A friend recently asked me if I had any Feng Shui suggestions on how to set up a positive work/study environment in the home. He wanted to make sure it was conducive to studying, retaining information… and free of negativity.
It’s a great question, and there are honestly so many different techniques you can use, but I thought it best to go really basic first. Here are some of my simple tips for any beginner Feng Shui situation:
- Remove any clutter from the environment. This means anything that doesn’t belong, anything you don’t need, anything that’s broken or never gets used. Things that are prone to accumulating, like papers or laundry, are considered clutter. Organize that stuff, and put it wherever it belongs, or just get rid of it.
- Clean the environment. Like.. REALLY clean it. Mop, vacuum, dust. Clean the windows, the molding even… THE CEILING FANS. The idea is that there should be no dirt anywhere. Make sure it smells clean afterwards using Febreeze, or some scented candles… whatever works best for you.
- If you’re concerned about negative energy in the environment – like if someone used to occupy the room who brought nothing but misery to your life (Hello, old roommates!) – you can do a sea-saltwater cleanse. When I first moved into my home, my father actually explained this process to me. Just get a bucket with some hot water, and dissolve sea salt in it – and yes, it has to be sea salt – and then mop the floors. Do this at least once a year, or more frequently if you wish. This is also great to do if you feel like you’re storing negative energy within you. You can take a sea-salt water bath!
- Make sure you have enough light. If the room doesn’t have a lot of natural light, there are plenty of inexpensive lighting solutions. But light is necessary – Don’t study or work in the dark!
- Assess the area you’ll be occupying and identify where the entrances, windows, walls, sharp corners and the shape of the room. We’ll get into more detail about directions and furniture placement in subsequent blogs, but you want to make sure that if you’re sitting in the room to study or work that your back is always against a stable wall. A window, or the entrance of the room should not be behind you. There’s a lot of symbolism associated with these things and they’re not good for success.
- If you want to decorate the work space with art, maybe consider having the image of a strong and majestic mountain behind you, so as to lend support to you in your education and career. Avoid putting images of water behind you, because symbolically in that position, you might find yourself ‘drowning in work’…
- Only put the things in the work space that you need, or that make it a pleasant or comfortable environment – like a place to sit and read. The idea is that you should want to be in this room. It should feel inviting and not threatening or challenging.
So many times, people associate feelings of dread with their offices, particularly the home office. You can alter how you identify this space. Avoid putting things that you don’t need – or things that will distract you (like unnecessary electronics, televisions, gadgets).
Consider the things that put you at ease – like music, smells, textures. Try to design the space to have that kind of a feel. There are a lot of really great smells that keep you alert – like cinnamon. Lots of research has shown that almonds are really great brain food. Maybe think about keeping an air tight jar of them somewhere in the room to munch on when studying.
Take things like ‘body positioning’ into account. Sitting upright at a desk is great for working on the computer or writing, but sometimes it’s not the most comfortable for reading. Get yourself a really comfortable Chaise lounge chair if you know you’ll enjoy it.
Most important rule – keep it organized! Clutter leads to anxiety. And anxiety is the enemy.
I’ll definitely elaborate in more detail in future blogs, but this should help get you started!