NPR does this great thing where they make lists of three books in one category for you to read. The very first one of this series that I ever read was Three Books for the Self-Help Skeptic. I can’t remember why I read this one because I am usually neither in need of things to read nor a skeptic, but girl, I am sure glad I did! I have now read The Four Agreements and I’m slowly working my way through Positive Energy, but the book that really changed my life is Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui.
I never paid particular attention to Feng Shui and I am still not sure I could accurately explain it to you, but I am 100% behind the idea of energy in a home and how it makes me feel. In reading this book, I didn’t feel bad about how much JUNK we had in our house, I felt inspired to do something about it. The author, Karen Kingston, is really good at stressing that any little bit of clutter clearing that you can do is good and will bring about positive change in your life. You know that wedding gift[s] that was really ugly, but you kept it because you felt bad giving it away, even though you’re never going to use a bright yellow tea towel that has a picture of bears kissing under your wedding date in curly script? Donate it. And once you’ve started clearing that clutter and you realize how good you feel, you probably won’t want to stop.
In our guest room, we still had all the furniture I used when I lived in a studio apartment. An entire apartment’s worth of furniture in one room. And I really didn’t like the crowded feeling the room had or the heaviness I felt when I spent time there. The desk was piled with papers and who knows what else. The dog slept on the futon. The cats puked on the carpet, and I didn’t realize it ’til days later because I never used the space [gross]. It was always a frantic clean up whenever we had guests that needed to use the room and I dreaded the day when we would move and have to do something with all that furniture or have a baby* that needed somewhere (not a futon) to sleep. So I took some advice from Karen Kingston and cleared it out. Sold the futon, mattress, desk chair and desk. Donated the old Dell laptop that I wasn’t using to a non-profit who was SO HAPPY to have it. With the money we made from selling the furniture, we bought a new tall bookshelf and a great air mattress for guests. I kept a wooden trunk to store the new air mattress in as well as a two-seater couch that I have always loved. (Even writing this, I cannot believe how much furniture used to be in that room!) And, y’all, it felt AMAZING.
Plus, now I love being in there. I like to sit on my tiny couch and read or talk on the phone (Hubs says I do not have a quiet phone voice). Or use my new folding table [that I can store in the closet] to do crafts. I do yoga in there. I use the big open space to play with wand toys with the kitties or cuddle with the pup. And it’s ready for whatever person might want/need to live in there next. (Hubs, if you’re reading this, I’m not mentioning a you-know-what again. See asterisk below). And that’s the point of clutter clearing: by removing garbage (stuff, activities, people) from your life, you make room for the really good stuff that’s trying to come in.
*I am somewhat baby crazy lately. Just go with it.