By adopting an “out with the old, in with the new” strategy for your home and environment, you can make 2013 an energetically pleasing year to remember

QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Last year you had an easy-to-follow method for how to close out the year and open up to new beginnings in our homes and in our minds. It was very helpful for me and my family. Can you offer some advice as we turn into 2013?

It’s hard to believe that in just two more days we’ll be saying, “Happy New Year,” once again. I know I am not the only one who felt the swift passing of time in 2012. Well, time is still accelerating, so it’s more important than ever to set your intentions and be present with your life, otherwise you will get to the end of 2013 feeling that you failed to maximize your potential and your possibilities.

Your home and environment can support you in what you want to create in the new year, but you must first gain clarity about what you want. Start by looking within.

Ask yourself what you want

What do you want for yourself this year? Take some time to think about what’s important to you and then set the intent to create it. The clearer you are, the better and easier your year will unfold. At the beginning of every year, I ask myself what I want to experience in all the areas of my life. Then, just like one would plan a vacation, I take three days off to get clear, envision, develop strategies and plan the year ahead because I know it is important to my success.

I am always amazed at how much I collect in just one year, and I am acutely aware that we are energetically tied to things in our environment. So I set aside an extra two days before the year ends to prepare my home to support me in all of my endeavors in the year ahead by clearing out the unnecessary accumulations in my home, freeing the energy to help me reach my highest potential.


Now, if your home is not yet prepared for the new year, don’t worry! Chinese New Year, determined by the lunar calendar, is Feb. 10, so you still have plenty of time to get things ready. It’s helpful to think of the new year as an important and welcome “guest.” By clearing out the old, you physically and energetically create space for this new year “guest.”

If you don’t know where to start, use the points below as a guide. Engage every person in the house to get ready for “out with the old, in with the new” feng shui action.

Out with the old

1. Discard

Put your mind in “I’m on a mission mode.” Then, go from room to room putting in a trash bag everything that you no longer use or need. Stay no longer than 10 minutes in each area.

Get rid of expired food items in the refrigerator and cabinets, old newspapers, junk mail, chipped cups, old cosmetics, burnt down candles, broken items, warped Tupperware and other things that no longer serve you. Be quick and snappy. This is an easy step that takes no thought at all.

2. Donate

Next, in a large plastic bag, put clothes you haven’t worn, CDs, books, figurines and other items with which you no longer resonate. For large items, make a list and schedule a day to remove them from your home. For now, remove the items that will fit into a few bags. Don’t think too much. Just do it. If you have a hard time letting things go, imagine the smile on the person who needs the item more than you do.

3. Clear and clean

Clutter creates lethargy and overwhelm. To make space to welcome the opportunities for the upcoming year, clear off surfaces where things have settled — kitchen counters, dining room tables and bathroom surfaces.

In with the new

1. Stock up on food


Food symbolizes abundance and health. Fill your pantry and stock your refrigerator with the type of food that you want to eat in 2013.

2. Bring in a new plant

Plants symbolize growth and represent the life force. Bring in a plant from your garden, or better yet, purchase live plants and place them in your home to represent a new and healthy beginning to the year. A display of beautiful flowers is a positive symbol and represents reaching your highest potential.

3. Hang up new calendars

Calendars should represent the future, so discard all of last year’s calendars so that you greet the new year by showing you are present and open to the future, not stuck in the past.

4. Freshen up the energy

For just a few minutes, open every door and window to let go of the old year and energy and welcome in the new, with a vision to receive the best that life has to offer.

Take action for a great year

What you have in your home shows up in the quality of your life. To raise your positive experience of the upcoming year, set a positive intent throughout your home by taking out what you no longer want and bringing in what you do. A happy home supports you in living a happy life. Here’s to a fantastic close to 2012. See you again with more insight to help you in your life in 2013!

Getting rid of the negative

Letting go of things physically and mentally is important. Start anew in 2013 by leaving behind past grudges and resentments. How have you benefitted from all the “negative” things that happened in 2012? Balance out your perspective and see how it happened for you instead of to you!


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. Visit for more information.