The colours we wear reflect how we feel and affect us energetically much more than most people realize. When doing clutter clearing, black is the worst possible colour to choose.
In my book, Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui, I explain that it’s best not to wear black when doing clutter clearing. In response to all the people who have asked me about this, here’s more information.
Black’s absorbent nature
Black is not actually a colour, but the absence of all colours. Most people know that if you wear black clothes on a hot, sunny day, it will make you feel hotter. This is because it so readily absorbs heat from the sun. It also absorbs all wavelengths of light and reflects none. Black’s most defining quality is absorption, both physically and also energetically.
Wearing black to do clutter clearing
When doing clutter clearing in your own home, black may seem like a good colour to wear because it doesn’t show dirt so easily. However its absorbent nature will make it more likely that you’ll you pick up some of the stagnant energies that inevitably accumulate around clutter, and this can quickly make you feel tired or even cause you to develop flu-like symptoms. If there are layers of dust or grime, wearing black can exacerbate the effect of this, causing you to feel grungier than you otherwise would.
Professional organizers and clutter clearing practitioners are particularly at risk in this respect, working daily in the homes of clients who have dense levels of clutter and correspondingly denser levels of stagnant energy surrounding it. Wearing black will make them more likely to become caked with stagnant energies, and over time the side-effects of this can have consequences for their health and well-being.
It’s fine to wear other dark colours such as navy blue and brown when clutter clearing. It’s just black that is best avoided.
Teenagers and black
Many teenagers go through a phase of wearing mostly black clothing or painting their room black. This is usually symptomatic of being spiritually lost, which is not necessarily a bad thing, providing it doesn’t continue too long. The black epitomizes the void they are passing through in order to find themselves.
The best way to handle it as a parent is not to nag or lecture but to hold a space for the teenager while they are immersed in this soul-searching process. Let them know you may not understand exactly what they are going through, but you are there to support them.
If the black phase goes on too long, though, some intervention may be required. What people don’t realize about black is that it is almost as attention-seeking a colour as red. Its absorbent nature draws the eye and says “notice me”. Worn persistently, it can be a cry for help.
Fashion or corporate black
Back in the ’90s, I remember visiting London to go shopping for clothes. Every store I walked into had a choice of black, black, or black with just a hint of something else.
‘Did someone famous die?’ I asked a store assistant.
‘No, black is the “in” colour this year,’ she assured me. ‘Everyone’s wearing it.’
It’s a fashion trend that has endured, with black becoming the standard acceptable colour for many people in corporate jobs. It’s fine to wear it from time to time, but if it becomes the main staple of your wardrobe, there is usually more to it than fashion, convenience, or whatever you tell yourself is the reason for wearing it so much. It could be a form of emotional armoury, a way of boosting self-confidence, a way of blending in with the crowd, or other such ploys.
Wearing black to appear slimmer
Black clothing can make you look slimmer, but it also causes you to hide parts of yourself emotionally as well as physically, which can make you less available for emotional depth in relationships. When you love and accept yourself as you are, it is much easier to lose weight than when you try to hide it. Wearing brighter or lighter colours will allow you to express more of yourself and, combined with decluttering your home, can greatly assist your weight-loss process.
Wearing power black
Wearing black for power dressing can be a statement to others not to mess with you. Some people carry this off beautifully. It won’t endear anyone to you, but it will certainly give you some personal space, if that’s what you want.
Wearing black at funerals
The absorbent nature of black makes it the dumbest colour to ever wear to a funeral because that is such a high-risk situation for picking up stray fragments from the disintegrating astral body of the deceased person, as well as the turbulent emotions of the mourners.
I realize this is contrary to well-established western tradition, where black is considered the most respectful colour to wear to a funeral. But Indian Hindus and the Chinese would consider it pure folly to wear black. They always wear white, precisely in order to limit the risk of catching an astral fragment, otherwise known as an entity. This used to be the case in Bali, too, but unfortunately they have been swayed by western influence and in some parts of the island, where spiritual awareness has declined, it has now become fashionable to wear black to Hindu funerals.
If you attend a western funeral, my best advice is to wear an alternative colour such as navy, and also avoid drinking alcohol. If you would like to know more about this, the best book I have ever found on this topic is Entities: Parasites of the Body of Energy by Samuel Sagan.
The best colour to wear when clutter clearing
So if black is not a good colour to wear when clutter clearing, is there a colour that is? Most definitely yes.
The best colour is red, which has a fiery quality that boosts stamina and staying power. You are more likely to keep going until the job is finished. We radiate more energy through the upper part of our body than through the lower part, so it is more effective to wear a red top than red trousers or a skirt.
If you don’t have anything red then something from the warm end of the spectrum such as pink, orange or yellow will work much better than cooler colours such as blue.
Copyright © Clear Space Living Ltd 2016, updated 2022
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For many, many years, my wardrobe has been entirely grey and black (except for my carefully loved Optimus Prime jacket – I’m a Transformers fan). I haven’t ‘done’ any colour except those plus purple, on-and-off, since my early twenties. Would wearing a bright accessory while clutter clearing be useful?
Purple is a much better choice of clothing than black for clutter clearing, as it has some red content (it’s a mixture of red and blue). Wearing a bight-coloured accessory wonn’t make much difference. More importantly, if you have only ever worn black since your twenties, it would be immensely freeing for you to discover what caused you to become stuck in that for so long. Two very helpful resources I can offer are my Fast-Track Clutter Clearing online course and/or a Personal Insight session with Richard Kingston.
Sometime ago I read that Harvard University did a study and found that when wearing red, their boat paddling team had 13% more energy and stamina. I also noticed that the first people to cross the finish line in a running marathon were wearing red shoes and/or red clothing.
Thank you for this interesting article!
What about wearing black underwear and black tights during clutter clearing? I mostly wear black underneath, but blue jeans and other colored pullovers… and I do really wonder if this has an impact on my clutter clearing (it goes so slowly…)
Hi Susanne – If you always wear black underwear, you may want to look at the underlying reasons for that (some people do it unconsciously to suppress their sexuality). I suggest you experiment with wearing lighter colours to feel how that feels and also to see if clutter clearing becomes easier for you.
Am I reading that it’s okay then to wear some black sometimes (like most women in the west, I own a little black dress & a black jumpsuit) just as long as it’s on occasion & definately not for clutter clearing?
Yes, that’s it in a nutshell 🙂