Have you ever noticed how everything seems a little easier after spring cleaning’s over? It’s not just that feeling of accomplishment giving you a boost (though that could definitely play into it). It’s because the energy of your home can affect your energy—your mood, your willpower, and more. Today, we’re talking about how bad energy in your home is sapping your willpower.
How Your Space Reflects and Influences Your Mind
Distractions on your desk hinder your focus. A cluttered kitchen counter may make your mind feel overwhelmed and jumbled so it’s more difficult to stick to your plan to make a healthier snack or meal. Everything is interconnected—your home, your mind, your body, your work…fixing one area leads to fixing others. You want to attract positive energy and remove the negative.
In feng shui, a lot of this good or bad energy has to do with the flow of chi energy through your home, but even if you’re not interested in learning feng shui principles, these are some practical tips that can help anyone realize their potential—and they don’t require a total overhaul of your living/working quarters. Just one or two small changes may make a difference in your success.
Issues in Your Home You May Need to Address
Let’s take a look at some of the biggest offenders that could be wreaking havoc on your willpower in ways you may not even realize:
A light and bright room or home can immediately lift your spirits and give you a feeling of being more in control of your life. If there’s a window, open it to let healing, inspiring natural light in. If there’s not much natural light available for that space, use paint and furnishings in light colors to brighten it up. Walking into a dark room can instantly make you feel lethargic, and your willpower’s going to flee right along with your energy.
Air quality is especially important. If you’re breathing stale, polluted air, you’re not able to live up to your potential. Open a window, add some plants, get an air purifier—do whatever you need to do to make sure you’re breathing fresh air.
You may not have control over the room size where you currently live, but you can take steps to make them feel bigger and less cramped. Painting with lighter colors and introducing mirrors to the space can make it seem larger and more vibrant.
Obstacles to Footpaths Through the House
Sometimes getting out of your own way is as easy as moving the obstacles in your path—throughout your house. In order for the energy to flow freely through your home, you have to have clear footpaths. Otherwise you create blockages that, over time, can contribute to your own blockages (or reinforce the ones that are already there). When you clear up these pathways, you begin to clear the blockages within yourself. Feng shui aside, how much energy do you waste stepping over or around things that could easily just be moved somewhere new or thrown out?
When your space is cluttered, so is your mind. When your mind is cluttered, it’s more difficult to focus and maintain your willpower. Distractions are everywhere, confusion and disorganization set in, and there’s a mental cacophony going on. How can anyone thrive with that amount of resistance?
Do you have stacks of old books and magazines, piles of clothes that don’t fit anymore, clusters of things you keep meaning to fix, etc, lying in the corner? Wherever the air can’t flow freely, energy can become stagnant and create blockages. The heaps of miscellaneous items will keep drawing your attention away from whatever you want to focus on, even if you’re not consciously thinking about them. Without the ability to focus on what you want, your willpower may waver.
Dirty windows can dim a room, plus they make it more difficult for the good energy (and radiant sunshine!) to move into—and through—a room. The best energy flow happens when the windows are open, but if you can’t have them open for whatever reason, the next best thing is for them to be sparkling clean.
Steps for Creating an Inspiring Space
Don’t get overwhelmed. Start with a plan.
Start with the Horizontal Spaces
Begin with the horizontal spaces that are out in the open and easily viewable from where you spend a lot of time. That could be a table by the door that’s become a catchall when you walk in from work, the bathroom counter, the kitchen counter, your living room floor, or a desk in your home office.
If you’re having trouble with willpower in your diet, try clearing off a lot of counter space in your kitchen, organizing your pantry, and clearing out the fridge to feel more inspired and capable of creating meals that nourish, taste good, and align with your body’s needs. The fresh appearance of your kitchen could inspire you to make fresher, lighter food choices.
Once the easily visible areas are clean, you can move on to drawers and less heavily used rooms.
Make Some Simple Rules for Yourself
While working on cleaning up your home, avoid adding more to the issue by making up a few simple rules for yourself, like:
- If something takes less than a minute to do, go ahead and do it (for example, don’t leave your watch sitting on your desk if it belongs in your bedroom. Go ahead and put it where it belongs instead of tossing it somewhere it doesn’t, to put away “later.”
- Dishes no longer go in the sink. They go straight into the dishwasher.
- When you take off your clothes, whether you wore them or just tried them on and decided to go with something else, they have to go into the hamper or back into your closet or drawer. Make a rule that you no longer allow yourself to drop clothes on the floor or drape them over a chair.
You know your habits. Choose the rules that make the most sense for you and your family and stick to them.
Brighten Things Up
There are a lot of ways to take a dingy room to brighter, cleaner, and more conducive to willpower and general happiness. They don’t even require paint.
- Pick up some fresh flowers at the farmer’s market. Not a flower person? Plant some herbs to grow indoors.
- Wipe down the baseboards.
- Clean your doors, lamps, light switches/plates, and maybe even wipe over the walls with a cloth.
- Clear any cobwebs, including outside around the front door.
- Wipe down your cabinets.
If you want to, you can always use a can of paint or other colorful accents to brighten things up. If you’re interested in a little feng shui guidance in the colors and accents to use in different rooms of your home, take a look at the feng shui bagua at Feng Shui for Real Life.
Donate, Store, or Toss Items
What’s the best thing you can possibly do for your home? Clear out the clutter by donating, storing, or tossing the items you don’t love and use.
- Still hanging on to a box of love letters from an ex-boyfriend? Are they serving you in any way? Throw them out.
- Do you have clothes in your closet that you’ll never wear again because of their style or size? Donate what you can.
- Do you have a collection of something you can’t bear to part with but could do without having on hand at all times? Figure out a good storage option for it and tuck it away somewhere safe, out of sight.
- One more option: repurposing items, but the key is to already know how you’ll use it (and when) so it doesn’t just stick around as more useless clutter.
You don’t have to go through all of your belongings in one day, but do go one area at a time and be honest with yourself. Don’t make an excuse to keep five pairs of stiletto boots from your early 20s if you’re a mom running around in sneakers and flats these days if you rarely get to go out and do things kid-free that would allow you to wear them.
Set a Timer Every Day and Clean, Clean, Clean Until It Dings
When you’re first setting out to clear up your space, remove bad energy, and free up positive energy flow in your home, try setting a timer for a certain amount of time each day and tackle a list of projects until the timer dings. You don’t have to dedicate a full hour to it. Just 10 or maybe even 30 minutes can make a difference.
Once your clutter’s squared away, surfaces are clean, rooms lightened, windows cleaned, and all other “big picture” issues are handled, keeping a bright, tidy house will be easy if you plan for it and decide what you’ll do each day. Passionate Homemaking shared her natural house cleaning schedule. Try adapting it to your life in order to keep your home clean and inspiring at all times.
As with Everything Life-Changing, Baby Steps!
Your home won’t become the willpower-boosting, bright, inspiring place you want overnight. However, now that you know how bad energy in your home is sapping your willpower, you can begin taking baby steps to reclaim it. With each blockage or pile of clutter you clear, you’re taking a step in the right direction. The important thing is to make it so that your home feels good to you when you spend time there.