By this point, you’ve likely heard of Marie Kondo’s magical tidying method or applied some of its principles to your rooms, drawers, or even your heart. But did you know that feng shui is really the OG when it comes to creating a joy-inducing space?
Feng shui is the ancient Chinese art of harmonizing your surroundings—think more along the lines of “create energy flow,” rather than “tidy up.” In the recently revised edition of Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui, space-clearing guru Karen Kingston revisits her original 1998 guide with fresh eyes, sharing even more foolproof, practical tips for effectively getting rid of clutter—whether it’s in your home, yard, workspace, body, or mind.
According to Kingston, the most important—and until rather recently, often overlooked—step in the feng shui practice is getting rid of clutter. And not all clutter is created equal. It actually falls into four categories: things you don’t use or love, things that are untidy or not organized, an excess of things that don’t fit into a space, and unfinished things.
More clutter, Kingston says, means more stuck, depressed energy in your space—and that can negatively affect your personal energy, mental state, and overall wellness big time. Clutter can also be a reflection of what’s going on in your life (which might explain why that pile of clothes on the chair seems to get bigger as you feel more stressed and out of control).
On the flip side, a clutter-free space filled with things that are loved and used regularly allows positive energy to move fluidly, not just through the space but also through you.