QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Quite a while ago, you addressed the old toilet paper roll debate on how it “should” be hung. It came up in conversation the other day, so I wanted to ask you to write about it again.

Let me preface this by saying that there is really no feng shui-correct answer, because it’s not something officially covered in the ancient discipline.

Think “waterfall” for flow

However, if there were a “feng-shui-correct” answer, I lean toward the paper hanging over the top. Why? Think of a waterfall. Water in feng shui represents wealth, abundance and flow. Feng shui advises people to put water fountains in the home to symbolize and affirm greater flow in getting what they want, with fewer obstacles and greater ease. Toilet paper that hangs off the top of the roll seems (to me) to be a more feng-shui-positive orientation. We always can use more flow in our lives, especially in the bathroom.



Many people think this topic is no big deal, but for those who care, the choice is usually determined by how it was when you were growing up. In surveys of American consumers, an average of 65 percent of the people preferred the “over” position, but in the end (no pun intended), whatever makes you happy is best.

What happens when two people disagree

Prior to opening my school, Happiness U, I worked as a feng shui consultant. Often, when it came to the bathroom, if the couple disagreed on the orientation of the roll, they asked me what was “right.” Now, if the waterfall explanation didn’t sit well with one of them, I had to offer a solution.

Creative solutions

I have had to be creative over the years, and instead of saying one way is “right” and the other way is “wrong,” I suggested these ways to compromise and make it work:

• Whoever changes the roll of paper gets to decide the orientation.


• Alternate the decision monthly. When you disagree, take turns.

• Install another dispenser so you have two side by side. Yes, this may seem strange, but it works very well. It works well in a shared bathroom, and in guest bathrooms it becomes a conversation piece.

• Update the dispenser. Two types of new dispensers are available that can solve this problem. One is a dispenser that allows the user to swivel and tear off from the orientation that is most habitual for that person. The other is a stand-alone type where you turn the stand around to the side you want to tear from.

No matter what anyone says the “right” way to hang the toilet paper is, it will likely always be a personal choice!


Do you have a question for Alice? If so, send it to Alice Inoue owns Happiness U, a lifestyle studio located at SALT Kaka’ako where anyone can find positive inspiration and high-level guidance to minimize stress and optimize modern day life!