What Is Feng Shui? A Beginner's Guide to Creating Peace in Your Home

By Angela Tague in Healthy Feeling

If you've got minimizing and decluttering on the mind, you're not alone. The hubby and I are knee-deep in donations for the local animal rescue and resale store as we rearrange many of the spaces in our home. Our goal is to simplify our space and make it more relaxing.

After all, clutter can make you feel more anxious and overwhelmed, according to Psychology Today. Clutter creates extra stimuli for our senses to process and draws our attention away from more important things (like family and self-care), making it more difficult to relax mentally—and sometimes physically.

I've absorbed Marie Kondo's tidying tips, revamped my closet organization a few times, and sent more than a few boxes of items that no longer spark joy in my life off to my favorite secondhand stores run by charities. The hubby has scrubbed floors and washed curtains. Now, I'm focusing on the energy in our home. You know when you walk into a room and feel cozy and welcomed? That's my goal. Your home can be a haven of joy, peace, and comfort, too.

bring light into your home

What Is Feng Shui, Actually?

Feng shui is an ancient Chinese discipline that was originally used to determine safe, flourishing places to build a home, settle with farm animals, and grow crops, according to the Feng Shui Society (FSS). The phrase "feng shui" literally translates to "wind-water," as these environmental elements were considered deeply important when making settlement decisions.

The concept of feng shui has carried over into modern day and now can be used to describe spaces that nurture our well-being. Every place you go—work, stores, friends' homes—has a different feel. How we perceive a home space varies based on six elements, according to the FSS:

  • Natural light
  • Views
  • Colors
  • Plants
  • Materials
  • Images

How we respond to these elements affects our mood, thoughts, and even our energy levels. When you walk into a tidy living room with sunshine flowing in through a window and your favorite family photos displayed on the walls, you smile and feel content. That's feng shui. You've maintained and set up your personal space to elicit a positive, harmonious feeling.

Think of feng shui as the step after you've implemented an organizational or decluttering system that works for you. Once an area is physically clean, you can focus on integrating elements that enhance the space to give it the characteristics you desire, leaving you feeling empowered and in control.

enjoy natural window light

How Can I Use Feng Shui in My Home?

Implementing feng shui concepts is simple and intuitive. The principles work for homes of any size or style, from apartments and condos to larger houses. The main takeaway here is to do what makes sense for your family and home to create abundant, organic happiness and relaxation. Sounds amazing, right?

Let's take a closer look at the six elements previously mentioned and how you can work with them to enhance your home.

  • Natural light: Give your windows, doors, and skylights some TLC. Maybe they need to be washed or you need new window treatments to help let the light flow into your home. Can you part your curtains more often to bathe your sitting areas in sunlight? Do you have a window seat that could be used more often?
  • Views: Are you unintentionally obstructing scenic views out your windows? Whether you have a city skyline, a backyard full of grass, or a flower pot on a patio to admire, be sure you can see beyond your walls. This might mean rearranging chairs and tables to allow for natural outdoor views or intentionally spending more time outside on the deck or front step. Make the most of the scenery you have available to you!
  • Colors: Bright, bold hues naturally perk us up. Softer, soothing colors help us wind down. Think about the colors you have scattered about your home. Do they elicit the feelings you want for each space? Maybe you can update your bedding to encourage a restful night's sleep. Or, add vibrant pillows to the living room to liven it up. When we freshened our guest bedroom, we painted it chocolate brown, a cozy, serene color.
  • Plants: Bringing elements of the outdoors inside can boost moods. Try placing tiny pots of herbs on a kitchen windowsill or a small bowl of easily maintained succulents on a desk. I've recently relocated a low-maintenance philodendron plant to my yoga space and love the earthy vibrancy it's creating. If you don't have a green thumb, visit your local garden center and ask for recommendations for easy-to-grow houseplants that don't require much attention.
  • Materials: Certain textures beneath our feet and on our skin can instantly help us feel more relaxed. A thick, furry rug in the bathroom warms tired toes. A cool tile floor in the kitchen helps wake us up. I love having a plush blanket within arm's reach in the living room. It invites me to get even cozier on the couch when watching a movie, helping me release tension in my muscles and more fully embrace downtime.
  • Images: What we hang on our walls matters. A soft, serene landscape painting is calming and perfect for a dining room or bedroom. Displaying snapshots of your pets or family gatherings in public living spaces sparks memories of happy times. Try rotating your framed photos a few times each year or hanging your child's artwork and see if you notice more random moments of happiness in those areas of the home.

display images that bring you joy

Look around. Often, all it takes is a few small adjustments to create a sense of peace. What are you doing to bring more organization and calm vibes into your home? Tag @toms_of_maine on Instagram to show us your serene spaces!

Image Source: Angela Tague

The views and opinions expressed in any guest post featured on our site are those of the guest author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of Tom's of Maine.

Why It's Good

Making small changes around your home that ease stress and anxiety is easier than it seems. The art of feng shui can be tackled one room at a time, bringing a sense of peace to a space. Add a plant. Frame some photos. Open a window. All these little efforts really do add up over time. Then, take note: Do you feel more relaxed? Are you smiling more? Savor the moments of mindfulness and content that you've created!