8. Get Organized at Home

If you love your things and love to be surrounded by them, the trick to keeping your home stress-free is to have your things well-organized. If everything is kept neat and you know where everything is, then your abundant collections and favorite things can bring you as much joy, comfort, and calm as a de-cluttered, spare space might bring somebody else. Visit a home goods store and purchase some inexpensive organizational tools, such as baskets, bins, and crates, to make your organization efforts run more smoothly.

9. Get a New Look

While change does cause stress, sometimes a lack of change is the bigger culprit. If you’ve lived in the same home or apartment for years and haven’t redecorated in all that time, chances are you’re pretty fed up with the way things look. In fact, your furnishings, linens, and artwork might even be out of date or old looking.

Rejuvenate your perspective by refreshing a room or a few rooms. If there’s old wallpaper from a previous tenant on the walls, take it down and replace it with a coat of a vibrant paint color. Get some new linens to match. Consider purchasing a new rug or lamp to add more character to the room. And don’t worry; you don’t have to break the bank here. There are tons of TV shows and books available nowadays that teach you how to do really impressive home decorating without going broke.

10. Stress-Free Feng Shui

The ancient Chinese art of placement, called feng shui, has become a popular and important trend in decorating in the West. Feng shui masters are widely available for hire by those decorating a home or office, or designing and building a home or office building. Feng shui classes are hot, and it’s easy to find books on how to decorate or redesign your home using feng shui techniques.

Feng shui is a highly complex system that uses Chinese astrology, mathematical calculations, and Chinese philosophy. There are several different schools of feng shui that advocate different methods. But like many things that come from the East to the West, feng shui has begun to transform for use by Westerners. The methods are simpler and more intuitive.

11. Think of the Environment as a Metaphor

The basic premise of feng shui, particularly Westernized feng shui: environment as metaphor. People who practice intuitive feng shui decorate according to what “feels right,” what arrangements, items, configurations, and colors make the energy feel good and flowing in a room. If you’ve ever arranged your furniture a certain way or placed an item somewhere and thought, “Oh yes, that’s just right!”, then you understand at least a little about intuitive feng shui.

12. Consider the Bagua

Many feng shui experts use the bagua, an eight-sided shape that you imagine overlying your house. The corners are filled in to make a square. In the bagua, each of the eight sides represents a different area of life, such as money, relationships, creativity, health, and family. Whatever part of the home is in this area represents that part of your life.

But working with the bagua is just one way to apply feng shui to your home. Besides the colors, shapes, and elements associated with the different sides of the bagua, feng shui also uses light, movement (wind chimes, mobiles), water, plants, crystals, and symbolic representations of positive things to activate and enhance different areas of the home.

13. Follow Some Feng Shui Tips

The tips that follow are general feng shui tips designed to enhance the positive energy and decrease the negative energy in any household. Just remember, feng shui is most effective when used intuitively; try any of these suggestions that appeal to you or feel “right,” but don’t worry about following those that seem difficult, uninteresting, or even silly.

• Keep your cupboards and refrigerator well-stocked with fresh, healthy food, which represents abundance.

• To increase energy for prosperity, keep your stove immaculately clean.

• If your bathroom is in your prosperity corner—the corner to your upper left as you enter the room—your wealth could be getting symbolically flushed down the toilet. Keep the toilet lid down, keep the bathroom door shut, and hang a mirror on the outside of the bathroom door.

• Make sure you can’t see yourself in a mirror when you are lying or sitting up in bed. If you can, cover that mirror at night. Seeing your shadowy image in the dark can be frightening.

• If you have a television in your bedroom, cover it at night. The energy it emits can negatively affect many areas of your life, including your health.

• Healthy living things add positive energy to any environment: A well-kept fish tank or turtle, dogs, cats, birds, and healthy plants all improve your home’s feng shui.

• Sharp objects send off “poison arrows” or negative energy that can have a detrimental effect.

14. Make It Your Own

The most important way to use feng shui in a stress-free manner is to have fun with it. Because feng shui works so well when used intuitively, if things feel right and good to you in your home, don’t worry if they don’t match one particular book’s advice. Because the actual, original version of feng shui is so complex, you have to take any contemporary all-or-nothing feng shui prescriptions with a grain of salt. Any easy-to-understand feng shui text is by necessity simplified and could easily be, in your particular case, inaccurate or misconstrued. In other words, use advice from feng shui sources if you find it enjoyable and it results in a living environment that pleases you.

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