Good Feng Shui in Your Home Office Is Possible!

Feng shui teaches that creating a personal paradise is your goal when you
a space. No room needs that approach more than a home office. As one of the most neglected and most dumped-on rooms in the house, it really needs some thoughtful attention and positive energy to make it an appealing place to work.

But, where to start? How exciting are filing cabinets, bookcases, desks and computer equipment?

TIP #1: Start with the wall color. It will set the tone and serve as the foundation for all other enhancements you make. Painting the walls a color is imperative. White walls very quickly become dingy, scarred and dirty. It is also easy to feel anxious and depressed in rooms with white walls because the colors of prints, photographs and paintings on the walls just won’t show up. We need color to feel good. It nurtures us with its energy. So paint your home office walls a color. Colors I recommend for home offices are a buttery yellow, sage green, and my new favorite, an earthy turquoise blue. Blues and greens are associated with the wood element. The wood element is associated with growth and expansion and a positive, upward energy. Yellow is an optimistic earth element.

TIP #2: Eliminate any furniture that is broken, ugly or doesn’t work well. You want all your furnishings to have good energy. It’s likely that you’ll be using odds and ends in this room, i.e., furniture that isn’t needed elsewhere. Just make sure that you actually like each piece and that all the pieces look good together.

TIP #3: Eliminate fluorescent lighting and be sure you have multiple incandescent light sources. It’s a good idea to have some uplighting as well, light that is directed up toward the ceiling. Light is energy. You’ll need plenty of energy to face the types of tasks typically done in a home office.

TIP #4: Place the desk in the power position with a solid wall behind it and a full view of the door. From that position your nervous system will relax and you will feel empowered and ready to tackle whatever awaits you on the desk.

TIP #5: Place other furniture around the desk, both to accommodate the convenient completion of the tasks to be done at the desk and to look attractive.

TIP #6: Add plants to bring the outdoors inside. Green is an optimistic color, and live or silk plants can immediately change the feel of a room that has lots of hard edges and electrical equipment. They provide a soft, soothing energy. Make sure they are healthy and have round shapes. Avoid dried plants and those with thorns and pointed shapes. Dried plants have a dead energy, especially when their color fades, and thorns and pointed leaves have negative energies because of their potential to do physical harm.

TIP #7: Add art, photographs, and special mementoes you love, anything that makes your heart sing and that empowers you. For example, I have a photograph of me that was taken with Jack Canfield at a conference years ago. Jack is one of my mentors. He doesn’t know it, but I want to do the kind of work he’s been so successful doing, and I want to be able to share my message with the world like he has. I also framed a print of the Chinese letters for “feng shui” since feng shui is a focus of all the work I do. And, when I recently re-decorated my office, I deliberately chose to limit almost all other art on the walls to original art by artists I know.

Invest in making your home office a personal paradise, and you’ll want to spend more time there.

You’ll also be more motivated to treat it with the respect it deserves! Wouldn’t it be nice to LOVE your home office instead of dreading it or avoiding it? You can! Make it so!

Counter Knife Blocks = A Feng Shui Kitchen “No! No!”

One of the most common feng shui errors that I find in kitchens is the knife-block-563633_640presence of a knife block on the counter. You know, a block of wood holding knives of various sizes. It’s a very convenient way to store knives so they are easily accessible for use.

When you assess the feng shui of a space, it’s important to consider safety. Knives that are located out in the open in a knife block are not considered safe because they are so accessible. They could easily be used as weapons. A block of knives is a block of negative energy because of its potential for harm.

You are probably thinking, “If I can’t store them on the counter, how should I store them for easy access?” You have several options. First, you can put the block out of sight. Make room on a shelf in one of your lower cabinets for the knife block. It’s important that you be able to reach the knives easily. If accessing it is the least bit inconvenient, you will avoid getting knives that way. Then either the block will end up on the counter again, or the knives will be tossed into drawers.

A second option, and my preferred option, is to purchase a wooden drawer insert specifically for knives. Be sure to measure the drawer first so you are sure to buy an insert of the correct size. The insert will have slits to hold the knives, safely containing the blades out of harm’s way.

Removing a knife block from the counter is a great way to make a kitchen immediately feel more peaceful. Commit to peace and safety in your kitchen by removing your knife block from the counter.

Clear Kid Photo Clutter: Who Are You Sleeping With?

“I recommend that you remove all photos of your children from your

Remove all photos of your children from your bedroom.

Remove all photos of your children from your bedroom.

bedroom.” The woman who had hired me to do a feng shui consultation looked at me with a shocked expression on her face. “Really? Why?” “Well,” I responded, “those photos hold the energy of your children. It’s as though you are sleeping with your children. Do you want to be sleeping with your children? And, how romantic can it be with your husband when your children are looking on while the two of you are having sex?”

Once you have children, an enormous amount of energy naturally shifts to meet the legitimate needs of the children. Tending the needs of the couple can easily slip by the wayside in the busyness of childrearing and making ends meet. Even the bedroom can become all about the children.

Ideally the bedroom of a couple should be treated as a love nest, a place to honor and enjoy your relationship. 

Given that the health of the couple assures the health of the family unit, doesn’t it make sense that you devote one room to being all about the couple? Make sure that you have at least one photo of you and your spouse/partner in the bedroom. Remove all photos of people other than the two of you. Not only will your bedroom feel more peaceful once the crowd has exited the room, but, hopefully you’ll find it easier to focus on your relationship.

In the 18+ years I’ve been of helping people clear clutter and improve their lives and marriages, I’ve found that the couples with the most photos of their children in the bedroom often have no pictures of the two of them in that room! They aren’t even conscious that they’ve left themselves out of the picture.

Like my client, you may be skeptical, but I challenge you to remove all photos from your bedroom except those of you and your spouse/partner.* Make the bedroom all about just the two of you energetically. Then, look for the energy in your marriage/relationship to shift in a positive direction. Eliminating the visible energy of your children will make it easier for you to relax and be more present in your relationship.

*Most people want to know what to do with all the photos that were removed, as if the actual children were asked to leave. I recommend that those photos be displayed in any of the public areas of the home. Public areas are any other room in the house except the bedrooms.

Clear Shoe Clutter from the Bedroom

Your goal in setting up your bedroom is to create a space that is completely

How peaceful is this?

How peaceful is this?

conducive to sleep. The energy of smelly feet can only be distracting. Why is it that I so often find pairs of shoes strewn over bedroom floors?

I’m fairly certain that part of the problem is not having adequate storage for the number of shoes that people own these days.

Also, sometimes shoes just don’t make it to the closet. You may be thinking, “Why put them away? I’m just going to put them on again tomorrow. . .”  or “I’ll put them away later.” Sweaty, smelly feet and

Are you sleeping with smelly feet?

Are you sleeping with smelly feet?

rest just don’t go well together. Ideally it’s best to reduce the number of shoes you own to those that can fit in your closet. Then make a commitment to yourself to get them back there every night.

For one thing, you’ll find your bedroom is more peaceful because there will be fewer items out and visible in the room. You’ll also find that your focus can shift away from the energy chatter of pairs of shoes to more important things like gentle reading, reflecting about your day, conversation with a partner or spouse and/or sex.

Energy chatter. What chatter? Everything is alive with energy. Positive or negative. Everything!  This may sound silly or “woo woo” to you, but stick with me.

What do shoes say? Here are some of the conversations I’ve heard:

  • Those shoes really are too tight, but they are the only ones that really look professional.
  • I really should polish that pair. Look how scuffed they are!
  • The bottoms are really worn on that pair. Is it time to bite the bullet and get another pair?
  • I look like such a dork in those shoes! But, they are so comfortable!
  • Those shoes really stink. I wonder what’s going on with my feet that they stink so badly.

With all those conversations going on, is it any wonder that you don’t get great sleep anymore? Yes, when your eyes are closed you can’t see all those shoes, but you are affected by their negative energy when you are sleeping. That negative presence interferes with peaceful sleep.

 Set your shoes free. Clear out shoes that you no longer love or use at least once a year. Banish the remaining shoes from the bedroom to the closet, and find a storage solution that will work in your closet. Then enjoy sweet dreams and the peace that results from your efforts.  

Books Are Fire in the Bedroom

Do you want to sleep peacefully?  Do you want to have sweet dreams? 

Are you sleeping with a bonfire?

Are you sleeping with a bonfire?

If so, it’s a good idea to become very conscious of what can influence you while you sleep.  Let’s look at the impact of books in the bedroom. Most people have books and other reading material on their bedside tables. Some have a book or two and others have the equivalent of a whole library.

Let me describe for you what a book is in terms of the FIVE ELEMENTS of feng shui.  The five elements are: wood, fire, metal, water and earth. 

The hottest, most energetic of those elements is fire.  Books are fire elements.  The words on the pages are fire.  The pages themselves are wood because they are made from wood. Wood feeds fire. In other words, if you have many books in your bedroom, you are sleeping with a bonfire. Sound restful?

What I’m saying is that books are high energy things. Their energy will affect you while you are sleeping. That’s why it’s good to limit the books in your bedroom to one or two per person. Store your books elsewhere and bring them in as you read them.

I was working with a client who loves to read in bed. She had her current reads on the bedside table. On the floor on the other side of the bed she had a four foot row of books lined up that she was interested in reading. I urged her to move the books to a bookshelf in her office that she could designate as the holding place for books she really wants to read.  She was willing and we got to work. 

As I was moving the books I noticed the titles.  She had a whole series of books by one author who writes about vampires and death. It seemed like every book I looked at had death and dying in the title. That alarmed me because not only is it a good idea to limit the number of books in a bedroom, it is also a good idea to make sure the content is peaceful and pleasant.  When you sleep, your subconscious has access to the content of books. I could only imagine what my client’s subconscious was doing with all those death books.

In another situation I was working with a woman who was a physician and was married to a physician. Guess what I found in their bedside tables?  Medical journals! How romantic! Work and romance really do not go together! And, she and her husband were both working right up until they closed their eyes at night! Sleeping with those journals in the room kept both of them focused on medicine as they slept. I suggested that if she wanted more intimacy with her husband as well as more restful sleep, the journals should be banned from the bedroom. She was thrilled to have permission to remove them and later reported that her husband was also very happy with the arrangement.

My advice: reduce the number of books and reading material you keep in your bedroom to a small number and make sure they are about topics that are positive, pleasant and NOT work-related.

Eliminate Perspectives that Keep You Stuck!

Clutter keeps you stuck. Normally, clearing clutter helps you get clear aboutimagesCAGBLYOU what matters which then leads to positive action. But, if you’ve cleared your clutter and notice that you still feel stuck, it could be that limiting perspectives are the culprit.

What’s a limiting perspective? It’s a way looking at things in your life. For example, you could look at life as a daring adventure and greet each day with enthusiasm and the expectation that no matter what happens it will be a great adventure. Or, you could look at life as a daily grind, where nothing will ever change. With that perspective you are likely to wake with a feeling dread and resignation that each day will be the same old unfulfilling thing.

Which perspective resonates with you? Most of us are unaware of the perspectives we carry in our heads. You move through life with limiting perspectives and don’t even realize that it’s not that you have bad luck or grew up on the wrong side of that tracks or that you didn’t get enough education or land the right job. What’s often keeps you stuck are your thoughts, those limiting beliefs and perspectives that have become habitual. 

Following are some common limiting perspectives:

  • life is hard
  • we all have to struggle to get by
  • I’ll never get my head above water
  • when I get the right job, mate, break, everything will be OK.

With those kinds of beliefs running around in your head, is it any wonder that you are stuck, unable to create a meaningful life in which you experience joy, are connected to your passions, and feel happy and fulfilled?

The challenge of limiting perspectives is that they are so habitual that you aren’t even aware that they are holding you hostage. Without awareness of their existence and power over you, you are unable to let them go and choose perspectives that will move you in a positive direction.

One of the best ways to identify limiting perspectives, strategize how to release them and identify more helpful perspectives is to work with a coach. A coach is trained to listen for limiting perspectives and bring them to light in coaching sessions to be addressed and released. Coaching is a partnership in which you have the opportunity to learn which behaviors, thoughts, beliefs and perspectives do not serve you and keep you stuck, plus strategize ways to take action to let go of those habitual ways of behaving and choose new ways to think and behave.

What limiting perspectives are keeping you stuck? If you are unable to identify what is keeping you stuck, sign up now for a free 30 minute Back on Track phone coaching session with me. Remember, getting unstuck begins with a single step. 

Good Bedroom Feng Shui Includes Art

What hangs on the walls of your bedroom? What kind of energy surroundsScan 14 you when you sleep? The energy of each painting, print, and photograph affect the quality of your sleep and the quality of your relationships. In fact, the feng shui of any art in your bedroom is also directly related to your overall health and general well-being. So it’s important to check out each piece of art to make sure that its energy is in keeping with the primary energy you want to achieve in the space.

Remember, bedrooms are primarily about rest, changing your clothes and intimacy (sex).

So, ideally the art should have a restful, peaceful and/or sensual energy. Landscapes, beach and garden scenes are good choices for a peaceful bedroom. Scenes with people should be avoided because people have the energy of fire. Fire is the highest energy element and therefore not restful.  Violent or troubling scenes can affect your interactions with a spouse and can disrupt your sleep. Definitely avoid depictions of war and anything disturbing.  You also want to avoid art in the bedroom that conveys sad or lonely images. So what are some important feng shui factors to consider when choosing bedroom art?

Check out the subject matter of each art piece.

What is going on in the scene? You are sleeping with the content.  The best feng shui advice for bedroom art is to choose images that you want to experience in your life. Remember, what you put on your walls is alive with energy. To ensure peace in the bedroom, good sleeping and intimacy, remove anything that has a negative association or a busy, frenetic energy.

If you want to attract romance, choose art that feels romantic

If you are part of a couple and want to add some spark to your love life, add prints of couples embracing, sensual subjects that you both find appealing and pairs of prints, candles, or objects of any kind. Or, to make the bedroom all about the two of you, enlarge photographs from your honeymoon or a special trip you enjoyed together, and frame them. Avoid art depicting single women or single men. They hold the energy of being single and could affect the strength of your relationship.

Remember the functions of your bedroom: rest, changing your clothes, and intimacy (sex). Make sure your art is compatible with those functions and you will have good feng shui in your bedroom.

Bedroom Clutter Clearing: Live Within Your Closet

I was raised with parents who were not accumulators of material things.  I Home office closet_Anever saw clothes hanging from brackets attached to the outside of closets or scads of toiletries strewn across a bathroom counter.  So, in my early days of working as a professional organizer I was really unprepared for the quantities of clothes and other belongings that spilled from closets, drawers and cabinets.

Feng shui teaches that everything has energy and the energy talks to you. 

Well, when things that really belong in the privacy of a closet are hanging outside the closet, they talk to you!  In fact, if there are very many of them on the loose, they scream at you.  A peaceful bedroom can be quickly transformed to a noisy crowd when clothes no longer fit in closets and drawers.  That noise will interfere with getting good sleep which will affect your productivity, and over time, your health.

What do I mean by talk to you?  Things get their energy from their color, the memories associated with them, their materials, textures and design.  When something is out in the open all those components of it are visible and chatting away. 

What to do?  Make a commitment to live within your closets, drawers and cabinets.

Don’t accumulate more than you can comfortably house in the storage containers available to you. You can do that by regularly clearing out items you no longer love or use.

“But my closets are so small,” you say.  Get a wardrobe!  Move to a house with bigger closets!  What is more important — all those clothes, toiletries, gadgets, etc. or a peaceful home where it is really possible to get quality sleep?

Feng Shui: How Quiet Is Your Bedroom?

2006 pictures 015A starting point for organizing any room is to identify the function of the space. What kinds of activities are going to happen there? Those activities then guide your decision-making about what to keep in the space.

Bedrooms usually have three functions: rest, changing clothes, and intimacy (for couples). In my work as a professional organizer I’ve had the opportunity to see some bedrooms that include everything but the kitchen sink. How anyone could get a good night’s sleep was beyond me!

Feng shui teaches that everything is alive with energy. Everything! Energies are positive or negative. The energy of things actually talks to you. For example, a pair of pants dropped on the floor could say, “ Why don’t you hang me up?” or “The wife’s not going to be happy that you’ve left me here!” Everything out and visible in a bedroom is talking to you — all at the same time! So, it only makes sense that there is an inverse relationship between the number of things in a bedroom and how peaceful the space feels.

Going a step further, there are specific types of items that are particularly DSCN0067.JPGnoisy and problematic in a bedroom. Anything associated with work has energy that says, “You should be doing this task!” And, you’re likely to “work” in your dreams. This includes bills, sewing projects, exercise equipment, house plans, day planners, computers. The bedroom is about rest, not work. To make your bedroom a haven where quality rest is possible, remove those types of things.

Other noisy items are energy enhancers like mirrors, fountains, and televisions. One mirror or fewer is recommended in bedrooms. Not only do fountains stir up the energies in a space, they have been known to make people have the urge to urinate. Televisions stimulate both the nervous system and a person’s thoughts. It’s recommended that you not watch television right up until you turn out the lights. You’ll be left with an overactive brain, one that won’t let you rest well. Besides, televisions in bedrooms interferes with intimacy. If you’re watching television you are not focused on your partner.

books-818772_640There are two other sources of noisy energy that I often find in bedrooms: books and photographs. In feng shui everything is associated with one of five feng shui elements: fire, wood, water, metal and earth. The words in books are fire elements, very active energies. The paper is wood, also very active energies. Wood feeds fire. So, books are little bonfires! They have a stimulating, hot energy which in turn affects your energy and your nervous system, stimulating it.

Add to that the fact that when you are sleeping your subconscious can access the content of the books. If your husband likes to read war books, you’re sleeping in a space that has the energy of war. Your brain is accessing the horror of the content of those books. I personally think the energy of war in those books can lead to conflict between a man and a woman sharing the bedroom.

I recommend that you keep just one to three books or magazines at your bedside. Limiting the quantity will limit the stimulation. I also recommend choosing books that are a gentle read, preferably positive stories with little violence.

IMG_4640Images of people in photographs are also fire elements. To make your bedroom peaceful, limit the photographs in the bedroom. Photographs add a great life-affirming energy in any other part of your house, but in the bedroom they “talk” loudly and can disrupt sleep. Photos of your children in particular can distract you from the opportunity for intimacy with your spouse. Photos of parents and children can keep your subconscious working on ideas for parenting and caregiving, not rest and love-making.

How quiet is your bedroom? The condition of your bedroom can have a profound effect on your health. Because you daily spend more time in that one place than anywhere else in your house, the noise of negative energies in the bedroom can affect the body negatively, resulting in health issues. Take steps to eliminate conversations and sources of stimulation like energy enhancers, books and photographs. Make your bedroom a lovely, peaceful place to rest.

A Solution for Organizing Necklaces

I have yet to find the ideal necklace organizing product. In my work I have seen many types of organizers, but none have accomplished what’s needed to keep necklaces organized: visibility, ease of access, and keeping necklaces tangle-free.

My own necklace organizer finally reached the point where I had to do something different to be able to enjoy my necklaces. My mother recently died, and I inherited a number of her brightly colored necklaces, most of which we bought together. They hold her energy, and being able to easily access them became a priority.



When I added Mom’s necklaces to my existing organizer they became part of a jumble of necklaces, all of which were then difficult to see and access. If you have to fight with other necklaces to get to the one you want, you will feel irritated and most likely avoid using necklaces all together.

What to do? I went to Bed, Bath & Beyond and bought another necklace tree. It was still not ideal for easily getting necklaces on and off of it, but it did have the capacity to store necklaces at two levels. Longer necklaces could be on the top level, and smaller necklaces on the bottom.

After. The necklaces on the counter were donated to charity.

After. The necklaces on the counter were donated to charity.

When I contemplated the volume of necklaces, most of which I actually love and use, I realized I still had too many necklaces for the new organizer. Rather than cram all of them onto the new tree, I decided to divide the necklaces into two groups: colorful beaded necklaces on the new tree; simple silver and gold necklaces on the smaller tree. Removing the silver and gold necklaces reduced the volume on the tall tree, and made it more likely that I’d be able to see and access the remaining necklaces.

I used the sorting process as an opportunity to clear out some necklaces I don’t wear and am not likely to wear again. That too reduced the volume. Any time you are setting up a new organizing system, you have the opportunity to clear clutter. 

My solution is not ideal because it takes more space, but I was able to take a chaotic jumble of inaccessible necklaces and make them accessible and visible. Mission accomplished!

If you have found an effective way to store necklaces, please share it! And, please include photos so we can all benefit from your method.

Clutter Tells the Truth


My guess is that the truth here is that this person isn’t into putting things away after using them, that she has a “drop it anywhere” approach to her stuff, and that she and her family don’t eat in the kitchen.

Over the 18 years I’ve been working as a professional organizer I have learned that clutter is information. It tells the truth about aspects of a person’s life.

Some of the things I’ve learned from clutter are:

  • this person has too many balls in the air, and the maintaining a neat, clutter-free and organized home is one of the balls that often gets dropped
  • this person spends all their mental and energy at work, and upon arriving home drops everything and hits the sofa
  • this person doesn’t make time to maintain an organized home
  • this person does not have the habit of putting things away
  • this person hates to cook
  • this person really loves clothes
  • this person has difficulty finishing tasks
  • this person is really into disaster preparedness
  • this person is an artist
  • this person is committed to animal rescue
  • this person loves the beach
  • this person is a big reader
  • this person has great difficulty making decisions
  • this person has no idea how to clear clutter
  • this person wants to be organized (has lots of organizing books)
  • this person loves color and beauty
  • this person hates doing laundry
  • this person is very sentimental
  • this person gets overwhelmed easily
  • this person may have ADHD
  • this person wants to scrapbook, but can’t get started

I could go on and on. The content of your clutter and the state of your clutter tell your story. That’s part of why I love my work. I look beyond the messiness and look at the clutter with curiosity. I ask myself, “What is this clutter telling me about this person?” I really enjoy deciphering the clutter to learn more about a person’s current reality and quite possibly their life story.

The clutter tells me much more than most people actually verbalize. That’s why I tell prospective clients not to clean up when I am going to be working with them. I tell them, “If you clean everything up I will have great difficulty determining the causes of the clutter accumulation.” When I can help clients identify the habits and behaviors that have led to their clutter problems I can then help them plan new behaviors that can prevent a meltdown of the order we establish.

What truths does your clutter tell?

Custom Closet Design: Is It Worth the Cost?

Closet Factory, California Closets, Closet Tailors — should you pay the big 103820849_PZpaFgdN_cbucks for a closet designed to your needs? Is it worth the cost? Is it worth the effort it will take to empty the closet and put everything back?

I’ve worked with a number of clients who bit the bullet and hired a company to do a custom design and install of their personal closet or the closets of their children. Without exception, the custom closet arrangement was far superior to what had existed before.

Following are some of the benefits my clients experienced.

  1. There was more usable storage space.
  2. There was more structure within the “black hole” of the closet, so fewer items tended to float without a home.
  3. The process of emptying and refilling their closet provided two clearing opportunities, when the clothes, shoes, etc. came out and when they went back in.
  4. The energy of the new closet felt really good and seemed to urge clients to respect the space by keeping it neat and organized.
  5. Custom closets are considered to be an asset when you sell your home.

That being said, if you do decide to invest in custom closets, I do have a few suggestions:

  1. Make sure you use a company with a good reputation. Not all companies produce and stand behind their products. Ask for references for any company you are considering or go with a company recommended by discerning friends.
  2. Make sure you have a good designer. Designers are not equally skilled. I learned that lesson when I had the opportunity to review the plans of two different designers from two different companies for a client. The difference in the quality of the two designs was startling.
  3. For your personal closet, work with a same sex designer because they’re likely to have a better grasp of the complexities of your storage needs.
  4. Make sure the company has some kind of guarantee for satisfaction. It is quite common to think that a design is perfect until you begin putting clothing back into it. It’s not uncommon to need to make adjustments to the original design.

So, should you get custom designed closets? When your budget allows, I highly recommend it. If you can only do one closet at a time, start with your personal closet and that of your spouse if you are married or in a committed relationship. Having that closet function work well for you will ground you and reduce your stress. 

Your Personal Closet Is a Reflection of You!

Your personal closet is the most important closet in the house. Well, from a DSCN1100feng shui perspective it is! Your closet is an outward extension of you. Your clothes hold your energy. Take a look at your closet. How are you doing right now? Are you calm, spacious and organized? Or, are you a chaotic jumble of stuff?

How can I be so certain of the significance of your closet?

For thirteen years I’ve helped people clear and organize their closets. I have helped clients make decisions about what to keep and what to toss using the “Love It, Use It or Lose It Method” of clutter clearing. Clothing items that were loved or used have the best energy and were kept. Those that were not loved or used at least once a year were tossed. By going through that process over and over again with clients, it was very apparent that clothing held important associations with the different aspects of their lives, some of which were current and some that were outdated.

During the clearing process clients had the chance to “get current” about who they’d become by identifying those clothes they still loved, that still fit, that made them look attractive, that were comfortable, and that were useful given their current activities. In the process they let go of volumes of clothing that was too small, suited to a former occupation only, that felt uncomfortable, that fit poorly, that was of poor quality, that held  negative associations, and that was permanently stained.

When we finished our clearing sessions each client had more clarity about their current self, who they were the day of our clearing session–their current values, lifestyle, and preferences in terms of comfort, color and styles. Clients went from overwhelmed and scattered to clear and empowered within the space of two hours!

Go into your closet and set your intention to create a space that is an accurate reflection of who you are today. With each clothing item ask yourself, “Does this item accurately reflect who I am today? Does it reflect who I want to be today?” If the answer to either question is no, let it go! Get clear. Get current. And, get empowered!

Reduce Grief By Creating a Memorabilia Altar

I’ve noticed that some people who have experienced the death of someoneAlter very important keep large quantities of items associated with that person. Everything seems to have great significance. Clients have stated that when they get rid of things associated with their spouse, parent, child, etc., they feel like they are getting rid of that person. Little do they know that by holding onto quantities of things that remind them of that person they are actually anchoring their grief about the loss.

Everything a person own holds their energy if when you look at it you think of that person. An item might have had a very positive energy when the person was alive. For example, a musical instrument they enjoyed playing would likely hold positive energy. However, when the person dies the energy of their items is tinged with sadness.  The musical instrument that held positive energy could evoke sadness because the musician can no longer play the item. Holding onto it anchors sadness.

To facilitate moving through normal grief over the loss of a loved one, I recommend that survivors keep only those items that they like the best, those things that evoke happy feelings. Less is best.

One way to honor a loved one is to create an altar with an arrangement of a few precious items that belonged to the person. You don’t need to hold onto quantities of items associated with a beloved mother to hold her memory in place. Choose a few special items that remind you of the person and arrange them on a surface that you will see in passing as you move through you space. Those items might include a photograph, a special curio, a medal or award they received, anything of theirs that really matters to you or really mattered to them.

My mother died recently. After she died I created an altar to hold a few special things associated with her. It sits atop a small chest of drawers that was in our living room when I was growing up and has been in Mom’s home ever since. I chose to keep that chest for its association with Mom and my life while I was living at home with Mom and Dad.

I gave Mom the little purple silk flower arrangement. She loved flowers and she loved it. The wax ball smells of lilac, her favorite flower and fragrance. I added a few other items for aesthetics — a small painting by my dad, a live plant and a paperweight given to me by a special client who often checked in with me about how Mom was doing during the last few years.

The quantity of items on the altar associated with Mom was less important than the feelings evoked by the items. Just three items (the chest, flower arrangement, and wax ball) hold Mom’s energy and memory in place. When I walk by this little altar my heart remembers Mom and what she loved, and it smiles.

Do the things you have kept that once belonged to a loved one make your heart smile? Are they out and visible where you can see and enjoy the memories? If not, you have inadvertently created pockets of pain that make moving through your grief a much more difficult and slow process. Keep and honor the best. Let go of the rest! 

It’s Normal to Be Unproductive When Grieving

My mother died last week after at least seven years of gradual decline due to20160507_120423-1 strokes, vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s. Mom and I had always been very close, more like sisters than mother and daughter. Her death created a big void in my life. For the last 4 1/2 years I had been the coordinator of her care, a responsibility that was very heavy both emotionally and physically, and was as consuming as a full time job. When she died I lost that job, and I lost my closest connection with a family member. I felt numb, lost, unfocused and terribly sad.

Normally I am very productive. I value getting things done and making the most of my time. For years I had been running as fast as I could to keep up with home, work, and caregiving responsibilities for Mom and my disabled brother, Mark. When she died everything stopped except for taking steps to clear her apartment and plan her memorial celebration. Even the simplest of tasks too, so much energy.

Of particular concern was the fact that I had no energy to work on my business. Since I’m self-employed as a professional organizer, speaker and coach, I must work to be paid. After Mom’s death my grief flattened me, kept me stuck in slow motion, and unable to muster any interest and enthusiasm for picking up the reins of my business.

Fortunately I know a lot about the grief process and knew that he kind of grief I am describing is normal. Being productive immediately after such a big loss was not even remotely possible and was not a fair expectation. There are times when it is not realistic to expect yourself to jump back into action. This is one of those times.

Rather than beat myself up or worry myself to death about my malaise and its effect on my business, I chose to acknowledge my grief and give myself some breathing room until my energy and motivation return. Although that is not my normal way of operating, and I have twitched a bit about my slower pace, I know that to do anything else would be terribly disrespectful at this time.

Rushing right back into action would delay grieving. The underlying grief would then make it impossible to access my best self, focus and do my best work. By allowing myself to move through my grief at my own pace, I am making it more likely that I will be able to return to my former level of productivity.

Clear Clutter to Manage Grief

My mother is dying. She has been in the process of dying for more than threeIMG_0634 weeks. Her death is inevitable. When Mom will leave is uncertain. As you might imagine, I am swimming through a sea of feelings. My relationship with my mother has been precious. She was my best friend, a constant source of love and support. Her passing will leave a huge hole in my life.

How am I coping? I’m clearing clutter. When my emotions run high, I clear clutter. I am able to care for Mom and make sure she is comfortable and getting good care. However, I am utterly powerless about when she will actually die. There is no distinct deadline to this period of great pain and sadness. That leaves me feeling out of control and powerless.

When I feel out of control, I clear clutter. Clearing clutter is a process I can control. It is concrete and I get tangible results immediately. I am also aware that as I clear clutter, I am shifting energies from negative to positive. In so doing, I increase the probability that I will be able to better manage my feelings of grief and make good decisions as this sad journey comes to its ultimate conclusion.

What am I clearing? I am clearing things from Mom’s room that are no longer of use to her in her current state. Feng shui teaches that the best way to create change is to move things and to live with only those things that are in alignment with who you are in the present moment. Most things are no longer relevant for Mom.

Yes, I have had a twinge of guilt about whether it’s amoral to clear out things before Mom has actually died. I got over that feeling by reminding myself that Mom’s passing could actually be easier for her if she’s not anchored in her current state by the negative energies of physical belongings that no longer serve her.

I am also selfishly clearing because I know if I do the clearing in small increments now her death will be easier to handle emotionally. I won’t be left with an enormous painful clutter clearing project when I’m grieving.

I’ve seen what happens to the homes of adult children when they have cleared out parents’ homes post-death in the midst of their grief. Things that belonged to their loved one hold the energy of the loved one and the energy of the loss. They avoid making decisions about what to keep and what to get rid of because it hurts to do so.

Consequently they take home enormous quantities of things that may or may not be significant to them. They then cram those things into their attics, garages, utility rooms, basements and storage spaces instead of going through them and integrating items of true significance into their homes. When that happens the pain of the loss gets anchored in their space for years instead of the joy that is possible when precious items are integrated with their belongings. They can’t move through their grief because the pain associated with the stuff keeps them stuck.

I’m deliberately making decisions with each car load I take from Mom’s room. I am keeping the items that are most precious to me, saving some items for other family members, and donating everything else to charity except items that are trash.

Lest you be worried that I have completely stripped Mom’s room, do not worry! Her furniture, art work, key photos, stuffed animals, and a few decorative items remain to make the space feel homey and inviting.

Has this clearing helped? Yes. I feel calmer about Mom’s passing. When I visit her room feels calm and comfortable. I feel more in control of my emotions and less frantic. I also feel lighter because I have lightened the load of responsibility for what must be done following her death. And, I have found places in my home for the items I chose to keep. Warm touches of Mom speak to me as I move through my home, reminding me of her and our very special relationship.

Letting Go By Clutter Clearing Can Help You

reflections of an anonymous attendee of one of Debbie’s clutter clearing seminars

“It definitely lifts my spirits.

When I was going through some of my things, I was reminiscing over the emotional connections. But, I had these things forever, and they just took up too much space and energy. It was nice to get rid of them because I felt like I was letting go of both good and bad memories/experiences. It made me feel more free and liberated. I felt like I shed off a part of my past and was enabled to live in the present. I know I didn’t have to hold onto an item to regain that feeling, and was able to get rid of them.

I also hold onto a lot of papers and project ideas. I realized that I had had those for years too and was unlikely to start those projects because I already am doing the projects that I’m most passionate about. To get rid of those old projects and papers helped me to re-focus my energy on what’s more important to me.

It also just feels nice to live in a clean, uncluttered environment.”

Ways to Approach Basement Clutter Clearing

So, you’ve decided you really want to clear out your basement. How will youscan0004 approach that enormous task? After all, wanting to clear a basement and actually getting it done are two very different things!

Following are some possible approaches to make it happen.

  • Light a match . . . just kidding! That option might be appealing, but is not really a good idea! I don’t think insurance covers that approach to basement clutter clearing!
  • Commit to 15 minutes of clearing one weekend day for as many weekends as it takes to finish the job. This method is comparable to the way you might approach eating an elephant. If you knew you had to eat an elephant, how would you get the job done? One bite at a time. You may find you want to work longer and that’s great, but make 15 minutes the minimum time you will work. Even though the size of the job is still overwhelming, with this approach you at least make the time commitment small enough per clearing session  to be doable. The trick to this method is to find ways to keep committing to those small chunks of time week after week. Consider rewarding yourself after a successful clearing session (remember, just 15 minutes!) with an experience you’d really enjoy. For example, you might make a trip to Starbucks for a cup of coffee and allow time to enjoy reading the paper.
  • Block off a weekend and tackle the job head on with or without the help of family member and/or friends. This approach is like diving into the deep end of the pool. It’s scary, but you just do it! It can work for people who have the ability to make themselves do things however abhorrent because they want the end result — an organized, functional basement. For this approach to work, you have to have the ability to keep your head down and not let yourself be distracted by the negative energies of the basement contents or the enormity of the task. You also have to be able to regroup from time to time when you feel overwhelmed or mentally fatigued from all the decision-making or exhausted physically from your efforts to move things around and out of the space.
  • Ask a supportive family member or friend to help you clear your basement in exchange for helping them in some way. Spend at least 2 hours working together with your friend or family member assisting. Ask them to move things out of the space as you identify them for donation or trash. Schedule more sessions for this type of help until the job is done. Remember, the person assisting you is just that, an assistant. Make sure you stay in charge of the process. The presence of a supportive other makes it easier to stay focused on the task (if you don’t get distracted by chit chat and other activities), and makes this overwhelming task seem less daunting by becoming a social event instead of an onerous task.
  • Hire a professional organizer and work with him/her in blocks of at least 2 hours until the project is done. Professional organizers know how to approach large projects like clearing a basement. Some can even bring in a team to clear the basement in one or two sessions. Organizers can work side by side with you, helping you make decisions about what to keep, what to toss or donate, and how to reorganize the space once it’s cleared. When you work with a professional organizer you’re likely to be able to get the job done two to four times faster than you could do it alone on a good day. Plus, the end result is likely to be organized in a way that with some effort on your part is easier to keep organized over time.
  • Wait for a hurricane to flood your basement and force you to excavate its contents. Yes, I’m trying to add humor here, but clients have shared their stories of this type of clearing following major hurricanes like Fran, Gaston and Isabelle. I don’t recommend it because it’s pretty traumatic and a really nasty, dirty process.

How will you get your basement cleared? It might be helpful to know that the basement holds the energy of your unconscious. The reward for clearing it could be letting go of some old unconscious beliefs and memories that are barriers to making positive progress in your life. Clear out your basement and you’re likely to feel lighter and more grounded in the present!

Garage Clutter Clearing: The Challenge of Negative Energies

If you have a garage you probably have had this type of experience. You or
DSCN1058your spouse set your intention that this weekend you’re going to tackle the garage. The weekend comes. After your breakfast, coffee and the newspaper you set out for the garage, fully prepared to take on the beast. You open the door to the garage, take a look at the chaos, clutter, dirt and enormous quantities of items to be sorted and organized and you turn on your heel to return to the comfort of your family room and a good book or the TV remote.

Is it any wonder that garages rank right up there with attics, basements, and paper as clutter clearing challenges that are most often avoided? Why is that?

With few exceptions most garages present with a whole host of negative energy challenges. In other words, garages tend to be places that for one reason or another don’t “feel good.” Spaces that don’t feel good energetically push you away. Negative energy repulses. Positive energy attracts.

Why all the negative energy?

  • Garages are typically storage areas of an enormous quantity of items. The numbers of things to be organized, stored and kept in order is overwhelming.
  • Garages are also typically very busy places. Items of all sizes from large yard equipment like lawn mowers and weed eaters to tiny nuts, screws and bolts are stored there.
  • Many of the items in a garage are visible. If they are visible, their energy talks to you all the time. There is no peace in the typical garage with all those various conversations!
  • Garages usually hold various kinds of toxic substances like fertilizers, pesticides, and paints.
  • Garages are the storage area for items that hold “weapon” energy, tools that can do harm. This includes handsaws, drills, axes, chainsaws, hammers and crowbars.
  • Garages are often unfinished spaces with exposed framing. Even though it is common to leave garages unfinished, being unfinished makes them unattractive and feel like spaces waiting for finishing touches to make them more attractive and appealing.
  • Garages are dirty places. Even with the most deliberate attention to keep a garage swept clean, dust, dirt and grime easily accumulate because of their enormous doors and the types of items stored there.
  • Garages are dumping grounds. They are convenient places to drop things on your way into the house. Also, items get dumped in the garage because they is usually room to store things “temporarily” when shifting things around inside your house. Often “temporary” becomes permanent. Plus, when people can’t decide what to do with items, or if they run out of room for things in the house, their mantra often is, “Stick it in the garage.” Unfortunately, once dropped in the garage those items are out of sight, out of mind and become part of the garage chaos.

It is no wonder that most people tend to avoid clearing, cleaning and organizing the garage! It’s negative energy alone can send you for the sofa and the remote control!

Are you now feeling sufficiently overwhelmed? Don’t worry. That’s very normal. However, the garage monster can be tackled. Before that can happen you must be conscious of the sources of negative energy that can shut you down. If you head for the garage unprepared for its common challenges, like the power of its negative energies, you are likely to find yourself on the sofa time and time again.

Once you have an awareness of the sources of negative energy, you can use that knowledge to inform your retreating self that it’s not simply laziness or the inability to do the job that keeps you from clearing out your garage. It is the negative energy of the space as a whole that is dousing your enthusiasm to create order in your garage. With that knowledge and your new awareness of the power of negative energies to shut down clutter clearing and organizing attempts, you can then take a deep breath and seek ways to manage those energies so you can reclaim your garage.

China Cabinet: A Haven for Treasures or Trash?

Have you ever noticed who you’ve got living in your corner cupboard or chinaliving-room-670237__340 (1) cabinet?

In my work as a feng shui practitioner who works with people to clear clutter I help people identify and evaluate the energies throughout their homes and offices to make those energies conscious and ensure that they were positive and supportive. Positive and supportive energies attract more positive experiences and good into your life.

I once worked with a man who had been divorced for many years. His feelings about his ex-wife could best be described as hostile. When we reached the dining room he was startled to realize that his wedding china, which was prominently displayed both inside and outside of his corner cupboard, held the energy of his marriage and of his ex-wife. Needless to say, we discussed the significance of those pieces and removed them from their prominent location.

Items that are stored in china cabinets, buffets, and corner cupboards in dining rooms are often loaded with associations with family members and past events. It’s where we store our “good stuff.”

Take a look at your dining room storage cabinet. I’ll bet you find china that belonged to your mother or grandmother. Or, perhaps you have crystal you got when you got married. Or, there may be candle holders from a dear friend. Rarely does a dining room storage cabinet hold things devoid of associations.

When an item brings back the memory of a family member, it holds the energy of that person. It’s as if that person has taken up residence in your space. If the item holds the energy of a significant event, the event will replay in your mind when you see the item. If you are not in good relationship with the person whose energy is held in place by an object, or if your memory of a significant event is not positive, those objects are holding negative energies associated with the person or event.

Check out each item in your china cabinet, buffet or corner cupboard. Pay attention to the thoughts that immediately pop into your mind. If an item has a strong positive association you could hear, “Oh, I love that! It’s the gravy boat we used every year for Christmas,” or “That’s Nana’s salt and pepper shaker. She was so special.”

When an item holds a strong negative association or has no significant association at all you might hear, “That ugly thing was so important to Mom. It belonged to Aunt Thelma. And, she was not a nice woman!” or “I don’t know where that came from. It isn’t nearly as nice as some of my other pieces.”

Also pay attention to your energy. Items with good energy are likely to lift your spirits and elicit a warm feeling inside. They often bring a smile to your face. Items that hold memories of painful times or stressed relationships are likely cause your energy to drop and can register as a groan, a frown, or as an uneasy feeling.

Make your dining room storage cabinets a repository of treasures, not trash. Save items with the best associations, the best energy. Donate the rest!

Clear Clutter: Have Your Cleaning Products Had Babies?

It’s always interesting to see how many kinds of silver polish I find when I’m cleaning-932936_640helping clients clear clutter from their utility rooms. I’m not exactly sure how it happens, but I often find duplicates of silver polish, glass cleaners, carpet stain removal products, floor waxes, and furniture polish in particular.

I wonder if this happens because clients hear about a new, improved product and just have to try it. Or, if they just don’t remember that they already have a product. What’s also interesting is that when they discover that they have multiples of a product, they keep all of them. “They are still useful,” they say. Yes, but how long have you had them? Why haven’t they been used before? Are you REALLY likely to use them? Get real and get clear!

I recommend that you figure out which products work best for you, and either let go of the rest or systematically use up the extras. A good way use up a product is to put the bottle you want to use up first in front of the other duplicates. It’s also always a good idea to keep smaller containers on lower shelves so they will be visible and easy to access. Even though you use many of those products only occasionally, storing them on an upper shelf guarantees that they will get lost in the bottle jungle. Make them visible and use them up! Also, make a deal with yourself that you will only buy new cleansers when you are SURE that you need them.

Things that don’t get used have a static, dead energy. Plus, those extras are taking up prime real estate that could be better used in some other way. Get real with yourself about those that are really worth keeping! Lighten your cleanser load!

12 Tips to Ensure Peace in your Family Room

A cluttered room, regardless of its furnishings and paint color, is a noisy,

A family room can be peaceful!

A family room can be peaceful!

stressful environment whose negative energy will have a negative effect on the energy of its occupants. Conflicts are more likely to occur in a cluttered space.

When you think about your family room or den, do you sigh with pleasure or groan with displeasure, irritation or overwhelm? Family rooms are gathering spots, high use areas for relaxing at the end of busy days and busy weeks. As such, they tend to attract all kinds of things that have very little to do with relaxing, like computers and other forms of technology, CDs, DVDs, newspapers, magazines, catalogues, toys, art supplies, paper. . . the list goes on! If your family room is cluttered, you are not alone! Family rooms seem to take on a life of their own, especially when more than one person is sharing that space.

Guidelines for a Peaceful Family Room

  1. Remember that everything is alive with energy, and that the energies of items talk to you all the time. The more items you have in the space, the noisier and less peaceful the space will be.
  2. Keep small items like CDs, DVDs, art supplies and games contained and out of sight to quiet their noisy energies.
  3. Limit the number of knick knacks you have out and visible to just a few precious items.
  4. Have a balance between large objects (furniture) and small objects (knick knacks, books, magazines, etc.) in the room, erring on the side of more large objects and fewer small objects.
  5. Keep paper out of the family room. If you bring paper into the room to read or work on, be sure to remove it when you leave. Paper usually has the energy of activity and work, and is not conducive to the function of peace and relaxation of a family room.
  6. Limit the number of framed photos to one to three per surface so each photo can be enjoyed. Large quantities of framed photos on a surface have the energy of a crowd, more annoying than pleasurable. Plus, because the energy of a crowd feels overwhelming, it’s less likely that all the photos will be seen.
  7. Contain your magazines and catalogues to one or two baskets or bins rather than out on tables. If a basket fills up, consider it a sign that it’s time review the contents of the basket and let some items go to recycling or the trash.
  8. Keep side tables clear by using small boxes with lids on side tables to contain small items that are frequently used in the family room, like nail clippers, nail files, pens, note pads, etc. When those items are used, return them immediately to the box.
  9. If you have more than one remote, devote one attractive container to remotes and return all remotes to it at the end of each day.
  10. Teach children that whatever they bring into the room must leave it when they leave, like book bags, school supplies, books, snack wrappers, plates, shoes, iPods, tablets, laptops, etc.
  11. Return the room to order each time you leave it and teach your family members to do the same. Return magazines to their basket, remove newspapers, return dishes to the kitchen, and put CDs and DVDs that were used back in place.
  12. Keep the room clean. Dust and dirt are negative energy. Negative energies can induce negative behaviors, irritation and conflict.

It takes just minutes per day to maintain peace in a family room. And, a peaceful family room can also be trashed and transformed into a chaotic mess in a matter of minutes of thoughtless action. Choose for peace!

Clearing Clutter: Only Keep Parents’ Belongings That You Love

I love this glass bottle. It was in my mother’s home for as long as I can IMG_3750remember. It is one item I chose to keep when clearing items from Mom’s apartment in an attempt to create a simpler, safer environment.

I’ve been clearing out my mother’s belongings since the day she went into assisted living in 2013. First I cleared out her house to prepare it for sale. Over the last two years I’ve taken clothing items from her apartment that she no longer uses or is not likely to use given her changing needs due to the ravages of Alzheimer’s.

More recently in her Alzheimer’s-induced agitation Mom began to pull things from drawers and closets and cabinets, creating visual chaos and obstacles that increased her fall risk. To help calm Mom and eliminate the volume of items that she could move around, I began clearing decorative items, photos, cards plus more clothing in an attempt to simplify her living space.

Each time I take a bag out of Mom’s apartment I sort the items into: trash, donate, give to another family member, and keep for myself. The items I choose for myself have to be “love it” items or items I will use.

The purple vase is a “love it” item. I love the color. I love the quality of the glass. I love the shape. I love that it’s small and fits nicely into our small house. I especially love it because it was Mom’s treasure, a permanent fixture in her home. It holds in place her energy and her love of beautiful colored glass items. When I look at it, I think of Mom and her love for me. Her treasure has become my treasure.

There were many other glass bottles in Mom’s collection. I kept only two. I kept the two that I loved most for their aesthetic qualities. Both hold Mom’s memory and love in place.

When doing the sad task of dismantling a parent’s home, instead of keeping boxes of items to go through at a later date, look for items that you love. Keep those and let go of the rest. Keep items that you love for their aesthetics, the memories they hold in place, and for their association with your parent. 

 Tips for Finding Calm Out of Home Office Chaos

I walked into a home office lined with piles. Everywhere I looked there were piles100_0674 of papers and other miscellaneous stuff. My first instinct was to turn around and return to my client’s living room where I felt so much more comfortable. That’s the truth! Yes, even professional organizers want to run away from piles of stuff and the multitude of decisions they entail if they are ever to be dissolved.

Instead of running, however, I got on my knees on the floor and started looking for a place to begin.

You see, there’s usually a way into a cluttering mess like that. What am I talking about? It’s as if something is holding all that chaos in place that if discovered and dismantled would offset the negative energy of the paper challenge and shift energies from negative to positive, making the clutter seem less daunting.

Finding the calm out of chaos.

In this case the key was a box of books on CD. I found it when I was examining the contents of the piles looking for big chunks of things that could be easily moved. I asked my client where she keeps her books on CD. She laughed and said, “Oh, everywhere!” I happen to know that she is a seeker, someone who loves learning and who really values her books on CD. And there they were, buried in her neglected piles. I said, “We’ve got to create one space for all your CDs! They are too important to be floating around!” She agreed and allowed me to search out a spot.

Lest you think I never have doubts about whether I’m doing the right thing in the right moment, you need to know that I did find myself wondering if working on the CDs was the right place to begin. I’ve done this long enough, however, to know that trusting my intuition works better than acting on my doubts. So, I kept going.

Getting the ball rolling and creating a “new order”.

The CDs came to rest in bins on shelves in one corner of her office. The act of organizing and placing her CDs all together in one location had an amazing effect on our ability to make progress in that cluttered room. Not only did it get the ball rolling, but the movement of that one chunk of the mess shifted the energy in that home office from stagnation to movement, from negative to positive. After moving the CDs to a real home, my client and I just plowed through the rest of those piles in record time. We  literally felt something akin to a high from the positive energy we had generated by creating a new order for items of real significance.

Are you avoiding an organizing challenge in your home office, perhaps one that is complicated by the negative energy of paper?

See if you can find the key that will unlock the door to your resistance. By the way, it’s not likely to be paper! Look for something of significance that you can easily move and honor by giving it a home.

Then enjoy the ride!

Your Home Office Could Be Affecting Your Finances

How does your home office make you feel?

How easy would it be to focus and make good decisions in this office?

How easy would it be to focus and make good decisions in this office?

When you look at your home office, do you cringe?

Many people do. Why is that? I think  there are two main reasons that home offices become places to avoid: 1) they often hold functions that most people want to avoid, like bill paying, financial management and paper repository; and 2) they are often unattractively appointed and cluttered. 

No matter how much money you make, you probably still feel some discomfort when it comes to paying bills and managing your finances.

And, were you ever taught how to handle paper? Not likely! So, quite possibly it’s an area associated with money anxiety and paper incompetence. Doesn’t that just make you so excited about spending time there doing boring tasks like paying bills and filing? Heck no!

Unless you use your home office for a home-based business that generates enough income to pay for high quality office furniture, most home offices are furnished with furniture leftovers doubling as office furniture; folding tables and cheap office furniture from office supply chain stores. You end of up with a hodge podge of furnishings that are difficult to make look attractive.

And wall color, if funds are tight, you’ll hold off on painting the home office a pleasant color. Attractive art in the home office? Why bother? After all, nobody sees it but family members, and you don’t even spend that much time there! Or, if there is art in the home office it’s likely to be faded prints you used in college or during the early days of your marriage.

Add to that the fact that home offices often are multi-purpose rooms that are also used as guest and craft rooms.

When rooms have more than one purpose, it’s easy for their essential functions to become blurred. They eventually end up as dumping grounds for things you don’t know what to do with, for things you don’t want to take the time to move up to the attic, and for things you need to clear from other rooms when company is coming.

If by now you’re feeling sorry for your home office, good! Because it’s the brain of the house, the home of crucial functions like financial management, and should be treated with more respect.

If I told you the condition of your home office could be affecting both your current finances and your financial future, would you treat it with more respect?A cluttered home office is loaded with negative energy blocks that could be affecting the flow of money into the family or your home-based business.

If I told you that disorder in that room creates a mental fogginess that could affect all decision-making, would that motivate you to create a new order and spend some time and money making it an attractive place where you could enjoy doing essential tasks like bill paying and financial management? I hope so. Because it’s true. 

If you decided to make your home office a personal paradise, a place where you would enjoy spending time, what would it look like?

Because the typical functions of a home office cause discomfort and anxiety, it  should be an especially lovely, comfortable space, one that will seduce you into crossing the threshold to do dreaded tasks like filing and bill paying. Have fun with it! The time and expense are well worth the potential financial benefits!