The First Thing to do with Clutter

We know that clutter is a problem. It is stagnation of Qi that takes the life out of a place. We also know to remedy it we clean up and create order. 

I’ve come across an interesting twist on to how to handle clutter though:

The first thing to do when dealing with clutter is to rest!

This is not what we’d normally think. It’s the approach of Katsuzo Nishi, a Japanese scientist and healer. The reason is that it is much more harmonious to work with nature and the dynamics of Yin and Yang to restore balance. This actually makes sense. 


Clutter – Yin

Clutter is extreme Yin. It is the negative manifestation of too much Yin – too much stuff or too many unfinished cycles. It causes stagnation and stops constructive activity. 

It has a contacting effect, with less and less room for positive happenings. The space for life is swallowed by more and more things. 


Space – Yang

Space, on the other hand, is Yang. Yang is life force, movement and energy.

According to Katsuzo, the most valuable thing in a house is emptiness. It is space that allows life to unfold and that provides room for good things to happen.

For that reason, the objects in a place should support the space. All things should provide room for the particular activity that occurs there – without a sense of confinement or disorder.


Yin Yang Balance 

Life requires a balance between Yin and Yang – stillness and motion, rest and activity.

We do need Yin. An empty space with too little things is unsettling and restless. Yin elements assist us to settle, recharge our batteries and relax. We need Yin to anchor us, but not clutter that weighs us down.


But Why Rest when you have Clutter?

The times most of us end up with clutter is when we are tired and overworked. When we’ve been doing too much, not catching our breath, being constantly on the run. 

It occurs when we are out of balance – when we are too Yang. 

When I am very busy and fall into bed overtired at the end of a full day, I confess that I drop my clothes on the floor instead of putting them away and my table starts to accumulate things. When things don’t get put way clutter starts to build. 

Overdoing it ends up in disorder and clutter  – it becomes too Yin. 

I guess it’s a way of the universe to restore balance. If we don’t regulate our over-business, our spaces make us slow down eventually. 


This is why the first step in dealing with clutter is to take a rest.

When being too Yang, the solution is not to load another chore onto your busy life. Even the thought of that can be exhausting.

During such times, the solution is to curl up with a book, take a nap and relax in whatever way that works for you – and don’t think about the to-do list for a while. 

We need down-time, nothing-time. How often do we even fill even these with another news video, how often do we eat while reading the latest report, etc? Take a look.

If you are out of balance on the Yang side, procrastinating may be exactly what you need. It is not healthy or constructive to be in non-stop action.


I have a personal example of this. I had planned to write this article for quite a number of weeks. However, I had been very busy and was getting overtired and stretched, which started to reflect in my place getting cluttered. 

I did take some days off to rest, read a novel and sit in the sun. Now, back in action, it is much more effortless not just to create order but also to knock out my article in a significantly shorter time than had I struggled to do earlier.

Yin Yang balance. It always comes down to it. 


Where to rest

Rest and relaxation, health and wellbeing are Yin. The most effective way to recharge and restore your energies is to rest where there are positive Yin energies. 

You may recall a chair where you could really rest or a bedroom where you slept really really well. On the other hand, you may recall a sofa where you often felt agitated or a bedroom where you regularly woke up tired. 

Such differences are often explained by the quality of the Yin energies present in the area. We can relax well with positive Yin energies, but feel agitated and restless where there is negative Yin. 

Where such positive Yin energies are located is individual to a home. It’s based on its unique energy map. We go into this during a Feng Shui consultation, where my main objective is always to enable you to rest and sleep with positive Yin Qi. 

It’s not just the physical stuff in a space that determines the quality of rest you can have there, but also the underlying energies present. 


Then Get to Work

Once you’ve restored your Yin-Yang balance, it is time to get to work and create order. 

It’s best to tackle this in a balanced way – maybe one corner or square meter a day, in whatever way works for you without burning yourself out. 

It’s always helpful to let go of stuff. Whatever you have not used for a year or especially love, you don’t actually need. It will only clutter up your life. 

We know that if your place is agreeable to you, you will do better, both in terms of well-being and productivity. Your space has a feedback effect on you and you can make room for good things to unfold.

Brigitte Seum, 0403 366 100.


Image Sahin Sezer on unsplash.

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