“What you see on the outside reflects what is on the inside.”
As an environmentally sensitive Feng Shui practitioner who has helped thousands of people with their personal spaces, I have always found this old adage to be unerringly accurate.
If our outer world is truly a reflection of the inner world, as Roy T. Bennett wrote, then all of our surroundings— including our clutter—speak to us.
We don’t have to be masters at Feng Shui to understand this.
One of the things I invite clients to do when they feel stuck or blocked is to look to their environment to understand what might be going on.
When we can’t access what is within—a block or a weak point—looking outward tells us the whole story.
I will be bold here and say that 10 out of 10 times when I am working with a new client who feels stuck; they have decluttering to do.
External clutter equals internal clutter.
Piles and stacks of dishes, clothes, and other things, equal piles, and stacks of (fill in the blank).
While some teachers and gurus will teach that “this” equals “that,” from my perspective, we each need to translate our own messaging for optimal growth.
I also appreciate that it can be helpful to have starting points and nudges, so I want to help where possible.
Here are the top nine clutter pain points I often see, with some starting prompts as to what the clutter may be whispering. (The invitation is always to ask, “What does this mean for me?”)
1. The overpacked desk.
Firstly, it is beneficial and a general Feng Shui recommendation that flat surfaces remain 50 percent clear so that energy can freely move around.
When I see someone with a messy desk, there is usually a conversation around a stuck feeling in business. A desk can represent our careers, future, productivity, responsibility, and service in this world. The message from a messy and cluttered desk may be that we need to get clear on our service, narrow down our message, and focus on plans.
2. The disorganized refrigerator.
The fridge stores nurturing food and is used for preservation. Its message can be nudging us to pay attention to what and how we store food that nurtures us, or maybe a reminder to cool down emotionally. Because the kitchen can represent family and connection, the refrigerator can also symbolize emotions in the family.
3. The chaotic garage.
The garage can be a symbol of safety, security, or stability. It is also where we come and go, therefore symbolizes energy coming and going. A messy garage may represent chaotic feelings, coming to and away from projects quickly, a challenge with fully committing to ideas, or perhaps not feeling fully grounded or safe.
4. The messy closet.
There is a reason some people use the term “coming out of the closet” when speaking of exposed truths. The closet is a symbol of what we may be hiding. It can also represent appearances, comfort, isolation, and who we may become. When there is clutter in the closet, paying attention to what is actually taking up space helps.
5. Clinging to old clothes.
Clothes are a big one I see time and time again that take up space. Clothes can resemble our identity, appearances, expression, and our ability to be seen. I often find that people that hang onto old clothes (that they don’t actually use or enjoy anymore) have an inner uncertainty of being seen, standing in their truth, shedding old identities, and even creativity.
6. The dreaded Tupperware drawer.
This one has always fascinated me. As Tupperware can represent preservation, saving, and hanging on, I often find that people who hang to an abundance of Tupperware make great strides by working on their money mindset. Where Tupperware appears, financial lack may be near.
7. Books that build up.
We all love books, and it is so easy for books to pile up. While books can represent our knowledge, learning, and wisdom to be revealed, bookcases are the organization of that stored knowledge. When books tend to take over, there may be an invitation to structure the knowledge already held and start sharing the learned message with the world.
8. A cluttered wallet.
The wallet can be an out-of-sight, out-of-mind clutter flag. But it’s one that’s really telling. Our wallets are where we store and organize highly valued items. A cluttered wallet may be telling us to check in with our values, revisit what’s important, and look at our beliefs around life and health in general.
9. The unkempt bedroom.
Bedrooms represent intimacy, personal space, rest, and rejuvenation. Master bedrooms also hold the energy of romance and love-making. If there is clutter in the bedroom, there is most likely internal emotional clutter around these topics.
The bottom line is hanging onto things equals hanging onto emotions, beliefs, and stories. While I hope that the above prompts will jumpstart reflection, always remember that we get to decode the messages for ourselves.
Read more from Gina: 8 Ways to Know your Angels are Present.