Your home is a metaphor for your life

Everything in your home reveals something about you and what is happening in your life. It shows what’s working well for you, what’s not working, and what needs to change.


Your home is a mirror of yourself. This, in very simple terms, is the feng shui approach to understanding your relationship to the place where you live. It is based on the principle that your home is a metaphor for your life and everything in it says something about you.

While it’s not always the case that what’s on the inside is reflected on the outside (you may have latent talents, for example, that have never emerged), what’s on the outside is always a reflection of something that’s on the inside.

How to get a fresh perspective on your life

One of the quickest and most effective ways to get a fresh perspective on your life is to take a good long look at everything in your home as if you didn’t know the person who lives there.

  • What would you conclude about the person?
  • Are they the kind of person you want to be like?
  • Are they someone you would even want to know?

The most effective way to do this is to take a photo of each room in your home, then print them all out or view them digitally on a large screen and take a long, hard look. You can see things in photos that you no longer notice on a daily basis because you’ve become so used to seeing them. If you want to be very thorough, open all your cupboards and drawers and photograph them too. And don’t forget your attic, basement, garage and garden, if you have any of these.

Everyone has clutter of some kind

The four main categories of clutter are:

  • Things you do not use or love
  • Things that are untidy or disorganized
  • Too many things in too small a space
  • Anything unfinished

Now, the great thing about a home being a metaphor for one’s life is that it can also become the canvas on which you reinvent yourself. By making changes in your external environment, changes happen on the inside too.

Suppose there’s a room in your home that’s become a dumping ground for anything you don’t quite know where to put. Purposeless rooms nearly always attract junk, just as a purposeless life tends to drift. By clearing out that room, you not only improve the energy of your home, you also reclaim a part of yourself. And if you go one step further and give that room a definite purpose so that clutter doesn’t start piling up there again, new possibilities can open up in your life too.

A house is so much more than bricks and mortar. The building, and everything in it, is where we rest our consciousness and emotions. It provides a structure, an arena, a rich tapestry for our life.

How clutter affects you

Most people have no idea how much clutter can affect them. They think all the things they keep are an asset, or at least a potential asset after they’ve been sorted through and organized. ‘It’s sure to come in useful one day’, they explain. But this has to be weighed against how much keeping the stuff stagnates the energy of their home in the meantime, and how much that stagnant energy in turn affects the progress of their life.

And when it comes to keeping things “just in case”, where exactly do you draw the line? Some people I know don’t just keep things for their own future use but also just in case they one day meet someone who may need it. They are holding onto things on behalf of people they don’t even know yet and situations that will probably never happen, which makes it virtually impossible to throw anything away. They are usually wonderful, kind-hearted people, but their lives are on hold while they’re surrounded by so much junk.

When times are tough, there is a greater inclination to hold on to things, but history has shown that the people who thrive in adversity are not the ones who cling to the past but those who are flexible enough to embrace the possibilities of the future. Clutter can be like a ball and chain that holds you back from doing that.

The benefits of clutter clearing

If you have a backlog of clutter clearing to do, it may feel challenging to begin with. But when you understand how it affects the energy of your home and your life, you’ll be much more motivated to get on with it. And when you feel how good you feel after doing it, you may come to regard it as a treat, as most people who read my books and take my online courses do.

As one woman so succinctly put it, “I never realized one could get just as much pleasure from getting rid of material possessions as from acquiring them in the first place!”

Copyright © Clear Space Living Ltd 2022

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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 fourth 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 Your home is a metaphor for your life

  1. Moving a lot over these past 5 years has shown me the weight of how much we’ve been dragging around in life. And that doesn’t even include all the stuff we had in storage. My poor husband moving boxes!

    At this point settling more into a house with brand new clean clear space has helped a lot in this process of letting go, as I can much more clearly see what no longer belongs and I don’t fret on throwing stuff out. I’m fed up with clutter.

    I refuse to continue the legacy of ‘holding on’ habits adopted by my elders & recognize how things need to flow otherwise they pass thru time & deteriorate, get discolored, moldy.

    I also see how important it is to be aware of our ‘sense’ of how much stuff we’re actually carrying~so we can live lightly in awareness instead of hanging on tightly. This impacts one’s sense of well being & sanity, in my opinion!

    I now more easily allow the process of letting go. I observe how clutter attracts clutter. I watch how clear space attracts clear space & let myself feel open space. I have greater compassion for those stuck in clutter land.

    I desire purposeful spaces – and it becomes easier to know where items are housed. Then it becomes very very clear what doesn’t belong and allows homes for items (even if it’s in donation or trash).

    One area I am moving thru is wanting the ‘insides’ of closets drawers cabinets to look & function well & feel good. I want this so I can enjoy what I own & know it’s easy to access and even beautiful to view what’s on the inside of my home, for me the home is a metaphor for consciousness.

    I love your teachings Karen, I’d love your reflections on this!

    1. Hi Ruby – What comes after clutter clearing is organizing, and the best way to organize the things you know you want to keep is by finding the right drawer, shelf or closet organizers for each category of thingds. Never before in the history of the world have there been so many of these to choose from, so you will almost certainly be able to find what you need. A helpful tip is to accurately measure the storage space you have so that you can be sure any organizers you purchase will fit perfectly in it.

  2. What if you hire someone to clean your home, and if you do not hire this person your house cluttered does it make a difference if someone else cleans your space?

    1. Hi Erica – I’m not sure if you are asking about cleaning or decluttering. The topic of someone else cleaning your space is covered in this article. If you are asking about letting someone else declutter your home, that’s fine if you give them full permission to make decisions on your behalf. However, few people are willing or trusting enough to do so.

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