Feeling flustered over the upcoming holiday festivities? Try decluttering, detangling and replacing light bulbs to get your fa-la-la-la-las back

QUESTION OF THE WEEK: I have no time to do anything fancy. Do you have any feng shui tips I could incorporate with ease this holiday season?

Yes, I do! Feng shui is not only about creating an environment that supports you energetically, but the symbolism that surrounds you too. I have put together nine simple yet effective holiday feng shui tips to reduce stress. Pick three to start with based on your most pressing situation. You will be amazed at the difference they make!

Situation: “I feel overwhelmed and burdened by all I have to do.”
Symbolism: Cluttered flat surfaces. You can’t shake the feeling that you’ll never get it all done.


The flat surfaces in your home represent your daily path. If you leave little or no clear space on the countertops in your home, you are adding to your mental stress and that can translate into a real sense of “burden,” especially during the holidays. To counteract this energy, discard the “junk,” and then put everything else into a decorative box with a cover. You will immediately feel lighter.

Situation: “I have not had many new opportunities come my way.”
Symbolism: “No key home.” You are missing out on new avenues of experience.

Everything in your home needs a home — even your keys. Honor your keys and provide a place for them to call “home.” Your keys are vital to get you where you want to go (car keys) or into places you want to be (home and office). Providing a place for them will help you to “lock into place” new opportunities and possibilities for the holidays. Bonus tip: Get a new key chain for the New Year.

Situation: “I have books everywhere!”
Symbolism: Book mess. Your communication is unclear and you feel scattered.

To minimize “scatterbrain” and facilitate clearer communication over the holidays, put reading material in its right place, stacking it neatly or arranging it in deep decorative baskets. Scattered reading material not only creates a visual mess, but also hampers communication and organization, which is needed over the holidays.


Situation: “I am stressed out, frustrated and irritated.”
Symbolism: Messy electrical cords. Your nervous system is mirroring your cords.

Just as electricity runs through your house to activate your appliances and electrical devices, energy runs through your body via your nervous system. Capture any exposed electrical cords with a cord organizer to symbolically manage your frazzled nerves. Reduce irritation and frustration over the holidays by paying attention to exposed wires, especially around your computer area and entertainment center. Detangle your cords to defray your nerves.

Situation: “I feel burnt out and too tired to enjoy the holidays”
Symbolism: Burnt-out light bulbs. You feel like you have no energy to do anything.


Light bulbs brighten up a room. If your lights are not working, it’s harder for you to light up the room with your wit and wisdom. Test all the lights in your home, make a note of what is not working and then replace them.

Situation: “I haven’t paid much attention to my refrigerator lately.”
Symbolism: Refrigerator clutter. You are doing things for others you don’t really want to do.

The refrigerator represents the female element in the home, and when you ignore the fridge, you tend to over-nurture others at the expense of your own energy. Manage any energy drain by clearing the face of the refrigerator, placing items in a plastic bag to sort through later. Then, with a garbage bag in hand, throw away all expired food in the refrigerator.

Situation: “I have a hard time letting go of emotional challenges.”
Symbolism: Stuffy bathroom. You are unable to efficiently process emotions.

In the bathroom, we transform from “dirty” to “clean,” letting go of the old and toxic. So, when the holidays bring up old wounds, triggering resentment, a long inviting soak in the tub can help you to process “old” family issues. A cluttered bathroom counter can energetically cause unnecessary stress. Place cosmetics, personal items and hairstyling products in a container so that they are out of sight.

Situation: “I either have a hard time falling asleep or don’t sleep well.”
Symbolism: Overburdened nightstand. You have a lot on your mind that you can’t let go of at night.

Our nightstands are personal and close to us physically. We are connected to what is on them in ways that we don’t even realize. If the top of your nightstand has anything that is not symbolic of restful sleep, move or conceal it. A book, light, alarm clock, plant, glasses and a figurine or two are about all you need on that surface.

Situation: “I have too much to deal with in my life — I can’t even do one of the above.”
Symbolism: Whole house hopeless. I give up.


Turn off all the lights and light a few candles. Everything looks better (and cleaner) by candlelight. Things will look better in the morning.

Alice Inoue is the founder and Chief Happiness Officer at Happiness U, a friendly and warm educational establishment at Gentry Pacific Center on Nimitz Highway. Visit www.YourHappinessU.com.