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Feng shui your home for the new year


Can you believe January 1 is this coming Sunday? Most people prep their homes (and lives) to welcome in the new year as a symbolic way to start a new cycle. If you’re like me, time may have slipped away from you, but don’t panic if you’re not ready for 2012. Chinese New Year, which is determined by the lunar calendar, is on January 23, so you still have plenty of time to get things ready.

I asked renowned feng shui expert Alice Inoue to share some tips on how to get my home in shape for the coming year, and she gave me some easy pointers.

Out with the Old


  1. Discard.
    “Put your mind in ‘I’m on a mission mode,’” Inoue says. Grab a trash bag and go from room to room putting everything that you no longer use or need in that bag, and stay no longer than 10 minutes in each area. Get rid of expired food items in the refrigerator and cabinets, old newspapers, junk mail, chipped cups, old cosmetics, burnt down candles, broken items, warped Tupperware and other things that you know it is time to throw away. Be quick and snappy. This is an easy step that takes no thought at all.
  2. Donate.
    Next, in a large plastic bag, put clothes you haven’t worn, CDs, books, figurines and other items with which you no longer resonate. For now, remove the items that will fit into a few bags. Make a list and schedule a day to remove large items from your home. Don’t think too much, just do it. If you have a hard time letting things go, imagine the smile on the face of someone who needs the item more than you do.           
  3. Clear and clean.
    Clutter creates lethargy and overwhelm. To make space to welcome in the opportunities for the New Year, clear off surfaces where things have settled: the kitchen, dining room table and bathroom. Besides the usual clearing and purging of the things around you, clear out outstanding debts that you have been meaning to take care of and clear up misunderstandings between friends and family. If you can help it, don’t bring this energy into the coming year.

In with the New

  1. Stock up on food.
    Food symbolizes abundance and health. Fill your pantry and stock your refrigerator with the type of food that you want to eat in 2012.
  2. Bring in a new plant.
    Plants symbolize growth and represent the life force. Bring in a plant from your garden, or better yet, purchase live plants and place them in your home to represent a new and healthy beginning to the year. A display of beautiful flowers is a positive symbol and represents reaching your highest potential.
  3. Hang up new calendars.
    Calendars should represent the future, so discard all of last year’s calendars so that you greet the New Year by showing you are present and open to the future, not stuck in the past.
  4. Freshen up the energy.
    For just a few minutes, open every door and window to let go of the old year and energy and welcome in the new, with a vision to receive the best that life has to offer.  Let the energy of 2011 move out so that new, inspirational, and fresh opportunities can be welcomed in 2012, then take a deep breath.
  5. Fill your wallet.
    Prior to New Year’s Day, get some cash—lots of small bills are ideal— and fill up your wallet, making it appear stuffed and full, symbolizing abundance and setting the intent for maximum wealth for the coming year.
  6. Buy a new outfit.
    New clothes worn on New Year’s Day symbolize a new reputation and new beginnings. Red is the color of fire and symbolizes passion, joy and happiness, so try to wear something red.
  7. Move 27 things.
    Move 27 things in your home to new spots on New Year’s Day. The purpose is to shake things up and set the intent that any stagnancy you experienced in 2011 will dissipate, bringing new opportunities in 2012.

Take Action for a Great Year
“What you have in your home shows up in the quality of your life. To raise your positive experience of the upcoming year, set a positive intent throughout your home by taking out what you no longer want and bringing in what you do. Now is the perfect time to work on your home so that you can welcome the year of the water dragon with ease!” Inoue says.

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