[HOME MANAGEMENT - 10]
Next to breathing, drinking enough water and eating correctly, the most important activity that determines your health is restful sleep. Since sleeping usually happens in your bedroom, it makes sense to consider just how peaceful this room is.
For thousands of years, the Chinese have followed a system to create harmonious areas, whether these are homes, buildings, or landscapes. This system is called feng shui (pronounced fang shway), which means the Art of Placement. Feng shui takes into account how places influence people, in both the aesthetic and energetic spheres. According to this tradition, a feeling of orderliness is quickly experienced wherever feng shui principles are present, and the occupants of these spaces maintain optimal mental and physical health.
The goal of feng shui design is to create refuges where growth and peace can prosper. This kind of design gives a sense of things being right and natural. Feng shui decorating rules do not always make the space as pretty as those seen typically in home and garden magazines. But they do tend to make for harmonious rooms and, therefore, people feel more peaceful in them.
Most feng shui concepts, once analyzed, are quite logical. And even people, who haven’t studied the art in depth, can understand how to use elements of feng shui. On this page, I’m focusing on the bedroom. I believe that feng shui design in this room can help people feel more positive and rest better. I don’t want to imply that I am a feng shui expert. My entire study of the subject includes having read about three books, and numerous articles in magazines and on the Internet.
What I would like to pass on you in this blog are a few feng shui principles that I have incorporated in my bedroom. My feng shui experiments in the bedroom have helped me to improve my outlook and sleep better. What follows is a short description of some feng shui design elements that you can use to create a more restful bedroom.
Uncluttered and clean
To organize your bedroom correctly, you need to end the clutter. Start by culling out extra furniture. There are only five main elements that should be in your bedroom.
Here’s what you need: bed, chair, table or desk, some kind of drawer space, and a closet. Those are the essentials. That’s plenty of furniture for the size of the bedrooms in modern houses. If you are lucky enough to have a sizeable bedroom, enjoy your extra floor space and use slightly larger furniture, but don’t try to put a lot more functions in it. Too many pieces and oversized furniture weigh down your space, pull down your spirit, and cause your energy to stagnate.
Next, go through everything -- yes, literally everything in your room -- and eliminate all items that don’t add to your restful self or your positive self. If you want to feel free, light and unencumbered in your personal space, you have to lighten your load. Just keep what you love and what is absolutely essential. Take out all those extra things – you’re probably not sure why you brought most of that stuff to your room, anyway. Put all those things that don’t belong in another room or storage area. If your extras aren’t going to be of much use to anyone in the house, don’t bother to store them elsewhere. Throw them out or give them away.
Then, eliminate everything that duplicates a function. If you have two similar things, just keep the one you like best or the one that bests serves your purposes. Put like things together, neatly in drawers, boxes or baskets. To be organized means to know where everything is. To live with clutter means you’re doomed to spend hours every week, just looking for things and you can't work efficiently.
Organize and find a place for your essentials. Look for logical spots for all items -- likes with likes -- and everything as close as possible to where it is to be used. Then, clear off as many surfaces as you can, leaving out only the things that you use daily.
Everything that isn’t in daily use should be stored out of sight, in drawers, cabinets or the closet. You'll probably have to pare down a lot in order for your stuff to fit comfortably in its newly designated space.
Dirt is another type of clutter. Get rid of it, and plan to clean your bedroom often. You’ll find that once you’ve taken out all those extra things, it won’t be so hard to keep your room tidy. And with the path cleared out, sweeping, mopping, and dusting will be a lot easier.
If you want to sleep restfully, you’ll need a comfortable bed. Check to make sure that your bed works for you. If it doesn’t, make changing your type of bed or mattress a strong priority. Also, according to feng shui principles, there can’t be any kind of dust catcher below your bed. That area needs to breathe and for that to happen, you must be able to clean under your bed. So, it’s really not a good idea to have any kind of storage under your bed.
The position of the bed in the room is important, too. The head of the bed should be against a wall. This is the best arrangement for sleeping comfortably in your bedroom. What’s more, your bed should allow you to see the door when you are lying down, but be as far away from the door as possible. That is a secure feeling position. On the other hand, your bed should not be face the door directly as this may serve as a distraction. Unless you need to listen for someone during the night, such as a child or an elderly person, it’s best to sleep with your door closed.
Things kept on the floor tend to get dusty and make it hard to clean the room. They also make it hard to move around without effort. Feng shui indicates that as few things as possible should be on the floor. All that extra stuff on the floor acts like an anchor on your energy and brings your view of the room downward, stifling your good mood. What’s more, it’s a sign that you are tied to your past and have insecurities about the future.
Trust in yourself to live with just the basics and have confidence that you will find what you require should your circumstances change. Remember the five essentials for a bedroom (mentioned above). Well, those are about the only things that should sit on your bedroom floor. When you keep piles of things elsewhere, you’ll feel better about your space and about yourself. On the other hand, a tall lamp or a tall plant on a stand – a live plant, not an artificial or dried one -- can also be useful. These objects, in themselves, represent types of energy and tend to draw the eyes upward in the room.
Walls and accessories
Feng shui considers the walls to be a main concern. A wall can represent your life. The lowest part of a wall symbolizes your past and the middle part is your present. The highest part of the wall represents you in the future. For this reason, you want your eyes to look up in your room rather than down.
To allow your eyes to be lifted to up without becoming tired, don’t put a lot of distractions on your walls. Your entire room should only have a few simple pieces of artwork or other sort of decoration. Instead of formal art, everyday objects can sometimes be displayed on the wall, if they are attractive enough in themselves and in scale with other things in the room. Mirrors can be in on a bedroom wall as long as they don’t reflect the bed.
Organized, uncluttered bookshelves are acceptable, but shouldn't be very extensive and it's better to place them on the upper half of the wall. Curtains can be used to create hidden storage on the wall. The space hidden behind the curtains can shelve books, clothing racks, and odds and ends. Even though their contents are not in plain sight, drawers, closets and hidden storage need to be kept orderly and clean.
Finally, since your room needs to be restful, you’ll have to consider the paint on the walls. Strong colors on bedroom walls cause stress, while pastel and neutral colors help you relax and sleep.
Tell your feng shui experience
I hope you can put these feng shui tips into practice in your bedroom. They should help you feel and sleep better. I’m fairly sure that you will be pleased with the result. If you use feng shui design elements in your bedroom or elsewhere in your home, please send me a comment. Whether your results are excellent or not so good, I’ll be happy to hear your experiences.