Why a laundry bin in the bedroom is a feng shui no-no

If you have a laundry bin in your bedroom full of unwashed clothes, the stale energy that hangs around it will affect your energy and the quality of your sleep.

Laundry bin

Many feng shui principles have their roots in energetic principles that were well understood by the ancient masters who devised them but have now become rules that are followed without the deeper reasons for them being understood. I’ve never been satisfied with this superficial level, and the standard advice about not keeping a laundry bin in a bedroom without explaining exactly why is a good example of this.

What happens during sleep

The first thing to understand is that sleep is not just about going unconscious. It is a time when your upper complex (astral body and Higher Self) separates from your lower complex (physical and etheric body). This allows your upper complex to replenish itself by tuning in to astral or higher spiritual realms, and gives your lower complex time to rest and recuperate.

In Samuel Sagan’s book, Awakening The Third Eye, he explains: ‘Seen from outside you lose consciousness, meaning you fall asleep. But in reality your consciousness is not lost. It is just somewhere else. It has taken a different orientation. Instead of cognizing the physical world, the upper complex wanders through astral layers, or sometimes in the higher realms of the Spirit.’

How this relates to laundry bins is that during sleep your etheric body expands and becomes much more permeable. If there is a laundry bin in your bedroom full of unwashed clothes, the stale energy that hangs around it will affect your energy and the quality of your sleep.

Your etheric body expands and becomes more permeable when meditating too, so it’s also not a good idea to store a laundry bin near to where you do this. However it’s usually fine to put one anywhere else in your home and ideally, if you have space, have two bins – one for whites and one for coloureds.

So what can you do if your bedroom is the only place you can keep your laundry?

When travelling and staying in hotels I usually have no choice but to sleep with laundry in my room, so my preferred method is to store it in a plastic bag inside a cupboard, as far away from my bed as possible. I have found this to be reasonably effective because plastic acts as an energetic insulator and also helps to keep odours contained.

So if space restrictions in your home mean your bedroom really is the only place you can keep a laundry bin then the best solution I can offer is to get one that is made of plastic or at least has a plastic lining, and keep it as far away from your bed as you can. Do your laundry often enough so that the bin never overflows, and don’t put anything very wet in there such as towels because plastic doesn’t breathe so damp items will soon start to smell.

What if your sleep doesn’t improve?

I’m not suggesting that moving your laundry bin will miraculously resolve any long-term sleep problems you may have. Tens of millions of people in the world suffer sleep disorders and the contributing factors are too complex and various to explore in a brief article such as this. But if you sleep pretty well and would like to sleep even better, do give this a try. Most people are pleasantly surprised what a difference it can make.

Copyright © Clear Space Living Ltd 2016, updated 2023

Change Your bedroom, Change Your Life online course

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About Karen Kingston

Karen Kingston is a leading expert in clutter clearing, space clearing, feng shui, and healthy homes. Her two international bestselling books have combined sales of over three million copies in 26 languages and have established themselves as "must-read" classics in their fields. Her best-known title, Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui, is now in its fifth edition. She is best known for her perspective-changing insights and practical solutions that enable more conscious navigation of 21st-century living.
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4 Responses to Why a laundry bin in the bedroom is a feng shui no-no

  1. I live in an apartment and have my laundry hamper in my bedroom, but I want to move it based on your blog. My bathroom is too small. Should I move it to the living room?

    1. Hi Christina – In my Change Your Bedroom, Change Your Life online course, I explain that it may not be possible for everyone to implement everything they learn in their current home, but it will be useful to know if they ever move to a new home.

      This seems to be your situation right now. It’s not ideal to have a laundry bin in your bedroom, but moving it to your lounge will not be an improvement. The best I can suggest is to position it as far away from your bed as possible and be sure to use the type of bin that has a lid that can be closed.

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