By Erica Sofrina,Author of Small Changes, Dynamic Results! Feng Shui for the Western World
Most of us concentrate on fixing up our homes but consider garages, the areas to store everything forgotten or broken that we don’t have a place for. Now that Spring is here, this is the perfect time to clean out that garage and actually enjoy pulling into an organized, clean and, yes, inspiring place!
Feng Shui teaches that every object that we own should have its place and purpose. That it is filled with energy or chi that is actively engaging and affecting us, albeit subtle. If it is something we don’t need, don’t use regularly, or is not something we love, it represents stuck energy in our space. We should either chuck it, sell it, or give it away to someone who can use it.
Feng Shui represents the original green movement of reduce, recycle and reuse. It teaches us to honor the earth and leave a light foot print.
At the foundation of Feng Shui is the premise that our outer environment always reflects our inner environment. Having large areas that are a ‘no-man’s land’ where vast quantities of forgotten things reside, reflects a deeper level of unconsciousness within our lives. The message from a Feng Shui perspective is that we have gone unconscious somewhere.
Organizing and de cluttering these areas starts to bring our lives back into balance. As we spend time consciously dealing with these ‘unconscious’ things, we become clear about where our lives have been and will continue to be unless we do something about it.
De cluttering will always feel overwhelming and even impossible at first. I highly recommend hiring an objective and cheerful helpful person or two to give encouragement and lend muscle. (High School students are often a great choice and eager to earn a few dollars; professional organizers are even better if you have the budget).
Doing it with your partner may not be wise. I have seen too many ‘world war three’ battles take place between couples which can sabotage the process. Our stuff is loaded with memories and messages that carry an enormous amount of energy. You may not want to add this complication to the mix. It will be daunting enough!
You may ask …what do I do when I am the neat one and my mate is the clutter collector? Or, what do I do when my garage seems to be the designated storage unit for children, grandchildren and friends? Tell them the truth…that you are cleaning out the garage and need them to come and get their stuff. Chances are that they have forgotten what is there. If they really needed it, they would have it with them. Other people’s clutter affects us just as much as our own, so be strong and give them a deadline.
As you commit to moving through the mountains of accumulations from years past you will actually begin to get more energy. A new sense of freedom and control of your life will emerge.
You are making energetic space for new things to happen so pay attention to the synchronicity that begins to take place. I have collected many wonderful testimonials about opportunities that unfolded when my clients tackled the large clutter areas of their home. For me, the phone started ringing the day after I completed my garage and new clients started lining up!
18 Feng Shui Tips for Organzing the Garage
- Make it a place that actually can fit your cars!
- Organize and clear clutter and get rid of everything that does not pass the clutter test! (Do I love it? Do I need it? Does it uplift me? Is it useful? Does it reflect who I am now in my life?) (If it is broken, when am I going to fix it?)
- It is ideal to have everything behind closed garage cabinets, but if you don’t have this kind of an arrangement, find colorful bins from places such as Target, to store the things you do use and need on a regular basis.
- Hang pictures and posters and make it a fun, clutter-free and happy place to be.
- This is a great place to hang chi enhancers such as colorful kites, pinatas and bells that are close enough overhead that you can ring them and stir up the chi (without whacking your head on them).
- Keep tools organized, purge those you never use and keep the others in cabinets or drawers designed to house them.
- Remove all heavy objects overhead such as hanging bikes and other equipment. Remove all boards in the rafters that store objects as well.
- Make it a bright, happy Yang Space (See my article on yin and yang)
- Fix squeaky or broken garage doors (See my article on 6 Feng Shui don’t’s)
- Put unfriendly tools such as saws, rakes and knife-like objects behind closed cabinets or out of sight.
- If you are so inclined, paint the walls and/or floors a happy color you love. (See my article on the Power of Color)
- If you have to store the garbage cans there, replace the old funky ones with nice new ones with matching lids.
- If this is where the kitty litter boxes reside, find attractive covers as shown in my article about Feng Shui and Pets.
- Check for unsafe and exposed wires, fix and safely house them.
- Store heavier boxes in the lower shelves and lighter ones on the upper shelves for safety purposes.
- Make sure all boxes are stacked in such a way that they are safe.
- Make sure the thing you first see when you drive in is inspiring. I had a picture of a tropical beach saying “Paradise,” affirming my desire to spend much more time in Hawaii. I am happy to say that I now go there at least twice a year to give my seminars!
- Please note – all of the same principles apply to attics and basements along with any storage area within the home.
Enjoy your new organized and clutter free garage!
What shape is your garage in?