I’m reading a book I’ve read before. I don’t remember how I responded the first time, but this time I am in a frenzy of decluttering. The name of the book is Clear Your Clutter With Feng Shui (pronounced fung shway) by Karen Kingston. According to Kingston, “There are four categories of clutter: things you do not use or love, things that are untidy or disorganized, too many things in too small a space, and anything unfinished.”
The minute I read that I was immediately overcome with the need to clean out every nook and cranny of my 900-square-foot condo. “It will take you two hours,” my friend Bobette, said. “You have no clutter.” Wrong.
I started with my office because I could see it was a mess, but I had no idea how much of a mess. I worked nonstop for two-and-a-half days, filled bags and bins with recyclables, trash, and things to go to Goodwill. I climbed on ladders, cleaned out cabinets, made stacks of books, went through files, re-tied electrical cords, cleared my desk, moved equipment that shouldn’t have been there in the first place, and took a lot of ibuprofen. Then, of course, I scrubbed every surface and vacuumed. It is so pristine, I’m afraid to walk in that room for fear I will mess it up again.
There is a feng shui chart called a bagua. It has nine squares that represent nine aspects of one’s life. The idea is to overlay it on your floor plan and clean out everything in any section of your life that’s giving you trouble. My office is in the upper right-hand corner of the condo, which relates to relationships, love, and marriage. I started there, not because I thought I should work on relationships but because it was the messiest place in my house. However, now that it’s tidy, I fully expect all of my relationships to blossom and love to fall in my lap at any time.
My next step was to tackle my bedroom, which didn’t seem all that bad. That corner of the bagua has to do with prosperity, wealth, and abundance. Okay, I could use a little help there. The square in the middle, which is the right side of the bedroom and the left side of the office, stands for fame, reputation, and illumination (insight, perhaps?). Now that both rooms are spotless, I guess I have taken care of fame and reputation while I was straightening out relationships and prosperity.
The bedroom took all day. I cleaned out the closet, the dressers, the nightstands, and under the bed, where I store picture frames and blankets in long, flat plastic boxes. All of this decluttering will necessitate another trip to good will and hiring someone to help me take out the trash and recyclables.
So far, this activity has been very cleansing as well as exhausting. I have three more rooms to do, not to mention the linen closet, the pantry, and the storage area out of back. I think I’ll have to wait for spring to tackle that. According to Karen Kingston, when you get rid of a lot of stuff you make room for all kinds of new things to come into your life.
I hope they aren’t the kind of things that I won’t use or love, will become untidy or disorganized, will not fit in my tiny condo, or I will never finish. That would be the ultimate irony.