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There is more to clutter than you think. What one chooses to surround themselves with, and how they occupy space, can say many things about a person. In the practice of Feng Shui, these things reflect dreams, relationships and thoughts. Schneider explains how rearranging or removing clutter can result in new beginnings.

Finding magic in clearing the clutter

By: Ellen Schneider

Most people think of clutter as accumulated possessions, unused possessions, dirt, dust, messy yards, counters with no space to put things on, disorganization.

I think of clutter as overflow. An overflow of thoughts, water in the vase spilling over with nowhere to go, a book not written due to the dream with no voice, the unsaid conversation to a dear friend to clear the air, the relationship that is not having “the talk”, (the talk that will create change) the empty memberships of organizations that are not working, the private voice that yearns to speak.

Clutter as stored energy with no life, no expression, no value, and no satisfaction.

Removing clutter, whether by your own definition or by mine, is a large part of applying the ancient theory of Feng Shui to homes and businesses. Feng Shui, a Chinese practice for maintaining balance in our environments and lives, holds a basic principle of surrounding yourself with objects that you love and that reflect you. Many times, our environments are holding old beliefs in place. The couch that has the tear that no one can fix (are you being torn apart?), the rug that has the worn spot that greets you every morning (are you worn out?), the light bulbs that keep burning out due to an electrical snafu (are you burned out?), and an office chair that wobbles with a broken wheel and constantly keeps you moving from one side to another (are you ambivalent about the mission in your life?) It is very courageous to look at your environments with feng shui eyes and really see what you are holding in place. And then, the even more courageous act, to decide to change it.

To begin the process of decluttering, take a survey of your home and possessions.

Do they convey a message of empowerment and respect?

Do you love them and cherish the memory associated with them?

Are they in good condition? So that if you were going to have a person you most respect come into your home, would you proudly say, “This is who I am”?

Because it is who you are. Everything that surrounds you, everyone that surrounds you, holds a kernel of your inner life. This statement holds no judgement, it just is. Now, the real work begins.


If you decide that you are ready to take action after you have taken your personal survey, then you are on your way to freedom. Design your personal process to have your home or business become an embrace. If you want your environment to hug you, it has to be unencumbered by all of the distractions. And distractions can be possessions that no longer serve you.

For example, your declaration may be: “I will touch everything I own, and decide if it reflects who I am today.”

Know that this intended result will happen if you plug in the necessary action plan to release, so you can replace. Be responsible to your declared intention and the details will arrange themselves.

Design a segment of time each day to touch 10 things. Listen to what they are saying back. Do they want to stay, or go? If they are going, where are they going? Who will appreciate something that has been precious to you during your life process, and now no longer serves you? This is an important part in decluttering. The last thing that you want to do is make more piles. When you have your “Release Possessions” in place, find another home for them within 24 hours. Then, move on to the next 10 things. Do the math. 10×10=100 things touched and evaluated.

This paves the way to go deeper with the clutter issue and into relationships.

If you have business relationships, love relationships, friendly relationships, memberships to clubs, service relationships (car mechanic, domestic housekeeping, medical aids, etc.) make sure that they are also congruent with who you are and that you are being served. Do the same process. Touch each one and take the pulse of where you are in each relationship. Just by doing this, your relationships will change.


It is okay to have some relationships end, to send possessions into a new home, to release memberships that are not effective. It is okay because it allows for the New to enter your life. You do not have to know what will replace the old, just know that you are keeping your energy refreshed and vital.

This gentle introduction to balance through the art of Feng Shui, will give you a starting place for a whole life experience. Know that if you finish reading this article and go and clean one drawer, you have started the process of renewal in your life. It is that simple. Make it easy. Go. Do it. Now.

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