Small living spaces can easily feel cramped, making the rules of feng shui—the ancient Chinese system of architecture and interior design that harmonize a space with the spiritual forces that inhabit it—even more important for a balanced and peaceful home.
Belhaven resident and feng shui expert Laurel Isbister shared a few tips on how to make your small spaces feel more like home.
• Get rid of clutter. The first step to balanced living is to get rid of the things you don't use. "If you don't do that first, none of the other stuff works well. It's like trying to tone your biceps if you are really overweight," Isbister says.
• Everything has a place. Isbister uses the acronym SPACE, which stands for Sort Purge Assign Containerize Equalize. First, sort out what you don't want to keep. Then put like items together. For example, keep all your books in same area. Make sure you get into the habit of going back once a week and putting all your belongings in their place. "Clutter in your mind is like clutter in your life," she says.
• Create storage space. Get creative with the space you have. Use space under your bed for storage or use existing shelves for maximum storage.
• Arrange your furniture. Isbister says that your main piece of furniture, like a desk or a couch, should be located so that you have a view of all entrances when you are seated. When you can see everything that is coming your way, you have more security and harmony.
• Safety proof your space. Sharp corners or fire hazards can add up and put more chaos in your life.
• Assess Your Elements. In feng shui, wood, fire, earth, metal and water are the basic building blocks of life. Your health and happiness correlates with how these elements are used in your living space. Assess one room in your house, and look for colors and materials that correlate to those elements. The wood element, for example, fosters creativity and growth, and is found in items such as wood furniture, blue and green tones, and plants.
• Make your bedroom your sanctuary. Your bedroom should be a place to retreat and recharge your batteries. Observe the viewpoint from your bed and make sure you have a serene and peaceful view instead of a messy closet or a distracting painting.
For more feng shui tips, visit http://westernschooloffengshui.com.