By Cal Orey
Here I sit in the cabin trying to muster up the drive to get into fall cleaning. It’s time for some feng shui moves. Simply put, feng shui is the ancient Chinese art of placement. Its goal is to bring you contentment.
By putting stuff in the right spots in your home – start in the kitchen where the heart of your home is. It may enhance the flow of positive energy and zap negative vibrations. The end result: good health, happiness, and fortune.
Read on--you, too, can enjoy a well-balanced kitchen that feels good from head to toe like I recall enjoying as a little girl...
1. Use Eco-friendly Vinegar and Essential Oil Cleaners. It's time to clean your kitchen from top to bottom with natural stuff. You'll be doing you, yours, and Mother Nature a favor. Using nontoxic vinegar can help you to: lose the ants; clean stainless steel, get rid of dust, and keep fresh flowers longer. By keeping it green it will provide you with better health and energy.
2. Declutter Your Stuff. Ditto. Getting rid of things you don't use will up your energy. It's true. You feel lighter with less kitchen baggage, starting fresh is rejuvenating. I cleaned out both the fridge and freezer. Add a fresh box of baking soda to soak up odors. Then, I tackled the pantry and tossed out olive oil, pasta, rice, soup, gourmet spices (yep, I sadly discovered they don't last forever) and anything else that expired...What's the saying: Out with the old and in with the new.
3. Clean the Stovetop and Oven. This was a chore but it feels right to have the stovetop shine. (My Stepford Wife colors are starting to show.) The inside of the oven is sparkling, too. If you must use toxic oven cleaner, go over it with the natural stuff. Trust me, this is a feel-good must-do before warming up to those cooler days 'n' nights of unforgettable autumn baking and cooking (breads, muffins, casseroles, etc.).
4. Brighten Up with Lighting. During the colder days without sun you'll want to have sunny-type lighting which can up your energy and mood--linked to good health. Go for full spectrum light bulbs. No fall blues or other pesky problems. Speaking of lightening up...
5. Boost Your Mood with Plants. To help wipe out pollutants in your kitchen, fill your space with hardy, happy plants. Your best bet during the fall: philodendrons which can soak up air pollutants. They do well in the Sierras unlike Boston Ferns (which I love).
6. Bring on the Water. Fish aquariums provide positive energy in the dining room, especially with a gentle filter Ever notice Asian restaurants and the calming ambiance of fish?
7. Fish, Fish, Fish. Today, I read that goldfish can bring you good luck and prosperity. In fact, nine is the lucky number. The colors? Gold and one black one. (Go smaller rather than bigger in size = less cleaning.) My kitchen/dining room/study all are connected. So, the fish aquarium is a pleasant, calming treat for all three rooms. Note to self: Add more fish.
8. Bring Out the Fresh Fruit. I've got several plump healthful seasonal fruits on display and ready to eat, such as pears placed in a stainless-steel colander. A full bowl may lead to a full life. Translation: Display pretty bowls with plenty of pretty fruit. Empty bowls with just a few pieces of not so nice fruit not so good. And oranges? Nine is the lucky number I've read...Put 'em in a wooden bowl and on the kitchen or dining room table. (Note: If they're pricey, purchase oranges or apples in a bag. Save the separate, sweet and juicy ones for eating.)
9. Conceal Knives and Scissors. My father gave me a black and white marble knife block, cutting board, and rolling pin. I love it. But the knives are out of sight. Bad vibes, say feng shui folks.
10. Hang Wind Chimes with Crystals. I brought one of mine in from the deck--and put it above the kitchen windows. The one I chose is of a sun with a face. It makes me smile every time I look at Mr. Sunshine. Feng shui gurus recommend hanging chimes in the doorway to the kitchen or over the stove sings good energy.
A bonus tip: A new calendar. Get one that features inspirational thoughts for 2021--and, of course, the dates of lunar cycles.
-- Cal Orey, M.A. Is an author and journalist. Her books include the Healing Powers Series (Vinegar, Olive Oil, Chocolate, Honey, Coffee, Tea, Superfoods, Essential Oils, Herbs and Spices) published by Kensington. (The collection has been featured by the Good Cook Book Club.) Her website is http://www.calorey.com. BONUS: The Healing Powers of Vinegar ebook is on sale for 1.99