If you’re the type of person who responds better to the “don’ts” than the “dos” of good housekeeping, follow these four simple tips and bring energy back into your abode

QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Every week when I read your column, I always think, “I need to do what you suggest,” but I never seem to get around to it. Somehow I think it would be more motivational if you told me about things that I shouldn’t do or shouldn’t have in my environment. Are there definite feng shui “no-nos” (besides clutter) that I should be aware of?

I completely understand. Even though I generally like to make change from a more positive vantage point, I will shift my focus for those who want to approach change from the “do not” perspective. Sometimes the “dos” fail to fully address the “don’ts,” so this is an opportunity to clarify the energy blockages that may not have been addressed by the “dos.”

First of all, I’d like to preface my feng shui don’ts with a few important words. If you encounter a “don’t” in your environment that you cannot accommodate or do not feel right about, you are not doomed, your feng shui is not bad, and your life is not messed up.

Although many things can negatively impact the good vibes in a home, not one is strong enough to doom your life. Feng shui supports your life by minimizing the energetic negatives and maximizing the positives. And, for the record, I have never seen a home (including mine) with perfect feng shui.


Here are my top four Feng Shui “nonos:”

Dead plants, dirty silk plants, “cobwebby” potpourri or old disintegrating leis. Anything representing “life force” is either physically alive or looks alive, or is alive in your heart in the form of a memory. To support you energetically, your plants need to thrive and be healthy. When your plants are dead or dying, they are losing their energy and emanate the energetic message that you too are losing your energy.

Silk plants can be excellent substitutes for live plants, however, letting them gather dust brings in “dead” energy and lowers the vibe. Potpourri is great when fresh and aromatic, but when it loses its aroma and starts to form cobwebs, it is time to discard it. Dried leis that have special meaning and evoke happy memories outweigh the energetic negative of being “dead,” unless they no longer evoke those happy memories or you no longer need a visual reminder of those happy times.

Beds positioned tightly against a wall. A bed pushed into a corner cuts off natural energy flow, especially when you are sleeping. Symbolically, sleeping on a bed pushed against a wall creates limiting energy that detracts from your ability to make choices and leaves no room for romance to enter or blossom in your life.

Positioning the bed so that it is free and clear of the wall, allows the energy of empowerment into your life. If you lack the space to move the bed far enough away from the wall, move it out as much as you can.


Broken or dysfunctional things. Fix appliances, household items and plumbing, electrical and structural systems as soon as they need repair. Treat anything broken in your home with the same respect that you would a family member. A broken or dysfunctional item is akin to a sick family member, so tend to it immediately.

When your home is “unhealthy,” notice how it affects you. Plumbing represents your financial health, while the electrical wiring in your home represents your mental health, and structural issues represent your physical body issues, especially bones, skin and teeth. Keep your home flowing with healthy energy so that it supports your family members’ health.

Blocked, dark or scary entrances. Keep the entrance to your home clear and clean. Your architectural front door is where energy enters. If people have to duck under tree branches or step over garden equipment, your entrance is working against you.

The entrance is the “mouth” of your home. Like your physical mouth, keep it clean and tidy. In the same way that you would not want to cozy up to someone who has poor oral hygiene, the energy does not want to come near a dirty or unkempt entrance. An entrancing entrance is an invitation to good energy.

In conclusion, there’s something you can do in your home today that turns a “nono” into a “yes-yes!”

More is not always better!


At times, less can be better, especially when it comes to undesirable commitments, obligations and unfulfilling work. Today, make “subtraction” a focus in your home. Subtract something from your bulletin board, memorabilia display, visible shelves, magazine piles, make-up drawer or obligatory social calendar, and delete old texts and junk emails. By doing so, you will “add” to the energy bank of your vital life force.

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.