Monday, April 13, 2009

Feng Shui Part 3

Ok, so I understood Feng Shui and I also realized that to put it into practice involved digging in and REALLY organizing. Everything needed to have a home, by that I mean no more mail piling up on the dining room table, no more clothes all over the floor, no more not being able to find the scissors because they were always put someplace different. No more clutter! All that might seem inconsequential, but it isn't. It's those little stresses that break you after having to keep it together for the big stuff during the day. It's all these little things that I believe are responsible for the saying, "you always hurt the one's you love". I think that we deal with very stressful situations with people we cannot possibly vent with and then come home to our family. The slightest stress ("why can I never find the scissors?!?") set us off. Instead of coming home with a load of stress to find the scissors exactly where you expected to find them and being able to let out that deep breath of satisfaction that SOMETHING went right today, we come home to more stress and disappointment because our chi is blocked with the clutter of our lives. I call that clutter "sight pollution". So here's where my notebook came in. In looking at all my furniture that was supporting and surrounded by all the piles of boxes, I realized that there were a few different kinds of "stuff". The first was the furniture or fixtures, I called it group A. The second was the "stuff" that went in or on the fixtures (group B) and the third was everything else (group C). Because I had so much of group B, I decided that I would start there. Like all the organizing resources had suggested, I made three piles for the group B: Keep, Throw Away and Donate. Once I established everything that I was going to keep (rule was that it had to have been used at least once in the past year), I had to decide where to keep it. Was it a keep-that-got-used-often, or was it a keep-that-got-used-once-that-year? The "stuff" that got used often found a convenient home in or on the furniture or a fixture (group A), the "stuff" that got used once a year got set aside. I did that with every room. If a piece of furniture was not going to work for my new organizational purposes, I kept a list in my notebook of replacement group A stuff that would work and spent the next 8 months saving and collecting these items.

Example: The new house was going to have a walk-in closet and the 2 dressers that we used to keep our clothes in were located in the bedroom. They were visual eyesores, were always overflowing and were also used as an entertainment unit for the TV and DVD player along with bedroom nic-nacs we kept. Realizing that these items just were not working (as clothes managed to get piled on top and hung on our bed posts) I got rid of the dressers, the nic-nacs and the foot board on the bed and replaced them with a closet organizer and an armoire. The armoire would be placed in the bedroom to hold the TV and DVD player ONLY. No more clothes in the bedroom. My bedroom would be a sanctuary. What you can't see in the pic is a 3 sectioned rolling clothes hamper under the cabinet on the bottom left. I dyed two of the hamper bags so that the dirty clothes would be color coordinated (white for whites, blue for colors, black for darks) by wash loads. This example was actually my first organizing project to get completed and will always be my shining glory as I've maintained a clothes-free, bedroom sanctuary for more than 5 years.

All of my keep-that-got-used-once-this-year stuff got listed on index cards and stored in garage storage bins. The number on the bin corresponded with the number on the card, that way I had a catalog for the items in the garage that could easily be found from the kitchen and retrieved within seconds as opposed to the MANY, MANY minutes in the past of rummaging through junk to find... well, let's say the scissors. You get my point!

Finally was group C. This was stuff like the TV remote control that didn't necessarily have a specific place to be but needed to have a temporary home when not in use. I purchased a holder that is placed on the side of the couch with pockets to hold the remotes, but concealed from line of sight. Another group C item was the aluminum foil. I ended up buying a rack to hold the aluminum foil, wax paper and ziplock bags and attaching the rack to the pantry door. Cupboard space was dedicated to kitchen appliances so they were out of sight when not in use and mail was gathered in a decorative file box with folders marked pay, paid, file and save. The pic at the top shows the view of my kitchen. The counters and table are kept clear most of the time.
Every detail that I wrote down in that notebook and worked out in my head over that 8 month period came to fruition and has been maintained ever since. I absolutely love the set up of my home, from color scheme to furniture to artwork. It all reflects the peaceful me and my family's style with that wonderful Feng Shui flare!

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