Professional organizers and helpful-hint sources often recommend
storage solutions such as shelves above doors and in corners,
hooks on the backs of doors, and peg-board or tools and small
appliances. They are masters at maximizing every square inch of
a closet with bins, baskets, shelf dividers, and multiple
hanging rods. What they don’t realize is that, from a feng shui
perspective, these techniques can cause as many problems as they
For good feng shui, it’s important to leave some of your
storage space unused, for doors to open all the way, and to aim
for visual simplicity. As you work toward achieving the
organizer’s dream of a place for everything and everything in
its place, keep these guidelines in mind:
– Spaces that are completely full block the flow of “chi”
(vital energy) into your home and your life. Full file drawers
block the flow of new business; full bookcases block the flow of
new information and knowledge; a full bedroom closet can block
your ability to attract a new relationship, and so on. Wherever
possible, keep 20-25% of your storage areas available for new
ideas, relationships, and opportunities to flow your way.
– Storage units hung from the ceiling create oppressive energy
that presses down on whatever is underneath them. Anything
stored overhead can contribute to feelings of depression,
anxiety, and overwhelm. A pot rack hanging over the stove is
considered especially bad because it can have an oppressive
effect on your finances.
– Shelves over a door, or on a wall beside your bed or desk,
have a similar oppressive effect and can lead to headaches, poor
sleep, lack of energy, or muddled thinking.
– A hook on the back of the bathroom door is fine if all you
hang on it is a summer-weight robe and PJs. If the hook is piled
with three terry robes and a few extra towels, so the door no
longer opens all the way, that’s a feng shui no-no. Never use
hooks on the back of the main door to your home or on bedroom
doors; it is essential that these doors open freely and
completely, with nothing stored behind them. (That means
removing anything stored on the floor behind the door as well.)
– Vinyl-coated wire shelves on the inside of a door can be a
good way to keep lots of small items tidy; however, they should
only be used on closet, cabinet, or pantry doors, and should
never prevent the door from closing completely.
– Avoid under-bed storage if you can. If you must use this
space, use it for extra bedding and for soft, seasonal clothing
such as sweaters. Never store any kind of sharp objects,
information (books, videos or DVDs, paperwork), or exercise
equipment under the bed; you may have trouble sleeping or feel
exhausted no matter how much rest you get.
– As much as possible, store things where they are accessible
but out of sight. Peg board and open shelving create visual
clutter, so limit these to the garage, workroom, or pantry where
they won’t affect the energy of the rest of the house.
– Be thoughtful about how much stuff you display in a room.
Filling the den with knick-knack shelves so hubby can have his
entire collection of sports memorabilia on display creates
visual overwhelm. From a feng shui perspective, it’s better to
invest in closed storage such as drawers and cabinets and have
only a few treasures on display at a time. Change the selection
every three to six months, and with each rotation you’ll
rediscover old favorites. By displaying fewer items at a time,
you’ll actually enjoy and appreciate your collection more.
– Another common problem is family photos and snapshots
scattered lavishly throughout every room and wall in the house.
Select a dozen of the best ones, frame them attractively, and
create a mini-gallery on one wall in one room or hallway. Store
the rest or put them in albums. (Okay, okay, you can stick a few
on the fridge, too!)
– Aesthetics are as important as functionality in feng shui.
Keeping earrings and small jewelry in an ice-cube tray or egg
carton works, but it’s cheap-looking, cheap-feeling, and will
drag your energy down every time you use it. It’s okay to be
budget-conscious, but appearance counts, too. A small plastic
storage box is more attractive than an ice-cube tray and you can
get one at your local discount, craft, or housewares store for
under three dollars. And they come in pretty colors, so you can
choose one to match your bedroom décor.
With these easy guidelines in mind, you can choose storage
solutions that will keep your space tidy and create good feng
shui in your home. For even better results, remember to get rid
of clutter before you put things away. Why waste time and money
finding clever storage solutions for stuff you can do without?
STEPHANIE ROBERTS is a writer and feng shui consultant in Maui, HI. She is the author of the popular
Fast Feng Shui: 9 Simple Principles for Transforming Your Life by Energizing Your Home, Fast Feng Shui for Singles: 108 Ways to Heal Your Home and Attract Romance, and the
“Clutter Free Forever!” Home Coaching Program. For more tips and information, visit her websites at www.fastfengshui.com and www.clutterfreeforever.com .