Why Excess Stuff = Excess Baggage

As a spiritually minded person who pays close attention to intentions and design, I’m naturally a big fan of Feng Shui. And now that I live in a new to me place that is being renovated and shared with another person and my life is undergoing a lot of change, my interest in Feng Shui has been renewed.

During times of change, a lot of old behavior patterns or unresolved fears can crop up. It’s important to remain mindful and intentional about our actions and do what we can to keep ourselves feeling nurtured and balanced. As environment has a big effect on our psyche and can tell us a lot about our internal environment, is particularly important to pay close attention.

Right now, Nat and I are in the phase of his condo renovation where stuff gets moved from room to room on a weekly basis. Last week we were sleeping in the living room, today all of our tools and personal stuff is piled high in the living room. As a person who has systems and pays close attention to detail, even I am having trouble locating things. For instance, my computer mouse. Has anyone seen my mouse? Oh how I’d really like to find it.

The mess!

The mess!


One of the foundational points of Feng Shui is that everything has energy. It’s not just you and the other humans and animals and plants in your home that have energy. Everything has energy and everything is talking all the time leaving with you memories, feelings, and impressions. The quilt on your bed that your mother made for you leaves you with thoughts or feelings every time you walk by it, every time you cover yourself to go to bed. The blender you received when you married your ex-husband leaves you with a feeling every time you pull it out of the cabinet to use. The dying plant by your front door leaves you with a feeling of guilt or indifference every time you walk by it and decided “I’ll water it next time.”

Our world is full of energetic people and objects that either give you energy or take it away. And that is why it is important to be very mindful of what you keep. A sparse home could be much more rejuvenating to you then a home full of beautiful but useless objects that leave you feeling overwhelmed and unable to find what you need. (Still looking for that mouse...)

The right balance for each person is an individual thing but within you is the ability to discern whether or not your environment is nurturing you and whether or not you are nurturing yourself. If your life feels overwhelming or chaotic or just a bit off kilter, know that there are adjustments you can always make.

This past weekend, our neighbor accidentally knocked the fire safety sprinkler in her condo. Her home was flooded within minutes and it took a while for the fire department to show up and turn off the water. When Nat and I went over to see if we could help her move some of her stuff, she said that she knew she needed to clear out her overabundance of possessions. In fact she said, she had been thinking about doing this for a while but had kept putting it off. Now, she didn’t have a choice.

Our thoughts our powerful. Our desires pull towards us what we need. Either you can step into consciousness and do the work yourself, or life will throw your desired change at you in a way you would have preferred not to have happen.

I’m sure some cleansing and healthy growth will occur for our neighbor, she predicts it too. But she also said that she wished she had made the change sooner. As I look at the mess in my own living room, I can see the overabundance of items I do not actually need. I think I’ll take this as my cue to begin simplifying and let go of that which does not nurture me.