Feng Shui and My Room of Shame

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Most people know that getting organized doesn’t just happen, it takes some work.  What some people don’t think about is the maintenance afterward.  This even applies to us professional organizers!
Lately, I’ve found myself interested in learning more about feng shui.  Three books I have read and absolutely loved on the topic include: Clear Your Clutter With Feng Shui, Creating Sacred Space With Feng Shui, and 10-Minute Clutter Control: Easy Feng Shui Tips for Getting Organized.
As I was reading Creating Sacred Space With Feng Shui I discovered that our one room that was still harboring some of our old clutter (my own personal “Room of Shame”) was in our Fortunate Blessings area of our basement.
I’m certainly no feng shui expert (although maybe some day I will be!), but this realization was enough to compel both my husband and me to get busy and clear out that clutter (because who doesn’t need a few more fortunate blessing in her life?)!!
I wish I would have thought to take before and after pictures of my own little project, but I was so itching to go that I totally forgot to do so. 
As far as some of the cluttered spaces I’ve seen, this one room was not all that bad in the grand scheme of things.  However, when we reorganized our house last year, we had designated this particular room as the spare bedroom, and there was certainly no way I was going to let any guests stay in that room the condition it was in!  Time to get back to what our intent for this room actually is.
We pulled everything, and I do mean everything except the mattress and box springs completely out of the room, cleaning off everything as it came out.  Since this room is located in the basement, it does tend to get a little more dirty than the rooms upstairs.  So once we pulled everything out (and sorted what was to go and what was to stay), the room got completely dusted down, swept, vacuumed and mopped. 
My husband had been insistent on keeping a wooden bed frame that he had had since before we were married, despite the fact that it’s size and bulk made the already-small rooms we have in our house look and feel even smaller.  After three years of me hating this bed frame, he was finally ready to let it go on this decluttering expedition (thanks, babe!).  Since the first time I noticed it, I am still always amazed at how simply the furniture that makes up your bed can dramatically influence how big or small a bedroom feels.
Another part of the problem was that my husband and I were both “older” when we got married.  I was 31, and my husband was 37.  We’d both been living for the most part on our own before we lived together, and both brought full households worth of stuff to the relationship when we first combined households.  And although I did a significant amount of sorting and purging of my stuff before moving in with him, I didn’t realize how much stuff my husband was hanging on to for other people (this included a lot of stuff left by the previous owner of the house). 
After sorting through that stuff (which did involve a dumpster when they put a new roof on our house) we still couldn’t decide what to do with several of the items – would we ever use them?  Maybe this would come in handy one day?  Instead of making decisions right then, we opted to sit on it for a year – if you’re working on your own decluttering project and think you might regret getting rid of item X, wait 6-12 months and see how you feel about that item then, you may find your feelings have changed significantly. 
Last year we did another decluttering, that time it was much, much easier.  This year, most of what we hadn’t decided on was located in this “spare bedroom”.  The decisions this time around were totally simple.   The stuff we were “sitting on” was easy – did we use it?  It stays, if not, it goes.
All said and done, the decluttering and complete cleaning process took us about 2 hours.  Add another 30 minutes to include the time it took to get our donations out of the house and into the hands of our local charity shop.  Not a bad time investment if you ask me!
Remember that life is constantly changing.  The things you like now, you may not like in a few years.  Decluttering and staying organized is a continual process, and it allows for new opportunities to enter your life when you’re willing to let go of items that are no longer serving you.  I have found that releasing the old and embracing the new to be one of the most positive attitudes a person can take when delving into an organizing project!
How are your organizing projects going?
~Tracy
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