It’s the first week of October and time for my Fall Cleaning ritual. As we head into the mostly yin (colder, darker, cocooning, inward energy) part of the year (Fall and Winter), I find that giving our home a good dose of yang (brighter, active, expanding) energy gets me better prepared to face less daylight hours and more time spent indoors.
Whenever we give our home a thorough cleaning, there is an automatic lifting of our spirits. I feel more at ease and relaxed. It is as if my home is smiling and saying Thank You! This is not to say that I look forward to the tasks, and I even procrastinate starting cleaning projects. But today, I discovered that there is one chore I now enjoy as a meditative activity.
This morning, while vacuuming our family room, moving forward and back, forward and back, forward and back, I looked down at the clear canister of my Dyson and saw an amazing amount of dirt, fur and debris swirling around. How could this be? I made only three passes at a section of the room, and the carpet didn’t look that dirty! After completing the room, I had the urge to re-vacuum and see if there was anything left to pick up. I did and…There was! From this seemingly boring act of vacuuming, I fully realized how much debris we become clueless to in our homes. Even seasoned Feng Shui consultants cannot always see what is lurking in their own spaces!
In Feng Shui, what you don’t see still affects you. Most of the time, the reason we feel stuck in our lives is because we have this residual gunk hanging around. It needs to be cleaned up to continue moving forward. If it hangs around too long, it will likely cause dis-ease in the forms of anxiety, frustration, depression, weight gain, and general malaise. After having our carpets professionally deep cleaned today, I felt lighter and happier. This has given me the inspiration to get to the rest of my projects!
Doing a deep Fall cleaning of your home gives you a fresh perspective on life and renews your energy for the upcoming months. From a Feng Shui perspective, I have listed the priority areas that I focus on first.
The Front Entrance. This is where ch’i (or life energy) enters your home. Welcome it in with a clean and clear pathway (leaves and weeds be-gone). Make sure all windows are sparkling, inside and out. Clear all cobwebs, dead bugs and clutter from the front door. Have a beautiful Welcome mat out. Make sure the door handle and doorbell are in good working order and that the address numbers are visible for ch’i (and visitors) to find you. The door needs to open fully with no obstructions.
The Kitchen. The stove is the most important appliance in your home. It represents wealth and abundance in Feng Shui. Keep it clean at all times. Have all burners in good working order and use all of them regularly. This sets the intention that prosperity and abundance continuously flows and won’t become stagnant. Treat the refrigerator with the same respect. After all, this is where a large portion of your abundance is stored! Toss outdated food, wash down the shelves and drawers and organize what is left. Only purchase what you know will be consumed in a short period of time. Bulk purchasing of perishables often wastes more of your money than it saves.
Clean the kitchen floors and wiped down cabinets. Give your countertops a thorough cleaning and simplify what you have on display. Cull the excess appliances and gadgets in your cabinets as well. Only keep what you regularly use and love. If you don’t use the waffle maker, now that you’re on a gluten-free diet, donate it. If you still have the cookie press you received as a gift, but have never used it, donate or give it away. A clean kitchen gives you room to breathe in a place that is meant to nourish and revitalize the body and spirit.
The floors, window coverings and furniture. These take the most abuse throughout the year and fabric holds in more dust, grime and negative energy than hard surfaces. Clean carpets and window coverings make a significant shift in a room’s feel. This is especially true if it has been closed up or the occupants have recently gone through a hardship. You can actually feel how much happier the space feels! If professional upholstery cleaning is not feasible, a good vacuuming will also do wonders.
The Bedrooms. You function better in your life when you sleep well, especially during the potentially stressful holiday season. Open the windows and bring fresh air in. Give the bed a good airing as well. I won’t get into the details that most of us have heard, about the importance of having a good quality mattress, but make sure it is clean and in good condition. Refresh your decor by changing out anything that you no longer absolutely love. Resist the urge to decorate your bedroom for the holidays. Too many add-ins, especially greenery (real or artificial), Santas or other figurines, increases the activity energy in the room and most likely will affect your sleep. It is better to keep the holiday decor in more active areas of your home.
Well, it’s time to give my kitchen some love and well deserved re-energizing. What area in your home will be first on your Fall Cleaning list?