A Feng Shui Lifestyle: Feng Shui Inside and Outside the House

One of my clients has been struggling with clutter, specifically in their basement.  Years of accumulated stuff — theirs, her mother’s, their children’s, and stuff from unknown origins.  Although the rest of their home was presentable, it was the basement that became the nemesis that Beth tried to ignore for many years. 

She and I spent some time in the basement assessing the seriousness of the situation.  Beth was in a high-anxiety state just looking around and truly didn’t know where to start.  Her husband Paul didn’t share the intensity of her feelings but did agree that things had gotten pretty bad.  Although I had previously told her about the “9” approach—-de-clutter for 9 minutes a day for 9 days to get a jump-start on the project; or move 9 items each day for 9 days, or 9 stacks or 9 bags or boxes.  She had been trying to do that, but felt 9 minutes or 9 stacks just wasn’t enough effort to get through all the stuff they had.  However, when she and Paul moved past the limit set by the “9” approach, discouragement and hopelessness would step in.  They’d walk upstairs resolving to not return any time soon. 

This was the wrong approach I told them.  They HAD to commit to the time or number limitations and not exceed them.  Their efforts to just get the project done at all costs was wearing them out and making them feel as though the basement was an endless dark hole.  Instead, I suggested they adopt a Feng Shui lifestyle and look upon the basement as a process not a project.  This could alleviate the attitude they had about the condition of their basement.  By seriously focusing for a short period of time rather than all afternoon or all day, they could:

 1.  Make quicker decisions about their things;
 2.  Not reminisce about stuff;
 3.  Be assured that their whole day wouldn’t be swallowed up;
 4.  Make a game out of how much they could get done before their allotted time was expired;
 5.  Have fun! And enjoy the rest of their day.

The de-cluttering had to become a way of life for Beth and Paul—-a lifestyle, something that they engaged in on a regular basis if not a daily basis.  They could acknowledge the small steps they had taken each time they were in the basement and honor themselves and each other for making headway.

In addition to integrating this process in their basement, I recommended they also do this elsewhere in their lives:  spend 9 minutes in a closet or 9 minutes in a desk drawer or remove 9 items on the desk.  The lifestyle pattern could infiltrate all parts of their lives, making the basement a familiar and an easier process.