“Tidy room, tidy mind” is how the saying goes. The ancient Chinese practice of feng shui can be complex and many experts are employed for the very purpose of orientating one’s interior to maximise the flow of chi in an environment that you spend a lot of time in. However there are some small, simple feng shui tips that everyone can implement at home and even at your work desk to ring in the New Year in the most auspicious way possible. Try these today:

Image: Corbis

#1 Declutter

We are all aware of how one’s environment can affect or reflect one’s state of mind. My bedroom usually reflects the state of other affairs and the relative organisation or stress level of my current circumstances, so decluttering is essential to promote harmonisation in one’s home. Purge your personal spaces including your office desk, bedroom and living room of anything you no longer need. Clutter disrupts the flow of energy in your space to foster negative energy and impact on your wellbeing. Taking small steps or spending an entire afternoon will all help to clear your space of clutter, even if you do it each day at work for 10 minutes. If you can recycle or give valuable things away to loved ones or those in need in the process, even better! See here for organisations to donate to, and make use of your recycling bins! 

#2 Bring the outside in 

Plants absorb toxins and pollutants in the air and from chemicals released from carpets and other household items, so are great for promoting an ambient environment. Bigger plants possess more power to do so and can add colour to the room. A key tip is to keep your plants healthy and remove dying leaves as soon as possible to maintain positive energy. The following plants are great air purifiers and hold other specific properties: Peace lily (produces pretty flowers), ficus (can symbolically lift a low ceiling), areca palm (pet-friendly and easy to maintain), spider plants (great for air filtering in the kitchen) and the African violet (the rounded leaves resemble coins to promote wealth). 

#3 Take note of entranceways

Areas where one enters and exits such as doorways and stairwells are important in the metaphysical art of feng shui. The front door is a place where you welcome guests into your home or office, so it should be clear of obstacles such as shoes or coat stands. Your door should open onto something pleasant to the eye, whether that be a painting by a loved one, a beloved piece of furniture or your favourite coloured carpeting, this will set the mood of your home for all. 

Image: Corbis

#4 Make your bed and lie in it

The concept of the ‘command position’ in feng shui means that where your bed is placed is key for your inner energy and peace of mind. Ideally your headboard or where you lay your head should not be by the doorway. If you think about it logically, when you face the doorway you can see everyone who enters and exits, and therefore will feel more secure and in charge. The best spot is diagonally across from the doorway, but not underneath a window. If it’s difficult to find an ideal position for your bed, at the very least invest in a good headboard and thick curtains so you feel as if you have a strong support and are not letting good energy flow out from your bedroom. 

#5 DIY your home and wardrobe

Do you have clothes that need stitching up, shoes that need to be re-soled or clogged pipes in your household? These broken pieces are elements that need to be restored and fixed. Obviously this make take a while, so make a list of all the parts that need to be taken care of and as you cross them off, feel more positive energy gained. 

#6 Go soft

You might not want to follow this advice in other areas of your life, but going soft in your home is a must to follow the art of feng shui. For example, try and opt for rounded bedside tables rather than ones with four corners that angle towards your bed. Sharp lines and jagged edges are daggers for your chi and should be remedied to ensure a positive energy flow. 

#7 Let if flow

Miniature indoor fountains are a wonderful way of promoting great energy and boosting a calming home and office environment. Flowing water is associated with cash flow and helps to ionise the air. Avoid placing one in the bedroom as it can represent weeping and worry in an intimate environment, by the front door or a common space is most appropriate. 

#8 Look out, reflections are about!

Mirrors hold huge importance in the practice of feng shui, and can reflect and magnify good energy for financial and personal prosperity. Make sure to have a prominent mirror in your dining room and lounge area so that when you have family gatherings the good energy will be amplified and the room more festive! For small rooms and long corridors, place a mirror against the wall to make them larger and open up the space. Never place mirrors opposite your front door in your office or at home and also opposite your bed. The front door symbolises good chi flowing away from your environment and a mirror opposite the bed can be overstimulating. The same applies for toilets and fireplaces as the flushed water and raging fire elements can harness excessive, uncontrollable energy. 

For the most flattering red lipsticks to wear this Chinese New Year suited for Asian skin tones, see here.