Feeling Cluttered? - Feng Shui Your Closet
It’s 6:47am and you’re getting ready for a busy day. You open your closet door and get hit in the head by a box that falls off a crowded shelf. Hastily, you start digging through a mound of clothes that hasn’t been folded, looking for your blue shirt that needs to be ironed. You break a sweat sifting through your tightly packed hanging clothes frantically searching for your favorite pair of slimming black pants.
With the clock ticking, you’re on your hands and knees desperately trying to find the mate to your new pumps and who knows where your belt and jewelry are. You finally pull yourself together the best you can and dash out the door feeling frustrated, overwhelmed and disorganized.
The Closet Represents the Subconscious Mind
If this scenario sounds familiar to you, consider using the ancient Chinese art of Feng Shui to rearrange your closet to enhance your health, career and relationships. Feng Shui teaches that life is influenced by the conditions of one’s habitual surrounding and closets represent the subconscious. By balancing the chi, or energy flow, in a closet people often notice that reflected in their inner world, feeling more peaceful and centered.
According to Valerie DeLong, owner of Feng Shui Concepts in Charlotte, closets typically hold the stuff that we don't want others to see, so it's "hidden energy.” “Feng shui teaches that the outer is a reflection of the inner, so if your closets are a mess it's a good guess that there are hidden parts of yourself that you have trouble exploring or expressing,” says DeLong. “Therefore, if you have a desire to be more open and to speak your mind or heart, begin by cleaning a closet or two.”
A closet makeover can be a therapeutic process, revealing issues where one may be blocked. But with some patience,TLC and basic guidelines, you can begin to reap the benefits of Feng Shui.
Take Control of the Clutter
Keep closet doors closed when not in use. If left open, you may like your defenses have been laid bare. Make sure the closet doors and any drawers inside are easy to open. If they are stuck, you may be too. Be sure the lighting is sufficient so it is easy to locate items. A fresh coat of paint can do wonders as well. Now it’s time to purge the clutter.
Adhere to the 50 percent rule allowing for half of the total volume of space in a closet to be empty. Keep enough space between hanging items to prevent a major workout when searching for clothes. Although this may sound drastic, you can easily utilize space by using cascading hooks, skirt hangers and pants hangers to combine outfits. Don’t fill any drawers up to the top either. Store out of season clothes elsewhere.
Start the de-cluttering process by learning to dress in the NOW. Outdated wardrobes can anchor us to the past because of the memories associated with them. Haven’t worn an item in the past year?Â Chuck it. It is likely no longer aligned with you and your intentions. If something doesn’t flatter, fit or fulfill you, recycle it by donating it or taking to a consignment shop.
Clearing the clutter can be emotionally challenging. Ask a compassionate friend to help if necessary. Uneasy feelings can arise, but it’s part of the process of letting go of the old.Â If you have a closet that you just can't bear to look at because it's such a mess, DeLong suggests placing a crystal in the middle and letting it do its magic. After a day or two the energy will have shifted enough so that you will feel more like tackling the job.
Your closet should have a clear system as to where everything goes, using clothes bars, shelves and drawers. This can help to face challenges directly, instead of burying them under layers of indifference. Stored items should be placed at the bottom of the closet or out of sight. Don’t keep bulky or heavy items over-head. They may encourage the oppressive feeling of having emotional baggage.
Use identical hangars for clothes and if possible use natural woods instead of wire hangars and shelves. Bamboo hangers are strong and lightweight and help the earth and the air quality.
Get Organized to Change Your Life
For clarity when dressing it is helpful to use the bagua, a Feng Shui tool that details major areas of life. On the left side of the closet, place work and school clothes and jewelry - this area represents skills and knowledge, prosperity and family. Put formal, casual evening, weekend wear and workout clothes in the middle of the closet in the health, fame and reputation and career section. Finally, place creative clothes, travel clothes, intimate wear and even suitcases on the right side to represent the creativity, travel, helpful people and relationships sector.
From here you can separate those categories by color, creating a rainbow to inspire and uplift you every time you open up the door. Make sure shoes point in the same direction so you don't feel like you’re constantly going in a thousand directions. And lastly, beautify and personalize your closet: photos that evoke happy memories, feng shui crystals or well-displayed jewelry are wonderful touches,
Darley Adare, a Feng Shui practitioner in the Southpark area, says to watch for profound changes to come along after transforming the energy in your closets.
“Our personal environment, whether it is created by design or default, is always an outpicturing of our psyche. Something as seemingly simple as clearing and organizing a closet can have a strongly salutary impact on the order and clarity of the mind,” she says. “Closets are often hiding places for things physical as well as intangible, and so it follows that organizing a closet can transform far more than the physical space itself.”
To contact Valerie DeLong visit www.fengshuiconcepts.net or call 704-502-8814. Darley Adare can be reached at 704-377-4645.
Storage in a closet should contain the five Feng Shui elements:
Fire Storage -- The clothes bar is considered the fire portion, because it's where you store things that gain you fame and recognition, like business suits and evening wear. When you have fire storage, it will become easier to receive the acclaim you deserve.
Earth Storage -- A shoe rack is considered earth storage, because shoes keep you grounded. This type of storage will help you adopt a more realistic view of the world. Earth storage can also make it much easier to form relationships based on kindness, compassion and mutual respect.
Metal Storage -- Hooks and baskets designed to hold socks, scarves, handbags and belts comprise the metal portion of your closet. Metal storage is associated with detail and can lend more focus and precision when you dress.
Water Storage -- The water element is often associated with storage, because it is still, quiet and contained. Therefore, a laundry bin is a good way to incorporate this element in your closet. When you use water storage to its best advantage, dressing will become more restful and relaxing.
Wood Storage -- The wood element is associated with drive and initiative, so the wood portion of your closet is a good place to store casual clothing that doesn't require a lot of maintenance. A tall row of drawers is wonderfully suited for this purpose. Using wood storage will give you more energy and enthusiasm to carry out plans.
Source: Stephanie Dempsey holds a degree in Feng Shui from the Mountain Institute of TRIBECA in New York City.