A slight diversion from my artwork today owing to a book I read called The Life Changing Magic of Tidying by Marie Kondon. The sub-title is, rather scarily, A Simple, Effective Way to Banish Clutter Forever – ooh err!
Space Clearing, Feng Shui and Tidying?
I am told that this book and the KonMari Method has been all over the newspapers and magazines in the UK. My Mum tells me that Marie Kondon has appeared on various of her favorite daytime television programs. Bearing in mind we don’t have newspapers, magazines, television or radio you might wonder what sparked my interest in the book?
Karen Kingston And Space Clearing
Well, I have long been an adherent of space clearing, the art of clearing and re-vitalizing energies in buildings. I went to a workshop, many years ago, by Karen Kingston and learnt about clearing stagnant energies from homes and offices. It really resonated with me and my Reiki practice. Enthusiastically, I bought her book Creating Sacred Space with Feng Shui and read it avidly.
I love the space clearing ceremony and use it as a ‘Spring Clean’ from time to time when rooms start to feel a bit tired.
I applied it at work years ago and explained to my staff how the space clearing, and the uncluttering that goes with it, would help us all feel more energized. And it worked wonderfully. My team got hooked on the idea of allowing energy to flow freely. Soon everyone was happily ‘de-cluttering’ their work area in preparation for the space clearing ceremony that I conducted over the weekend (I am not a qualified practitioner I hasten to add, just an enthusiast). It was a great team building exercise.
We also rearranged the offices according to Feng Shui principles. Feng Shui is an ancient system of laws that govern the use of space to allow the flow of energy or ‘chi’ including how to implement fixes, if you like, to counteract unfavorable aspects that can’t be altered (like a staircase that leads down to a front door for example).
So, in the office where possible we moved desks, chairs and furniture according to Feng Shui principles. Again, a great team building exercise.
I knew they were hooked when one lunchtime I saw they were in the garden weeding the ‘wealth area’. When I asked them what they were doing, they said that cash flow was a bit tight so they thought they would stimulate the energy by weeding that part of the garden.
I have several books on Feng Shui, my favorite is Feng Shui Made Easy by William Spear. We also apply the principles of placement in our garden and on our land here in Italy. A great deal of thought goes into the placement of every statue and plant pot as well as choice of plant for certain areas.
I space clear and follow Feng Shui principles as far as I can in an old Italian house full of beams (so frowned upon in Feng Shui).
Why KonMari Method?
Which leads to the obvious question, if I do all that, why do I need a book on tidying? Well, would you believe on Facebook someone posted a video of Marie Kondon showing how to fold clothes. This was to maximize the space used and tidy drawers and wardrobes. I watched her fold a t-shirt and I was hooked. She started with the sleeves and kept folding until it was a small triangle that was then stored on its side in a drawer. And when she took it out of the drawer it didn’t have a single crease.
Our bedroom storage capacity is not large. I thought that I could learn a lot from her approach about how to make best use of space. Plus it probably is time for another de-clutter session. It doesn’t matter how much you keep an eye on yourself stuff has a tendency to build up! I am currently at the chapter on socks … the excitement of rearranging our sock drawers is … building slowly.
This article was originally published in 2016 and updated and republished 12 March 2022.
Before you go
My name is Dorothy Berry-Lound an artist and writer. You can find out more about my art and writing at https://dorothyberryloundart.com.
Thank you for reading!