Chinese compass

Is your house a little out of whack but you’re not sure exactly why? Your space might need some help from the ancient Chinese art of feng shui.

“The bottom line is, feng shui is the oldest system of environmental psychology in the world,” said Cathleen McCandless, a feng shui consultant and author of the bestselling book “Feng Shui That Makes Sense.”

With just a little bit of effort and some tried-and-true feng shui principles, you can add harmony to your home. Here are nine feng shui tips.

1. Fix Up the Front.
“Your spirits should rise when you walk up to your front door,” McCandless said.

But you might get a sinking feeling instead if you see weeds, junk on the front porch or a broken door. So, before you do anything else, fix any front-of-the-house maintenance issues and add some pleasing touches, like fresh paint or flowers, McCandless said.

“The front of your home should feel organized, welcoming and beautiful,” she said.

Dana Claudat

Don’t organize just to organize, feng shui consultant Dana Claudat says.

2. Edit Your Possessions.
“Clutter is anything you don’t want, need or use that you’re holding onto just in case,” McCandless said.

For example, maybe your rake broke and you bought a new one but kept the old one sitting in your shed. “That’s clutter,” she said.

Clear out cluttered areas—a messy bookcase can make the whole room feel disorganized—and get rid of objects that you dislike or that make you feel bad, she said. “You should only live with what you love,” McCandless said.

3. Inject Energy Into Lackluster Areas.
Is there an area in your home that feels stuck or stagnant, that you always avoid? If so, look for ways to turn it into a functional space you love, said Dana Claudat, an art historian and feng shui consultant who writes about feng shui.

“Think about ways to make it brighter or more engaging,” she said.

Possible solutions: declutter, repair anything that’s broken, add some “fire colors”—red, orange or pink—or add more light by opening curtains or plugging in a lamp.

house plants

Plants can energize your home, feng shui consultant Laurie Bornstein says.

4. Add Plants to Your Place.
“Plants are an awesome thing—they bring in live, vibrant energy,” said Laurie Bornstein, a feng shui expert and blogger.

Also, scientific studies show that adding 15 to 18 plants to an average-size home can renew all the indoor air in 24 hours, she said. She recommends peace lilies, pothos, snake plants, Boston ferns and spider plants because they’re readily available, easy to care for and are good air cleaners. “All five are great choices,” she said.

5. Use Restful Colors in Your Bedroom.
Color can help make your bedroom a soothing space, Bornstein said. For best results, use soft, warm colors—think shades of beige, soft green or warm blue.

“Stay away from cool colors or extremely dark or vibrant colors,” she said. “Vibrant colors bring energy up and dark colors can pull energy too far down.”

6. Revamp Cherished Items.
It’s common to hang onto worn or damaged items that carry sentimental value, Claudat said.

“Repurpose, renovate or refinish things that are old or in disrepair that you can’t get rid of,” she said.

old couch

Can’t part with your old sofa? Reupholster it. 

For example, maybe you have an old, comfortable, stained couch you adore because you bought it for your first apartment. Get it reupholstered, she advised.

“It might seems like it makes more sense to go buy a new couch, but that might not really be the better idea,” she said. “There’s a lot to be said for holding onto memories.”

7. Refresh Your Space.
Use basic, non-toxic cleaning products such as vinegar, water and baking soda to freshen your space, Bornstein suggested. Mix in some essential oils—lemon, orange, peppermint and lavender—for a pleasant scent and a mood lifter. Also, open your windows and curtains for a few hours a day. “Let nature and light in,” she said.

8. Organize By How You Live.
Don’t organize just to organize, Claudat said.

“Everyone thinks organizing means putting things in little drawers with labels on the little drawers and adding more drawers and cabinets so you can file every little thing,” she said.

Instead, look at how you live: If you’re an avid home cook, organizing might mean having your knives and your salt and pepper out so you can reach them quickly. “Organize so you create a flow that works for you,” she said.

9. Consider Getting Help.
If you want expert help with feng shui, you should consider hiring a pro, but it’s not always necessary, Bornstein said.

“These solutions don’t have to be complicated—in many cases, they’re things you can do yourself,” she said.

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Allie Johnson