As I have mentioned previously, I am not such a huge fan of hyper-designed minutiae, as it applies to our collective psyche. While it’s awesome when anything in your life sparks joy—and I would absolutely advocate choosing the thing that brings more joy, when given a choice—to suggest that everything in our homes should spark joy or leave the premises is just too much pressure to put on folks.

Tweet by Deirdre @figgled regarding Marie Kondo

Applause to anyone who takes a moment to organize the junk drawer, tidy up the laundry room, donate your non-joy-sparking wardrobe to Goodwill Industries (RIP Savers), or any other home organizational exercise. I do not for a minute want to harsh your buzz, because it’s an awesome feeling you get when things are pared down, in their proper place, and feature hospital corners. I do love a good hospital corner.

If that type of annual task is not sparking joy for you as we spring forth into 2022, I encourage you to go a different way. Think about shaking things up with a little bit of feng shui to start the new year right. But not your grandmother’s sort of feng shui…I’m talking about something with a more modernist-realist sensibility. I’ve mentioned it before, but I’ll say it again: Please purchase or check out from your local library the book by Karen Rauch Carter, called Move Your Stuff, Change Your Life.

Move Your Stuff, Change Your Life, by Karen Rauch Carter

Move Your Stuff, Change Your Life takes the stance that what feng shui boils down to is intention. So there’s a sort of looseness in the way Rauch Carter applies the principals of feng shui. She theorizes that if you do a thing with intention, it doesn’t truly matter if you’ve put it in the right corner of the bagua.


If you’re a newbie to feng shui and don’t know what the bagua is (and I’m no expert, so I’m loosely explaining here), it’s a way of breaking down your home into a grid of nine areas, based on the points of the compass, or based on the location of your home’s entry. Each of the nine areas represents a part of your life, like “family,” “health,” and “wealth & prosperity.” I guess we alllllll should be addressing our health corners in ten, nine, eight, seven…

Certain elements in the home can create a bad vibe if they land in the wrong part of the grid, i.e., you fo’ sho don’t want a toilet in your wealth & prosperity corner. But if you find yourself in that predicament, there are various “cures” you can employ to divert this affliction to your luckitude. I won’t go into all of them, because that’s what our new bestie Karen Rauch Carter is here for.

But if you would like to zhuzh up some aspect of your life, KRC gives you some real-world advice for doing that, and her book is so twee, you’ll be able to breeze through it in no time. Although it may sound uncharacteristically woo-woo of me to say so, I find it the idea of, say, writing a list of people/entities you’d like help from, putting that list in a shiny container (shiny=attention-getting), and putting that shiny container in your career corner…well, I find it sort of exciting to imagine that exercise drawing opportunities out of the ether.

feng shui helpful people list inside shiny container with coins

So y’all go move something and I’ma go get my health area in check!