I am not an expert in Feng Shui, in fact I know very little about it, but I do know that setting your home is often a reflection of who you are and what is going on in your life. Often I see clients who complain about the clutter in their homes as an obstacle or excuse for getting healthy. Clutter on the dining room table prevents eating at the table and promotes mindless eating.  Clutter in the cabinets and the refrigerator may leave little space for healthier snacks and foods.  Likewise, clutter in the living room or bedroom may discourage open communication needed for a healthy relationship.  Basically, clutter reflects and may even create more clutter in your life – emotionally, mentally, and physically.  On the flip side, excessive neatness often reflects the need for perfection, and this need for perfection may also be seen in your eating or health habits. For example, you may be the type of person who strives for perfection and control in every aspect of your life, including food. Food is then no longer fuel for you body, but something you can manipulate.

Your home should be a place where you can relax and feel happy.  With the holidays upon us, it is the perfect time to start organizing and sorting through your things.  As you swap your home furnishings and decorations for the holiday décor, evaluate your home elements and ask yourself if you like it, need it, want it.  If not, put it in a box marked “give away” or “garage sale.”  Recently, my husband and I decided that our living room needed a makeover. It just wasn’t the warm, comfortable space we wanted.  Because neither of us have much of a knack for design, we enlisted the help of an interior designer to help us choose the things we didn’t need, as well as replace our furniture with pieces that warmed the room and invited a cozy atmosphere.  (You can see our before and after photos at Fine Green Design http://finegreendesign.com/blog/2009/11/from-before-to-after/)

Too many things, wrong colors, or a crowded space can create unwanted tension in the home.  If you come home after a hard day’s work to clutter and mess, you will likely feel more stressed. If you constantly stare at that couch day after day, wishing you had something different, well, that may provoke negativity.  On the other hand, setting your home space as a comfortable and relaxing environment can change your mood at the end or beginning of each day.  A positive mood will encourage a healthier lifestyle all around.

What does your home say about you? Are you happy with the way it looks? Does something need to be changed? Is there anything you can get rid of that is preventing you from being healthy? 

Here are some tips to declutter:

1.  In the kitchen: Get rid of any unhealthy or tempting foods and replace them with healthier alternatives and fresh produce.  Put fruit out on the counter instead of cookies.  Look through your fridge and pantry and toss anything expired.

2.  In the living room: Choose furnishings and decorations that evoke a happy and peaceful feeling, and promote conversation.

3.  In the bedroom or loft: Create an atmosphere that promotes relaxation and comfort to help you wind down from a busy day. Remove any objects that create stress or a restless mind. Buy lavender scented candles or room mist to help calm your senses.