The trouble with ticking clocks


A ticking clock in your home can affect you in ways you may not realize.

Feeling that time is running out

One of the primary effects of living with a ticking clock is that you are likely to feel that time is limited or running out for you. This is because the constant background ticking noise provides a continual reminder that time is passing. Your conscious mind soon learns to tune it out but your subconscious continues to hear every tick.

I’ve found this to be the case with every client I’ve ever worked with for who has a ticking clock in a prominent location in their home, and there is scientific evidence for it too.

In one study by researchers at Florida State University, people were asked to fill out questionnaires about their ideal partner and what age they would like to get married and have children. It was found that, when there was a ticking clock in the room, women opted for getting married and having babies at an earlier age. Those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds were the most affected, but I have found that anyone who has a ticking clock in their home is subject to feeling there is generally not enough time. Remove the clock or replace it with a silent one and the belief will usually melt away.

Feeling that life is repetitive and boring

Another effect of a ticking clock is that the monotonous, repetitive sound can cause you to feel that your existence is nothing more than a series of cycles, repeated day after day, week after week, year after year.

Some people say that they find the ticking noise comforting and enjoy having a safe, predictable life, but as Benjamin Franklin once put it, ‘Some people die at 25 and aren’t buried until 75’. There is so much more possible in life than doing the same things over and over again.

A ticking clock may affect your body rhythms

The human body has many different rhythms. We each have a unique heartbeat that is so distinctive that technology is now being developed to use it as the most secure password system ever invented. There is also the rhythm of our breath, our brainwave frequencies, and our personal sleep-wake cycle. Most cells in the body have their own circadian rhythm.

External rhythms can affect these. It is well established that depriving a person of sunlight can disrupt their sleep cycle, and certain types of music can lower blood pressure and heart rate.

study conducted by Shoko Yamane and Naohiro Matsumura in 2015 in Japan showed that having a slow ticking clock in a room has an entrainment effect that slows a person’s performance. There are likely to be many other effects that have not yet been monitored.


A ticking clock in any part of your home will affect you but the worst place to have one is on your bedside table, or anywhere in your bedroom. You will be exposed to the sound during all the hours of sleep.

And it’s so unnecessary. Just google “silent clock” and you will discover a whole range of noise-free clocks that are readily available.

Most wall clocks are battery operated these days, so it’s just a matter of finding one that goes with your decor. If you use an alarm clock, be sure to choose one that runs on batteries rather than mains electricity, for the reasons explained in the article about clock radios listed below.

Related articles
Why the best place for a clock radio is in your bin, not on your bedside table
How WiFi can affect your sleep

Copyright © Karen Kingston 2017

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Why cordless phones are not cool

Cordless phone

Most people would not want a cell phone mast located in their garden or anywhere near their home. But very few realize that using a cordless phone exposes them to a similar or even higher level of microwave radiation. It’s like having a cell phone mast right inside your home.

How cordless phones work

Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications (DECT) phones emit the same type of pulsed microwave frequencies into your head as a regular cell phone (that’s why your ear gets so hot when you use one). But unlike cell phones, which poll for signals intermittently, most  cordless phones are designed to poll for signals at full strength 24/7, whether you actively use the phone to make a call or not.

Worse still, if you don’t have a cordless phone yourself but your neighbour does, the effect can be almost the same because microwaves travel straight through walls.

Health problems

Very often when I do consultations in the homes of clients who report a range of health problems or difficulty sleeping, it can be traced to the cordless phones they are using. Sometimes all that’s needed is for them to replace their cordless phones with a good, old-fashioned non-electric corded phones, which emit no microwave or electromagnetic radiation at all. The change is pretty much instantaneous.

For others, especially anyone experiencing poor quality of sleep, rapid or irregular heart rhythms, chest pains, or high or low blood pressure, there may be a need to also reduce their exposure to other forms of microwave radiation too. This means only turning on and using their cell phone phone when absolutely necessary (ie. a real emergency, not just for convenience), and using wired broadband rather than WiFi.

For some, this may feel like too much of a lifestyle change, or too much of an expense, but it costs nothing to give it a go for a few weeks to see if it makes a difference. Most people are amazed how much better they feel, and some report they are able (after taking advice from their doctor) to reduce or stop taking prescribed medications they previously expected to be on for the rest of their life.

How to check your cordless phone

The best way to check your cordless phone is to use a special meter designed for the job. I recommend the Acoustimeter or Acousticom 2, both of which will tell you if microwave levels are within tolerable ranges or not. If you have a standard cordless phone, the readings are likely to be at the top end or off the scale completely.

You can also get a rough idea of the problem by using a portable radio on AM setting. Turn the dial to slightly off station at the lower end of the AM frequencies, so that all you can hear is static. Then slowly bring the radio close to the phone when it is resting in its base station. If the static becomes louder as you move the radio nearer to the phone, then you have the type of DECT phone that is always on.


To reduce your exposure, move your cordless phone as far away as possible from anywhere you spend extended periods of time during the day, and turn it off at the mains during the night while you sleep. Or, if you feel you absolutely must have a cordless phone, invest in one of the new ones that has an Eco-DECT setting and does not emit radiation when the phone is docked in its base. Some new models also have reduced level radiation when in use. However you will need to read the small print before buying, because some so-called ECO phones do not have either of these functions.

Eco-DECT phones have been available in Germany for some time, and can now be purchased in many other countries around the world (look for the Siemens Gigaset brand, which you can buy from in the UK). I’m not recommending them, you understand. They are just much less of a health risk than the old-style DECT phones that so many people have lurking in their homes. The best solution by far is to switch to a regular corded landline.

And what to do if you don’t have a cordless phone but your neighbour does? Click on the link below to find a solution for that.

Related articles
How to shield your home from neighbourhood WiFi

More information
DECT cordless phones (and WiFi) causes heart irregularities
Low radiation DECT cordless phones

Copyright © Karen Kingston 2017

Posted in Healthy home | Read 1 comment

Australia here we come

The Pinnacles in Western Australia.

Very happy to announce that our house in the UK was advertised for sale three days ago and sold very quickly within 48 hours. This means that we now have firm dates for our move to Australia.

Online store – This will remain open during February 2017 and will close on March 1, 2017 for two to three months until our new business in Australia has been set up.

Consultations – The last date that Richard and I are available to do space clearing, clutter clearing, feng shui or healthy home consultations in the UK and Europe is March 31, 2017. Richard still has some dates available in the week beginning 13 February, and we both still have some dates available during the last two weeks of March.

We’ve loved being in England for the seven years we’ve been here and now are SO looking forward to Australia.

Copyright © Karen Kingston 2017

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Why beams are such a feng shui no-no


The reason why exposed beams are so problematic is because they dissect the energy of a space. The sharper, lower and more prominent the beams, the stronger the effect will be, and this room is a splendid example of all three. The dissecting effect is known in feng shui as a form of “cutting chi”.

Cutting chi

Many people are sensitive enough to feel cutting chi on the top of their head when walking under beams, but the real problems start when you have to spend extended periods of time immobile underneath them, such as sitting on a sofa to watch TV, sitting at a desk to work, standing in a kitchen to cook, or lying in bed to rest or sleep. It is a well-established feng shui principle that daily prolonged exposure of this type can cause health problems in whichever part of the body is directly in line with the cutting chi.

Kitchen with sharp beams

Sharp beams are also known to cause irritation, arguments, disorientation and feeling fragmented. Low beams, such as the ones you can see here in the photo of the kitchen, accentuate the effects. They can feel oppressive and may result in feelings of frustration, hopelessness or even impending doom, like waiting for the axe to fall. It will be very challenging to cook nourishing meals in the type of kitchen pictured here. It’s typically a situation where a family tends to live on fast food, takeaways or eating out because unconsciously they want to use the room as little as possible or avoid it altogether.

In my space clearing workshops, as part of teaching people how to perceive energies in rooms, I show them how to feel the type of cutting chi that emanates from the sharp corners of furniture or walls. Most people can easily sense it with their hands if they’re shown how. It’s very tangible indeed. And the part of your subtle body structure that is affected by cutting chi (your etheric) feels this all the time, whether you’re aware of it or not.

Feng shui remedies

If you comb through feng shui books, the most common cures suggested for beams are to place bamboo flutes, or images of birds, balloons or angels in the location. The idea is that these items are associated with the element of air and bring a feeling of levity, which is said to counteract the downward force of beams. I find this fundamentally flawed. How on earth would it work for a blind person who cannot see the imagery, for example?  I’ve never found any of these cures be more than minimally effective, and certainly not with such extensive cutting chi as in the homes pictured here.

Another popular remedy is to paint the beams to match the colour of the ceiling so that they stand out less. This works particularly well if the ceiling and accompanying beams are painted white or cream. For sighted people, this feels a lot better, but energetically the cutting chi effect remains unchanged.

The best remedy is to install a false ceiling to completely cover any exposed beams. A halfway version of this is to hang fabric canopies to mask the beams, but these usually look messy, are difficult to take down and clean, and can be costly. If the beams are in a bedroom, a good solution can be to sleep in a four-poster canopy bed so that at least you won’t be affected by cutting chi during the hours you are asleep.

I’m always very reluctant to give feng shui advice from a distance. There is so much I cannot see from just looking at photos. So if you have beams in your home, before making any life-changing decisions about them, I would strongly recommend seeking advice from a competent feng shui consultant in your area who can visit to make an onsite assessment.

More about beams
Beams, beams, beams
Can you spot what’s wrong with this bed?

Copyright © Karen Kingston 2017

Posted in Feng Shui | Be the first to comment...

A place for everything and everything in its place

Storage cupboard

Clutter clearing is all about sorting through your belongings to decide what stays and what goes. In my Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui book and  Fast Track Clutter Clearing online course, I teach highly effective methods for doing this.

By the end of the process you are left with just the items you really love and use, and this is where the motto ‘A place for everything and everything in its place’ comes in.

The simple fact is that life works better when you know where your things are. It’s very frustrating having to hunt for something you know you have and, conversely, very satisfying when your home runs like a well-oiled machine and you can find everything you want when you need it.

If you grew up in a home environment where your parents or care givers kept their belongings in an organized way, it’s highly likely you will have learned this skill from them. But many people miss out on this and it’s not something that’s taught in schools.

So here’s a step-by-step guide for how to do this…

Give each item you own a place where it lives

A part of your consciousness rests on the things that you own, so ordering your home brings about an inner ordering of yourself too.

Go through your home, room by room, assigning each item you own a place where it belongs, using the techniques I’m about to explain. Especially target any items that you once put somewhere “just for now”, and that’s where they’ve stayed.

Perfectionists often like to keep things out in the open where they can see them, as a reminder to themselves to do something. But the visual clutter this creates is counterproductive, and the item soon gets lost among piles of other things anyway. A much better way is to put each object in its designated home and use A To Do book instead to help you keep track of tasks (if this is something you need help with, take my Zero Procrastination course to learn my TDZP system).

Group similar types of items together

Grouping similar types of items makes it much easier to find something and much easier to put it away again when you have finished using it. It also has the advantage of immediately revealing how many of each type of item you have so that you are not tempted to buy more when you already have enough.

This works for most belongings, but there are some exceptions. To give a few examples, it’s not necessary to keep all your books together, but it really helps to have all the books of a certain category in the same place. It’s fine to keep the shoes you wear most often in a cabinet near the front door and your other shoes elsewhere. It’s helpful to keep all your toiletries together, but if this would make your bathroom cluttered, keep the items you use less often somewhere else. You may find other examples in your home as you tidy it.

Store items as close as possible to where you will use them

This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s amazing how often people don’t do this and how much unnecessary extra work they cause themselves because of it. For instance, if you sometimes buy fresh flowers for your home, store your vases close to where you do your flower arranging. If you have a dishwasher, make it easy to unload it by storing your plates and pans in the cabinets or drawers closest to it. If you have a waste paper basket, put it close to where you use it, not on the other side of the room.

Place frequently used items in easy-to-get-to locations

This means intelligently organizing things so that the most frequently used things are at the front of a storage area and at arm height, and the less frequently used things are further back or higher up or lower down. As much as possible, also arrange items so that you don’t have to move something else to get to them.

Have the right type of storage for your needs

Arriving in a new home presents many choices about how you will arrange your furniture and where you will put all your belongings. You can greatly reduce the number of decisions that need to be made by clutter clearing your old home before you move to your new one so that the things you arrive with are the things you know you want to keep. This can save you substantial moving costs too.

If you have been living in your current home for a while and still have some boxes that have never been unpacked, this usually means that it is clutter of the ‘things you do not use or love’ variety or perhaps the ‘too many things for too small a space’ type. You will need to face up to the reality of this, sort through the boxes, and throw most of it out.

Another possibility is that you don’t yet have the right furniture to unpack the boxes to. The problem with living like this is that it doesn’t allow you to fully arrive in your home. You feel like you are squatting there rather than taking up the reins of ownership. You will feel adrift in life and not fully landed.

So aim to buy any furniture you need and unpack as much as possible within the first month of arriving in a new place, and everything else as soon after as you can. This goes a long way towards helping your house or apartment to feel like your home.

When you use something, put it back where it belongs

Following the tips in this article will reduce the amount of effort involved in keeping your home tidy and organized and will make you more likely to want to keep it that way. Get into the habit of putting things back where they belong when you have finished using them, and do a 10 to 20-minute tidy-up every evening to put your home in order so that you can start the next day fresh.

Regularly review the things you keep

At least once a year, review the things you keep, and let go of any you never use, don’t like, or have too many of.

Stop clutter before it starts

When deciding whether to buy or acquire something new, first ask yourself, where will I keep this? If the answer isn’t clear, walk away. You were just about to purchase clutter!

Related articles

I’ll just put it here for now
The art of intercepting clutter before it even starts

Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui (book)
Fast Track Clutter Clearing online course

Copyright © Karen Kingston 2017

Posted in Clutter clearing | Be the first to comment...


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