A common form of negative energy in our homes is clutter. If you are among the many challenged by clutter, or perhaps have a partner that is, I do sympathize with your situation. Many people ask me what they can do to overcome this challenge that is contributing to negative energy, chaos, and imbalance in their home.
If you consider that our homes are a mirror of our inner spaces, then perhaps we are in this situation because we need to address some level of chaos within ourselves (whether physical, mental, or emotional chaos) or we may simply need to move past this issue in our life that is challenging us to grow.
There is no magic bullet to address clutter. If you are waiting for the big epiphany, I don’t have it. What I can offer you is an “inner” solution. This also works when dealing with a partner’s or your own anger or depressive tendencies. There is an issue of internal clutter, mental clutter that will create a cloud of low-level energy and consciousness around the home and drag you down. It’s real, and we do feel it!
Understanding the behavior behind the clutter can help a great deal. Clutter is often a result of a feeling of lack and scarcity. You or your partner may be missing something on an emotional level. It often flows from childhood and perhaps a parental relationship. One thing is for certain: clutter is blocking energy.
Understanding What’s Behind The Clutter
One professional organizer says the clutter is “a way that unhappiness expresses itself.” Perhaps, if you or your partner is open to it, you can journal your feelings around the clutter. What unhappiness might it be expressing? What situation or relationship in the past does it represent? Is that a healthy connection? If the clutter is blocking something from entering my life, what does it represent? How will I feel when that block is no longer there and great opportunities present themselves? Am I open to that now?
Consider the type of clutter that you have in the home. For instance,
- Sentimental clutter—This represents attachment to things in the past. It may also represent the fear of guilt for getting rid of those objects.
- Project clutter—This represents the inability to finish projects and may be a lack of the Metal Element (which facilitates completion).
- “Just in case” clutter—This represents the need to keep things “just in case.” It’s about fearing that you will not have what you need when you need it.
- Paper clutter—We keep magazines and article clippings in piles until we can finally read them. (When will that be?) It is a variation on the theme of not having something when you need it. But with the Internet, great information is easily accessible without the buildup of paper.
Identifying your True Nature Element might help you understand what is going on behind this behavior. We might realize that our family is not intentionally trying to make us crazy (if they are, then we might need to rethink this relationship!). The Earth Element has a great affinity to sentimental items (perhaps a thirty-year-old son’s baby clothes, a chair that was Aunt Molly’s, or dusty old doodads from Grandpa’s basement) when out of balance. She often keeps these items out of guilt (how can I get rid of Aunt Molly’s chair?) and out of attachment to the loved one.
Messiness can have different motivators. For Wood, it’s that he has too many more important things to do. For Fire, it’s impulsively jumping from one thing to another once enthusiasm wanes—which happens quickly! Water? Well, Water flows and needs a container, hence things can start spilling out all over the place. Notice that I don’t mention Metal? That’s because balanced Metal despises clutter and messiness.
Recognize the Issue of Control
The only person we can control is ourselves. We know this; however, we don’t always act in concert with that understanding when the clutter is being generated by a loved one. We think that trying to coerce them, yelling louder, or giving an ultimatum will change their behavior. But it doesn’t. And we continue to try this tactic even though it doesn’t work (didn’t Einstein say something about that?). We may finally give up and not say anything more out of frustration, but silence says volumes if our facial expressions, body language, and energy fields are still emanating our disapproval.
So what do we do? It is the hardest and the simplest thing of all: change our energy about the mess and clutter. It weighs our energy down and does not let the light grow. I am not suggesting that we ignore it. That is not going to work. I’m suggesting that we acknowledge it, but do not lay that heavy anger and frustration onto it. Raise your consciousness higher and those lower vibrations are less able to reach you. Let it go.
We can do some breathing and visualization techniques. We can go out into nature as often as possible. We can clear out our own clutter. Sometimes we still have clutter to manage, even if it’s not visible. Perhaps it’s a closet or our drawers. Perhaps the clutter is in our minds. We might be involved in so many things that we are scattered in our thoughts.
When our energy around this challenge shifts, our loved one will feel it, if only subconsciously. Over time and with a concerted effort on our part, the energy in our home will shift, and their energy will have to shift along with it. It is always that way with energy. Everything is interconnected. This may create new openings and opportunities. Sometimes the other partner spontaneously clears up. But it all comes back to us.
The trick is that we must be diligent in shifting our own energy. This is absolutely the key. We cannot just try this for a week and get discouraged because the other person hasn’t changed. In just a week, we haven’t changed either. Modifying our own patterns of behavior and thought requires ongoing work. How long? Think “forever.” But it is worth every bit of what we have to gain!
Adapted and reprinted with permission from Conari Press an imprint of Red Wheel/Weiser, Creating Luminous Spaces by Maureen K. Calamia, is available wherever books and ebooks are sold or directly from the publisher at redwheelweiser.com or
Maureen K. Calamia is a feng shui consultant and teacher. An inspiring thought-leader in feng shui, energy and consciousness, she has written for CREATIONS MAGAZINE, Huffington Post, MindBodyGreen, Thrive Global, elephant journal, and OMTimes Magazine.