Clutter vs. Mess

In this week’s vlog, Laura talked about clutter and mess from a feng shui perspective.

The Difference of Tidying Up and Being Messy

Clutter is a problem when it shifts how you go about your day, how you feel about your home and most importantly how you feel about yourself! But removing clutter is more than just about being tidy. Yes, tidying up gives us a sense of control over our lives, but if you approach it with openness, the benefits can be much deeper. Focusing on order and perfection will begin scratch the surface.

Make your tidying up more powerful by bringing in more mindfulness, awareness, and gratitude.

In feng shui, when we speak about clutter, we talk about it from an energetic perspective. Where it is in your home? What it can mean…? We use ancient tools to read a space and when we see clutter or certain objects in a space we look at it through a feng shui lens.

Why do I struggle with clearing clutter? Before you set off into tidying up mode consider the following 3 things:

  1. Is your clutter/messiness stopping you from moving forward?

    The messiness and clutter is really only a problem when it causes a detrimental shift to your qi or when your personal energy is compromised. Also, if you are feeling pressure to have this perfectly tidy house and this causes guilt, this will not serve you. If clutter is stopping you from moving around your space, it may also be stopping you from moving forward on a new project, goal, or initiative. Clutter can hold you back. Feng shui gives us a deeper understanding about what the clutter may mean, and how releasing it can open up a new area of our lives.

  2. It’s all about the balance of the yin and yang.

    It’s important to remember that life can be messy. When you are living your life to the fullest, things are going to be messy, both figuratively and literally. We need a mix of focused-orderly-organized energy and chaotic-messy energy. This duality of energy is called yang and yin.

    If your desk at work is so tidy, you actually can run the risk of losing the qi of work, the qi of ideas and creativity. We need a little messiness to develop these ideas. It is not binary, one way isn’t good or bad. There is a time and place for both messy and tidy. For example, perhaps when you are working on your taxes, you may need to have more order, a visually quieter space - this is the idea of the balance of yin and yang energy.

  3. The Five Elements system feel connection and avoid frustration.

    In feng shui, we have the five element system: wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. Each of the elements are characteristics and types of energy. For example, if you have been watching Marie Kondo, and thinking “I have been organizing and decluttering for years, this is a piece of cake.”, then you're most likely a metal energy person. Organizing, decluttering, perfecting home comes naturally to people with more metal energy in their elemental make-up. On the other hand, a water person would rather be surrounded by piles of books, creating, researching, exploring ideas. Or for example, an earth element person loves the idea of collecting things, making their home a place to nurture and cook for family and friends. A minimalist space would be out of their comfort zone would not resonate with their energy.

These distinctions are important to understand so we don't judge ourselves too harshly. Decluttering and being tidy may not be a natural fit for your energy. Be kind to yourself, it may take a little more work, but now you know why.