Shape Up Your Garage
It’s often one of the most forgotten areas of any residence, but an organized, decluttered garage can bring greater balance and control to your home life
QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Is the garage considered a part of the home? What importance and impact does the garage have on our lives? Is there a correlation between the state of my garage and the state of my life?
Great questions! Most of us tend to concentrate our energy on fixing up our homes, and think of garages as separate and therefore the place to store everything we don’t have a place for in the home. Unless you think of the garage as part of the house, over time it easily gets neglected and ends up being filled with items that we have forgotten about or things that are broken that we seem to never get around to fixing.
Although the garage is often treated as though it is separate from the family home, in feng shui, the garage is connected and can have a big influence on everything from money and relationships to health and well-being, and can offer both a positive or challenging influence. Even if your garage is detached from the main house, it is still “yours” and has a great effect on your life.
Your garage represents unconscious areas of your life
Feng shui is based on the principle that your home reflects your life. Having a large area (such as a garage) that is a “no-man’s land” — where large quantities of forgotten things reside — reflects a deeper level of unconsciousness within our lives.
This represents a large area where the inhabitants have gone unconscious in their lives — where they are not in touch with the present moment — perhaps they are caught up in the craziness of life and feel lost in all that they have to do, forgetting to smell the roses and blind to the opportunities in the present.
Bring your life back into balance
Organizing and de-cluttering your garage can start to bring your lives back into balance. When we consciously spend time dealing with “unconscious” things, we give ourselves the opportunity to be clear about what we have been doing in our lives and what we want to continue with or stop doing.
Is it time to clean your garage and get conscious about your life?
Your car represents your mobility and your independence. Garages represent the protection of your independence and mobility. Being able to easily drive your car in and out of your garage each day supports your freedom, independence and mobility.
Start by decluttering. Every item you own should have its place and purpose. If it’s not something you need, it represents stuck energy in your life. Get rid of it, sell it or give it away to someone who can use it.
Words of wisdom
It may feel overwhelming when you decide to declutter. My best piece of advice, therefore, is to hire an objective person to lend their energy as well as hold you accountable. Students who want to earn some extra money on weekends are excellent choices. Professional organizers (if you have the budget) are even better.
Avoid decluttering with your partner. Many battles take place during the decluttering process between couples, which can sabotage the original intention. Since our things hold memories that contain an enormous amount of energy, partner decluttering may make it more complicated because of contrasting values. Doing it solo in this case may be better.
Get everyone else’s things out. It’s time to tell your children, grandchildren and friends of your plans — that you are cleaning out the garage and need them to come and get their things and find their own place for them. Chances are they don’t even remember what is there and if they really needed it, they would have it with them. Other peoples’ clutter affects you just as much as your own, so stand firm and give them a deadline (perhaps the day of your garage sale). It’s the only way to move forward. Why should you carry their energetic burdens?
You will feel better
As you start moving through the seemingly insurmountable accumulation, you will start to feel more energy. A new sense of freedom and control will begin to emerge. Since you are making space both physically and energetically for things to happen in your life, you will see amazing synchronicities showing up in your life.
Four additional tips:
1. Have adequate and appropriate storage. Storing boxes and things in the garage is not a problem, but being unable to find what you want easily is trouble. 2. Remember the floor. Sweep out the garage from time-to-time to maintain a positive flow. 3. Inspiration is a plus. Put something inspirational in the garage, especially if it is the first place you enter when you arrive home. It can be an image, a poster, a meaningful memento or anything that will lift your spirits. 4. Fix what’s broken. It’s important to fix light bulbs, squeaky door hinges, broken handles, etc. so that your garage is the best it can be.
Taking care of your garage from a feng shui perspective is a statement about taking care of yourself. You will be surprised what changes come that enhance the quality of your life if you get your garage in good shape.
Alice Inoue is a life guide at Alice Inoue Life Guidance LLC, a company committed to assisting people in living empowered lives. Alice shares her wisdom as a professional speaker and personal consultant, and offers a series of instructional DVDs on feng shui, as well as her award-winning books on feng shui, happiness and spiritual life wisdom. Visit www.aliceinspired.com to read her blog, sign up for her newsletters and download useful feng shui tips.