As part of my spring cleaning series of posts, we have already discussed some specifics about decluttering and cleaning the kitchen. But what about the rest of your home?
Whether or not you believe in chakras, chi, voodoo, or animal totems, you probably realize that a home contains energy. When you walk into a room, you can feel it.
Here's an example: when my husband and I were house-hunting--before we purchased our current home--we found a much newer, much more luxurious place. The house had been custom built, had a gorgeous, marble-tiled bathroom with an enormous shower and separate soaking tub, a lovely kitchen, enough bedrooms, and a three-acre backyard. Good location, excellent schools, everything we were looking for. And the price was right, too. What was wrong with this beautiful home? Bad juju. A small window had been smashed. There was a hole in the bedroom wall where it looked like someone had punched a fist through the drywall. We learned the bank had foreclosed on the property when the owners began divorce proceedings. On our second viewing, a large bearded man sat on the front porch, eyeing us angrily. The sink and counters were littered with dirty dishes. There was laundry covering the couches in the living room. We decided to look elsewhere.
This is an extreme example, but your own home also carries energy. Take a walk through the various rooms, pausing in each. First look around, then close your eyes. See if you can sense the different energies in these spaces. What do you feel? Note if parts of your home feel heavy, angry, or depressing. Maybe other rooms feel light, vibrant, or cheerful. What other differences do you notice?
There are many factors which define the energy in a room. Everything from paint colors, artwork, and fabric textures to ceiling heights, number of windows, and building materials. Some of these are easy fixes--like replacing old throw pillows--while other changes might be expensive--like removing walls or replacing windows. Luckily there are lots of small problems you can address which can add up to significant change.
If there are rooms in your home that give off negative vibes--make you feel angry or depressed--here are some steps you can take:
1) Choose one room in particular and look around it. Take in all the small details that you might normally ignore. Is the room cluttered? Dirty? Claustrophobic? Don't rush this process. Try to see everything, even the stuff you don't want to look at.
2) Focus in on one small area of this room. It might be a shelf, cupboard, cabinet, or even just one single drawer. Empty the entire shelf, cupboard, or drawer and examine the contents.
3) Divide the stuff you find into 4 piles: what you want to KEEP, TRASH, DONATE, and the stuff you cannot decide on. We can call this the MAYBE pile.
4) Focus on the KEEP pile. Where is the best place to keep this stuff? It doesn't necessarily need to go back where it was. Choose the place that makes the most sense to you.
5) Throw out the TRASH and make a bag to DONATE to the thrift store.
6) Find a cardboard box for the MAYBE pile. Tape it closed and store it somewhere out of sight. If you need anything out of this box, you can open it. Otherwise, leave it for a year (just in case!) and then donate its contents without opening.
7) Notice if the energy in the room has shifted, now that you have taken steps to make some changes here. Make a plan to tackle the next section of this room on a different day.
Keep in mind that cleansing the energy of even one room in your home can be draining. Taking on too much at once might feel overwhelming and could derail the whole process. It is easy to get discouraged by biting off more than you can chew. This is why you might want to stop after just a single drawer! Hopefully you will feel energized by your small success. Tomorrow you can take the next step forward!