You’ve likely heard of feng shui, the ancient Chinese art of decorating and placement.
The overarching goal of feng shui is to increase the flow of energy — known as chi — into your home and your life. But how do you actually go about incorporating feng shui into your living space, especially when you live in a tiny apartment with barely enough room for all your belongings?
It’s easier than you might think. We chatted with a handful of feng shui and interior decorating experts to bring you these eight simple tips for bringing feng shui into your modern home.
1. Go minimal
Remove bulky furniture and other items you’re not using from each room in your house to create a more open flow. Simply pack up your belongings and the team at Closetbox will take care of the rest, giving you more time to relax, meditate and enjoy your minimalist home. They’ll arrive at your door, carefully transport your items to a secure storage unit and return them when you’re ready for them again.
“So many of our spaces, especially in large cities, are getting smaller and smaller,” says Janet Miller, an artist and interior decorator. “Congestion in our homes creates a congested feeling in our health and work lives as we stub our toes or lose things that had no real home, leaving us feeling a lack of control in our lives.”
2. Start fresh
Before you start moving furniture around, get rid of the dusty bunnies first. One of the more common misconceptions about feng shui is that a dirty home is allowed, so long as the furniture is in the right place.
But remember: Feng shui is all about how you feel when you interact with a space, says Milana Perepyolkina, author of “Gypsy Energy Secrets: Turning a Bad Day into a Good Day No Matter What Life Throws at You.”
Perepyolkina recommends making time for a super deep cleaning session — walls, doors, carpets and everything in between.
“The energy of clean things is bright and light,” she says. “The energy of unclean things is dark and heavy. But you don’t have to be consciously aware of this energy. Most people pick up on this energy subconsciously. For thousands of years people knew that unclean things were connected to sickness. This is how we learned to be drawn to clean things: clean meant healthier.”
3. Focus on your bedroom
How much time do you spend in your bedroom? Probably too much, Perepyolkina says.
She suggests limiting the time you spend in your bedroom and creating a minimalist aesthetic — only keep one or two items on your night stand and hang only your most valuable clothes in the closet.
“Repeat after me: ‘My bedroom is for sleeping and making love, nothing else,’” she says. “The fewer possessions you have in your bedroom, the better. You are most vulnerable when you are sleeping and making love, this is when you bare it all, literally. Negative energy has more direct access to you.”
4. Free the front door
The front door is the primary way for energy — known as chi in feng shui — to enter your home.
“Make sure the area is clutter free,” suggests Michelle Cromer, an author and feng shui consultant. “Place a well-maintained door mat at the front door welcoming the chi. Make sure this area is well lit and honor this space by using the front door every day.”
5. Clear out closets
After you’re done deep cleaning your home, take special care to clean all your closets. If you’re not quite ready to part with some of the items you had stashed in a closet, remember Closetbox is here to help you store them.
“Closets represent hidden areas in your life, so clean those out in order to bring clarity to all aspects of your life,” Cromer says.
6. Bring nature indoors
In a big city, you may not see much greenery on a regular basis. That’s why it’s important to bring plants into your apartment, Cromer says. Tend to them with care so that they stay healthy and vibrant.
“These plants enhance the wood element and symbolize new beginnings and enhance family relationships,” she says.
On a related note, avoid decorating with fake plants – they won’t have the same impact.
“Get rid of anything dead, like dried flowers, or fake, like plastic flowers,” says Laura Benko, a feng shui consultant and the author of “The Holistic Home: Feng Shui for Mind, Body, Spirit, Space.”
7. Take a closer look
Consider taking a closer look at your apartment — do your belongings match your life goals? Examine your home for physical manifestations of challenges in your life, then take steps to align any mismatches.
“Are you single and want to be in a relationship, yet you are surrounding yourself with single imagery like pictures and photographs of singular people or items? Do you feel stuck in the past and yet you also have not updated your decor in eons?” Benko says.
8. Integrating Technology
Though feng shui is an ancient philosophy, that doesn’t mean it can’t be applied to more modern situations. Yes, feng shui can even encompass your smart home technology, says Michelle Pettit, a home and lifestyle advisor with Just Energy.
“Homeowners are investing in smart appliances, smart lighting, smart home security systems, smart heating and HVAC systems, smart sprinkler systems, and more,” she says. “The draw for this is the enormous time and money savings a homeowner finds with the implementation of smart technology.”