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Feng Shui Friday: Clutter Clearing

February 25, 2011

Over the weekend we had the pleasure of being interviewed by the fabulous Mr. Nathan Seven Scott for his new talk show In the Spotlight. He asked us how we know if someone is in need of a design makeover, and one of our answers was if you’re home is overtaken by clutter, it’s time to weed out, organize and toss.

Last week we mentioned that the your chi (good energy) can be blocked by poorly placed furniture. It’s not only the big stuff like furniture, but it can also be clutter. Feng shui experts always say the best place to start incorporating the ancient practice is by clearing your home of unwanted and unneeded items. It can be a daunting task, but I’ve done it several times and can truly attest to how good it feels to purge. You can literally feel the weight that those old items carried lifted off of you.

I like this rule: love it or leave it. If it’s not something you can’t live without, you don’t need it. And if you feel a major attachment to something and can’t get the guts to toss it, just make sure it has a dedicated space to “live” in.

Lots of “things” have memories intertwined with them – sometimes they bring up good emotions, and sometimes not so good (i.e. a gift from that ex boyfriend who took your heart out from your chest, threw it on the ground and stomped on it). Just purge those things that have bad memories linked to them, even if they’re expensive. They don’t do you any good if you can’t detach the memory/feeling from the object. This goes for photos of ex’s too. Do you really need them? They’re probably just keeping you from moving on and living your good life. For a really touching story about clearing clutter check out this article with Nate and Dr. Ruth. You’ll get the whole attached-to-bad-memories thing when you read about her washcloth that was the only item she took with her when leaving Germany during the Holocaust. Oh, and also read the bit at the end about the chick who couldn’t have sex at home with her new boyfriend because she was reminded of her old boyfriend since he bought the furniture. She could only do it with new guy in the car. See what I mean? Throw out those photos!

Sidenote: I’m not 100% sure how this applies to digital photos since our lives are literally stored on our computers these days but I’d venture to guess the experts would say “Delete. Delete. Delete.”

On to organizing…piles of magazines and newspapers, old mail, and invitations or holiday cards are some culprits of items that need to be weeded out frequently. I use the Bigso magazine files and desktop files in white to keep me organized. I keep them tucked away neatly in my closet and also have them labeled so I can quickly find what I’m looking for – this proves to be imperative each and every tax season! I also try to respond immediately to anything in my mailbox that needs my attention so that I can file it or toss it as soon as it arrives, eliminating those pesky piles that so quickly accumulate.

I also love this adorable expandable file tote for on the go use – it’s super cute, and can travel with you anywhere – great for transitioning from the home office to a meeting.For living rooms, built in storage is a no brainer. It lets you to have closed storage on the bottom to hide things like toys or dvds, and open shelves above to neatly display personal objects.

And speaking of toys, PLEASE teach your kids to clean up after themselves, too!  They learn to do it each and every day at school so why can’t they do it at home too? You’re not doing them any favors by letting them live messy lives. Ok, finished venting.

Back to brass tacks…in this beach house we designed below we knew that keeping clutter to a minimum was key, so we used two flip top storage ottomans in the living area, and brought in lots of file boxes and magazine files in the sun room which doubles as an office.

images above designed by id 810 design group

Organized clutter works for us too. Take these bookshelves in the image below – obviously this person has a major book collection they didn’t want to part with, but they worked it into their decor and gave each book a home. There’s a lot going on, but it’s relatively neat.

Another great trick is to partition off open shelving with drapery like in the image below. But, notice how it’s still neat and organized behind the drapes. Having doors, drawers or drapes to hide storage doesn’t give you the license to be messy when it can’t be seen. Even behind closed doors (closets, and under beds too) items should be organized.

images above from House Beautiful

One of the most fun areas to clean and clear is the closet. It allows you to get rid of clothes and accessories you haven’t worn in ages and make way for new!

image from Rue

Organizing your clothing by what the item is and how you wear it is crucial and can seriously cut down on the amount of time it takes you to get dressed in the morning. I keep my pants, skirts, blouses, sweaters and dresses all hanging organized by group, then color. Keeping everything hanging allows me to see all items at once, and see how they work together. I also have a “Weekend Drawer” which houses my more comfortable, less dressed up items like cords, leggings and plaids. By physically separating my “dress up” clothes from my “relax” items, dressing is a cinch.

We took to the twit poll this week and asked our peeps if they had any favorite hangers they swear by. Our girl at Sweet Suite Chic adores the HSN Huggable Hangers by Joy Mangano. People have a lot to say about these hangers, I got lost reading the reviews for, like, ever. Don’t get them from HSN. Get them from Target. No, Get the knock off from Bed Bath and Beyond and use a 20% coupon. No, Don’t get them at all…People are so opinionated these days it’s scary. But at any rate, I think I might give them a whirl in the black. Might as well do my due diligence and have my own opinion.

By the way, if you’re not following us on twitter yet, you should. We are @ID810. Our blog is being revamped (yay! it’s only been a year since we started this process!) and will have some cute little follow us twitty bird button on here shortly, but in the meantime you can find us here.

We are going to keep pushing Spring until it finally warms up, so up next on Feng Shui Friday: The Color Yellow Takin it to the Office (last minute notice – we’re moving again! perfect time to apply our tips to our new quarters)

xxx, jg

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