My friend Domino just wrote me “I just spent the last three hours in my backyard pruning, weeding and watering plants. I’ve been told that, according to feng shui, my deck area is the love and relationship area of my home. I noticed there was a lot of growth there but it was all just whatever popped up. Some plants were weeds, some were shrubs that no doubt were seeded by birds and squirrels, but none by me. I saw the correlation between my love life and the deck area. So I weeded out everything I didn’t plant or want. I hoping this symbolism will spill over into my life and “weed” out all the what-evers and leave room for what I really want.” I thought that was a brilliant correlation on her part.
For me, my relationship area is located in the room that serves as my laundry room and pantry, next to the refrigerator. I only need to do laundry every couple of weeks, so it’s mostly storage going on. The irony of that is not lost on me. I do have an image of Radha and Krshna hanging on that wall, my symbol for ideal relationship. Yeah, no pressure there, right?
In fact, I just went in there to take a photo to show you how organized the area is, and was surprised that when I really gave it my attention, I noticed all the dust, the clutter and disarray. Ugh. How did I not notice that before? I made a note to organize that area then came back in here to finish this. But now that I’d noticed it, all I could think about was that clutter.
I went out to the garage and brought in several large boxes. The first step for me in organizing an area is to completely clear everything out of it. It doesn’t work for me to just move one section at a time – I need a fresh eye on a fresh, clean space.
Into the biggest box I began putting my stacks of folded paper bags, lots of them, lots more than I remembered. I stopped using paper bags a couple of years ago to stop being wasteful, but apparently I’ve collected quite a few again. My lesson there? I have a bunch of paper bags I can begin using. What else do I have an over-abundance of, yet don’t recognize it? Hmmm.
I took a half dozen cans of sunscreen and insect repellent out to the garage, and took about 24″ of cook books down off the shelf. Rarely used, I’ve always stored them there since it’s so handy to pull a book down, and lay it on top of the washer to read it while I cook. But I only do that every few years, and there’s no need for all the cookbooks to be kept in there. Or really for me to have them at all. That’s a thought.
The first thing I noticed about the books as I was moving them was, they are heavy and they are dusty from lack of use. Some I haven’t opened in 20 years, or ever. Probably not a good thing for an area that feng shui says is my relationship area: a feeling of heavy stagnation, not so good. Ok, I get it.
I also noticed unfolded dish towels on top of the dryer, an empty box of kitchen bags and a teddy bear a friend had given me, that had gone thru the wash 2 months ago. Hmmm, and I was sure I had no clutter in that room. I clearly hadn’t given it enough attention. Clearly. I surprised myself.
As I face the washer and dryer, the storage shelves are above me and the pantry is right behind me. I turn around and the pantry is organized, neat and clean. Cans and jars are stored facing front, in categories. Some bins of miscellaneous cleaning supplies on the floor I see, and an old pasta maker I haven’t used for 20+ years. My camping coffeepot is down there, hmmm ok, I get it, I get it.
So it looks like today I’ll do some cleaning and organizing in my pantry and laundry room. Especially since it’s my relationship area! Like Domino says, I’ll weed out everything I didn’t put in there on purpose, knowing the symbolism will spill over into my life and weed out all the what-evers and leave room for what I really want.
Now I just need to decide what, if anything, I really want.