As I was waiting at the supermarket checkout recently, I noticed all of the beautiful pictures of homes in magazines. Later as I scrolled through my social media feed, it dawned on me that we are bombarded by images of ideal homes. Even flipping on our favorite sitcoms on TV, people “live” in pleasantly arranged sets where problems are solved at the end of each episode. Now we have Marie Kondo, the Japanese organizing expert, showing us how to fold our shirts just so and telling us it’s time to tidy up. It’s a lot to take in.
My daughter took a college class on the Psychology of Happiness. They learned about the pitfalls of our comparison culture and how seeing so many idealized images in the media makes us feel worse about ourselves. I believe that seeing all of those perfect houses adds to our stress and anxiety. How can we possibly live up to what we see?
First as a Realtor and now as a Feng Shui and Decluttering Specialist, I’ve been in 100’s of homes over the last twenty years. The houses I see (mine included) are perfectly imperfect. They are busy places where people and stuff move around constantly. Truthfully, they only look like magazine spreads when guests are coming over or when they are being staged for sale. The rest of the time they are lived in. And that’s ok.
Even as I write this, I have mail to sort, laundry to fold, and some stuff in our basement that needs to go. This kind of everyday maintenance is necessary to keep a household running smoothly. Underneath, though, our home functions well for our needs. What I want to encourage here is finding the balance and setting realistic goals. Rather than trying to achieve perfection, I want our homes to support and empower all of the activities that go on there.
When I meet with clients, I ask them three important questions: How does each space function for you? How do you feel while spending time in your home? And, does your lifestyle flow as you’d like? If the answers are no, some changes may be needed.
When homes function well, feel good, and flow harmoniously positive energy is cultivated. Every cabinet, drawer, or closet that functions well and feels good will have a positive effect on you and your energy. Just imagine coming home to a garage that’s neatly organized or going to sleep in a bedroom that’s peaceful and soothing. Those spaces will have an immediate impact on you, even if the rest of your house isn’t tidy.
So, you might be wondering where to start. Consider what area of your home would have a positive impact on your daily routine by improving it. Then, ask yourself: How can this space function better, feel better, or help life flow more smoothly? You may need to declutter, rearrange furniture, or repurpose the room to fit your current goals. Starting with a small space like a closet or cupboard will help you build confidence. As you work, you’ll soon realize that each area that you improve will help you feel empowered and supported. Leave the perfectionistic ideals behind and instead focus on the function, feel, and flow. That’s the power behind Feng Shui. You can do it!
If you need help in your home, I offer in-home consultations in person and via Skype. I also have a nice variety of upcoming classes. Please visit my events page to learn more.