Lately, I’ve been putting a lot of thought into how people are affected by their home environments. The concept of simple living addresses the amount of stuff we have but doesn’t really offer guidance on how to best arrange our things. KonMari taught us how to arrange our wardrobes and knick knacks but pretty much ends there. Feng Shui offers guidance but so much of it is based on superstition and quackish ideas about good fortune. So I was so happy to find a book about Feng Shui by Cathleen McCandless that actually made sense, and quickly read through it yesterday afternoon. There’s a particular school called ‘form’ Feng Shui that offers practical advice on how to reduce semi-conscious anxiety and stress in ourselves by arranging furniture in ways that maximize a sense of security. Much of the advice is a common sense approach to home safety, that when implemented has a noticeable calming psychological effect. Here are some tips that I thought were most notable from the book and particularly useful for urban apartment dwellers. This list takes you from the outside to the inside of your home.
1. Make sure your apartment # is clearly visible from the outside (should you ever need to call for help, you’ll be easier to find this way).
2. The entryway should be a well defined area with partial separation from the living space (to psychologically transition you from an alert-outside state to an inside-resting state).
3. The living room seating should be mostly facing the front door (people feel more at ease when they have a clear view of the entrance; think of where you sit when you’re the first to arrive at your table in a restaurant).
4. Kitchen knives should be in drawers out of sight (you wouldn’t want an intruder to have easy access to weapons).
5. The bedroom should be free of stimulating artwork or photos of family and friends (there are subliminal messages in personally significant images that may interfere with a restful sleep).
6. The foot of the bed should be mostly facing the door (again, people feel more at ease when they have a clear view of the entrance).
7. A hefty headboard should be attached to the frame of the bed (animals instinctively feel more safe while sleeping with their backs against a secure wall; think about where your cat and dog likes to sleep).
Makes intuitive sense right? My apartment is surely breaking a lot of these rules. I can’t wait to get back to my NYC apartment and do some re-arranging to bring in the New Year.
Happy New Year everyone!
[image credit: minimography]