I know next to nothing about Feng Shui, but enough visitors have commented that my home's cluttered entranceway has "bad Feng Shui" that I've looked into what that might mean.
I didn’t think pushing past piles of shoes and boots, baskets of partner-less mittens, kids’ backpacks and ukulele cases was a good way to enter or exit my home, but I hadn't realized it could be restricting the flow of opportunities and obstructing my progress in the world, as one author put it.
Now I'm wondering if there might be a Feng Shui of ratty clothes too.
I've decluttered my closet a few times since starting Shopping for Happiness — a combination of needing space for new clothes and trying the KonMari method – and there have been some unexpected consequences of getting rid of the most worn-out items.
In the past, when I wore layers, any invisible layers were almost certain to be, well, ratty. On a cold day, I'd have a paint-stained long-sleeved shirt from 2002 underneath my nice sweater. Tank tops or camisoles? One million years old, stretched out and unsightly.
It’s not that I didn’t own anything nicer, even before I started spending more money on clothes (though I certainly have more options now). It was more a case of the scarcity mentality I've touched on before — like, don’t use your good things, lest you use them all up.
Right now, though, I’m sitting at my computer in a big warm sweater, with a soft long-sleeved shirt underneath that I’ve had for a few years, but used to only wear on its own or under a blazer, when it could be seen. It feels great!
This is one of those unconscious upgrades — many of which have nothing to do with money — that I’ve been making since I started my spending project. (A few others I’ve noticed: I leave the dishes for later if I’d rather be relaxing; I go for walks; I’ve put a game on my phone so I can have little moments of fun/Neko Atsume zen throughout the day.)
I didn't suddenly decide to wear nicer tanks and tees but after I threw out my really decrepit layering pieces, I started reaching for better ones because they were all I had left. Now I don’t think twice before tossing out socks with holes in them or leggings with ripped waistbands. Recently, when a shopkeeper handed me a simple, soft tank top to try on with a blazer, I ended up buying it (see it in my latest gallery of purchases). It’s the first time I can remember that I’ve paid “good money” for something that wasn’t meant to take a starring role in an outfit.
This change feels great in every way - which is to say, my clothes look better and feel more comfortable, and psychologically I feel better too. Seriously, what message was I sending by wearing damaged clothes next to my skin while presenting a more polished outer layer to the world? It seems so obvious now: Hey, I may look good/prosperous/self-respecting on the outside, but it’s a facade; the real me is pretty scuzzy.
It's different now, though; these days the real me is feeling more deserving and comfortable and confident – all the way through.
And, when I did Google "Feng Shui" and “ratty clothes," I saw — big surprise — that experts recommend eliminating anything damaged, soiled or worn-out from your wardrobe. Even a missing button can possibly throw you off course, attracting poverty or bad luck , while nicely maintained clothes will set the stage for better energy flow and all the happiness and good fortune that follows.
It’s working for me. Now I guess it’s time to go all KonMari on those piles of shoes by my front door...