The Feng Shui By Fishgirl Challenge

“Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” ~ William Morris


This month’s quote is from William Morris. And no, I am not talking about the legendary Hollywood talent agent, I am referring to the other guy, England’s most famous designer / craftsman who inspired the Arts & Crafts Movement, mid 1800’s. (Find out more about his work and download some free desktop wallpaper at The William Morris Gallery  Think about what he said: “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” Whether he knew it or not, William Morris was practicing Feng Shui.


One of the first things we learn when studying Feng Shui is to get rid of anything that is broken or that isn’t working. A clock that sits on your mantelpiece that no longer tells time may be a beautiful antique, but if it is in disrepair it is not helping your ch’i. And if it isn’t helping, it is most likely hurting.  It may be the reason why your romance has stalled. Or your business contacts have dried up. Or your diet isn’t working. The mischief it is causing for you would depend on exactly what area of your home that your broken clock is located in. I would recommend that you take your broken clocks to an horologist immediately (look in your yellow pages, not your bordello).  


I love a good challenge, don’t you? So, let me give you The Feng Shui By Fishgirl Challenge…this is an exercise not for the weak of heart. You must be willing to go the distance. To evaluate with brutal honesty. To discard with ruthless abandon. To commit to paying for routine maintenance on anything broken that you have decided is worth keeping. I want to challenge you to go through your home room by room and make a list (or a pile) of everything in it that falls into the William Morris categories of either [1] Not Useful, or,  [2] Not Beautiful. Let me give you some examples of both.


If It Ain’t Broken


Remember the old adage,’ if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it ‘? Well, I’m telling you if it IS broken: FIX IT! If it can’t be fixed, junk it or give it away to the Salvation Army. Some of the “Not Useful” things I have seen in client’s homes, which you may also have in yours, are:


Clothing that doesn’t fit, or is stained or ripped.

Stacks of old stereo equipment that doesn’t work anymore.

Dead plants, or plants with just a sickly little stem poking out of a huge pot.

The aforementioned broken clock, or watch, that no longer keeps time.

Books…. i.e.: toss out the old computer manuals at the same time you upgrade your computer.

Broken/cracked glass still in picture frames or mirrors.

Newspaper bundles waiting to be read or recycled.

Lamps needing light bulbs.

Curtain rods dangling.

Candles that are melted beyond use and no longer pretty.

Various electrical appliances and small gadgets that no longer work.

Bath towels that are tattered beyond belief.

Wallpaper peeling down.

Faucets dripping.

Doorbells that don’t ring.


If You Don’t Love It, Shove It


There is always some example of something that is not beautiful, yet, it is cherished and we love it so we will keep it. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. We love something, it becomes beautiful because we love it. So, do not think I am asking you to throw away anything that is not “good looking”. Or conversely, to keep things only because they are beautiful.


If you do not believe it to be beautiful, it doesn’t belong in your house. That means, if you don’t love it: shove it! We’ve spoken in past newsletters about how we imbue either positive or negative ch’i onto objects and spaces. Think about all the negative ch’i buildup being created by that Limoges nut dish your Aunt Bessie gave you last Christmas. Now, there’s nothing wrong with Limoges  (and hopefully, there’s nothing wrong with your Aunt Bessie!). And chances are, she spent too much for it. This tends to add to the guilt we feel if we don’t really like it and don’t want it in our home.  However, if your crib is furnished in 1950’s Modern, the fancy Limoges nut dish looks totally out of place; you probably do not like it but feel some obligation to keep it, right?


We all have a version of the nut dish. It’s time for all of us to let go of our attachment to keeping anything in our sacred home space that we aren’t absolutely in love with, or at the very least, anything that doesn’t please us. I hereby give you permission to remove those items from your home today!


Some examples of things that people hang on to that fall into this category:


Gifts (especially given by family members).

Inherited objects (furniture, paintings, etc) that aren’t your taste.

Plants that aren’t flourishing.

Expensive things (we have a harder time letting go of things we paid a lot of money for even if we hate the piece after we’ve bought it).

Things that connect us to our past and who we once were, but that no longer represent who we are now and where we are going.


By the way, if you now have a pile of unwanted things in your space, be sure to donate them to charity or have a yard sale. If you have a pile of things you intend to repair, make sure you take care of it quickly. If you must leave the pile there for a while, you want to be sure your pile is in a benign area of your home. The last thing you want to do is gather up all of your broken down items and stack them in your Health Area, your Love & Relationship Area or your Wealth Area until you get around to it. As always, if you are unsure of where these areas are located within your home, be sure to contact a Feng Shui expert for assistance.


Filed under Feng Shui Home

2 responses to “LOVE IT OR SHOVE IT

  1. Pingback: Home Decor Tips - April 1, 2009 | ABC's of Fine Design

  2. Hi great website yea nice job Your blog is so informative keep up the good work!

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