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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

New Project: Decluttering

My husband and I have lived in our apartment for nearly six years, I have never been happy with the amount of stuff we have in it.  We now have a baby who needs her own room - here is what her room looks like at present:

I once read that the best advertising works by making you envy your amazing future self which possesses the item being advertised (Ways of Seeing by John Berger).  This is what makes decluttering difficult - you pick up something you haven't used for years and you imaging yourself using it so you want to keep it.  Decluttering means you have to admit that you are old and boring and never do the fun stuff you used to do.  It means facing up to the fact that you have wasted thousands of dollars on things you have only used a couple of times. It means accepting that the "future" you with the advertised item is no more amazing than the past you without it.

Being me, I, of course, own a book on decluttering called Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui by Karen Kingston.  It claims that clutter clearing "is one of the most powerful, transformative aspects of Feng Shui" and mentions that decluttering gives you energy.  I have found this to be true.  In the few days before I started decluttering I was getting out of bed at 11am and spent a lot of time on the couch.  Yesterday, the day after I started decluttering, I was up at 8am and spent the whole day being active.  Today, I was up at 8:30am.

Clear Your Clutter also explains how the bagua relates to your home.  The bagua is a 3x3 grid which links different areas of your home with different aspects of your life.  The room above affects two areas:
  • Career / Life Path / Journey - which is definitely the area in which I feel my life is most blocked at the moment; and
  • Helpful friends / Compassion / Travel
 The website Feng Shui Palace explains this second area in more detail.  Amongst other things, it says:
"This part of the home (the front right gua) is associated with getting you into the synchronicity of life. When you are in-sync, you don't have to expend any energy getting help with anything. It is also usually easier to make money when you are in-sync with life."

I find this interesting, not just because it mentions money, but because I have been trying for months to get my application for the $5000 baby bonus sorted out and each time its a case of one step forward, ten steps back.  The problem is that I need to send in pay slips to prove I don't have an income while on maternity leave.  To get the payslips I need to log onto the HR system at work.  I was going to do this from home, but I couldn't find my token, so I went into work one evening, but I had been locked out of the HR system because I had not logged into it for over one month.  I called the IT Help Desk, they said because it was after business hours all they could do was arrange to email me a new password the next day.  I couldn't make it back the next day, so I left it.  About two months later I found my token, so I thought "great, I can get IT to send me a new password, log in and get my pay slips".  But when I tried to log into work from home I was locked out completely from the whole system.  I called IT, they said that because it had been too long since I last logged in my access had been cancelled. Yesterday, I thought I would just telephone HR and ask them to post me my payslips but I couldn't find the telephone number even though I was certain I have placed it in a particular draw.

Feng Shui Palace suggests getting a silver box, placing a written prayer of thanks for what you want in the box and putting it in the Helpful Friends etc area of your house.  I went into the room to see if I could find something appropriate to use for the box, thinking I didn't have anything.  First I saw my husband's glasses case, which is silver, so I was going to use that.  Then I saw the rewards pack that Ford gave us when we bought a car from there a couple of years ago.  It comes in a silver box (and is more clutter I intended to get rid of).  I took out the rewards paraphernalia, which is now out of date, and put in a green (the colour for money in Feng Shui) card saying "Thank you for sending me the baby bonus."  Clear Your Clutter says that these "cures" don't work as well when a room is cluttered, but we will see what happens.


  1. Hi Isabella!

    Thanks for starting a new blog.. or is that applying Feng Shui to the old blog?

    Really enjoyed your 40 day program and so looking forward to hearing how this project goes.

    Hope all is well with you, Mike and Amelia.

    Good luck with the Baby Bonus!



  2. Honey
    go in to work. they can sort it out on the spot. (and everyone gets to see the baby) I feel my need for a shed coming on strong. Looking forward to the new read.

  3. I'm not sure going in to work will help as our HR is in India.

  4. I haven't been around for a while but every time I come here I just love you more. I think we are so alike ... deep thinking and relentlessly self-improving.

  5. Thanks Nona. You always make me feel good.