A while ago, I wrote a post about the symbolism of clutter in various places in the home. Here’s another great article by Stephanie Roberts which expands on my previous post. Addressing clutter will dramatically reduce si chi in your space and increase its overall flow. Here’s Stephanie’s article:
Clutter’s Side Effects: How the State of Your Home Affects Your Life
by Stephanie Roberts
Each area of your home has a symbolic meaning with which you resonate on a subconscious level. Clutter and untidiness within each of these areas causes constriction and inertia in the corresponding aspects of your life.
CLUTTER IN THE KITCHEN
The kitchen has been called the “heart of the home,” and with good reason. Here we are nourished and provided for, even if we are dining on a frozen entrée zapped in the microwave rather than a homemade meal lovingly presented by Mom. An untidy and disorganized kitchen makes it hard to nourish yourself and others, on both physical and metaphysical levels. How you care for your kitchen is a clue about whether you are giving proper attention to your own nourishment and sources of abundance. Cleaning up and de-cluttering your kitchen opens up space for you to receive the support and comfort that you need in life.
LIVING AND DINING ROOM CLUTTER
These are spaces where you mingle with and honor your relationships with family and friends. Here you engage with the world while being at home through watching television, reading the paper, or arguing politics with old friends over dinner. Clutter can turn these social spaces into dens of isolation, especially if the mess is so bad that it has been years since you’ve invited people over. Look around your living and dining rooms to see what they say about your relationship with the rest of the world. Are you hiding your true self from others, burying it in clutter, or putting it on display here?
Hallways are the arteries and highways of your home. Think of clutter in your hallways as a traffic jam that prevents important connections between different areas of your home and your life. Look at your hallways to see how you feel about your life’s path: are they well lit and easily navigable, or do they trip you up? If you feel a disconnect between work and family, self and others, what you need and your obligations, it may be time to give your hallways a good clearing out.
Bathing and anointing the body is a preparatory ritual for many religious rites both ancient and contemporary. On a daily basis we use this space to prepare ourselves to meet the world. Clutter in the bathroom can indicate a devaluation of self-worth, a lack of attention to self that goes beyond the physical. A clean, well-decorated bathroom can become a tranquil sanctuary for rejuvenation and self-care. Scented soaps, attractive accessories, and fragrant candles have a place here. Beautifying your bathroom by eliminating clutter and disorder and transforming it into a place of refuge will bring a sense of the sacred into your morning and evening personal-care rituals.
CLUTTER IN THE BEDROOM
Adults’ bedrooms are for sleeping and intimacy, and they should function as places of renewal for self and relationships. Clutter in the bedroom is enervating without being restful. If you feel “wired and tired,” creating order out of chaos in this most personal space can help you relax and let go of the stress of the day. Then you can get a good night’s sleep or enjoy some special time with your partner.
Closets represent things that are hidden, unknown, or unrecognized. When we fill our closets with clutter, we stifle our ability to be intuitive and insightful. Cluttered closets can indicate problems that you may not be consciously aware of but which impede your progress through life, work, and relationships nonetheless. Keeping the closet door closed is not an effective solution.
ATTIC AND BASEMENT CLUTTER
A cluttered attic creates a feeling of being under pressure. It’s hard to feel optimistic about the future when there’s so much stuff “hanging over your head.” Ancestor issues reside up there, along with all those boxes and chests holding the detritus of generations. And the basement and other below-ground storage areas are considered abodes of the subconscious, so watch your step and get that clutter cleaned up!
CLUTTER IN YOUR GARAGE
Think of your car as a symbol of your mobility, independence, and ability to be self-directed in life. If there’s so much stuff piled up in your garage that you can barely fit the car in there, you may be hampered or overly cautious moving forward in life as well.
Stop thinking of clutter-clearing as a tremendous chore, and start thinking of it as one of the most effective self-improvement tactics available to you. Every magazine and piece of paper you recycle, every book you give to the library, every knick-knack and item of clothing you release to a new owner creates space in your life for new insight, energy, joy, and experiences to come in!
© 2003 Stephanie Roberts
[exerpted from “Clutter-Free Forever!”, Lotus Pond Press, 2003]