Happy Lunar New Year! As we welcome the Year of the Sheep (also known as the Year of the Ram or Goat), it’s a good time to clear out, renew and spruce up your home.
That’s because the sheep is very feminine, or yin, and corresponds with the Western zodiac sign of Cancer, according to astrology and feng shui expert Susan Levitt. So, the sheep is the sign of home, family and roots, Levitt said.
“It’s a good year to tend to your home,” she said.
In that spirit, here are seven feng shui tips to help you prepare your home for the new year.
Clear out objects that don’t support you and your goals, feng shui expert Ken Lauher recommends. For example, many people receive gifts they display only out of obligation, Lauher said. Other items to consider getting rid of include:
- Art you don’t like.
- Extra pieces of furniture.
- Unused exercise equipment.
“If an object doesn’t serve who you are today, consider donating it, storing it or giving it away to someone who can use it,” Lauher said.
2. Clean Your Space.
Once you’ve decluttered, then clean your home, recommends feng shui expert Tisha Morris, author of “Mind Body Home: Transform Your Life One Room at a Time.” Consider using eco-friendly cleaning products so you don’t introduce toxins into your home, she said.
3. Oust the Old.
Space clearing—getting rid of old energy to make room for new opportunities—is an important Chinese New Year tradition, Morris said. You can start by opening windows to air out your house, then light a sage bundle and waft it around each room, she said.
Feng shui expert Suzee Miller also recommends putting a bowl of citrus fruit on your kitchen island and a bouquet of fresh flowers on your dining room table. “Not only do they add beauty to the environment, but they also act as fragrant space cleaners,” Miller said.
4. Go Green.
Each Chinese New Year also corresponds with one of the five elements—wood, fire, metal, water and earth. 2015 is a wood year.
Plants and wood are considered the same thing, so add plants to your space, Levitt said. However, make sure you have a green thumb and will care for the greenery, she said.
If you have empty spaces in your home after decluttering, fill them with plants rather than inanimate objects, Lauher recommends. “Adding plants helps you reconnect with nature, allows you to be more calm and have peace of mind,” he said.
5. Roll Out the Welcome Mat.
This past year, the Year of the Horse, was all about going out and pursuing what you want, feng shui consultant Dana Claudat said. But the Year of the Sheep is the time to stay home, sit back and welcome good things into your life, she said.
Therefore, you should make your front entryway inviting, she said. One simple way to do that: Put out a nice welcome mat.
You also can manicure your hedges, clean off your front steps and clear clutter—from stacks of bills to coats and bags—out of your entryway. “It should be as open as possible to allow chi, or energy, to circulate freely throughout the space,” Lauher said.
The sheep has an affinity for art and beauty, Levitt said. And because this is a wood year, creativity should be flowing, Claudat said.
Claudat recommends rolling up your sleeves and using your own inventiveness to create a lovely space. “Make your own art,” Claudat said. “Really take charge of your own style.”
7. Paint One Room.
If all of your walls are white or off-white, paint at least one room a color, Levitt recommends. Paint colors correspond with the five elements, and white is a “metal” color. “Metal chops wood, which is not what you want,” Levitt said.
By painting even one small room, you can add balance to your space. Start with the room that needs the most refreshing, Levitt recommends.
Finally, you can say a home blessing, Morris said.
“It could be a prayer, a mantra, lighting a candle, burning incense, setting an intention for your house and your life, or thanking your house for supporting you,” she said.
Photos courtesy of Flickr/Michael Q. Todd