Feng shui is a centuries-old tradition of arranging your home–from your plants to your furniture–in such a way that it promotes balance and energy. By adhering to the principles of feng shui, you will bring balance, good energy, health and happiness into your home. The five elements of feng shui include wood, fire, earth, metal and water. By introducing these elements into your home, you can achieve balance and bring in good energy to help you achieve your goals.
In a small apartment, you will be limited in what you can do to incorporate feng shui. It’s okay! Do what you can as every step helps. Before you get started, open the windows to allow the light and energy to enter your space. This will help you clear the air in your home and start evaluating the ways you can make positive changes. Windows represent the “eyes” of the home. Feng shui believes that dirty windows represent cloudy vision so windows should be cleaned often.
Step 1. Declutter One Room at a Time.
The first step is to declutter your home. Start in the bedroom. This is the room that you can close the door and no one else can see. Do you make your bed every morning? Is there a pile of clean laundry in the corner waiting to be folded and put in a drawer or closet? Is there another pile of dirty clothes? What else is tossed in the bedroom until you figure out where it will be stored?
Your goal is to make this room calm and clean to promote peace and a good sleep. Start by making three piles: Keep, Donate and Trash. Everything in your home should be classified under this system. If you don’t use it or love it, it may not be on the Keep pile. Be ruthless. Everything you keep must be stored appropriately.
Once decluttered, look at your furniture. The flow of chi can be hampered or blocked by clutter or even improperly placed furniture. In the bedroom, place the bed so you can see the door, but your feet should not be directly facing out the door. In feng shui, this is considered the worst position for a good night’s sleep. There should be nothing stored under the bed as that will prevent air and energy from flowing around the bed. There should be no electronics in the bedroom—that includes the computer, iPhone and TV. If you must have your office in the bedroom of your small apartment, use a screen to separate your office space from your sleeping space.
In the living room, start again with decluttering and cleaning. Arrange furniture so that there is a natural flow through the room. This will also allow the flow of chi throughout the room. Try to arrange furniture in a symmetrically pleasing way. If purchasing furniture, try to find pieces that incorporate storage in them. This will help to eliminate clutter.
Step 2: Add Plants to Your Spaces.
Place some plants in the room so you promote health and beautify your living space. If your office area is in the living room, again, use a screen to separate the office area from the entertainment area. Place your indoor plants within three feet of your computer to balance the electromagnetic frequencies. Plants are part of the wood element which represents growth, expansion and vitality. Feng shui believes that rounded leaves represent wealth, while thorns or spiky leaves repel good energy and bonsai–or stunted plants–represent limited growth. Avoid using dried plants as in feng shui this material represents dead energy.
Step 3: Embrace Wood in Your Kitchen.
In the kitchen, there should be lots of wood. Wood cabinets and wood cutting boards are preferred. If the kitchen faces south, add accents of red, orange or yellow. These will bring fame and reputation according to feng shui. Placing plants in the kitchen will attract good energy. Add a citrus tree to your kitchen to promote good fortune, wealth and luck. Bright and fresh flowers in the kitchen will also attract good energy. Keep the water fresh, and clean and deadhead the flowers frequently as they fade and die.
Step 4: Embrace the Other Elements Throughout the Rest of Your Home.
Throughout your home, try to have a balance of all the five elements. Each element has its own associated shape and color.
|Earth||Square||Brown and Yellow||Grounding, Stability|
|Fire||Triangle||Red, Orange, Purple||Passion, Emotion|
|Metal||Circle||White, Metallic||Strength, Independence|
|Water||Curvy||Blue, Black||Relaxation, Inspiration|
|Wood||Rectangle||Green, Teal||Growth, Expansion|
If you can have objects that combine the material, color and shape together, you will benefit from the most powerful energy. In other words, the element of metal brings strength and clarity to your life. The color associated with metal is gold, silver, light colors of white and grey and pastels. The shape of the element metal is round like a coin. If you place a round wooden table in a room, you have one component of the metal element: the round shape. The table will attract positive energy. If you replace the round wooden table with a round wooden table that is painted white, you now have two components of the metal element: shape and color. This round white table will have greater power to attract the good energy of the metal element. Replace the table with a metal round white table and you will have the most powerful combination with all three components of the metal element.
The idea is that by purposefully placing objects in your home that contain the components of the five elements, you will attract those elements so the energy is held by them and available to you. The energy can be blocked by clutter and “stuff.” That is why it is so important to have a clean and tidy environment.
There is much more to learn about feng shui, but these basic steps toward balance and peace are a good start on your journey.