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Love at First Sight – Feng Shui Meets Professional Organizing

One of the greatest challenges in our abundant world is to simplify and organize our possessions. A colleague of mine swears that her belongings mate in the night, especially the ones in storage. Where there was one, a dozen now live. Crowded garages, basements, attics, and closets are often the showrooms of excess in our homes.

My family’s attic was always a disaster area, since most things were thrown up there from the bottom of the stairs. As a result, it was extremely annoying to climb those stairs and try to find anything. I can still remember my father’s language as he banged around overhead looking for the right suitcase. Our basement was a virtual indoor dumpster/hardware store, where I would sweat bullets looking for the tool Dad sent me to find. I had a perfect track record: I never once found what he wanted. Our house ate scissors and keys, while every drawer in the house had everything in it, except what I needed at the time.

So, when I began to practice Feng Shui, I had to learn some new skills— how to simplify and thoroughly organize my possessions. I found all forms of clutter in my space, including piles of papers, drawers of ragged clothes, and shelves of old china and linens—things that I didn’t love or want and hadn’t used for a long time. I kept all that stuff around because I didn’t realize that my vast collection of unwanted stuff was congesting the flow of vital energy throughout my life.

As I cleared the stuff out, I noticed a rather magical thing happening: the more I released the old, the more I received the new—in the form of wonderful new belongings and opportunities that I really did want and need. I’d simplify and organize my closet, give away a bag of clothes, and the next thing I knew, I’d find the perfect new clothes. Then, I’d be invited to an event, wear my new clothes, meet people interested in my work, and my business would expand. I’d sort through my cabinets, get rid of things I no longer had a use for, and something I needed or wanted to do would soon flow into my life. It’s absolutely predictable.

Active Chaos—Creativity in Motion: Chaos is part of the spice of life. Flurries of creative activity, with all its attendant mess, happen every day. It is the natural and necessary spilling out of materials to create a new masterpiece. It’s seen in the paints and brushes that are scattered around the painter, the reference books that pile up around a writer, and the jars and

pots that encircle a cook. You know when chaos is active when you are attracted to it. Something—a painting, a book, a meal—is being born! You sense the dynamic nature of creativity, and you want to taste it, smell it, see it, and revel in its aliveness. Whether it’s a new project, a new sauce, or a new garden, active chaos generates excitement. The key to keeping excitement and creativity alive is to “stay in the loop” and reorganize the space and materials between creative bursts.

Passive Chaos—Creativity Lost in Clutter: Chaos left for long becomes passive or stagnant, and the scene changes. No masterpiece is born in a studio filled with dried-up brushes and spilled paints, nor a kitchen full of crusty dishes and greasy pans. The longer we leave “the mess,” the more the Ch’i deteriorates, and the flurry of creation grinds to a halt. Creativity languishes on the cluttered desktop, in the chaotic kitchen, and the junky back porch. Even when your rooms are free of passive chaos, check your storage areas. There, the kingdom of passive chaos might include mountains of catalogs, cities of rusty old paint cans, or forests of toys the kids outgrew a dozen years ago. Thickets of passive chaos grow in garages, closets, basements, and attics, safely behind closed doors. Feng Shui invites you to throw open all the doors and take a look. Passive chaos is easy to recognize. In its presence, creativity collapses, and there’s no reviving it until that big, old mess is handled. Behind a door or not, clutter and chaos drain your vitality. That’s why it’s often so challenging to face the mess and return it to order. Nevertheless, it has to be done. It’s helpful to realize that as you bravely roust the minions of passive chaos from your home, you are inviting transformation to occur. You are bringing your creativity and imagination back to life.

Here are seven questions to ask while sorting through your possessions that can help you clear the passive chaos and establish a new order.


1. DoIloveit?

2. Do I need it?

3. Does it support who I am now in my life?

4. Does it act as an Environmental Affirmation for me?

5. What positive and/or negative thoughts, memories, or emotions do I

associate with it?

6. Does it need to be fixed or repaired, and am I willing to do so now?

7. If it’s time to let it go, am I going to sell, lend, or give it away, and when?

Eliminate Passive Chaos and Reclaim Creativity: Organizing your possessions reinstates your creativity and vitality. Motivation kicks in when you understand the importance of cleaning up the chaotic spots in your home. As you simplify and organize, watch what happens in your life. Since everything is connected, the simple act of cleaning out a drawer can ripple out and attract positive opportunities. If you feel overwhelmed, ask for a friend or family member’s support. If you’re just too busy, hire a professional organizer to help you. However you accomplish the task, your reward is a ticket to enter (or re-enter) the dynamic world of creativity and the active chaos that goes with it. Active chaos is an integral part of the creative cycle. The trick is to follow the natural cycle all the way around and bring your projects to completion. Enjoy the ride from beginning to end, knowing that your creative expression renews the spirit, nurtures the home, and enhances every facet of your life.

Practice Feng Shui Today

The best time to practice Feng Shui is today. Waiting for the perfect conditions is like waiting to start exercising or to start eating well. The energy that moves through your home is of vital importance to your health, prosperity, and happiness now. So begin designing your perfect home—your personal paradise—today, wherever you are. When it comes right down to it, you are renting, whether you own your home or not. Don’t let plans to move keep you from making the home you live in now the best it can be. Balancing and enhancing your present home is one of the most powerful things you can do to energize and manifest your goals and dreams for the future.

Fortunately, Feng Shui principles give you an abundance of practical, results-producing ways to balance the Ch’i flow. Begin by stepping into the looking glass and seeing your home as a bigger you. See everything in your home as being dynamically alive. Explore your connections with the things “who” surround you. Simplify and organize every nook and cranny so that the creative spirit within you flourishes. Embrace change, choose to live with what you love, and let comfort and safety be your guides in creating a beautiful home. Your challenge—and your joy—is to balance the vital

energy flowing through you and your home so that harmony, prosperity, and happiness become your daily companions. As more and more people do so, together we’ll create Heaven on Earth.

Terah Kathryn Collins is the author of six books on Feng Shui and the founder of the Western School of Feng Shui™ in San Diego, CA. For additional Feng Shui articles, more information about Essential Feng Shui®, or to attend a Feng Shui Training Program or event, or please visit or call directly 760-633-3388.