Dear Kathi,

I am really interested in clearing my clutter for better feng shui in my home. Do you have any details about how this will affect my space (so that I can answer my husband’s questions) and also, what I should do to start?

Angel, San Marcos


This is an interesting question. Many people ask about how to perform feng shui with their space and clear clutter at the same time. Let’s start with what clutter really is and how it affects your living environment.

There are basically four types of clutter which all affect the feng shui (or energetics) of your space:
(1) Things you do not use or love,
(2) Untidy or disorganized items,
(3) Too many items in a small space, and
(4) Any unfinished project.

As you can see, there is more to clutter than physical objects. The last category, anything left unfinished, is the hardest to see, therefore, the easiest category to ignore. According to feng shui principals, things not dealt with in your home reflect issues not dealt with in your life. These items are a constant drain on your psyche, always lurking in the back of your mind. Your conscious mind will suppress them for you but uses a lot of energy to do so. Your energy and vitality will soar if you will complete all of your unfinished business.

Things that you do not use or love are common elements in a cluttered home. The question to ask yourself as you begin to clear each object is: Why do I hold onto this item-guilt or a memory? You will not lose a memory simply because the related item is gone. As far as guilt goes… if you knew the extent of feng shui damage that these items have on your life, you would be much more willing to let them go. Feeling guilty for releasing certain items says something about your own personal self-talk, and you may want to explore why you feel obligated to remain living with things that no longer serve you.

Untidiness and disorganization result from a lack of attention or carelessness. Is your environment not worth keeping orderly and clean? Think of it this way, your environment is an extension of your own personal energy. Is your physical appearance also disheveled or not put together? This is a case I see frequently. We clean out the living environment and suddenly, the outward appearance of the person changes. Shortly after this comes elevated self-confidence and mastery.

Too many items in a small space is a common phenomenon, especially for those of us in Southern California. Most of us live in smaller spaces than we grew up in. This can be a really great thing if we have learned to streamline and simplify our lives. Or creating clutter can be a hazard if we are not able to release enough items to fit into our new space with room to spare. I’m in strong agreement with the authors of Chic Simple, that the quality of life comes not in accumulating things but in paring down to the essentials. This is why I have named this column and my company AddSpace To Your Life! Open space is necessary for good metal health.

Tell your husband that having empty space and order in your environment allow energy to flow and new beginnings to occur. I’m sure that whoever you are, you will most probably welcome new happenings in your life. This, along with new thought patterns and experiences in your home, will be your due reward for clearing clutter and creating better feng shui in your environment.

Thanks for writing and don’t hesitate to write with any other specific questions.

Please submit your questions to: [email protected] San Diego Professional Organizer