Is it too early to talk about Spring Cleaning? Yeah, it probably is.
The holiday season is always a time when I reflect on how unorganized my home is (delightful). I’m digging out totes (and totes and more totes) full of seasonal decorations. September – November – January. Those are the months that I’m getting out totes, pulling down the previous season’s decorations, putting up the new season. Rinse and repeat. It’s exhausting, and it’s on top of a busy season full of joy, merriment …. and shopping. Most of us look at cleaning our home as a chore, however, revitalizing and organizing our home should be a feel-good activity.
Tired energy is clutter. Whether it’s physical, emotional or spiritual clutter. By working on physical clutter first, we can make way for a better emotional and spiritual life.
So how can we keep our home peaceful and sane? With a mix of “5S” and Feng Shui (duh)! The Chinese believe that revitalizing and organizing your life should be a joyous activity. Feng Shui is a method to bring the balance of positive and negative energy flowing through your home or office. 5S (literally five words that begin with the letter S) is a Lean method that teaches us to Sort – Set – Shine – Standardize – Sustain. You’re thinking: “What the heck?! How does this apply to my messy house??”
First and foremost, pick a room or area in your home that feels negative or messy. An area that you may not even want to go into. That’s where you start.
1. SORT – Eliminate whatever is not absolutely necessary in that room or area of your home. Getting rid of stuff is hard, I know. But the less we have, the easier it will be to organize it. Some people feel it’s easiest to hold an item and see if it if makes you feel happy. If it doesn’t, get rid of it. If you are having trouble getting rid of items, I suggest storing those items in an obscure or colored tote so you aren’t able to see them but you know they are safe.
2. SET – Straighten up the items that remain. Group items by purpose, amount of use, or even by color. Organize it in a way that works for you and whoever will be using that area. When deciding where to place large items in the area, remember to keep windows clear. Sunlight and fresh air should be able to flow freely from the windows. If you are at a complete loss about how to set the room up, take a break and come back. When you return, set it in a way that feels right or easy to you. That’s energy in play.
3. SHINE – For some, this is the fun part and for others this is not-so-fun. I like to clean, so Windex or Clorox, or whatever your dirt-poison is, grab it and shine up the space. Make it pretty! Clean every surface, every shelf, every window. (Do it now or it may never get done. Am I right?) This is also the time to paint areas that need it. Chipping paint is unpleasant. Try painting the room and see how it affects your physical energy.
For example, Jeannie Matteucci, HGTV, believes, “Blue evokes feelings of calm and freshness, and represents strength and dependability.” Depending on the hue, blue works well in almost any room of your home.
If you’re looking for a different effect, like a jolt of energy, orange may be what you’re looking for. Matteucci states, “Orange conjures images of citrus fruit or a summer sunset, and represents happiness and innovation.” (Matteucci, J. 2016)
For more information on color psychology, check out:
The Psychology of Color – www.hgtv.com/remodel/interior-remodel/the-psychology-of-color
The Psychology and Meaning of Colors – www.colorpsychology.org
4. STANDARDIZE – Sounds manufactury. But in this context it simply means scheduling regular cleaning and maintaining days/times. How this is done is up to you. Is it daily, weekly or monthly? That depends on how often the space is used. I recommend tackling it in short bursts – 10 minutes a day, just putting clutter in it’s place. But remember, this isn’t a chore to add to your never-ending to-do list. This is time to get your home (and life) in order and the energy of your home moving. This is also going to save you time and frustration during future use as well.
5. SUSTAIN – You’ve just put ancient Japanese and Chinese principles to use in your home! How manufacturers, healthcare organizations and global corporations organize their business and is now how you organize your home. (Sweet!) Now, keep it up! If you set up a space one way and it doesn’t work, change it. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to feel right and work.
TIPS to remember:
-Colors, lights, water and sound all contain strong energy, which every room should have
-Plants serve a dual purpose by symbolizing life and also bringing color to a room
-Dead plants bring bad energy (bad juju!), so tend to them regularly
Take what you’ve learned and apply it to all the areas in your home or office. Remember to start with the areas that feel negative or ugly. Decluttering your home pushes bad energy away and makes space for new energy to come in. You will feel a shift in your home and in your life when these small, but mighty, changes are made.
And if you find that you are struggling to organize or harmonize your home or office, we’re here to help. Give us a call at 717.430.2850 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us your story.