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The Anatomy of Clutter

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The Anatomy of Clutter

By Erica Sofrina, Author of the book Small Changes, Dynamic Results! Feng Shui for the Western World and the Founder of West Coast Academy of Feng Shui

When I was first introduced to the subject of clutter, I thought: what’s the big deal? I like stuff, it is my stuff and why should anyone else care?

I only really got how powerful it was after I had come back from my Feng Shui Practitioner Training and decided to see if I would get the same phenomenal results my teachers attributed to clearing clutter. My garage was the best candidate for this since it was the most cluttered area of my house and held the energy for my career and helpful people, both of which I really needed to get flowing in order to bring in my new Feng Shui career.

I hired my gardeners to come and haul out everything that did not pass the clutter test. I did it all in one day. I remember how weird I felt, like I had shed a 50 pound back pack. To my shock, the phone started ringing and opportunities started coming in the very next day. At that time I felt like it was magic or ‘woo woo’ but now, ten years later, after working with many hundreds of clients, I know that it is simply energy. We are making energetic room for new things to come into our lives…. and they do.

The word clutter comes from the Middle-English word ‘clotter’ which means to coagulate -  which says it all.  Clutter accumulates when the energy or ‘chi’ is stagnant, and correspondingly, stagnant energy attracts more of the same. In other words, clutter has babies, lots and lots of them!

You know how it goes, the little pile of stuff you put on the floor within a week has become mountain. Since our lives are overwhelming already, dealing with our clutter is just one more thing to get in line if, and when, we come up for air.

You can do all of the Feng Shui in the world, but if you haven’t dealt with the clutter, I am sorry to tell you it will not make much of a difference. This is the most important ingredient for getting your life moving.

Every aspect of who you are, your conscious and unconscious belief systems, what has happened in the past and what you expect of the future is energetically anchored into your living space in the form of matter, (See my article: Your Home is Attracting Your Future) according to Feng Shui.

Doing a major clutter clearing is like throwing out all the clothes you’ve outgrown or that are out-dated, washing the rest and hanging everything up in the fresh air to dry.  You energetically feel like you have been given a fresh new start, and you have.

There are different categories of clutter; things we don’t love, things we don’t use on a regular basis, untidy or unorganized things, unfinished projects, too many things in too small  a space, things that no longer represent our current tastes or who we are now in our lives.

Next: What to Get Rid Of

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Read more: Feng Shui & Organizing, Guidance, Inspiration, Reduce, Recycle & Reuse, Self-Help, Spirit, , , , , , ,

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Erica Sofrina

Erica Sofrina is an Internationally recognized Speaker and Teacher and Author of the book Small Changes, Dynamic Results! Feng Shui for the Western World. She is also a life coach and motivational speaker and is the founder of the West Coast Academy of Feng Shui. She has run a successful business as a Professional Organizer, Interior Designer and Certified Feng Shui Consultant for over a decade and resides on the charming coastal town of Half Moon Bay in Northern California. Find out more at

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Small Changes, Dynamic Results! Feng Shui for the Western World

By Erica Sofrina A Simple Guide to Feng Shui for our Western Lifestylesbuy now


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5:31AM PDT on Mar 26, 2015

Thank you!

12:43PM PST on Nov 22, 2013

When I have just arrived home after vacation, the bedside table is neat and beautifully clear. I've decided to stop adding things - just a book and a magazine make more sense than a stack! After all, I am only reading to relax for a few minutes (have successfully given up fiction reading right before sleeping)

7:21AM PST on Nov 22, 2013

Thanks for the article. I have way too much stuff that I "will use someday", because I got it at a bargain price. I've finally come to the conclusion that I buy "things" that I'm attracted to and can use, however, the crux of the matter, is that I like the hunt for the bargain more than the actual object. It's no wonder that my life seems at a stand still. The things are organized, but I haven't touched or used them in years. It's time to let them go so I can make space for a new life. It's also important to let others get enjoyment or use out the things that don't resonate with me anymore.

11:59AM PDT on Aug 6, 2013

Time for a yard sale this week!

9:32PM PDT on Jun 11, 2013

thank you again for all the information...will do my best to de clutter my life :)

11:44AM PST on Feb 2, 2013

i had not heard the history of the word clutter. coagulate. so appropriate. that is exactly what it feels like physically and emotionally to live in clutter.

10:52PM PST on Jan 31, 2013


4:19AM PST on Jan 21, 2013

i liked the article, thanks! i hate 'stuff' lying around. my partner likes to chuck things on the floor or shove clothes into the wardrobe/drawers without folding/hanging properly-if at all! it drives me mad! sometimes i get so annoyed with it, i pile it up and tell him to sort it out. since we've bought our own house and now have a bigger house, there's more room for things to have a proper place. we use the smallest bedroom for all the cds/dvds and books, but the second bedroom is the dumping ground for clean laundry and the sitting room is full of his papers/letters, which i'd love to throw into the recycling bag!

it's easy enough to say about de-cluttering things, but there are people who are creatures of habit [like my ex-friend. i broke friends with her for the reason of she was a hoarder, would ask for help, then get all flustered or turn it down when i had travelled to hers to help her out]; or people like my partner who simply 'don't care' about what's on the floor, the state of things, don't pay any attention to the world around him etc. then you have the polar opposite. his parents have almost NOTHING on show; and certainly NO photographs of the family. you'd walk into their house and swear they NEVER had kids. i don't like that. it';s like a 'show home'. all fake looking

8:23AM PDT on Jul 31, 2012

My place is small not out of choice but what I can afford and my home is filled to capacity.

This doesn't bother me, clothes that don't fit become rags or donated, Spring cleaning sends some things outwards and beyond.

My tables overflow and cascade with tiny geodes, feathers, flowers, milkweed seeds on a dried pod that dance in the air, small stones, wood vases, sweet grass, stained glass, many nicknacks made of lovely woods showing warm grains.

With a 16 year old blind cat that owns me floor space must be passable and she moves along well especially at meal time!

Things are easy to find for the most part/accessible no boxes littering the floor and stuff to trip over. My balcony overflows with potted plants/flowers, herbs, veggies.

One lady saw my home and asked how I could live like this as her home is spartan, nothing but a few necessities, furniture while my energy flows with my "stuff". Others say it is cozy, nothing junky, neat but yes, overflowing. It's me and I feel no guilt.

9:39AM PDT on Jul 27, 2012

Valentina - if you are not looking for advice why are you even reading this article? If you are satisfied to live in clutter, pig-stye or creative, there is no call for being rude. The article is for people who do want advice, so show a little class and when you find yourself reading an article that doesn't interest you just close it and move on!

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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