5 Steps to a Feng Shui Make-Over

Back in 2013 I led a workshop called “Feng Shui Your Way to Domestic Bliss!” In that workshop I covered many of the fundamentals of Feng Shui and gave participants hands on exercises to learn how to apply my 7 steps to a feng shui make-over. Since this isn’t the right forum to educate people on everything I know about Feng Shui, I decided to condense my original make-over into 5 simple steps that you can try out. The level of details here should serve well for a mini, small make-over you can tackle by yourself or with a friend with little to no cost.

Step 1 - Reimagine The Space

  • Pick a space you want to make-over and come up with 5 qualities you want the space to evoke when you walk into it (like “energizing” or “relaxing”)

  • Note what doesn’t work currently (i.e. what you hate about the space)

  • List out the functions the space has to serve (like a place to remove shoes or deal with incoming mail or do homework, etc.)

Step 2 - Elevate the Vibes

  • If possible, take immediate action in this step so you don’t spend excessive time planning and making lists - this is the time to roll up your sleeves and get to it!

  • Good feng shui also means a clean, decluttered space with everything in good repair

    • Bag up what you can to donate

    • move things that don’t belong in the room

    • replace light bulbs

    • move broken items to a holding space if you plan to have it repaired

    • go through drawers and toss junk

    • file any paperwork (or put in a box and label it for dealing with later)

    • clear piles of stuff (again, you can label boxes and then determine what to do with the piles afterwards or just move it to where the item should be)

    • remove anything that doesn’t support the function and evoke the vibe you want the space to have

    • clean from top to bottom

Step 3 - Move Furniture

  • You can test out options with little cutouts of your furniture (make sure they are to scale!) but sometimes it’s necessary to just experiment with various layouts until it feels right

  • One key to fruitful feng shui is good ‘flow’ - if you end up tripping over furniture legs or bumping into table edges or struggling to reach an item you use everyday, you will probably come to hate the space

Step 4 - Organize and Optimize

  • Now you may have to go back to the boxes you shoved stuff into and determine what still needs to be in the space

  • Make a list of everything that needs a home in the space

  • Knickknacks and decor can go where you enjoy them and there are plenty of tips you can find online - usually small groupings of objects are more visually soothing than random placement with too much space between all objects

  • Once you know what needs a home, then you have to determine where its home will be. This is when you start to identify storage and organizing options you might need to add to the space. (Tip - “Shop” your own home for containers and storage options that might not be in use or needed in other rooms.)

  • Move items to their new “home” - remember to make daily use items easy to access or it will quickly become a source of more frustration! The goal is to have it be almost effortless to move things back in their “home” when they aren’t in use.

Step 5 - Apply Feng Shui Remedies

  • If your space still needs a little something extra to evoke those qualities you listed in Step 1, consider adding or adjusting one of the following Feng Shui remedies:

    • Lighting (more, less, different bulb brightness, mini lights, etc.)

    • Colors (paint, textiles, etc.) can warm up, cool down, and add cohesion

    • A water element (can be a painting or a tabletop fountain)

    • House plants

    • Add fragrance (like a diffuser or candles)

If you give these a try, I’d love to hear your results. As my teacher, Master Shan-Tung Hsu would say, the natural law, and the true purpose of the art and practice of Feng Shui, is to be “in tune with nature, in harmony with the heart.” May all your spaces be filled with harmony!