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Posts Tagged Cleaning

A Time for Thank You: Appreciating Your Home

Thank You NoteBy Carole Hyder

During this season of giving thanks for the beautiful and abundant life that we have, I remind students, clients, friends, and myself that it’s also the time to give thanks to your home.

If you have no issues with your home and have, in fact, had a nice connection with it, writing a thank-you will solidify this positive relationship.

Writing a thank-you to your home, however, can go a long way in bringing some relief to a troubled and ailing space.  It’s helpful when you’re unhappy with your home for whatever reason.  Rather than looking to move or harboring resentments, a cheaper and easier action to take is to write your home a thank-you note.

Here’s how to write a thank-you to your home:

  1. Use an actual thank-you note or special stationery to write your letter.  Due to the small size of a typical thank-you, you will have to keep your message short and succinct.
  2. Start with “Dear___________.”  If you have a name for your home, you can insert here.  If not “Dear Home” is fine.
  3. List two reasons you are thankful for your home.  Examples:  I want to thank you for making me feel safe.  I appreciate how you keep me warm all winter long.
  4. Outline two actions you will take regarding your home.  Examples:  I promise to get the back door fixed before winter.  I promise to finish painting the bathroom.  I promise to clear out the clutter in the basement.
  5. Sign off with your name.  Love, __________.  All the best, ___________.
  6. Place the thank-you note in a special place in your home—-in your nightstand drawer, under a plant near the front door, under your pillow.

Writing a thank-you does not take the place of cleaning your home or making needed repairs or beautifying it.  But perhaps coming from a grateful heart will make the actions to which you committed more meaningful and healing.

If the Car Fits…that’s a Feng Shui Win

house and carBy Lisa Janusz

We’re often asked about garages in Feng Shui. People want to know if they count and what can be done about them. They do, indeed, count! And if you are familiar with the bagua, sometimes they take up several guas.

Regardless if they are attached or not, you still need to pay attention to them. They are part of your overall space and, if you are parking in there, are affecting you on a daily basis. Here are some things to keep in mind to make sure your Feng Shui is revved up (see what I did there?)!

Ensure your car can fit. We like spaces that function for their intended purpose. A garage is meant to house a car, so we want a car to fit in there.

Be knowledgeable and organized with your storage. If you store things in the garage, that’s okay! There is an issue when you don’t know what’s there and can’t get to it. So as long as you are organized, know what you have and can access it, store away. However, do release things you are just storing and not using.

Make it pleasant to come home. You can decorate your garage! You don’t have to go overboard (you can if you want to). This is your first “welcome home” (especially if it’s attached), so have something there that evokes positive feelings.

On the flip side, here are some things to avoid.

Don’t compete with the front door. If your garage can be seen from the street, make sure your front door is more prominent. Down play your garage and put the spotlight on the main door.

Use your front door! If your garage is attached OR if it’s not but you enter through a side/back door, switch it up occasionally and go through the front. That keeps your chi flowing through this key area.

Don’t make it something it’s not. I get it, you need more space. But try to carve it out somewhere else. Garages do not make good converted bedrooms (people usually don’t sleep well) and are tough to spend time in.

Remember that every piece of your space has an effect on your overall Feng Shui. Garages are no exception. They can be another positive, pleasant experience in your daily routine. Make it worth the drive.

How Feng Shui May Help You Sell Your Home

By Carole Hyder

home exteriorRealtors often use the term “curb appeal” when getting a home ready to sell. It means that the home should look attractive from the minute someone gets out of their car. The reason is that a good first impression can positively impact the rest of their experience with the home.

Yet from a Feng Shui standpoint, we want a home to have curb appeal all the time. It shouldn’t just be cleaned up for a quick sale but should have the following aspects in place at all times:

  1. The front door is visibly obvious. If a potential buyer (or visitor) has to assume where the door is located because they can’t actually see it, there is a potential for confusion that permeates throughout the rest of the property. If the door is tucked behind a garage or in an out-of-sight corner, place “signposts” that guide the visitor—-flowers, a bench, or windchime.
  2. The front door should stand out from the rest of the space. This isn’t just about being visible, but about being outstandingly so. A colored door, a wreath, or a flag are a few ways to make the front door the central focus.
  3. The walkway to front the door is inviting. The path to the door should be enticing and an experience all by itself—-no cracked pavement or pieces of sidewalk that could trip someone up. But an enjoyable jaunt leading to the entrance.
  4. All plants and flowers are thriving, especially those that are around the front door and the path leading to the door. If they’re not thriving, remove them.
  5. For those who ARE selling their home, place the “For Sale” sign in the Helpful People area of the lot (front right corner as you face the home). This area can elevate the possibilities of a helpful person coming along to buy the home. Put the sign here only if it makes sense and is visible from the street.

Obviously curb appeal is just the beginning of the sale. The same amount of care and consideration should occur once the potential buyer (or visitor) gets inside. Otherwise, the message is an inconsistent one which will leave the guest wondering why something doesn’t feel quite right.

Chinese New Year of the Monkey

Chinese New YearBy Carole Hyder

The Chinese New Year begins on the second new moon after winter solstice—-this year that date is February 8. If you celebrated the western New Year, this could be a time for you to recommit to or revise your resolutions for 2016.

The Chinese put as much effort into the preparation of the New Year as they do to the actual celebration. You might find some of these helpful in your own New Year rituals.

  1. On days preceding the New Year, Chinese families give their homes a thorough cleaning. It is believed cleaning sweeps away any remaining bad luck from the year before and makes their home ready for good luck. The brooms and dust bins are put out of sight on New Year’s Day so that the newly arrived luck isn’t accidentally swept away.
  2. Painters do a booming business right before New Year, painting doors and window-frames with a new coat of red paint. Homes are often decorated with a set of couplets written on long strips of red paper (one on each side of the door) upon which have been calligraphy-ed a poem or a good luck saying.
  3. Purchasing new clothing and shoes is encouraged to symbolize new beginnings.
  4. Any haircuts are done before the New Year. The Chinese word for hair (fa) is also the word for prosperity so no one wants to cut short their prosperity.
  5. Businesses try to pay off all outstanding debts, and they send gifts to close business associates and family members.

On New Year’s Day there is often a lion dance to symbolize protection. In addition, people give out red envelopes to spread further good wishes for the New Year, which contains a coin for wealth, a piece of candy for life’s sweetness, and a wish for continued good luck and success.

However you may decide to bring in the New Year of the Monkey, make it a special and intentional celebration.

Happy New Year Chinese Characters
Xin Nian Kuai Le – Happy New Year

Best Moving-Out Practices: Saying Goodbye with Feng Shui

Couple Moving Boxes Between HomesBy Lisa Janusz

There’s a lot that happens prior to leaving a home: preparing, negotiating and finally agreeing. When that “sold” sign goes up, it brings with it all sorts of emotions. It also means more work: sorting, packing, cleaning.

Last month we talked about moving into a new home. This month we’re talking about moving out, and how to approach leaving your home.

Start early. Remember, we’re all about energy around here! Set a reasonable time table for packing and follow it. Moving is hard enough without adding to the chaotic energy that comes with it. By taking your time and being thoughtful, you can ease the energy into shifting.

Don’t take it all with you. As you are packing, be realistic. Take only what you love and will need. Leave behind things that won’t support your next step in your journey. This is the time to break free from guilt of keeping gifts and décor that no longer suit you.

Feng Shui can travel. Take any Feng Shui adjustments you’ve implemented (if they are portable). You can use them in your new space if they are serving the same intention. For example a crystal marking the center can do so at the new place. Otherwise retire them by gifting them, clearing them or letting them return to “normal.” A mirror can become just a mirror.

Cleanse the space. No matter the circumstances, give the home a good cleaning. Not only is this good karma, but also it’s respectful of the home. I have been on both sides – moving into someplace immaculate and entering a new home that needed a major wash down. Hopefully the transition is positive, but if not, remember it’s not the home’s fault.

Get Closure. As Carole mentioned last month, thank the home prior to leaving it. This could be through a letter or just speaking to the house for the last time. Even if you are moving because it drove you crazy, it still provided you some support while you were there. Thank it as best you can before you move on.

The act of moving isn’t much fun. But the energy around it can be quite exciting. It can mark a new stage in life (upsizing or downsizing), a new adventure (relocating) or just a better fit. Either way, feel good about moving on by saying a proper goodbye.

Heating Up the Refrigerator with a Feng Shui Approach

refrigerator in kitchen

By Carole Hyder

The refrigerator is a formidable kitchen appliance, not only because it is necessary for food storage but also because it typically has a large presence in the kitchen. When Feng Shui was first applied to homes, there were no refrigerators. Addressing the impact of this new, convenient appliance on the Feng Shui of the space had to be factored in as people modernized—-much like the situation of bathrooms which were originally not inside the home.

Refrigerators not only keep food fresh but also impact the health of those who live there. When the refrigerator is filled with stale, outdated and unused food, it isn’t a strong message about well-being. Cleaning it out from time-to-time is necessary, which includes throwing out old food as well as keeping the shelves and drawers immaculate.

Here are some other ideas for integrating the refrigerator with good Feng Shui principles:

  1. Keep the refrigerator clear of extraneous items on the front and sides. The refrigerator is not a bulletin board, photo album, nor a game surface. All of this creates Feng Shui “noise” which disrupts the intention of creating healthy and wholesome food.
  2. Don’t burden the refrigerator with unnecessary clutter on top. Unless the items on the top are decorative eye-candy, that surface should not become a storage area. Keep it clear and clean.
  3. Avoid placing the refrigerator next to the stove. This arrangement is a recipe for arguments—-between family members, friends, neighbors and/or co-workers. This is because the stove, which is a fire appliance, and the refrigerator, which is a water appliance, clash—thereby reflecting that conflict to the occupants. Place a plant on the top of that clean and cleared-off refrigerator (see #2!) to resolve the issue (even a silk one).

We certainly don’t want to be without refrigeration so this appliance is definitely here to stay. Giving it some consideration as it relates to the kitchen will assure that your refrigerator complies to good Feng Shui. In fact, done right, it will be very cool.

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