In feng shui, decluttering is the most important thing you can do to increase the flow of chi and improve your luck in various sectors of your life. All forms of clutter trap chi energy, keeping it from its natural flow and causing it to stagnate. If you have a lot of clutter, the task of removing it can feel overwhelming. However, working on it a little at a time is doable, and it pays big rewards.
Beyond the Junk Drawer: Clutter Defined
Clutter naturally collects in daily life. Many people have one closet or drawer that becomes a catch-all for clutter. For some, the clutter expands beyond a drawer, cupboard, or closet to one room and then another until it is quickly out of control. But clutter isn't just a messy drawer, closet, or room. It's other things as well.
Items With No Meaning
Holding on to any of the following constitutes clutter.
- Items you no longer use
- Clothing that doesn't fit
- Stained clothing
- Objects with negative associations
- Junk mail or mail you have no intention of responding to
- Unfinished projects you haven't worked on in several months or have no intention of finishing
- Records that don't serve any purpose which you aren't legally required to keep
- Items from the past that don't have meaning now, such an out of date calendar or books you didn't enjoy
- Fake plants and flowers
- Broken and non-functional items
- Tchotchkes that don't make you happy or aren't meaningful
- Fridge magnets with advertisements on them
- Anything that doesn't serve a current purpose or make you feel happy, inspired, or positive in some way
Dirt, Dust, and Decay
Dirt, dust, and decay are also forms of clutter. All of these can trap chi energy and create inauspicious luck.
- Dust, cobwebs, and dirt
- Smudges on walls and surfaces
- Major and minor repairs that haven't been made
- Chipped paint
- Cracked windows
- Dead plants or plants with dead parts
- Drawers or cupboards containing bits of substances, such as flour, toothpaste, or breadcrumbs
- Pet hair or dander collecting on furniture and surfaces
- Dirt and crumbs around trash receptacles
- Weeds in the garden, uncut grass, and similar
- Sticky surfaces such as shelves, fridge, sinks, counters
- Anything you don't clean regularly
- Items and dust under furniture
- Dishes piled in the sink
Anything you that isn't organized can also cause chi to stagnate.
- Junk drawers
- Messy closets and cupboards
- Disorganized files and bills
- Piled up dirty or clean laundry
- Unorganized files on your computer or tablet
Declutter One Step at a Time
You don't have to declutter everything at once, but you can take simple actions to declutter right now. Instead of focusing on the overall task of having to declutter your life, which can feel hugely overwhelming, one expert suggests starting your decluttering in one area when you have a few spare minutes. Decluttering in short chunks of time on small projects is a great way to get started and chances are once you have a few things decluttered, you'll feel more motivated to work on the rest.
- Start by cleaning up clutter in one of these 11 places to feel instantly lighter.
- Tackle one or two quick decluttering tips at a time instead of planning to complete the whole list in a single session.
- Declutter one closet, one shelf in a closet, one cupboard, or one drawer.
- Choose one or two items on a decluttering checklist and complete those.
Beyond Clutter Busting
If you keep decluttering a bit at a time, at some point you'll finish. Then, the goal is to maintain the lack of clutter.
- Have a five to ten minute daily decluttering routine to keep clutter at bay.
- Consider your home and look beyond clutter. Make efforts to continue to improve the energy in your home with other feng shui activites beyond clutter busting.
- Consider other areas of your life where you can remove clutter, such as in your career.
An Uncluttered Life
Everyone has clutter somewhere in his or her life, whether it's an overflowing email inbox or the drawer where you shove things when you don't know what else to do with them. Removing the clutter and maintaining a clutter-free environment is time well spent, however, because it creates auspicious energy and luck, allowing chi to flow freely without restriction.