The Bad Stuff in Our Homes

If you’re waiting for a sign to start tackling your emotional relationship with stuff crowding your home, this is it.
We accumulate clutter every day from work emails, to-do lists on sticky notes, grocery eco bags to give away pens. We accept the stuff and bring them home, and forget it takes [mental and literal] space and sucks up our energy. Hoarding a bunch of items, especially in a limited space, keeps the fortuitous life force or chi stuck. Piling stuff becomes unnoticeable as it becomes a habit. Eventually, the objects will tie us to our past and block new experiences, opportunities, and relationships from branching to our life. Applying feng shui at home will help clear the path for chi to flow freely. Feng shui is not only concerned with the object and furniture placement, but the process also involves decluttering which plays a role in the steady stream of energy.

Now, why declutter? Why is the minimalist home favored than the strewn and littered space?

Decluttering attracts abundance

Clutter stores energy and prevents it from spreading in different rooms and areas around the house. The flow of the chi gets blocked, and the energy becomes stagnant. Removing the tower of excess stuff clears the path and allows the energy to flow freely. The clean, open spaces will attract good energy that favors luck and prosperity. The new found empty spaces will also attract new, improved items.

The air becomes cleaner

Other factors affect the chi besides the apparent clutter. Particles, like dust and liquid from spills, cling to furniture, walls, windows and other parts of the house that goes unnoticed. Left untouched, these will eventually accumulate and form dust bunnies, stubborn stain, and spill marks. All of these don’t attract the right energy into our dwelling. Dirty windows and dead plants also don’t attract good energy, and they also make the room unpleasant. Deep cleaning the house improves air circulation and refreshes the air indoors. Having purified air is good for the health and helps prevent the onset of respiratory diseases.

It makes you think clearly

A clean workspace helps us focus and help us come up with creative solutions. The influx of ideas and solutions will help increase productivity by getting things done in a day. We are often distracted by the things we see even if we don’t admit it. Unconsciously, we register everything in our brains as soon as we set our eyes on it. Psychologist Sherrie Bourg Carter says, “Clutter bombards our mind with excessive stimuli (visual, olfactory, tactile), causing our senses to work overtime on stimuli that aren’t important.” With fewer stimuli in our workspaces, we can separate the insignificant and irrelevant junk from the urgent and important ones.

Clutter also makes us feel that life is difficult. Researchers at UCLA published “Life at Home in the Twenty-First Century,” a study involving 32 middle-class families from Los Angeles. Seventy-five percent of the parents can’t park their cars in their garage because it was full of stuff. We are all guilty of asking more space because we can’t find time to let go of things. To avoid this, take a hard look at each room. The things that make us feel tired, bored and uninspired are the things we need to let go.

Family becomes happier

For obvious reasons, entertaining guests and having quality time with family is more comfortable in an organized space. Cleaning the house provides a sense of satisfaction that puts us in a good mood. Keeping things in place also avoids arguments and conflict arising from misplaced stuff and aggression from visual clutter. The next time you clean the house, involve everyone in the family. Make it fun and lively by blasting upbeat tunes everyone will love. Cleaning and moving stuff around also provides physical activity. Our families become physically and mentally healthy when we consider this quality time of sweeping and scrubbing.

You will be more relaxed

When we don’t have the time and energy to keep things under control, guilt and stress pile up. We feel guilty for not keeping up with our clutter when we should have. Purging stuff will make us feel less guilty because the weight of the untracked clutter will be removed. Guilt and stress will be shifted into positive energy that will make us feel happier and lighter. To maintain the inner tranquility, make it a habit of questioning everything before buying or grabbing something from the store. We sometimes take stuff “just in case” (JIT) we need it, but this JIT mentality only take up space in our life. We think that ‘more is better’ and ‘it’s better to be prepared.’ Unfortunately, most of the JIT items are never used.

Less stuff also means less time spent on cleaning which also means less stress. Win.

Decluttering can help others

Saying goodbye to unnecessary stuff doesn’t mean it needs to go in the trash. Instead of throwing them away for good, think of other people that might want or need them. Our unwanted or unneeded objects can be handy to others. You may find stuff you haven’t touched or used in years may be what someone else’s need. Others may benefit from the preloved clothes, shoes, and gadgets that are underutilized. Set up a garage sale, donate them, or trade them so they can maximize their purpose.

When picking the items to donate, sell and trade, it’s better to go through the process by category and not by location. For example, sift through your hair styling products, gaming gear or cooking tools in one go regardless of where they are placed. The process will narrow the options for each category and help in deciding what stays and what goes.


Minimizing clutter isn’t about the aesthetic or cleanliness. It’s about the space. When we think about it that way, we get to decide what adds value to our home and what doesn’t. Keeping in mind the unfinished projects and the things we no longer love, use or need all contribute to clutter and stagnant energy. Also, the things that make us feel bored, tired and uninspired are conflicting for prosperous energy. Being aware of these is the first step to having a good feng shui – a harmonious space with a positive chi.

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