer needed. Once you start to see the space open up, it will create a sense of peace and freedom and will encourage you to do more. 


DECLUTTERING TIP #2: GET TO THE ROOT OF THE CLUTTER 

Why are you keeping clothes from high school? Do they have special, symbolic meaning? Are you hoping to fit into clothes from the past that may be a size smaller? Hanging onto stuff may be a sign of a deeper issue like excess weight we wish we could lose? Or, old memories that we can’t let go.  Getting to the root of why we are hanging onto stuff is a major step into resolving issues with clutter. Keeping stuff is linked to something else, something deeper, and removing this from our world represents the start of healing. “Sometimes when you hang on to junk on the physical plane, you harbor something inside that clogs your productivity or blocks creative flow. Once you declutter and organize your physical environment, you often notice a parallel process on the psychological level. You start to notice an unclogging of old ideas, toxic relationships, and bad habits, along with more room for inspiration, clarity, and creativity.”2


DECLUTTERING TIP #3: DECIDING WHAT TO KEEP 

Going through clutter and stuff is difficult. You may make a pile of things to get rid of, but then see the Goodnight Moon book that you read to your child every night and decide that you can’t bear to part ways with such a special memory. Tidying expert, Marie Kondo, urges you to ask one simple question – “does the item bring you joy? If the answer is yes, keep the item. If you hesitate or say no, donate it or throw it out.”3

The other caveat to this is that we spent good, hard-earned money on many of these items and it may be hard to part with them. The important question to ask yourself here is – can someone else benefit more from this item? If you can’t sell it on a local marketplace site, eBay, or a garage sale, then ask yourself if someone else can benefit from the item. Sure, you may have spent a fortune on Cribs 4 Life furniture that was supposed to last your kid until they got married, but if they have outgrown it or their tastes have changed – can someone else who is in need benefit from that furniture set more? While it may be hard to part with, doing good for others should be the goal that prevails. 


DECLUTTERING TIP #4: FIND STRATEGIES THAT WORK 

There are certain strategies that you can adopt every day that can work and help you find peace. Simple things, like going through the mail every day and finding a place for each piece of paper. Or, buying an organization system to organize bottles of nail polish or lipstick tubes. If paper is your downfall, then accordion files for receipts and coupons is the way to go. If you need to invest in OfficeMax or Office Depot to make your organization system work, then make an investment in your decluttering strategy.  

Another great strategy in our technology driven world is to go paperless. If mounds of paper on every table in the house is stressing you out, then get a scanner and create an organization system online. Every credit card company and banking institution has online banking with ways to access old statements. Holding onto five years of credit card bills is no longer necessary so save a tree and go online.  


DECLUTTERING TIP #5: BE REALISTIC 

Take a good, hard look at expiration dates on cosmetics, food, medication and snacks. Chances are your pantry is filled with salad dressing bottles and condiments that exceed their expiration dates. Yes, it was good, hard-earned money that you spent. But an expiration date, makes it easy. If the date has passed, throw it away  - no question. Whether it be food or medicine – when in doubt throw it out and create space. 

It may be painful. But, if you’re a size 10 now, chances are it will be a while before you can wear those size 2 jeans again. It’s time to part ways and say goodbye for now. If you have to go out and buy a new pair of size 2 jeans, then that’s a good problem to have and just be happy. 


DECLUTTERING BONUS TIP: FENG SHUI – DECLUTTERING ON A DEEPER LEVEL

Once you get past the basics of decluttering and organizing, you can delve deeper and explore the world of Feng Shui. At first glance, Feng Shui can seem a little complicated, but don’t let it overwhelm you or derail your decluttering efforts. Once you get past the basics of decluttering, then you have room for more – and not just literally. Decluttering doesn’t only refer to objects and things, but it can also transcend into body, mind and spirit. This is where Feng Shui can take us to a deeper level. 


What is Feng Shui? 

Pronounced fuhng-shwey, the words Feng and Shui translate to mean wind and water.  “Feng Shui is a pseudoscientific traditional practice originating from ancient China and uses energy forces to harmonize individuals with their surrounding environment.”3 “The practice of Feng Shui arranges the pieces in living spaces in order to create balance with the natural world. The goal is to harness energy forces and establish harmony between an individual and their environment.”4 

You can technically Feng Shui anything.  Your closet, your office space, your kitchen, your patio, your garage – the goal is to start small and with one room at a time. Feng Shui goes deeper than organization and decluttering and is all about balance and harmony and being one with the earth. The principles behind Feng Shui are complex, but here are a few basics and key terms to know before you get started. 


The Commanding Position 

The commanding position is one of the guiding fundamental principles in Feng Shui and represents a significant part of your life.  In your bedroom, it is the bed. In the office, it’s your desk, and in the kitchen it’s the stove. While you’re at the commanding position of the room you should be able to see the door but should not be in direct line with the door. The commanding position allows you to see the view and be open to the opportunities that are coming toward you. 


The Five Elements 

Each element is linked to certain qualities and characteristics as well as different colors and shapes.5

  • Earth – this element is related to self-care, boundaries and nourishment. It’s connected to earthly colors and square shapes, like a rectangular desk or square shaped rug in browns, yellows and oranges. 

  • Metal – represents joy, beauty and precision. The shape associated with this element is the circle and includes whites, grays and metallics. Décor made out of metal, like wall hangings and statues fulfill this element. 

  • Water – represents deep wisdom and our connection to others and the world around us. Dark blue, black and wavy shapes support this element, as well as fountains and cascading visuals. 

  • Wood – this element is related to growth, healing and vitality. Décor in greens, blues and teal in a column style supports this element as well as adding plants and greenery into your home.  

  • Fire – represents passion, inspiration, and visibility. Triangular shapes in bright reds and oranges support the fire element. Incorporating lamp fixtures and lighting into your home or office space completes the fifth element.  

The ultimate goal of Feng Shui is to situate the human built environment on spots with good qi (pronounced chee) which is believed to be a vital force and form of energy. Qi is essential in Feng Shui and helps to create the perfect spot in both location and time to create balance, harmony and peace. 


CREATING A POSITIVE SPACE TOGETHER  

Many of us have goals of decluttering this year and some of us may even delve deeper to learn more about Feng Shui. Regardless of your intention or the stage in the process, the goal is to get started and to know that we are all in this mess together. Everything is easier when we do it together and that is why Wellness Hub is here for you. Wellness Hub provides a platform and a forum where we can share stories, give tips, share insight, learn from each other and always grow together in body, mind and spirit. 


  1. (2020) Prevagen. More Mess Means More Stress: How Clutter Affects Your Brain. Available at https://www.prevagen.com/brain-health-tips/how-clutter-affects-your-brain/ accessed on 17 January 2021. 

  2. (2021) Thrive Global. How Decluttering the Space Around Us Can Boost Our Well-Being. Available at https://thriveglobal.com/stories/how-decluttering-the-space-around-us-can-boost-our-well-being/?utm_source=Newsletter_General&utm_medium=Thrive accessed on 17 January 2021. 

  3. (2020) KonMari. Sparking Joy as a Single Peron. Available at https://konmari.com/finding-joy-within/ accessed on 18 January 2021. 

  4. (2020) Wikipedia. Feng Shui. Available at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feng_shui accessed on 18 January 2021. 

(2020) The Spruce. Feng Shui Tips for Beginners. Available at https://www.thespruce.com/feng-shui-tips-for-beginners-1274536 accessed on 18 January 2021. 



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